Knowledge about adolescent is key to good adolescent development

Tema May 7, GNA – Mrs. Lydia Bonzoe, Guidance and Counseling Officer, Ghana Education Service (GES), Ashaiman, has called on society to educate and protect the adolescent.

Mrs. Bonzoe said many parents and even teachers are not privy to developmental issues relating to the adolescent and therefore are not able to help them make critical decisions that may affect them in the future.

She stated during a workshop organized by the Healthy Cities for Adolescent (HCA) Project, Ghana at Ashaiman to educate parents and teachers on how to manage adolescent children so they realize their potentials in life.

Mrs Bonzoe asked that parents should know their children’s reproductive health stages so they are guided through those stages. “This would make them aware of the challenges they have and how to help them to deal with those challenges.

“You would have to make your child a close friend; what they need at that stage is trust, so when you get them close they would be able to trust you with whatever is bothering them”.

Mrs Bonzoe observed that there was the need for parents to put away shyness and start educating their children about sex early to prevent negative influences.

Ms. Becca Arthur, Coordinator of the School Health Education Programme (SHEP), Ashaiman, said the workshop was necessary so that parents and teachers would be in a better position to monitor and help adolescent children.
Mr, Ato Breboh, Senior Principal Investigator, CHRAJ, said the State has an obligation to the adolescent, “the State ought to ensure that there was no discrimination against children since children’s rights are indivisible and interdependent like the adults have.”

“If we are providing access to anything, resource, public spaces, etc. in Ghana, then we should think of children”.

In that respect, Mr. Breboh insisted that children should have a voice on any issue that affected them, should be equipped with information about their reproductive health, and be allowed to make informed choices that would help their development.

He asked that government provide adequate recreational facilities in the communities to engage children which would take their minds off negative practices and concentrate their energies for healthier engagements.

Mr. Breboh said the need to take adolescent issues seriously had become urgent since there was an increasing market in adolescents regarding the use of phones, fashion, music.

“So they are craving to have those things, so if we don’t take time to manage them, they would use whatever means to attain what they want.”

He also asked for policies that would regulate how adolescents lived their lives so they were not neglected, which was a recipe for living wrongful lives.