As I sit on a Sunday afternoon sipping a class of coke and taking inspiration from Oparebea, a new friend of mine from the Ghana Institute of Journalism who seems to be uncomfortable with rate of suicide cases among students and the reluctant of the top echelons of our Education Structure to find a cure to this canker.
Suicide, which used to be rare not only among the youth but within all generations in the country, seems to have taken a twist. Young women in the country seems to have found delight in taking their lives thinking it is going to bring an end to their woes.
2017 though young, has recorded a frightening number of suicide cases across the country with a significant number of them being students from our Junior High through to our tertiary institutions.
As usual, this canker has made it to some few front Page’s and had it’s way for some few minutes on our airwaves both on radio and television then placed it aside to continue with our usual fun and unproductive discussions.
We have lost Adwoa, Barbara, Jennifer and just recently Bertha Frimpong, have all taken their lives due to one reason or the other which could’ve been avoided. We seem to waste these potential Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Lawyers at a tender age due to negligence not only from parents but from the nation at large.
One would ask, do we have Guidance and Counseling in our institutions? Yes we are supposed to, but as to it effectiveness is another situation on it’s own.
Reflecting on my own experience back in Navrongo Secondary School, none who courageously visited the Guidance and Counseling office ever escaped the venom from Mr. Acharibasan. He usually insult the hell out of the few who confine in him.
This situation discouraged many students who genuinely had problems to stay away from Mr. Acharibasan’s office until we left school. Come to think of it, we only heard of Guidance and Counseling due to the fame Mr. Acharibasan’s insult got him.
The situation seems to be the same in most of our educational institutions. Students prefer to keep things to themselves than go for counseling from unprofessional personnel acting as counsellors.
Students are now exposed to foreign movies and acts which seems to make them feel suicide is a simple acts to end one’s problems. No wonder Jennifer and her colleagues took their lives to end a love affair that seem not to have gone well for them. Suicide would have never been the option if the institutions these young ladies were in had an effective Guidance and Counseling department with experts who are abreast with the current trends among the youth.
We live in a country where successful people hide their failures from the youth. How can the youth overcome failures and obstacles if role models do not openly share their failures to encourage and psyche the younger ones.
It is just unfortunate that, teachers only feel their responsibility is to guide students learn to past examination and had therefore neglected the other aspect that comes with shaping the students to patriotic and responsible citizens.
We can’t continue to sit aloof as our beloved motherland loose great Human resources to suicide. Government needs to take an initiative that will see young and experienced psychologist not only to hospitals but to our educational institutions which plays a key role in the preparations of the nation’s future leaders.
Ghana must work again and suicide is certainly not part of it.
Am a citizen and not a spectator.
Author: Jamaludeen A. Abdullah