Monday, April 22, 2024

School counselling


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School plays a major role in the shaping and development of a society. It is there that morals should be taught, guidance given, rules and discipline enforced and social skills developed.
Our children today are more exposed than children of previous generations and as a result need more guidance and support. I can only imagine the challenges and pressures guidance counsellors face every day. I know parents would say that teachers can assist, but I must let them know that because a person is employed as a teacher doesn’t mean they have a love for teaching or young people.
The role of the guidance counsellor is more critical today than it was in the past. They serve most times as a mentor, priest, doctor, psychologist, friend and even parent.
It may be a challenge to find additional guidance counsellors to attach to each secondary school, so I am offering an idea to the powers that be to consider.
There are many full-time students who are pursuing undergraduate studies in social work and sociology who I believe can be of great assistance to guidance counsellors.
I believe within the degree programme there can be an internship incorporated into the course where full-time students will be attached to the Government schools to assist guidance counsellors in their work. This would have advantages for the secondary school, the university, the guidance counsellor, the university and secondary school students as well as parents and guardians.
 The secondary schools would benefit from extra personnel, which would aid them in reaching some of their children who urgently need help.
 The university would benefit from being able to advertise that it provides a programme that is both academic and practical, and provides a framework for on the job training and experience even before obtaining the degree.
 The guidance counsellor would benefit from being able to mentor and train those who they would be responsible for, creating a culture of sustainability and being able to pass on a wealth of experience and knowledge to the next generation. This would also ease the guidance counsellors work load and help alleviate some of the stress they have.
 The secondary school students would benefit from the youthfulness of the university students with whom they can readily relate to as well as the option of having both male and female interns with whom they can talk to.
 The university students would benefit from hands-on training and work experience and would gain significant knowledge and information, which could be used and incorporated within any dissertations they may have to do.
 Parents will benefit from knowing that there are people who are in a position to give good advice to their children and who are there to assist them in their personal development.
 I do agree that there are many logistical, administrative and legal matters that need to be addressed before the above mentioned could be implemented. However, I believe it is something we should look into.
One guidance counsellor to a school is not enough. Imagine, it is extremely challenging for two parents to raise one child and we expect one guidance counsellor to effectively cater to the needs of 500 to 1 200 students. Let us not forget that children are the heartbeat of the world, the pulse of their nations and hold the future of the world in their minds.
 Last week, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development Ronald Jones mentioned to the media that “until many of our young people are cleansed of demons that are in their souls we will continue to get that type of (deviant) behaviour. (I believe this includes schoolchildren.)
If indeed the cause of deviant behaviour is demon possession, I am wondering if the minister can also share his method of solving this spiritual cause.
As I close, I want to encourage people and students to take the time and nominate a teacher today for the Royal Fidelity National Distinguished Teachers Awards. Applications can be downloaded from the link below and nominations end September 30. Teachers deserve to be honoured.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth youth ambassador. Email


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