· Nagaland was the first SCERT in India to introduce a Diploma in School Counseling
· Trained School Counselors in every government school in Nagaland envisioned


Kohima, 18 September (MTNews): State Council of Educational Research & Training (SCERT), Nagaland signed a Memorandum of Undertaking (MoU) with St Joseph University, Dimapur for collaboration on school counseling at SCERT, Kohima on 18th September 2023.


Director, SCERT Kevirale-ü Kerhuo and Vice Chancellor, St. Joseph’s University


Director, SCERT, Kevirale-ü Kerhuo mentioned that a Diploma course was introduced for the first time in the year 2018. With this introduction, SCERT, Nagaland was the first SCERT in India to introduce a Diploma in School Counseling and later on, the duration of the course was extended from 6 months to 9 months. Further, the duration was extended through a State Cabinet approval this year, 2023, to one year.


Kerhuo said that the primary objective of the course is to train teachers and to provide professionally trained School Counselors to ensure that there are at least one male and one female trained School Counselors available in every government school in Nagaland.


With the enhancement of the duration of the Diploma course, she added that SCERT is in the process of reviewing the existing curriculum and development of a new syllabus. The SCERT Nagaland is trying to integrate the Naga Indigenous Methods and Techniques of dealing with the modern world of complexities, stress and anxieties in the present day living. She also stressed on counseling to be made an integral part of the school curriculum which will help every student in development and will enhance their academic performances.


The Director further said that the School Counseling Cell, SCERT has already trained 105 teachers as School Counselors and they will be launching a new batch of diploma course which would help in providing more trained School Counselors to Government schools in the days to come. The Director thanked the St Joseph’s University for their efforts and hoped that the MoU would help in professionalizing school counseling in the State and that it would be able to provide a better quality of training through collaboration with the university.


Vice Chancellor, St Joseph’s University Chumoukedima, Dr D Gnanadurai stressed that school counseling is essential as it addresses the social, emotional, and academic needs of students, leading to a holistic approach to overall student success. School counselors help students with academic planning, goal setting, and study skills. They also provide academic support and guidance about post-secondary education options, including college, technical schools, and vocational training.


The Vice Chancellor further said that counselors provide mental health support to students, promoting healthy social, emotional, and psychological development. They help students build positive relationships, develop coping mechanisms, and manage their emotions. Counselors also help students discover their talents, strengths, and interests, guiding them through career exploration and development. School counselors also provide support and guidance to students who are dealing with personal crises such as mental health issues, family problems, or substance abuse. There are cases where students are discouraged by their families because of their failures which have greatly increased in school dropouts and suicide rates. The Counselors in such situations work with students, families, and teachers to develop effective solutions and strategies.


HoD, Department of Psychology, St Joseph’s University, Dr Watinaro Longkumer, mentioned that the collaboration between the Department and the University is a welcome step towards strengthening the two institutions through exchange of knowledge and information. Such collaboration will help provide training for School Counselors. The University can offer training and workshops to SCERT professionals regarding counseling, which helps enhance their skills and knowledge. This training can also help in maintaining the consistency of counseling practices.


She also said that the collaboration can facilitate mental health first aid training and awareness programs to make counseling as accessible as possible. It can enable better delivery of counseling services to school communities. This partnership assists in counselor training, materials development, sustainable and ongoing quality delivery of counseling services to children, adolescents, and families.


The program was chaired by Professor and Head, Guidance & Counseling Cell, Dr Zavise Rume and Reader, SCERT, Medemmongla Jamir presented concluding remarks, which was followed by the signing of the MoU between the Department and the University.

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