India, the world’s 2nd most populous nation of 1 billion+ and has one of the highest suicide rates under the age group of 15 to 29.
In our country, it’s very common to see the school students living under the state of stress or anxiety and peer pressure and by the folks living in surrounding who believe in keeping students under control, monitoring their activity and pushing them on the far side toward higher achievements in the competitive world.
School counseling takes place in public and private K-12 schooling institutions. Counseling is intended to appreciate student’s achievement, improve student’s behavior and attendance, and help students development mentally and emotionally; promote their participation in the activities taking place in their school.
A dedicated mental health specialist with master’s degrees or beyond, a school counselor both provide counseling and play a vital role in the education system in and around schools.
Many K-12 school institutions appoint the professional counselors and Mental Health Expert on school staff board in order to share their support with the students who are undergoing some personal or educational challenges, guide students choose better careers and plan for further education, and get involved when students face communicative, physical, or mental health or behavioral challenges.
The role of the school counselor is quite tough to perform as they get assigned to deal with different behaviors of the students and counsel them to live a healthy life and perform better.
The necessity of the Counselors in Schools
In 2015, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed the shocking data that in India, every hour a student commits suicide. The major reason behind this situation is nothing but the failures in examinations or mental disturbance due to academic pressure.
In 2016, this led to suicides of 2413 students.
Due to some mental health issues and physical abuses; the rate of suicide cases of students in school has increased comparatively.
In 2018, an Annual International Career and College Conference took place where 100 speakers could share their research performed in the education sector and addressed the 40 sessions happily. The conference concluded saying that India is in urgent need of 1.4 million of counseling professionals for school and colleges.
The growing involvement of students with social media technology and other devices like computer games is giving a strong call for the need of counselors in school.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, the figure of 12 - 13 % school students in India suffers from mental, emotional and communicative problems.
The problem is, schools do not have a specially assigned person to help their students in making the right choices in their career path. This responsibility is usually managed by appointed counselors.
Teachers can even observe the instability in the students’ mind and the state of neurosis.
As the time is passing and we’re moving ahead in the era, the role of a counselor is getting expanded and likewise responsibility.
Counseling sessions in schools serve students with a great opportunity to make their confessions of academic problems, emotional and mental health issues, social lifestyle and many more.
In India, the generation has been living into a zone where an individual hesitates to share all his/her sufferings of day to day life. School students mostly undergo depression.
Students even undergo the manic depression which is a serious mental illness in which they experience extreme changes in their moods, sometimes experiencing the state of sudden excitement and sometimes feeling very unhappy.
How can counselors help students?
The first job of a counselor is to listen to the students’ side problems and know the actual reason behind their problems. A good counselor prefers listening rather than always bursting out a bombastic lecture.
A student is always in search of a person who can listen to them completely and provide them a moral support to adopt behavioral changes taking place around them. A counselor is always expected to be a good listener and an honest guide for the students.
Counselors can work on the elimination of the gap between students’ and teachers; contribute to building up a healthy relationship between them.
Assist the students’ in processing out their problems and plan the academic/career goals and bring them into execution successfully.
Pringle who was the finalist for the National 2015 School Counselor of the Year Award (USA) says “Services for the students who’re struggling academically often go underused.”
Counselors in schools can provide the desired comfort to the students so that they get enabled to share their daily life happenings and feel relax.
School counselors can also assist the students in improving their social life and make them more communicative.
As per a report published by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) guideline have made the appointment of counseling professionals mandatory for schools to have them onboard but only 3% of private K-12 schools in India have actual evidence of appointing the counselors in their institutions.
[This negligence from the side of school promoters has led to the suffering where students are directly getting affected and facing problem in their career to come up successfully.]
Counselors in school can take the creative workshops and seminars to encourage the students to be comfortable in the school arena so that they perform well in their academic journey.
Students can also use that workshop content in their day to day life cycle for keeping themselves charged with a high amount of motivation to live a healthy and transparent life.
Proper counseling practiced by a counselor can save students from splitting up their original personality and experience the positive transformation of their life.
So, when are you appointing a master counselor in your school? Hire a passionate counselor as early as possible and help your students in performing well.
If you’ve any suggestions and ideas to share then please feel free to share with us.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.