FOR the first time ever, the district panchayat has decided to join hands with schools to provide a sound mental make-up for students reeling with learning disabilities and adolescent issues.
School authorities can ring up the district panchayat office, fix an appointment and bring the student for counselling, with or without their parents. No nameplate of a psychiatrist to frighten the students from taking clinical help and no intrusion of fellow classmates into their privacy.
A centre, which will be opened at the district panchayat office at Pattom, will be used for counselling sessions.
Named ‘Unarvu’, the project has been proposed in the annual plan 2009-10 of the district panchayat at a total outlay of Rs 10 lakh. The initial procedures have begun with a couple of schools coming forward to be part of the project.
``The educational-cultural working group of the panchayat had come across certain learning defects in a large section of students in the district. A grouping was done to identify the problems, especially among the high school and higher secondary teenage students. We arrived at the conclusion that some students do need immediate psychological intervention,’’ said V. Renjith, development standing committee chairman, who spearheads the implementation of the annual plan projects.
After the project receives approval from the District Planning Committee (DPC) by the end of this month, Unarvu will start rolling with a campaign of the idea in schools in the district. The PTA and teachers of interested schools will then be given training to identify such students having learning disabilities and having adolescent and behavioural issues.
Once this is done, the children will be advised psychological intervention and the willing students will be given appointment with the Unarvu team.
This comprises a team of educational psychologists and clinical experts from the Child Development Centre.
``There won’t be a clinical ambience here. Students are assured confidential sessions, giving them every inch of space to open up and find a solution to their problems,’’ panchayat secretary V.S. Santhoshkumar said.
Sessions can include parents too as they are a major influence in students’ lives. In the first stage, counselling sessions will be held every Tuesday.