Nigeria: Neglect, Form of Child Abuse, Affects Academic Performance, Says School Counsellor

11 December 2019

In line with Greensprings School's core value of child centredness, which implies that every employee is expected to understand how to relate with, protect and safeguard children, the school recently organised child protection training for new employees.

"Many Nigerian children are victims of one form of child abuse or another. Beyond the rampant cases of sexual and physical abuse, a lot of children are also exposed to psychological and emotional abuse. "Another major form of abuse that is common, but not often acknowledged is neglect, which is a case of the absence of a caring adult in a child's life", the school said.

Speaking at the event, held at the Anthony Campus, the school's Head of Counselling, Miss Chinelo Nkennor said: "Child protection is our business. Children deserve to be protected, so as adults we need to think safety and take responsibility for the safeguarding of children."

The essence of the child protection training was to provide employees with the knowledge and ability to recognise different types of abuse and learn how to safeguard children within and outside the school premises. The training also served as an avenue for new employees to interact, share experiences and talk about proactive ways to protect children.

The counsellor highlighted some of the factors that can increase the risk of child abuse to include unhealthy family relationships; exposure to alcohol or hard drugs; unemployment and neighbours' unwillingness to intervene. She ensured that each employee understood the meaning of child abuse, the different types of abuse and how to recognize when a child is being abused.

"At the end of the training, we should be able to tell the possible signs that a child is being abused whether emotionally, physically, verbally, or sexually, or if the child is a victim of neglect," added Nkennor

Speaking on the topic 'Neglect as a Form of Child Abuse', she said "what neglect does to children is that it causes them to have attachment issues.

"Spending time with parents helps children build bonds. When kids are not able to connect with other people, it is because they are being neglected, especially at home. This often causes them to act out and it can also negatively affect their academic performance," she explained.

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