The Ghana National Association of Certificated Counsellors (GNACC) has advocated the establishment of Counselling Units in all private schools in the country.
According to the Association, about 80% of private schools in the country do not have Counselling Psychologists to support the psychological growth of their students.
In the view of GNACC, although the involvement of the private sector in the educational system has supported in the academic preparation of Ghanaian children, it is crucial for parents to look beyond the neat school environments coupled with attention for individual’s academic life.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra yesterday, Mrs. Cecilia Tutu-Danquah the Interim National President GNACC in collaboration with Transforming our Universe via Counselling, Education and Empowerment (TUCEE) Institute of Counselling and Technology noted that the Private School Division of the Ghana Education Service must set up an inspectorate body to check on the establishment of counselling units in all private schools.
“We are by this advocacy, appealing to all proprietors and heads of private schools to help the future leaders of mother Ghana by providing them with the requisite counselling services they need.”
Mrs. Tutu-Danquah argued that “we are entreating all parents and guardians to enforce the establishment of counselling units with a counselling psychologist always available to support these children” adding that “In cases where these school refuses, parents may have to re-think and remember that such schools would be doing more harm than good to their children.”
Beyond the call for the establishment of counselling units in private schools in the country the GNACC tasked the Ghana Education Service to employ licensed Counselling Psychologist.
“Teachers need not play the role of counselling Psychologists in our schools because it is said that experience is the best teacher and never the best counsellor. When teachers are made to serve as counsellors, they base their counselling on experiences and not counselling skills and techniques.”
Mrs. Tutu-Danquah explained: “That could be the reason for which some teachers who are made to play the role of counsellors hurt the students. Some of them violate the ethics of confidentiality and discuss the student’s problem with other colleagues. At times, out of anger due to a student’s misbehaviour, some of these teachers insult the students with the very problem affecting the student’s life.”
She stated that the fact remains that teachers are trained to prepare students intellectually and counsellors are trained to prepare students psychologically insisting “These are two separate professions with requisite skills and practice.”
The GNACC interim President entreated Ghana Psychology Council to intervene and ensure that all counsellors within Ghana Education Service and are indeed practicing the profession are licensed and have the required credit for continuous professional development.
Mrs. Tutu-Danquah also described as unacceptable the absence of counselors in some corporate bodies in the country.
She opined that corporate counselling leads to happier, more positive, productive and secure employees and employees.
The news conference is part of an advocacy and implementation strategies to getting professional counsellors in each school and society in Ghana by 2020.
It is also aimed at promoting the existence of Counselling Psychologist in our educational system (basic to tertiary), communities, workplace, religious bodies among others.
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson