Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
– Benjamin Franklin
Teachers play an important role in everyone’s life. But for school going girls in the villages of Karnataka, these teachers hold an even more important position as child marriage is a common sight in these areas.
The school-going girls from Bellary, Balagavi and Chikkaballapur have grown up hearing “Don’t study too much or else you won’t find a good man for marriage!” from their near and dear ones. It is in this context that the role school teachers play in breaking the stereotype of “end goal as marriage” is beyond impactful.
CIF’s IMAGE (Initiatives for Married Adolescent Girls Empowerment) project that works to stop child marriages while empowering the victims of child marriage conducted 2 meetings with 16 school teachers and headmasters at 2 Government schools on 13th January and 29th January 2022 respectively. These meetings were organised to ensure that the school teachers, one of the most important stakeholders, continue to encourage the students in pursuing their dreams of becoming who they want to be rather than what they are told to be.
During the meetings, the teachers were also motivated to continue spreading awareness about the importance of education and becoming independent. The teachers were given awareness of the ill effects of child marriage by the IMAGE staff with the hope they will continue to share it further with the children.
A teacher who attended the training shares, “We are glad to have attended the training which has helped us realise the importance of education for both the girl children as well as the Early Married Girls. We would not only continue to spread awareness on the ill effects of child marriage but would also support the girls with tuition facilities and study materials”.
As the project staff continue their work to stop child marriages from taking place through different interventions, there is a ray of hope from the teachers as they influence the children’s thinking and their choices positively.
Written by Vaishnavi Gupta,