Friday, September 23, 2011


A topic I could conveniently use is “Early marriages in our society and the education of the girl-child”.

This is a very prevalent problem in our community where girls are give out in marriage at very young ages, (sometimes as young as 10), the attendant negative effects are very appalling, scuttled education, health problems , psychological trauma, inability to cope with marital life due to unpreparedness etc.

This is a problem all the students can truly relate to, and will able to understand the causes of the problem, and its negative effects on the society.

The key objective of this simulation will be get students to better understand the negative effects of forced early marriages on the girls themselves, their families, and the society at large.

While most of the films and drama-plays staged on the issue end with a “Winners/Losers” situation, I’d prefer to create a simulation in which everyone will be a “winner”. The simulation I have in mind will require the following roles:
 The girl about to be forced into early marriage;
 A friend of the girl who had being forced into marriage earlier on;
 The parents trying to force their daughter into early marriage;
 The girl’s schoolteacher;
 A religious leader;
 An educated lady in the community;
 A medical expert;

I’d prefer the simulation to be one sided, focusing on only the girl’s part (to make it narrow, I’d leave out the husband-to-be, or only briefly introduce him to show the age difference).

The short storyline will be designed to highlight a girl about to be forced to leave school to be married to a much older man, with the various usual reasons given by the parents – the misconception that a woman didn’t need to be well educated and that her place is in the kitchen.

Someone should play the role of the girl’s mother who adamantly believes her daughter should get married to get a man to provide for her needs and have her own children.

A friend of the girl should be introduced to highlight the agonies she has faced from being forced to leave school to get married, she’d be attempting to let the girl see that it wasn’t as glamorous as it was being portrayed, and that she herself had gotten divorced because she couldn’t cope with marital life. She could also add health problems she is facing.

The Schoolteacher, Married Educated lady, Religious leader, and Medical expert are all to play roles of advocating for girl-child education from different perspectives, thus:
 The Schoolteacher: To show concern as a guide who is interested in the development of the girl and someone who has benefitted from being educated herself.
 Married Educated lady: Also to serve as a model of what advantages could be gained from being educated especially for a married woman.
 Religious leader: To highlight the importance Islam places on education in general and that of the girl-child especially.
 Medical expert: To highlight the possible dangers a young girl could encounter at childbirth or after, due to lack of well formed physical bodily organs. And also the psychological effects of a girl being forced to play a role of a woman, one for which she is not adequately prepared.

Though the topic is mine, I’d first ask the various groups to research into early marriages and its effects on the education of the girl child; from their results, we’d then share out roles to be played in a One-hour role play activity.

I feel the effects of this activity on their minds will be more lasting than simply teaching the subject from a textbook. I’d also give them free hand in choosing how to lay their allotted/chosen roles. Allowing them to play the roles with their styles or flavor.

If successful, it could be further enlarged into a full-fledged play to be staged in the school or the community.

1 comment:

  1. Ibrahim,

    This simulation sounds very interesting and creative. It seems like it also would play an important role in the education of all members of society. I hope that you are able to take it out to the community. It is critical for everyone to understand the negative effects of child marriage.



Creative Commons License
This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.