A 30-year-old man in Merangin, Jambi, will reportedly marry an elementary school student, identified only as AY, in Nalo district, Merangin regency, Jambi.
AY’s teacher, Ermai, said the girl’s parents wanted their daughter to get married that young.
“The school has summoned them and asked them why they are letting their daughter get married at such a young age. But they said AY has agreed [to get married],” Ermai added recently. “AY’s parents and siblings were also married at a young age.”
AY has not been attending school for a month, which according to Ermai, happened after she realized that her friends knew about her upcoming wedding.
“We’re trying to persuade AY’s parents so that she can go to school again. We’ll keep trying until the wedding takes place,” she said, noting that previously there was another student at the school who got married soon after her graduation.
The Indonesia Health Demographic Survey recorded an increasing percentage of child marriages in Jambi. The figure rose from 20.1 percent in 2012 of all marriages to 21.6 percent last year.
Jambi National Population and Family Planning Board head Mukhtar Bhakti said most of the minors involved in child marriages in the province were under the age of 19.
“We’re hoping that we can push it down to 21 percent this year,” he said, adding that he had implemented a special program to prevent youngsters from getting married too soon.