Importance of providing guidance counselors in school premises
“The change next in line”
Over the past 10 years, school systems and regulations have made drastic changes in terms of their accountabilities and facilities they provide within the school premises to enhancing a better quality education with less to go by, but one of the initiatives that has not seen a change in the context of school is the need of having “guidance counselors” or some may even question if this even a necessity when we have teachers around to accommodate students throughout.
The answer is a simple yes! Not many school administrations like the idea of “counselors” or “guidance counselors” accommodating in school simply because they think the overall number of teachers are more than enough to look into every child and build in the achievement they need. A counselor’s role goes beyond that of a teacher by not only facilitating student achievement and improve student behavior, but help students develop socially and look into creating a socially accepted environment for them to interact freely, mental health comes a priority in here- school counselors both provide counseling and serve an educational role. Even though the practices of 21st century have shown implementations of counselors behind the work, yet the uplifting of this topic has stayed behind the talk. The history of school counseling, the profession is said to have first advanced in the late 1800s, primarily as a response to the Industrial Revolution and the vocational guidance movement.
Who are guidance counselors?
School guidance counselors’ uphold a background in social education; not only with college degrees but also master’s degrees in school counseling, psychology, or social work and licensure to be able to join in the profession. In the past, the title “guidance counselor” was used to describe counselors working in a school with the primary role focused on “guiding” students to post-secondary “education and scheduling”, but today the title is recognized with more values given that counselors address the needs of the whole student providing awareness to social and emotional needs of learners.
The duties of a school guidance counselor
The responsibilities or the purpose of a guidance counselor isn’t limited to one or two workflows; it includes understanding students beyond the four walls of the classroom and the grading system of the classroom. Even though the primary concern of providing vocational training still practices to help students prepare for college or select careers, they also educate students in certain aspects. This is done through counseling programs, educational class sessions, or even with individual one-to-one sessions followed with targeted group sessions to support and prepare students. Think that your class teachers are discriminating you and there is no one to turn to? then the guidance counselor will be looking out for you. There have been many biases on how confidentiality is maintained, but don’t worry your conversation will most likely be private. The counselor isn’t going to go blabbing about your issue around the school as most teachers would do.
In certain circumstances, counselors facilitate getting in touch with the parents as well if they see a need for help out of the schools’ services such as introducing professional counseling than what they could.
In short, counselors help students,
- To review student records and guide them into achieving academic standards
- Tackle through school community-related issues- bullying, neglect, and trauma.
- Counseling and advising parents as well as recommendations about the mental health of children.
- In today’s education sector, school guidance counselors are also trained in how to help learners with special education needs (SEN), to observe students and address requirements for students with special needs or learning difficulties.
School counseling in Srilanka
The school education of Srilanka has become very competitive.With straining students to have common, rather unhealthy expectations and standards on targeted achievements/results from examinations there’s no doubt as to why this has been straining on school children. Nonetheless, the most recognition in terms of education is focused on entering either medicine or the engineering field regardless of their talents, skills, and individuals set of goals.
According to Wasantha Subasinghe (2016), a study done on suitable implications for social counseling in Srilanka, there were only 300 teachers trained as school counselors with educators having no training in school counseling highlighting the fact that administrative officers in school do not understand the importance of upbringing such professions. Yet another research study on school counseling in Srilanka by Buddhiprabha D DPathirana(2016), had explained how the service of school counselors is a luxury that many Srilankan schools cannot afford to date due to various challenges but also has provided a positive insight on how in the present individuals from a varied professional background (graduated of psychology, sociology studies, and educational studies) are employed as school counselors in Srilanka
Students do require a mentor in the school premises which could be fulfilled by having guidance counselors to look up for as this plays a critical role in supporting youth addressing barriers, trauma from school related events such as bullying and creating a much more socially accepted environment for students. Therefore, an appropriate national school counseling programme should be implemented.
“School is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside”– Lon Watters, can we expect to see initiatives of having school guidance counselors in the tomorrow of these four walls?
Written by: A.ZION ANISIUS