The push by the Ministry of Education to have counselors in every school could see retired teachers going back into the classrooms.
According to Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, the Ministry of Education wants more counselors within its schools, and residential facilities and consideration is being given towards utilising retired teachers in this capacity
“We have a very large number of recently retired teachers. We have teachers retiring at 55. At 55 they are really at the top of their game. These are people now who have accumulated a great deal of experience and you are saying it is time for you to go do something else. Well I want really to look at this large group of retired teachers and recruit from within that group,” The Education Minister told the Government Information Agency (GINA), recently.
He told GINA, that the Ministry will be putting out public advertisements to this effect so that retired teachers can apply to fill these vacancies.
According to Dr. Roopnarine, the scheme would augment the pool of counselors within the education system and supplement the psycho-socio support programme in the schools and residential facilities. “I am hoping to use this pool of resources to really bring about a transformation, in our capacity, with relations to our counselling, because these are precisely the people I think we should spend a great deal of time training as counselors, so that I can have my ambition, which is over the years, to have a counselor in every school,” he said.
The successful candidates will be trained to offer psycho-socio support to the students and parents to help eliminate the problems that disproportionately impact young people and negatively affect their schooling, the Minister said.
He pointed out that in the United States, Canada and other developed countries, there is are counselors in every school and these countries pay a lot of attention to this aspect of students’ development.
“We would not be able to replicate all of that, but I think we must move in that direction, so that we have an adequate number of trained counselors, so that we can look at establishing both the Counseling Secretariat here at the ministry and the distribution of counselors across the country,” he said.
The expanded Counselors Programme is among several new initiatives introduced this year by the Ministry of Education which are aimed at enhancing the education system.