The Head of Psychiatry at the Trauma and Specialist Hospital, Dr. Eric Kweku Arhinful has advised teachers to be mindful of the behavioural tendencies of their students who demonstrate mental disorders.
He gave the advice during a training workshop organised by the Centre for Innovation and Professional Development (CIPD) of Synergies Institute-Ghana (SIG) in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES) on Thursday, November 28, 2019.
According to Dr Arhinful, there is an increasing rate of children developing mental disorders and the lack of capacity on the part of teachers to manage the situation has in some cases led to the disregard of the affected children.
The workshop brought together over 50 participants in the education sector, including 41 teachers from Basic and Junior High Schools in the Okaikwei North Municipality.
Dr Arhinful, during the interactive session of the training, shared with teachers, the prevailing disorders that frequently manifest in children across the country such as depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Aetiology, Encopresis, Enuresis, and Autism.
“Most of these disorders are either due to the environment within which the children are being raised, their biology or genetics and are not their own faults,” he added.
Dr Arhinful advised teachers to exercise caution when dealing with children with these disorders and to apply patience.
He noted that most often due to ignorance, most children with disorders are sent to special schools but in reality could fare better in regular schools and should be allowed to do so.
Dr. Arhinful also pleaded with the teachers to strive to make time for the children who suffer from these disorders, saying “you are their parents while they are in school, so try your very best to care and teach them”.
He noted that plans were in place to bring children suffering from disorders or disabilities from special schools to merge them with regular schools under the slogan ‘education for all’.
At the workshop, the teachers argued that the resources available to them are not enough to cater for the needs of the few children with such disorders within their class.
In response to this, President of Synergies Institute-Ghana, Mr. Felix Mensah, hinted that the concern raised by the teachers is one of the reasons the university undertook this initiative as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in order to equip the teachers towards the development of Ghanaian children in the area of Mental Health.
Mr. Mensah added that more sensitisation programmes in this area will be undertaken by the school to equip teachers (and parents) with the skills to detect and handle Child Mental Health, as most often children in this situation are either beaten or disregarded by the teacher, parents and even fellow children.
The Vice President of Synergies Institute Ghana, Mr. Ogochukwu Nweke, hinted that there will be subsequent training workshops for teachers in order to empower them effectively towards the management of Child Mental Health.
Established in 2013 and accredited by the National Accreditation Board (NAB), Synergies Institute is affiliated to the University of Cape Coast (UCC). Synergies Institute Ghana is one of the best practical hands-on educational institutions in Africa where students are trained to become creative thinkers and self-sustaining leaders beyond boundaries. The school also has accreditations with Ghana Education Service (GES), National Board for Professional and Technicians Examination (NABPTEX) and Institute of Commercial Management (ICM-UK).
Located in the center of the Capital Accra, on the trans-African high way (N1), the institute runs Bachelors’ degree, diploma and professional certificate courses in Marketing and Corporate Strategy, Advertising & Public Relations, Digital Journalism, Journalism & Media Studies, Accounting & Finance, Professional Computing & Information Processing and lots more.