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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014

Counsellors scoff at mentor role

Atul Mathur, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 26, 2013
First Published: 00:17 IST(26/4/2013) | Last Updated: 00:18 IST(26/4/2013)

The education department of the Delhi government has decided to transfer 69 of its 70 educational vocational guidance (EVG) counsellors - who were originally hired to provide educational and career guidance to senior students of government schools - to resettlement colonies and rural areas to deal with delinquents and drug addicts.

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Education department officials said there are 113 such schools where the students are vulnerable to drug abuse and require proper counselling.

While a team of health officials is already working to counsel students in this regard, officials said the health department has also sought involvement of EVG counsellors.

The counsellors, however, said they are not trained to deal with drug addicts.

"We have not been trained to even separate the addicts from other children leave alone helping them with de-addiction. It is for the clinical psychologists and trained doctors to run such programmes. We are educational and vocational counsellors and help students overcome family and social problems and motivate them to focus on their studies," said an EVG counselor on condition of anonymity.

The counsellors allege that the education department is being misguided and by transferring all EVG counsellors "en mass" the department is de-stabilising the special project under which they were appointed to listen to routine problems of the students.

There are 988 government schools with each cradle supposed to have one counselor. However, there are just 69 counsellors working and each one of them, hence, has been given the responsibility of 3-5 schools.

The education department officials argued that the counsellors were not being asked to do anything that they are not trained for.


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