Report on school counselling, career guidence & sex education
A Field Visit Report onSchool CounsellingCareer Guidance Sex Education Submitted to: Dr. Anish K. R., School of Social Work, Marian College, Kuttikkanam. Submitted by: Anju Philip, Vidhya T Mohan, Bibin George, Griffy Denny, Bimal Antony. 1st MSW. Date of Submission: 29th March 2011.
Field Visit Report 2Introduction School counselling, career guidance and sex education are three different fields, yet, arerelated with each other for the fact that they all have become an essential part of schooling and theservices provided in schools. School is a place where children from various families come together and form groups orbecomes part of various groups in the school. As the background of each student varies with eachother this may sometimes create various kind problems in the student. To prevent such problemsgetting out of control or from destroying the normal expected behaviour pattern of the student,counselling is provided in schools. Like that students need to be properly guided in thedevelopment of their talents and choosing their career accordingly. For this career guidance isnecessary and thus it too has become an essential part of school. School is also a place wherestudents from various age groups are present. A lot of developmental changes will be taking placeto each and every student. To make student understand about the developmental changes thathappens to them and to make them aware about the problems that could happen, proper sexeducation is necessary and thus, sex education also has become a part of school curriculum.Objectives of the visits o To visit places where school counselling, career guidance and sex education services are provided. o To interact with the people(s) who are providing these services in schools and other places. o To observe the settings for providing these services. o To understand the methods and techniques those are used in these services. o To identify the qualifications of the persons who provide these services. o To understand the problems faced by the persons who provide these services. o To understand the problems faced by the children at various ages. o To understand the effectiveness of these services. o To present a report on the understanding made on these services by the interaction and observation.Activities and observations Ms. Anju Philip, Ms. Vidhya T Mohan, Mr. Bibin George, Ms. Griffy Denny and Mr.Bimal Antony were assigned with the task of visiting places where school counselling, careerguidance and sex education services are provided, to understand and get a first hand informationon how these three fields are working and are incorporated into the settings of a school. They werealso assigned with the task or submitting a report based on the field visits done on those placeswhere these services are provided. The trainees conducted a group discussion and prepared aquestionnaire for conducting proper interview with the persons who provide these services.
Field Visit Report 3 On Saturday, the 26th of March 2011, Anju Philip, Vidhya T Mohan, Bibin George, GriffyDenny and Bimal Antony visited St. Pious HSS, Kuttikkanam, Idukki Dist. and St. Antony’sPublic School and Junior College, Anakkal, Kottayam Dist. to collect information and conductstudy regarding School Counselling, Career Guidance and Sex Education. The trainees visited St. Pious HSS to meet Mr. Siju Thomas MBA, ATP the careerguidance trainer for getting an understanding about career guidance, the methods that are used in itand about the training programs provided with respect to career guidance. Mr. Siju Thomas informed the trainees that the main part of career guidance programs inschool children consists of a) awareness creation, b) confidence building, c) decision making andd) personality development. The trainees then visited St. Antony’s Public School and Junior College, Anakkal to get anunderstanding about career guidance, school counselling and sex education. The trainees met Sr.Lissi FCC, the counsellor in the school. She is a qualified counsellor with eight years of experienceand has undergone special training in school counselling. Sr. Lissi explained the details about the school, about the average number of studentsseeking counselling in a week, the problems faced by the students, the remedial measures taken,the follow-ups and about the reporting. She also explained about the physical settings needed forchild counselling and the referral services provided to the students. She also explained about how aroom should be for counselling. The main problems, she explained, that has been found in students are, underachievement,exam related depression, love failure, lack of proper guidance, career selection problems, fear ofteachers and home sickness. Both volunteer counselees and involuntary counselees receive the benefit of the counsellingprovided in the school. In voluntary counselling, the details about the counselling will be keptconfidential and interventions given, if any, will be based on the permission of the counselee.Those who need psychiatric assistance will be referred to psychiatrics. Involuntary cases will beinitiated either by family or teachers. She informed the trainees that in involuntary counselling, theco-operation from the part of the student will be less and the success rate is low compared to thevoluntary cases. Reporting and documentation of each case is necessary for further process and is done forthe purpose of reference, evaluation, and improvement of the counselling. These are kept for thepurpose of legal obligations and for the understanding of the counsellor. These are keptconfidential. The physical settings observed in the place by the trainees were not professional becausethe room is congested with lot of almirah and there were lot of shelves. The shelves were full of
Field Visit Report 4materials and there is no proper ventilation for the room. The shape of the room is also notefficient for proper counselling. There is no washbasin or toilet facility. She mentioned about how to interact with the students, how to build a rapport with thestudents and the methods she uses for it. Sex education is also provided in the school setting. For giving proper sex education,school is giving separate classes for boys and girls. These classes are given according to thedevelopmental stages of the children. These classes are taken by social workers or priests or nuns.Sex education in school is provided from the fifth standard onwards.School Counselling School counselors, referred to as “guidance counsellors” in the past, help every studentimprove academic achievement, personal and social development, and career planning. Schoolcounsellors in the 21st century are highly trained educators who uphold ethical and professionalstandards to design, implement and manage comprehensive, developmental, results-based schoolcounselling programs that promote and enhance student success. School counselling programs exhibit the following characteristics:Foundational mission and goals. School counsellors design, implement, and maintain guidanceprograms that align with the educational mission and philosophies of their schools and schooldistricts. These programs help every student develop competencies in academic achievement,personal and social development, and career planning.Delivery methods. School counsellors follow a comprehensive guidance curriculum to work withstudents in individual, small group and classroom settings. School counsellor’s help students createan academic plan for their education to prepare for successful careers after graduation and helpstudents develop the necessary skills, such as organizational, time management, and study skills.They also help students overcome obstacles that may form barriers to learning by helping studentsrespond to issues such as divorce or death in their family, as well as developmental issues typicalin childhood and adolescence.Program management. School counsellors collaborate with administrators and other educators toensure that the school counselling program helps fulfil the mission of the school by setting annualgoals and putting mechanisms in place to facilitate the successful and effective delivery of theschool counselling program.Accountability. School counsellors hold their programs accountable for student achievement bymonitoring student progress to ensure that the school counselling program meets its desired goalsand objectives. School counsellors collect, analyze and present statistics about grades, test scores,attendance and disciplinary records, and other information to make databased and data-drivendecisions about the school counselling program.
Field Visit Report 5School counsellors impact on student achievement Numerous research studies show that school counsellors, implementing a comprehensiveschool counselling program, can serve a vital role in maximizing student achievement. A researchstudy of Florida students in 5th through 9th grades found that students in schools with acomprehensive guidance program scored significantly better on state’s standardized test forreading and math. School counsellors provide solutions to help curb rates of school failure and dropout byaddressing broader contexts that include personal, social, emotional, and career development. In working with at-risk youth, a 2004 study of middle school students in Baltimore Countyshowed that school counsellors helped increase academic achievement, raise career awareness, andimprove overall student self-efficacy. The school counsellor is an integral system support for the school-family communityrelationship that meet the personal/social, academic, and career needs of a large number ofstudents through collaboration, coordination, and consultation with school and communitystakeholders.Scope of school counsellors Education and training are the first contributing factors to creating a school counsellorsscope of practice. Counsellor education programs prepare school counsellors in a number of coreareas including: professional identity; social and cultural diversity; human growth anddevelopment; career development; helping relationships; group work; assessment; research andprogram, evaluation; foundations of school counselling; and knowledge and skill requirements forschool counsellors. All these will help the counsellor to provide his service in varied fields ofexpertise. In India, school counselling is still in its childhood stages. A large number of educationalinstitutions, especially schools are present in our country without having a counsellor.Challenges of school counsellor School counsellors are faced with a difficult job and often times ones duties are dictated byprincipals or other administrators with little or no school counselling experience or other factorsunrelated to a school counsellors preparation and training. The challenges can be classified into Organisational, Institutional and Political. Theorganisational challenges are status quo of the profession, inefficiency and random acts ofguidance. The institutional challenges can be said as the lack of institutionalized norms, routines,policies, procedures etc. and the lack of knowledge regarding the standards or model. Nolegitimate voice in programs or policies and getting sidelined are also part of the institutional
Field Visit Report 6challenges that are faced by the school counsellors. The political challenge consists of thereduction in the number of persons wanted for the profession, undervaluing profession and theassignment of non-school counselling responsibilities.Career guidance The definition below was adopted by the Institute of Career Guidance after it was used ininternational reviews conducted by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation andDevelopment), the European Commission and the World Bank. Career guidance refers to services and activities intended to assist individuals of any ageand at any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices andto manage their careers. Such services may be found in schools, universities and colleges, intraining institutions, in public employment services, in the workplace, in the voluntary orcommunity sector and in the private sector. The activities may take place on an individual or groupbasis and may be face-face or at a distance (including help lines and web based services). Theyinclude career information provision (in print, ICT-based and other forms), assessment and self-assessment tools, counselling interviews, career education programmes (to help individualsdevelop their self awareness, opportunity awareness, and career management skills), tasterprogrammes (to sample options before choosing them), work search programmes, and transitionservices.Scope of career guidance The scope for career guidance is not as that vast as that for a school counsellor. Yet, it hasgot its own scope in the field. A large number of courses and a large number of various kinds ofjobs are available for starting and building ones career. Often students choose a course orprofession not by their own interests and skills but by the choice made by their parents or byfollowing the trends of their friends. This later leads to problems in their lives. Here comes theneed for career guidance and a career guru. Proper guidance must be provided from the schoollevel which will help in the focused development of the individual. It also helps individuals to takewise choices based on their understanding about their knowledge and skills. In India career guidance is an emerging field. A lot of persons and institutions areproviding career guidance facilities and programs.Challenges for career guidance Today with the development of the information technology people (students) are awareabout the opportunities that are available for them. Career guidance is not treated as a separatefield instead it is often carried out by the school counsellors. Updated knowledge on the merits anddemerits of each and every field/profession is necessary for providing proper career guidance.Besides this the skill to assess the skills and qualities of the individual plays a vital role.
Field Visit Report 7Sex Education Sex education, which is sometimes called sexuality education or sex and relationshipseducation, is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex,sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. It is also about developing young peoples skills so thatthey make informed choices about their behaviour, and feel confident and competent about actingon these choices. It is widely accepted that young people have a right to sex education, partlybecause it is a means by which they are helped to protect themselves against abuse, exploitation,unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.Morality of Sex Education One approach to sex education is to view it as necessary to reduce risk behaviours such asunprotected sex, and equip individuals to make informed decisions about their personal sexualactivity. Another viewpoint on sex education, historically inspired by sexologists like WilhelmReich and psychologists like Sigmund Freud and James W. Prescott, holds that what is at stake insex education is control over the body and liberation from social control. To another group in the sex education debate, the political question is whether the state orthe family should teach sexual mores. They believe that sexual mores should be left to the family,and sex-education represents state interference. They claim that some sex education curriculabreak down pre-existing notions of modesty and encourage acceptance of practices that thoseadvocating this viewpoint deem immoral, such as homosexuality and premarital sex. They cite websites such as that of the Coalition for Positive Sexuality as examples. Naturally, those that believethat homosexuality and premarital sex are a normal part of the range of human sexuality disagreewith them. Many religious conservatives believe that sexuality is a subject that should not be taught atall. They believe that the longer a teenager is kept unaware of sexuality, the less likely they willbecome involved in sexual behaviour. Conservative religions believe that sexual behaviour outsideof marriage is immoral. Other religious conservatives believe that sexual knowledge isunavoidable, and so desire to teach curricula based on abstinence.Challenges of sex education The social stigma associated with sex is the greatest challenge to sex education especiallyin the Indian context. Lack of a proper system to design an appropriate methodology for sexeducation is another challenge. There is no proper monitoring or reporting authority with regard tothe matter of sex education is schools.
Field Visit Report 8Findings The trainees found out that school counselling, career guidance and sex education are verymuch necessary for the proper development of the students. The counselling services at schoolsincreases the coping ability in the students, helps in rooting out their mental traumas, problems,helps in establishing healthy relationships with family members, teachers and friends. Schoolcounselling also helps in the early detection and prevention of problems that may cause problemsto the student and all those who are in relation to him. Career guidance must not be limited to the setting of one major program but it must befollowed up to maintain the level of change that is created in the students by the main program.Development of skills and skill enabled guidance is more effective. Sex education helps the students in understanding the changes that is happening to themwith the age and thus helps them in adapting to it. It also helps in the development of behaviourand character. Providing sex education will be helpful in the upbringing of mature persons.ReferencesDoes Implementing a Research-based School Counseling Curriculum Enhance StudentAchievement? (Center for School Counseling Outcome Research, 2004)M. Scheel and J. Gonzalez. An Investigation of a Model of Academic Motivation for SchoolCounseling. Professional School Counseling, October 2007.H.L. Legum, and C. Hoare. Impact of Career Intervention on At-Risk Middle School Students’Career Maturity Levels, Academic Achievement, and Self-Esteem. Professional SchoolCounseling, December 2004.J. Bryan, C. Holcomb-McCoy. An Examination of School Counselor Involvement in School-Family- Community Partnerships. Professional School Counseling, June 2007.McCurdy, Kenneth G (2003). School Counselling: A Scope of Practice for the 21st Century.American Counselling Association.What is Career Guidance? http://www.icg-uk.org/career_guidance_definition.htmlJames A. Athanasou, Raoul Van Esbroeck (2008). International Handbook of Career Guidance.SpringerWhat is Sex Education? http://www.karmayog.org/sexeducation/sexeducation_1950.htmMorality of Sex Education http://www.karmayog.org/sexeducation/sexeducation_2045.htm