Mafeteng – Let children go to school and do away with early marriages since it is their right for a bright future.
These remarks were made by the Minister of Social Development Honourable Molahlehi Letlotlo during commemoration of African Child Day in Mafeteng where he said African countries still have a problem of denying children their rights due to various invalid reasons.
He said conflicts and other persisting problems that include death of parents contribute to poor school attendance which also leads to dropout and as a result children are being abused until they engage in early marriage.
Speaking at the occasion the Minister of Police and Public Safety, Honourable Monyane Moleleki said every parent or guardian have to send their children to school, condemning early marriages, saying in 2000 Lesotho managed to introduce compulsory free primary education for all, to allow every child to attend school without discrimination.
The Minister of Education and Training, Dr. Mahali Phamotse said the country is experiencing a serious problem of child abuse, mostly carried out by parents and guardians, saying the act itself hinders progress of children particularly in education and clarified that ensuring that a child attends school is a social responsibility that calls for collaborative effort.
On behalf of United Nations Population Fund Representative, Ms. Mamello Molapo said child marriage violates girls’ rights and effectively brings their childhood and adolescence to premature and unnatural end by imposing roles and responsibilities she is not physically prepared for.
The Principal Chief of Likhoele Chief Lerotholi Seeiso said most countries invest in children’s education for their economic growth, and commended Parliament for enforcing Penal Code Act of 2010 which covers all criminal activities.
The Member of Parliament for Mafeteng Constituency Honourable Temeki Ts’olo said every child should be brought up until they reach the right age for marriage, saying it is illegal for parents and guardians to allow early marriage as such activities ruin children’s future.