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MENTAL HEALTH AND THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN KENYA SYMPOSIUM ON MENTAL HEALTH 27 TH MARCH 2014 UoN DR. JOSEPHINE OMONDI CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIST.

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Presentation on theme: "MENTAL HEALTH AND THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN KENYA SYMPOSIUM ON MENTAL HEALTH 27 TH MARCH 2014 UoN DR. JOSEPHINE OMONDI CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIST."— Presentation transcript:

1 MENTAL HEALTH AND THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN KENYA SYMPOSIUM ON MENTAL HEALTH 27 TH MARCH 2014 UoN DR. JOSEPHINE OMONDI CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIST DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL

2 SUICIDE In the year 2011, after the announcement of the Kenya Certificate of Primary School results, there was excitement in many families. Media in Kenya exhaustively covered the high achievers and kind of swept under the carpet the under performers. Counties that had had performed poorly were ranked and printed and that generated some debate in the respective counties, but it soon died down. What followed in the media were reports of parents rising against the seemingly poor performing schools, with headmasters bearing the wrath of such parents. To the shock of Kenyans, media reported pupils that had committed suicide due to low marks. One student committed suicide after failing to achieve the marks she had set for herself, despite the fact that what she had achieved was way above the pass mark.

3 Continua…. Suicide Days went by and suicide cases became a common feature among pupils that had received their results in year More suicide wave was to follow when the pupils selected to join form one did not get their preferred schools. Some pupils committed suicide when they realized that despite having passed, they could not get into the schools of their dreams due to some government policy. Never again has Kenya recorded such a high number of suicide cases than it did in year 2011 among the students of very tender age (between years). Hence the need to understand the underlying causes.

4 LESBIANISM I am worried about the rising cases of lesbianism in our high schools. Recently, three girls were arrested for forcing a form one girl to join lesbianism and now a school in Karen has suspended over ten students with related allegations. Is it a reality that lesbianism is gaining popularity in secondary schools? What is the church doing about this? I am worried since I have a child in high school and I am sure other parents are worried as well... {Concerned Parent)

5 CORPORAL PURNISHMENT

6 CONTENT Definition of mental health Mental health values Kenyan education system The role of Education/school in mental health Consequences Way forward

7 DEFINITION HEALTH A state of physical,mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity MENTAL HEALTH A state of well being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities Can cope with normal stresses of life Can work productively and fruitfully Able to make a contribution to his/her community

8 MENTAL HEALTH A state of well being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities Can cope with normal stresses of life Can work productively and fruitfully Able to make a contribution to his/her community

9 BUILDING BLOCKS OF MENTAL HEALTH VALUES (INCLUDING BASIC HUMAN NEEDS) Positive attitude Appropriate interpersonal relationship Desire to achieve through socially accepted means Honesty,hard work etc. Understanding ones limitations that one can be better than the other Striving to reach my goal without interfering with other’s peace Conscious of other’s rights Maintenance of boundaries Being able to cope despite challenges

10 THE ROLE OF SCHOOL AND EDUCATION IN MENTAL HEALTH Provides a structured education Promotes a child’s mental and psychological growth(primary health care) Learn important life skills such as team work. Good manners, unity, sharing, responsibility among others Molding into good,responsible, hard working individuals This role of the school begins as early as pre-school and continues throughout a child’s life Instilling good habits and patterns that children will retain in later years Instilling positive learning skills and social interaction skills Learn rules and regulations Pick up academic knowledge

11 EFFECTIVE SCHOOL Teachers who have a command of psychological understanding of the child and his/her background Are the teachers mentally healthy? Ability to detect a child’s other ability and polish it to perfection Explore the natural creativity of the child Student performing below the expected grade must be helped to reach the grade Barriers to communication must be overcome Assessment of the child's ability before hand Must provide for safety Teacher who does not draw conclusions

12 SYSTEM OF EDUCATION IN KENYA PRIMARY EDUCATION The first phase of formal education Starts from about age 6yrs Runs for 8 years (8.4.4 system) Prepares children to participate fully in the social, political and economic well being of the pupils The curriculum provides for a more functional, practical education to cater for needs of children who finish their education at primary school, for those who wish to proceed to secondary school Free primary education-2003 brought about reality of universal primary education (MDG2) However it came with a lot of challenges such as classes of children, no increase in the number of teachers, lack of relevant resources

13 SYSTEM OF EDUCATION CONT……. SECONDARY SCHOOL Runs for four years Geared towards meeting the needs of both the student that terminate their education at secondary school and those that proceed to higher education At std 8 –national standardized exam, registered in five papers Most primary schools provide extra curricular activities such as choir, drama, scouting and various sports the demanding nature of KCPE EXAMS and the constant drive for high grades have led to limited extracurricular activities Scramble for few positions in public national schools for future guarantee of university education

14 CONSEQUENCE OF THE PRESSURE OF ACADEMICS Poor coping with subsequent somatoform disorders School refusal/failure Frustrated unhappy children Frustrated parents- child abuse/ corporal punishment Performance anxiety Insomnia Major depression Deliberate self harm (self cutting)/parasuicide Helplessness Disruptive behavior Acting out- Parentified children Dysfunctional families

15 WAY FOWARD Mental health of caregivers Serious review of the developmental needs of the child (physical, emotional, play, social, cognitive) Establishment of fully equipped assessment centers (education psychologists, clinical psychologists, psychiatry trained nurses, weekly visits by a multidisciplinary team for those referred) for early intervention The education system is not wrong but the approach is wrong Not all children require remedial classes(tuition) law I on education KPA-let children be children!!!!!!!!!!!!!

16 THE END THANK YOU


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