LASU 78th Inaugural Lecture: Prof Afolasade recommends Preventive Counselling method to ensure general wellbeing

LASU 78th Inaugural Lecture: Prof Afolasade recommends Preventive Counselling method to ensure general wellbeing

From Cyriacus Nnaji, Lagos

Professor Afolasade Airat Sulaiman, Professor of Councelling Psychology, Faculty of Education, Lagos State University (LASU), has recommended Preventive Councelling method as best means to enhance the general well being for all.

Sulaiman took the position while delivering the 78th Inaugural Lecture of the institution at Ojo, on Tuesday, July, 2021.

In her recommendations and steps to be taken towards ensuring the wellbeing of all through preventive counselling intervention, Sulaiman said that counsellors should be employed and functional at all levels of education, in all institutions and organisations as stated in the National Policy on Education.

While applauding the existence of a counselling unit in the Lagos State University, she however urged the institution to facilitate effective service delivery and optimise professional best practices, and that the counselling unit should become a centre on its own. “This will further enhance the counsellor’s role in ensuring proper adjustment of every individual to ordinary day-to-day developmental challenges and probably eliminate the need for remedial or compensatory counselling intervention. Counsellors are mandated to be more disposed to preventive counselling than remedial or compensatory counselling in their service delivery to maximise the extent to which they could be broadly helpful to a larger number of individuals.”

Sulaiman further maintained that the populace needed to be informed about the presence of counsellors and the importance of their services to individuals and the community in general. Hence, the need to extend counselling services to the community through education and massive enlightenment programmes using the media.

She said for proper integrative religious counselling, mainstream counsellors should receive adequate training in the two major religions in the country and the body regulating University programmes -National Universities Commission (NUC) and the national body of counselors Counselling Association of Nigeria (CASSON) should facilitate compliance and enforcement.

She asserted “There is also the need for collaboration between counsellors , pastoral and mainstream , and the clergy to enhance the role of both counsellors and clergy. The collaboration will be an avenue for both parties to learn about salient issues and related themes about each other’s religion.

She disclosed that it is not just about establishing inclusive schools, the government at all levels (Federal, State and Local) should ensure proper adjustment of the inclusive schools to physically and psychologically reflect the presence of persons with disability in the schools, adding “Interconnected path ways, rails, tactile orientation, electronic/mobility equipment, special education teachers and support staff must be available in the schools. There must be continuous and constant evaluation of inclusive education in inclusive schools to ascertain areas of needs for prompt interventions. Mandatory laws and policies to enhance commitment and reduce the neglect of students with disabilities in schools and community should be enacted.”

She said the change in pattern of sexual violence calls for a more drastic approach to prevent the spread. “All concerned; the rapists, their victims, religious bodies, law makers, law enforcement agencies, various levels of government and non-governmental organisations and civil societies must develop a zero tolerance for sexual violence of all forms.

“Part of zero tolerance is being vigilant; parents, guardians and teachers should be more careful and vigilant, especially with the girl child. They should not be left in the care of any male/suspicious adults and receiving of gifts from any adult should not be ignored or taken for granted. Parents should constantly remind their kids about the acronym PANTS and other defensive /preventive skills.”

She added that Sexual violence should be treated as a criminal offence and legal actions should be more proactive and responsive. Government should support all agencies to ensure that all laws on sexual violence are enforced.

Sulaiman said reporting rape cases will expose perpetrators and facilitate Prosecution. “Victims need to have the assurance of getting justice without delay and not being stigmatised or victimised. Encouraging victims to speak up and report the crime to law enforcement agents without entertaining any fear of intimidation or stigmatisation could serve as deterrent to perpetrators, realising that there would be no escape from justice irrespective of their position or status.

“The media should be used to educate the populace on the consequences of rape on victims, the need for victims and perpetrators to get assistance/treatment, preventive/defensive strategies and the need for reporting and getting justice,” she stressed.

Finally, Sulaiman said, teaching sexuality education in schools and institutions should be a must. “Adequate knowledge about misconceptions, symptoms and long-term effects associated with sexual abuse is the first step of assistance; knowledge will influence behavioural change. Students need to learn about different defensive/resistance strategies and social skills for prevention and protection,” she said.

Sulaiman said Counselling is a one-to-one, person-to-person, interpersonal relationship between two individuals, a client or group of clients and a trained counsellor who helps the client(s) to understand and clarify their views of their life space and learn to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well informed choices and through resolution of problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This News Site uses cookies to improve reading experience. We assume this is OK but if not, please do opt-out. Accept Read More