Teachers, students, parents of St Charles Lwanga JHS undergo counselling

Saboba (N/R), Nov. 17, GNA - A counselling session has been held for teachers and students of St Charles Lwanga Junior High School (JHS) at Saboba to help put behind them the unfortunate incident of the drowning of some of their students last Friday.

The counselling session was held separately for teachers, the entire student body, for surviving students and the students, who sat on the same desks with those, who drowned, as well as for parents and families of the drowned students.

A team of psychologists from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Psychological Association, and the Guidance and Counselling Coordinator at the Saboba District Directorate of Education, undertook the counselling services for the students and the teachers at the school’s compound and later visited families of the drowned students to render the same services.

The team of psychologists was deployed by the government as part of efforts to ensure that teachers, students and families of the drowned students would come to terms with the accident to prevent any eventualities.

They were asked to recount how the incident happened and how they felt about it. Some of them said they could not eat since the incident, they were yet to come to terms with the incident as well as recounted how they kept seeing them in their dreams eating and playing together.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Dr Foster Nanewortor, Clinical Psychologist from the Ghana Police Service told them that emotions and experiences they were going through following the accident were normal reactions that any human being would go through when such disasters occur.

On Friday, November 12, between 1200hrs and 1300hrs GMT, nine students of the St Charles Lwanga JHS drowned in the River Oti when they were crossing the river from the Mwagbar bank to the Kpanjol bank, a distance of about 100 metres, in the Saboba District.

They were forms one and two students. One of the drowned students was a Togolese national.

They were part of the 31 students of the school, who earlier crossed the river to the Mwagbar village to harvest rice for the Headmaster of the school, Mr Emmanuel Chingya.

The deceased have already been buried.

Meanwhile, Mr Chingya was on Monday remanded into prison custody by a Magistrate Court in Tamale to reappear on November 29.

This was after he was arraigned and charged with manslaughter.

Dr Nanewortor told the teachers that, "You are still the figure head of the school. They will look up to you. No matter the situation, you must begin to grow strong. Grieving process may last for three months. Pay attention to the students and guide them properly."

Mr Peter Mintir Amadu, a Tamale-based Psychologist and Member of the Ghana Psychological Association told the teachers to, "Express your emotions and pour your feelings. That is the way to healing and getting out of the situation. We want you to be strong pillars to the students, families and the communities, who will run to you for support.

Guard your utterances to them so that you do not disappoint them."

Mr Tabi Moses Bright, Assistant Headmaster of St Charles Lwanga JHS thanked the psychologists for their efforts saying the accident had traumatised the teachers and the entire student body.

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