In a publication released by the SCERT recently, the Director of the Council, T. Sekhose said: “This course is designed for school teachers so as to train them in the basic theory and practice of basic counseling skills with the objective to enable them to act as school counsellors in Nagaland.”
It said school counseling is a continuous process of catering to the needs of mental and emotional well being of a child.
The publication said the primary objective of this diploma course, introduced last year, is to train at least one male and one female school teacher in theory and practice of school counseling.
The need of the course was initially proposed by SCERT and approved by a state-level committee in 2017.
The booklet said the present curriculum and syllabus is designed to offer a six-moth diploma course in school counseling.
The duration of the course may be extended to two years so as to fulfill the norms for Diploma in Teacher Education Programme set by the National Council for Teacher Education in due course of time, the publication stated.
The SCERT said the major components covered under school counseling are personal-social competencies, academic development and career development.
“School counsellors should have a strong academic foundation in education and educational psychology. Healthy attitude, good knowledge in education, counseling psychology and skills of counseling are the pre-requisite qualification for school counsellors,” it added.
It said the school counseling is a comprehensive counseling programme designed for normal children in the school rather than a special service for problematic children to enhance overall academic performance and all-round personality development of a child.
“It is not a mere few minutes counseling sessions. For a healthy total growth and development, every child must essentially receive counseling service from the moment he or she joins the school,” the booklet said. It added that counseling service should be educational and educative in a school setting.
In this context, the focus of school counseling is for development and adjustment rather than treating severe psychological or mental disorders.
“Children in the school should not be subjected to too many psychological testing unless unavoidable,” it stressed.
“Rather, a school counsellor should develop a professional competence to diagnose the problems faced by children without too much resorting to using testing tools. If there is any severe mental illness found, a school counsellor refers the case to counsellors or professionals specialised in the area of problem.”