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NCC extends parenting training to school counsellors   |01 October 2022

NCC extends parenting training to school counsellors   

The counsellors in a souvenir photograph with guests after they had received their certificate (Photo: Laura Pillay)

Twenty-seven school counsellors from various primary and secondary schools around Seychelles have completed a four-day training session on parenting, offered by the National Council for Children (NCC), in partnership with the Ministry of Education.

Held during August and September, the training aimed to equip the counsellors with skills and knowledge on how to support and guide parents on the most effective approaches to adopt when dealing with issues which children are faced with today.

The group received their certificates during a brief ceremony held at the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (SITE) yesterday afternoon.

Training and Education manager at the NCC, Fatma Bibi, noted that the training is usually offered on a monthly basis to members of the public, but with the institution’s new strategy towards improved outcomes for children and families in Seychelles, it has decided to partner with the Ministry of Education.

Four modules were covered in total, namely, social and emotional development, listening and communication, consistency and consequences and grief counselling, some serving as a refresher for the counsellors, while others equipped them with new knowledge and skills.

“The demand is always there for such training, since parents are always facing certain difficulties with children. We often hear these days that children are problematic, that they have behavioural issues and such, so the demand has always been there. Therefore, we have decided to diversify our service, to equip many more people who can in turn go back to the communities and society to help,” Mrs Bibi stated.

In future, NCC hopes to continue with the trainings with other professionals working with children, and to have follow-up sessions with those who have already undergone the programme.

According to Mrs Bibi, the training is effective and has the potential to produce good results provided that parents, carers and others working with children are consistent in their positive approaches.

According to Kevin Mwale, counsellor at the Belonie secondary school, the training was very educative, and will be beneficial to the entire school institution, provided that the counsellors share their newly acquired knowledge and skills with other educators and school staff.

“It is actually very rare that a parent will even give consent to us counsellors, to counsel their children. With the knowledge and skills that we have acquired now in parenting, we will actually encourage the parents to bring their children forth, and be in support of them getting the counselling services from us,” Mr Mwale said.

Mr Mwale pointed out that many parents themselves could benefit from such knowledge and training sessions, as they lack the necessary skill set to truly understand children and their development.

He most enjoyed the module about grief and helping children to deal with grief, which covers a vast array of circumstances including the death of a pet, separation of parents and much more.

Similarly, Linda Mathiot of Port Glaud primary school found the training to be very effective, especially with the national narrative that children have behavioural issues.

Ms Mathiot attributes the changes in the youths of today as compared to older generations to the various changes, such as the introduction of housing estates, the lack of family support as was the case with extended families which were once the norm.

Many children also undergo traumatic experiences she said, and rather than just referring those children to the NCC, school counsellors can now tackle such issues at the earliest opportunity.

“Since we are approaching Teachers’ Week, I would like that teachers also have the opportunity to acquire this baggage, since they face situations in class which have to do with grief and discipline,” Ms Mathiot added. 


 Laura Pillay


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