CHANDIGARH: Punjab’s youth have long been troubled with various problems. Now the state government wants to guide them on the right path. With the launch of the project ‘Mashaal’, the government will train at least one teacher from each government school, to counsel students for both career and personal problems.
Highly placed sources said that the teachers will be trained in the basics of student counselling so that they can counsel the students in a two-pronged strategy adopted by the state school education department. Career counselling for the senior classes will be provided as well as personal counselling for personality and behaviour problems for students of all classes. Under this project, approximately four hundred teachers from ten districts have been trained so far.
“It is a meticulously planned project which will be implemented in all senior secondary schools, to begin with. A special web page on the official departmental website is being created to upload the latest information about suitable training and career opportunities for students in their respective districts,’’ said an official.
He added that the designated counsellors have been suggested a list of topics like basic health, risks of drugs, best study methods and managemnet of anxiety which will be discussed in classes. The entire project is being conducted without any extra funds in collaboration with a nonprofit organization called ‘Nishan Educational Trust’, which is run by a psychologist, Dr Ranjit Powar and Hardeep Singh.
Through this project, the department hopes to facilitate student achievement, improve attendance, help in personality development of students and guide them about career choices and avenues of self-employment said a teacher.
Another teacher said that Punjab’s youth is grappling with multiple problems. There are high rates of unemployment, substance abuse, sexual crimes and a heavy exodus of youngsters to foreign shores. Thus schools face relatively higher challenges of absenteeism and school dropouts.