A Lecturer and a Licensed Organisational Psychologist at the Department of Psychology, University of Ghana, Legon, has called on the Ghana Education Service to introduce psychology studies in Senior High Schools (SHS).
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Dr Collins Badu Agyeman explained that there are many factors including prejudice, popularity and peer pressure, influencing children’s behaviours and have contributed to bullying and mental health challenges in high schools.
“At schools, those who do athletics, famous ones for a particular reason, can likely bully others because they are popular. How we talk about other people from other areas and other ethnic backgrounds, all these can spill over and influence how people behave and others.”
“We must introduce psychological studies or mental health studies at the second-grade school level. The challenges of our time, if I share some details with you….some of the cases our colleagues are seeing, we are sitting on a time bomb as far as adolescent mental health challenges are concerned,” Dr Agyeman told the host, Winston Amoah.
This comes after a disturbing video showing an act of violence involving two students of Adisadel College went viral.
A fellow student who appears to be older, was seen chocking another student, likely a junior, and hit his cheek against a metal trunk. The victim had a serious concussion and a cut on his face. Other students looked on and recorded a video of the violence.
The video, which has been circulating on social media has sparked outrage and raised concerns about the safety of students within the country’s educational institutions.
Officials of the GES in reaction to the incident, have noted they were deeply concerned and strongly condemned the barbaric act by the culprit and that they are taking immediate action.
“We applaud the school authorities for taking swift action to suspend the culprit pending further investigation,” parts of the release read.
Meanwhile, also speaking on SMS, Head of the Public Relations Unit of the GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo said that the victim had been given medical care and asked to go home following the incident which occurred in June.
But, Dr Agyemang believes that simple medical care is not enough for the victim especially considering his state of mind following the bullying.
“He is going viral and everyone is looking at him, what happens next? It’s not the medical attention he needs now. Does he go back to school? What is the reintegration strategy? What do we have? It is one thing having a code of conduct and it is another guiding, implementing and making sure it works with proper feedback that we learn from.”
He also urged the GES to employ qualified guidance counsellors for the high schools stating that their presence is essential to students’ growth.