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August 2020 Vol. 7 No.2

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Martina NZ
Fobellah D

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Merit Research Journal of Art, Social Science and Humanities (ISSN: 2350-2258) Vol. 7(2) pp. 027-037, August 2020

Copyright © 2020 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3996088

Original Research Article

Cultural Issues Influencing Early Marriage and the Educational Attainment of the Girl Child in Lebialem, Cameroon


Dr. Njungwa Zinkeng Martina1* and Dr. Diana Fobellah2


1Head of Department Curriculum Studies and Teaching, Faculty of Education , University of Buea
2Department of Guidance Counselling, Higher Technical Teachers’ Training College, University of Buea.

*Corresponding Author's E-mail: mail: tinazinkeng@yahoo.com

Received: 07 August 2020  I  Accepted: 18 August 2020  I  Published: 24 August 2020  I  Article ID: MRJASSH-20-013
Copyright © 2020 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.




This study investigated some cultural issues influencing early marriage in Lebialem Division in Cameroon. Specifically the study focused on virginity, procreation and bride price and the impact on the educational attainment of the girl child. The study employed the cross-sectional survey design. The simple random and purposive sampling technique was used to obtain a sample size of one hundred (100) participants and they were between the age range of 12-20 years. The mixed method was used for data collection. Quantitative data was collected using a questionnaire which had opened and closed ended questions and a focus group discussion (FGD) was used for the qualitative data. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics presented in frequencies, percentages and charts. Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic and verbatim statements. The findings revealed the cultural issues of bride price was the most influential factor for early marriage with a 71.11% followed by Procreation with 46.51% and virginity with 36.66%. This greatly impacted on the educational attainment of the girld child since the highest qualification obtained was the first school leaving certificate as shown with the percentage score of 57.0%. The results also revealed that though some of them aspired to attained university education, none of them ever had the opportunity of realizing this dream. The participants reported that “our parents say that girls who are educated do not bear children because they have aborted all their children in the years of schooling’’. Also that education undermines cultural practices, and it teaches the girl to reject tradition. Parents should be sensitized on the negative consequences of early marriage and the need to be educate the girl child.

Keywords: Cultural Issues, Early Marriage, Educational Attainment, Girl Child



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