Education Ministry launches Mobile Counselling unit for schools

first_imgThe Education Ministry is currently streamlining a new project which will aid in meeting the needs of students in need of counselling.The announcement was made by Chief Education Officer (CEO) Marcel Hutson as he launched a new programme on Wednesday at the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) on Battery Road, Kingston, Georgetown.“Shortly you will see another initiative in the Ministry of Education…pertaining to the Welfare Department is that of a Mobile Unit. This Unit will be driven into different areas (and) communities based upon the needs. There is also a schedule (or) a document prepared as to how this unit will be used so that the children will be exposed to psychosocial counselling and whatever need that they might have that we need to respond quickly in terms of emergency,” Hutson explained.He went on to say that the need for the upcoming project was recognised after examining the Ministry’s Welfare Department data. “We recognise that we need to move and to reach into some places very quickly if we’re going to effect the kind of change that we want to see,” he added.Although the CEO did not elaborate much on the issue, a welfare officer reliablyChief Education Officer Marcel Hutsontold Guyana Times that the project would actually be about transporting resource officers to particular locations of crisis, where an intervention could be done on the spot.According to that officer, vehicles for the new initiative have already been procured and they were awaiting Cabinet’s approval before the official launch.Currently, there are officers in each Region who are responsible for conducting counselling sessions with students, be it one-on-one, small-group or large-group interventions, the officer related.The Mobile Unit will, however, be a tool to bring together not only psychologists from the Education Ministry but officials from other agencies who may be necessary for specific cases.It was clarified by that officer that it was not a case where counselling was not being done, but this new initiative was a step taken by the Ministry to ensure that counselling could be done in a more effective manner.The officer explained, “Let’s say it’s a case where a student or a mother or a father commits suicide, we need to be there on spot to ensure that the students in that child’s classroom are exposed to the intervention that is necessary. Likewise for the child or children if a parent would have committed the act.”It was further explained that in a situation where students were found drinking alcohol, the team would also be activated, with not only the welfare officers but with public health officials who will make the process more influential.The welfare officer was keen to note that the new programme would, however, not be used only in emergency cases, but would also facilitate preventative counselling.last_img

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