Counselling centres in city colleges not up to mark

Counselling centres in city colleges are performing below optimum, a new research study presented on Thursday has revealed.

The paper evaluated the quality of 12 college counselling centres (11 affiliated to the Mumbai University and one affiliated to SNDT University), of which six fell into the ‘average’ category and two fell in the ‘low’ category. While there were four centres in the ‘high’ category, none got a ‘very high’ rating in the scale designed by the researchers to assess the centres.

The paper, presented by Nirmala Almeida, head of the department of human development, Nirmala Niketan College of Home Science, was a collaborative effort with her Masters level student Benaaz Irani. The data was collected last year and the findings were presented for the first time at an international conference — “Enhancing Health, Well-being and Sustaina-bility: Opportunities, Challenges and Future Directions” — at Nirmala Niketan on Thursday.

The study was conducted with 12 counselling personnel from 12 colleges and 30 students who visited centres, as well as through the researchers’ observation.

The findings become significant at a time when issues of adolescent stress, suicide and aggression have become major contemporary concerns, with the role of counselling centres being emphasised.

Colleges scored average in parameters such as limited outreach with students' parents and teachers, physical facilities and counsellor to student ratio. Group counselling and programme evaluation was conducted in very few centers and only one centre was involved in training interns.

“Most counselling centres demonstrated average quality of functioning,” the authors noted in the paper.

The centres were assessed on parameters, such as vision statement, orientation to counselling, clientele, personnel, counselling roles and functions, physical facilities, internship programme, evaluation of the centre and funding.


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