|The HCM City Education and Psychology Association yesterday held a workshop for school counsellors.— Photo tuoitre
HCM CITY (VNS)— The HCM City Education and Psychology Association yesterday held a workshop for school counsellors.
A report tabled by the Department of Education and Training at the workshop showed that there are only 120 specialised school counsellors in the city.
As a result, many schools use their teachers and even retired ones as counsellors.
Nguyen Thi Bich Hong of the HCM City University of Education's education and psychology faculty said school counsellors need to have basic knowledge of psychology and counselling skills.
The teachers doubling up as counsellors lack the knowledge and skill, she said, suggesting that the department should co-operate with the association to start training courses to improve them.
She called for having counselling experts, psychologists, and lawyers to provide assistance to school counsellors.
Tran Hong Tam, a counsellor at Hong Bang Secondary School in District 5, said his school did not have a private counselling room, and students are hesitant to come to him.
Lam Hieu Minh of the children's ward at the HCM City Psychiatric Hospital agreed, saying schools should have convenient counselling rooms.
Besides, students are often reluctant to go to the counselling rooms, fearful of the stigma commonly attached to it since their friends think they have mental problems, according to Minh.
Schools should help students understand what the role of a school counsellor is, he said.
Effective counselling at school would help reduce the number of children coming to his hospital for treatment, he said.
Those numbers are rising, he said, revealing that from 25,000 in 2011 it had gone up to 32,000 last year.
"I hope schools improve their counselling for students to prevent psychological problems in a timely fashion."
"The quality of life has dropped for children, so their counselling need is high," he added. — VNS