School counsellors enhance their knowledge and skills |26 August 2021
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with Rila Institute of Health Sciences in the United Kingdom is organising a three-day workshop for all school counsellors on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
The on-line workshop which started yesterday is to equip the school counsellors with basic knowledge and skills in school counselling. It is a preparation for a post graduate diploma course on ‘Counselling and Well-Being’ that the ministry is anticipating to start soon in collaboration with the institute.
Apart from those who were able to follow the workshop at their respective schools or at home, others who were not able to access the internet, were at the minister’s conference room to follow the workshop.
The three-day workshop is being sponsored by the institute at a cost of over R100,000. It is being facilitated by qualified lecturers from the UK and the United States of America. It is to be noted also that the Institute is being headed by Seychellois Georgina Dhillon, who is famous in Seychelles for the introduction of the ‘Hall of Fame’ in schools across the country.
In her virtual opening remark, the principal secretary for Education, Dr Odile De Comarmond, expressed her gratitude to the institute for offering and sponsoring the training amid all economic difficulties all countries are facing.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you to you Mrs Dhillon for all your efforts and we count on the continued collaboration with Rila Institute of Health Sciences in the forthcoming course and possibly other courses and other collaborations,” the principal secretary said, noting that hopefully the country will be able to train all school counsellors in the country.
From the UK, Mrs Dhillon thanked the officials in the MoE who have given the support and have helped to influence the programme and the participants for participating.
She noted that those who will follow the post graduate programme will apart from counselling school children, be qualified to counsel all other Seychellois with problems starting from the very top at executive level to those on the streets.
She added that the programme is a unique kind specifically designed for Seychelles and that the country can be an entity that will roll this particular designed programme to the rest of Africa, especially in the Indian Ocean.
“You as the new lecturers that will be mentoring, will be at a very high level, to be able to turn round, with this qualification and spread it to different parts of the world, specifically in the areas of the Indian Ocean,” she stated, noting that she was happy to invest her own money to better the lives of the Seychellois people.
Mrs Dhillon explained that the three-day programme will be at a professional level, accredited by the institute. As for the long-term degree course, she stated that it is designed to provide strength-based, person-centered and care to a diverse range of clients through provision of professional theoretical and evidence-based practice, across a multi-community and treatment settings. It will also include face to face sessions with lecturers coming to Seychelles and to students who will be coming to the Institute. The three-day workshop will end tomorrow.
PS De Comarmond later said that the ministry had since two years ago been planning to offer advance training to the counsellors further to the plan being delayed with the arrival of the pandemic.
She noted that only a minority of school counsellors are fully trained as the majority have only a diploma in social work with the National Institute of Health and Social Studies (NIHSS).
She added that training programme is needed as it has long been overdue.
She further added that the ministry’s first intention was to send a selected group of school counsellors for a post graduate course in school counselling but with the pandemic, saw it fitting to start, in the meantime, with the basic in school counselling for all counsellors before the first cohort follows the post graduate diploma in Counselling and Well-being designed by the Rila Institute of Health Sciences in partnership with the University of Plymouth.