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Nagaland

State govt should formulate policy to streamline counselors: ANCA

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By EMN Updated: Nov 27, 2014 12:51 am
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Principal Correspondent
KOHIMA, NOVEMBER 26

On the eve of Counselors’ Day, the All Nagaland Counselors Association (ANCA) today emphasized on the urgent need of a clear-cut state government policy on counseling services in the State to ensure that counseling is essentially an integral part of school curriculum for all stages of school education.
Briefing media-persons today at Kohima Press Club conference hall, ANCA president Zavise Rume said that modern education is concerned with the mental, psychological and emotional well-being of each individual child and not only the academic achievement.
The Right To Education (RTE) Act 2009 ensures universal education to all children free from mental anxiety and emotional stresses, he said adding that teachers therefore, should be professionally competent to deal with the emotional, mental and psychological problems of the students with the help of the professional counseling services in the school.Guidance and counseling is adopted by the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) project launched in the country as a strategy for promoting universalisation of secondary education to ensure that there are at least two teachers – one male and one female teacher trained counselor for every secondary school.
The National Policy on Education, 1986 also emphasizes the need for at least two school counselors for every secondary school, he said adding that counseling service is needed at homes, churches, schools, colleges, universities and offices to empower the individual to know oneself, to explore potentialities of oneself, to lead a life with clarity of directions and becomes a self-directed individual.
He also maintained that there is an urgent need of a clear-cut state government policy on counseling services in the State to ensure that counseling service is essentially an integral part of school curriculum for all stages of school education, particularly for the adolescents who are characterized by a number of changes in cognitive, emotional, mental, psychological, physical and social aspects.
There is a need to establish a Counseling Cell with proper infrastructure facilities suitable for counseling service in every educational department like Department of School Education, SCERT, Department of Higher Education, Department of Technical Education, RMSA, SSA and other departments like Department of Sports and Youth Resources, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) and Department of Social Welfare, he said.
“We need trained counselors in the colleges to teach guidance and counseling as an optional paper for B.Ed degree course and B.A Education paper since the subject matter is highly skilled and specialized area of profession,” he said while also stressing on the need to set up a counseling cell in every college and university department.
There is no government policy of accreditation and licensing for a counselor; therefore people with no formal or professional training in counseling claim themselves to be counselors, he said.
“We have many professionally qualified trained counselors available in the State, and the State Government should take necessary steps to utilize their services for the posts of counselors that may be available in various Departments like NSACS, Social Welfare, Rehabilitation Centres, School Education Department (RMSA), SCERT and so on,” he added.
Counseling is universally recognized as a highly skilled and specialized profession dealing with complex human problems. In this context, the salary and status of a counselor should also be at par with any other professional in medicine, law, engineering and so on, he said while cautioning that the government should ensure that only professionally trained candidates are appointed as counselors.
The ANCA also demanded that the State government should set up a State Board of Counseling services (SBCS) to regulate all policy matters related to counseling services in the State while also formulating a policy on accreditation and licensing for counselors and recruitment of counselors in different departments.
General secretary Rev. Fr. George Rino said counseling is universally recognized as a highly specialized profession. They said that modern education is concerned with the mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing of each individual child and not only the academic achievement.
Everyone is born with tremendous potentialities. But these qualities have been blocked and obscured in many people as the result of the accumulated strained experiences of fear, hurt, loss, pain, anger, embarrassment, etc. so the basic purpose of counselling is to help the people in trouble to use their existing problem-solving skills more effectively or develop new and better coping skills and find solution to their problems, he said.
ANCA officials said that North East Psychological Counselors Association, headquarter Shillong in its general body meeting in the year 2010 unanimously decided to observe November 27 as Counselors’ Day.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 27, 2014 12:51:54 am