20 July, 2015, 12:00 am
THIRTY teachers from various secondary schools in Lautoka spent Saturday gaining basic counselling skills that would help them offer proper advice to students facing social problems.
Organised by Tilak High School principal Ravindra Deo with the support of the Ministry of Education, the one-day workshop exposed counselling techniques provided by psychologist Vijay Kumar.
Mr Deo said the teachers would learn aspects of counselling that they could apply in the classroom.
“It is a professional development program designed by Mr Kumar who was also a former teacher here before he migrated to Australia where he is currently a counsellor for some schools in Sydney,” he said.
“So to have someone like this who had both professional background in counselling and teaching, we had to organise a workshop where he could pass on his knowledge to our teachers.
“I think that it’s important for teachers to have some basic counselling knowledge because they are the ones who are at the frontline when dealing with students who are facing problems.
“Sometimes they are the ones that the students turn to so they need to be able to handle the situation in the right way.”
Divisional counsellor West Alice Pickering said the ministry was encouraged by the initiative.
“Our minister has said publicly that teachers would acquire some sort of basic counselling skills and when these types of workshops are organised, we will give it our full support,” she said.