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Exams can impact mental health: Kuruleca


Oct 19, 2021 02:19:33 PM

Exams can impact mental health: Kuruleca Renowned psychotherapist Selina Kuruleca believes having hundred per cent assessment for senior school students through examinations could affect their mental health.

Kuruleca said straight up 100 perc ent examination maybe too much for students given that not all of them had access to gadgets or have been in a conducive learning environment.

She told FijiLive that the reopening of schools next month will have a psychological, physical, social, emotional effect on senior students as they’ve been home for six months.

“Teachers should give students a few days to adjust, have class talanoa sessions over several days, don't worry about school work yet,” she said.

“Get them to talk in a supportive, professionally facilitated classroom environment some of their experiences, no judgement, no shaming, just acknowledging each individual experience.

She said the Education Ministry should sub contract some of the counseling to other non-profit organisations who can assist in the early days of school reopening.

“The Ministry is working very hard to facilitate this need for counselors in school, so I encourage them to continue to do so.

Education Minister Premila Kumar said there are only 35 counsellors and they will not be enough to provide psychosocial support to senior students and teachers returning to schools.

Kumar said the Ministry is mindful that many students and teachers will need psychosocial support when school resume next month.

She said the Ministry has been working with United Nation Children's Fund and Department of Foreign Affairs to provide refresher training to 35 counsellors.

“The 35 counsellors will be put in clusters to provide psychosocial support for teachers and students who are returning to schools in November.

“We also understand that the 35 counsellors are not enough to provide psychosocial support to senior students and teachers resuming classes next month,” she said.

She said to address the shortage of counsellors, the Ministry will be providing psychosocial support training for child protection officers.

“Starting from next week school child protection officers will undergo psychosocial support services training to help students who will be resuming school after six months,” she said.

“Students have missed face-to-face teaching and learning in a classroom for almost six months and now is the time to bring them to school with safety and care.

“Virtual training of the heads of schools started on Tuesday. They have prepared the school environment to ensure it adheres to health and safety measures,” she said.

She said the Health Ministry will visit schools to check the facilities before clearance is given for their reopening.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka





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