Cases of school dropout alarming among Muslims girls

In a study conducted by the Alliance of Imams of the Northern Corridor for Humanitarian Development-AICNDH, Muslim girls are reported to drop out of school.

Amina Léonie Baramfataniye, is a member of AICNDH and one among those who facilitated the inquiry in three provinces where there are more Muslim families. She says Muslim girls are sent to school but drop out after the 6th form.

Amina Léonie Baramfataniye: “Muslim girls drop out of school to get married at an early age”

“According to the results of the study, girls are sent to school at 56% and drop out after the 6th form at 29, 4%,” she says.
Mrs. Baramfataniye says those girls abandon school to be married. “After they quit schools, they are married to men who are older than them and richer than their families in most of the cases”.

Sarah Niyonsaba, a Muslim and activist for child rights, says Muslim girls abandon schools mainly because of ignorance, poverty, and Islamic culture. “They still ignore the importance of education for girls. Some parents oblige their daughters to drop out of schools because of poverty while others still misinterpret the Islamic culture and don’t give enough importance to the girls’ education,” she says.

Mrs. Niyonsaba also mentions the lack of model women in Muslim communities. “There are no female Muslim icons who can inspire them in their communities.Instead, most of their elder sisters, aunts and cousins are only housewives,” she says.

The two women say there is a great need for sensitization so as to fight against school drop out of Muslim girls. “Parents need to be sensitized to the importance of education for girls and the negative impact of school dropout on their daughters”.

Mrs. Baramfataniye also says religious leaders and the administration should be involved for effective results.

The Alliance of Imams of the Northern Corridor for Humanitarian Development-AICNDH conducted the study in three provinces namely Bujumbura, Muyinga and Rumonge.