Published: 08th February 2021
With schools restarting, psychologists suggest need for counsellors for welfare of students
The lack of social development for students, which otherwise took place in classrooms, and departure from brick and mortar teaching has left many parents unsettled
Parents and students, who were distanced from school counsellors during the pandemic, may need a few counselling sessions now that schools are reopening, say psychologists. "Counsellors play an important role in removing fear from the minds of parents and students. Several parents and children want offline classes restarted, but are confused. Counselling is needed for such parents and students, and also the management," said Iqbal, a Bengaluru-based counsellor.
The state helpline, Vanitha Sahayavani, got several calls from anxious parents about their children losing interest in studies. The lack of social development for students, which otherwise took place in classrooms, and departure from brick and mortar teaching has left many parents unsettled, said a counsellor from the helpline. Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said that except a few elite schools, most institutions do not have counsellors. "It is practicality unviable to appoint in-house counsellors. Most schools refer students to outside counsellors," he added.
Parents said that now with pre-board examinations starting in various schools in February, counsellors are needed. "Before Covid, parents would meet counsellors and talk about a child's issues. Experts were called for talks on how to manage the screen time of students, and it's ironic that now all academic activity is on screen," said Shakeel A, a parent.
But many schools have put on hold the services of several schools staffers, including counsellors. A counsellor with an ICSE school in the city said although the service was not suspended, it was put on hold. "Over the pandemic, the number of students approaching me for problems had reduced. Now with classes restricted to three to four hours a day, there is said to be a lack of time, hence counselling has been suspended," said the counsellor.