”This isn’t education” — Mental Health in Nigeria | part 3

Hello, today I’ll be talking about mental health in Nigeria, a familiar topic here. There are many things to talk about in relation to mental health in Nigeria. But today, I’ll be throwing blames at parents and the government in general. Last week, I come across a disturbing news about a school turned torture house.

Education is not a new thing and the pursue of education have become everyone’s goal (mostly), the first thing that comes to parents after a child has started talking is putting him/her in school. In Nigeria, depending on the region, children are normally enrolled in two sets of schools, Islamic (mostly in the northern part of the country, among the Muslims) or Christian (mostly common in the southern part of the country, among Christians) school and standard (western) education. Today, we’ll be looking at the northern part of Nigeria, mostly those so-called Islamic school, that portray to teach morals, and the teaching of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Okay, I’ve nothing against the Islamic schools in this region of the country, and some of the school are great; but in everything, there is always few bad seeds.

Parenting is not an easy tax, it takes a lot of effort and time, some parents tend to create or spear their time to look after their children. Some parents just don’t care to look after their children and they tend to look for ways to have as little time as possible with them. These means sending them to a boarding school; in this case, Islamic school. The parents don’t care whether the school is solidified or not. All these parents care about is to have less responsibilities and less people to feed. These parents don’t know what family planning is, talk-less of condoms and contraceptives.

They believe that having many children and wives are part of their religious practises. Yes! It is, but they misunderstood the teaching and message of the prophet. The prophet said ‘’if you can TAKE CARE of ONE wife and HER children, and still have the MEANS TO LOOK AFTER OTHERS (financially and emotionally). Then you can marry another wife and have more children, only if you can LOVE THEM EQUALLY. These people misunderstood these statements and take it as ‘’ You should’ve more wives and children, and God will provide for you’’. They let out LOVE THEM EQUALLY and MEANS TO LOOK AFTER OTHER. Key things that shouldn’t be left out. Because of these things, you’ll see a person with four wives and over 20 children that he can’t look after or take care of them properly, they’re both suffering mentally and physically.

In the Islamic school, the teachers don’t have any respect for human or children rights and they think that they’ve every right to treat these children the way they want. The teaching method these teachers are using is the violent kind, where children are been beaten severely, sometimes to a point of injury. As their parents aren’t around and don’t really care about the well-being of their children, there is no one to stop these teachers from maltreating the children. This video shows how teachers are treating these children and adults as well as the condition these people are living in.

The teachers torture these children psychologically, emotionally, mentally and physically. There is a report of rape and sexual assault by the teachers and the senior students in the school. Rape and sexual assault among the student themselves are probable. This kind of inhumane treatment by the teachers that suppose to teach and protect these children is unforgivable.

This kind of thing is what give raise to Boko Haram in the first place. The teachers have torture them to a point that the children cannot tell what is right or wrong. They have change their mental capacity to a point where they don’t feel remorse, in the case of incidences or violence.

When these people return to the general public, they’ll start to see things differently, they start to believe that they’re the only people that are right, and everyone is wrong, and those that are not in the same religion or have the same beliefs of theirs are they enemy. Because the teachers have told them so, the hard way. By beating and abusing them psychologically. Some of these children and adults that were released to the public will start to be violent toward the rest of the population because of what they experienced. They may consider abuse and rape to be normal or think that why not do the same thing to others as their teachers have done the same to them.

Without proper oversite, majority of these children will try to take their prostration on others. Some will become criminals, some can join terror groups, some can be come kidnappers (as it’s the threat now in the county) and only few will seek mental health support and try to create something legal for themselves. The government has turned a blind eye on this issue just like the rest of the issues in the country, post-traumatic stress disorder is a real thing. These children and adults need mental health support, and counselling. They need to be look after to avoid the things I’ve mentioned.

What do you think about putting these people back into the public? How can this be avoided or prevented? Who’s to blame the most? Any and all thought, please leave them in the comment.

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