Dr Ebenezer Tetteh Kpalam, a clinical psychologist, has advised parents to conduct intellectual assessment on their children to know their academic capabilities instead of describing them as unintelligent and exerting pressure on them to excel.
Dr Kpalam in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema said it was unacceptable for parents and teachers to attribute academic non-performance of children to unintelligence as there were many factors contributing to their intelligence.
He said if all efforts to get a child to excel academically failed, parents should request for an intellectual assessment to unravel the true abilities of the child, stressing that such services were available at the Psychological Department of the University of Ghana, Accra Psychiatric Hospital, and the Assessment Centre located at Achimota.
He said the usage of verbal linguistics and mathematics as a basis for determining the intellectual abilities of children was not the best as there were other forms of intelligence that needed to uncover in the individual.
He stressed that a child may sometimes have difficulty in some cognitive area but might be good in other which was yet to be identified by the parents or teachers.
“An intellectual assessment is in the interest of the child, school, caregivers and other stakeholders, so we don’t put unnecessary pressure on them to perform academically,” he said.
Dr Kpalam also said such assessments would suggest the right academic programmes for them and how it should be handled to achieve an effective result.
He also suggested that apart from focusing on assessing the child, other factors contributing to poor academic work, such as the school environment teaching and learning styles, among others, must also be looked at