School-based counsellors not teachers – Student Counsellors to headmasters

Student counselors at the University of Education at Winneba have raised concerns over decision by some school heads across the country to compel school-based counsellors to teach. According to the students of the Psychology and Education Department University, those who graduate and are posted to the various schools for solely counselling duties, are made to teach in the classrooms. Such practice, they say, is a major setback to their profession and also contributing to poor academic performance of students at the second cycle schools in the country. President of Student Counsellors Association Ghana (SCAG), Manasseh Ameworlor,  observed school-based counsellors were now being regarded as teachers in the schools they are posted to, a situation that compel them to abandon their main responsibility of counselling. “When a counsellor is posted to a school, the first question the head asks is, what subject can you teach?”, he stated, claiming that such counsellors are eventually given a subject to teach. Commenting on the issue, a lecturer at the Psychology and Education Department of the University of Education, Samuel Richard Ziggah called on head teachers to allow school-based counsellors to fully practice their profession. He said basic school students especially, would need professional counsellors to guide them in choosing their courses of study at the senior high school level, noting “or else students will continue to perform poorly”. Mr. Ziggah said there are students who enter the senior high schools and keep changing courses because they do not know exactly where they fit into. But with the help of counsellors, he said, students graduating to the senior high schools would know what they are going in for. Meanwhile, at a practicum program held at Winneba and Potsin for some second cycle institutions on career choices and the effects of occultism, student counsellors urged basic school students to consult their school-based counselors when they face challenges even in their social lives.

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By Lucy Ayambilla|3news.com|Ghana]]>