Tien Phong newspaper reported that Dinh Thi Th., a 12-year-old seventh-grader in Quang Ngai’s Son Tay District, suddenly dropped out of school to become a housewife at the beginning of this school year last month.
It turned out that she had married T., an 11th grade student in the same district, a few months earlier.
“At first we both went to school, but Th. now has to stay at home to do the housework,” T., the underage husband, says.
Dinh Thi U., who was in the eighth grade at the same school as Th., dropped out after tying the knot with another school student six months ago.
The number of dropouts at the school had already reached 20 this year, many in just the seventh and eighth grades, principal Nguyen Van Anh said.
Le Hoai Thanh, head of the Son Tay education board, said around 100 middle-school students in the district had stopped schooling this year because of marriage, taking the number in recent years to 300.
In Quang Nam Province’s Dong Giang District, Au Co High School has seen dozens of students drop out to get married this year. Two of them are going to give birth soon.
A local education official said some married when still in the sixth or seventh grade.
The Quang Ngai Department of Education and Training said child marriage was a common practice in all of the province’s six mountainous districts.
More than 500 students had dropped out of school as a result in the last three years, it said.
Tran Thi Cam Tu of the Quang Ngai Department of Justice admitted that authorities had almost thrown in the towel on child marriage.
Dinh Nam Oang, chairman of the Ba To Commune people’s committee in Quang Ngai, also admitted authorities had failed to eradicate the custom.