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03.03.2005 Regional News

"Counselling on sexual abuse should be part of school curriculum"

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Ho, Feb. 3, GNA - Dr Mrs Linda Dzama-Forde of the University of Cape Coast Counselling Unit (CU), on Thursday urged the Ghana Education Service (GES) to make counselling on sexual abuse part of the school curriculum from primary to the tertiary level.

Mrs Dzama-Forde made the call at a day's seminar for District and Second Cycle School Guidance and Counselling Coordinators of the GES in the Volta Region in Ho.

Speaking on the theme: "Sexual Abuse of Ghanaian School Girls - Implications for School Counsellors", Mrs Dzama-Forde said the response of school counsellors in matters of sexual abuse was critical given their role in helping such victims to overcome their trauma in such circumstances.

She said studies had shown that girls who suffered sexual abuse were prone to becoming more sexually active as a result of parental rejection, which situation required the skills of counsellors to remedy.

She urged school counsellors to get committed and proactive in involving parents, the media and community groups to rally support for girls who suffer sexual abuse.

"There is no way any sexual violence against school girls is justifiable under any circumstance", she said.

Mr Samuel Gyang, Regional Director of Education, in his keynote address urged the participants not to overlook the trials and temptations of today's adolescents and countless negative influences they were continually exposed to help them to develop "built-in resistance to all the menaces to enable them to become useful adults".

Mr Emmanuel Keteku, Headmaster of Anlo Secondary School who gave a historical background of counselling in the GES, said it started as a voluntary service, with the aim of assisting the teacher to understand the students and the students to understand themselves and the environment in which they function so as to develop their talents to the full.

During an open forum participants discovered career choices in the Junior Secondary School (JSS) as the common problem facing students and decided to introduce career counselling to JSS One and Two before they reach the final year.

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