Role of Student Counsellor

Student life is stressful, both to parent and children. The importance of the role of student counsellors is discussed here to bring in a perspective on the subject

Student life is stressful, both to parent and children. Blessed are those, whose children target and pursue a career in life, without batting an eyelid. This probably accounts to about 5% of parents across my circle of friends. Roughly another 10 % parents took active interest to plan out their child’s future.

The issue I am flagging here is about the balance (I fall into this category). Living in this competitive world, I diverted my attention to my child’s future only at the end of his school. Big mistake, funny in my endeavour to succeed at my end of competition, I forgot that a similar / much ferocious environment was brewing around the young personality.  I am sure many of you reading this introduction, may echo with my thought.

At the outset, let me begin with the premise that I am positive and my approach is not blame game. Let’s get pragmatic and analyse the situation. Let me share a line of Indian statistics for your consumption - In 2020, a total of 10,59,080 students passed the Class 12 board CBSE exams which is 18.59 % growth over 2010 was (893000). Nearly 1,57,000(> 14% students who appeared) scored more than 90% marks in 2020 as compared to 6.6% in 2015. To establish my point, figures of only CBSE has been considered. India has 5 school boards and thus, the enormity of the situation at hand. The competition is staggering without an escape route. While the issue amplifies YOY, it remains unchecked. I say this, since no one, willingly, wants to address the same. Reason being ‘who’ should bell this cat? And of course, ‘why’? Not to forget the ‘how’ as well.

Let me share my point of view on the second one first – the ‘why’?  Do we really need to check the situation? - Are children not successful post their college education? To cite a case in example - student from the IIT’s end up pursuing a Diploma in management from IIMs and change their career track to a better pay option of Finance stream, probably also train, in the end, to work with high paying banks. Brilliant, the individual is a success. Humans, by nature, are commercial and would not want to be deprived of financial benefits, so why complaint? Well, I am not. No, neither am I sensitizing one about the governments expense to train an individual as an engineer, nor am I questioning the traded investment, to see them groom into another career.

In my opinion, a tardy situation has been created, that I intend to flag. Does the brilliant mind from IIT, not earn as much as he does as a marketeer or a Banker?  Engineers can get hefty pay checks, if they demand and command. Instead, we have spread mediocrity and are raising a generation of a confused lot of individuals. Engineers becoming marketeers & Bankers; humanities students become road contractors, entrepreneurs, industrialist. etc. The concern I am flagging is - the end product is marginalised. Also, the time taken by the engineer in concern, could have well been spent by their undertaking a humanities course and develop a better understanding of their career related work. Also, along with is another deprived individual (causal loop), who is a misfit working the other way – ‘lost opportunities’ is all we can say.

Let me address the first one now – the who? ‘Teachers’ cannot be mentors of all students – already overloaded with work. Teachers are paid to teach students the subject in concern. The responsibility to teach is no mean task. Knowing the subject well to address the inquisitive minds, ensuring students understand the subject in totality, periodically testing and correcting answer papers and judging them, are what they are best known for – an onerous task. Let teachers do that well.  Teachers are not bound to and not equipped to help guide every child’s career. 

The objective of making students focussed and targeted towards a career, should vest upon a separate community, trained and focussed to do, what we call student counsellors. Ideally, I would recommend that the institution where the student passes out from, should structure (outsource if not possible) to have it in their system -counsellors, who would then act to guide students. I am given to understand that the GOI is mandating the requirement of this portfolio in schools. Could be a long wait though.

Let me now address the crucial one- the how? ‘Every child is blessed’. His/her aptitude gets marred, since parents, as any other human, are opinionated and invest lesser time and effort in the career building process of the child. Not recognizing early, the child is actually pushed away from their strength. The ‘how’ is to effectively recognise the child’s aptitude, help identify their SWOT, and hand hold them giving them apt directions. Recognising that each individual is made different, the talent required of the individual is to be multifaceted as well.  A sincere counsellor should be able to do these tasks (albeit difficult).

Despite limited experience and knowledge about a subject and a career thereafter, a child is compelled to make a choice pretty early in life. I wonder how many of them remain so. We live in a world today, where technology and tools are available to do this effectively. Let us look into them. I have broken them into separate categories

  • Student counseling for class 8 – 10
    • Psychometric test to help identify multiple intelligence
    • Psychometric test to identify Learning styles to help learn better.
    • Psychometric test Stream selector based on aptitude and interest.
    • Giving clarity on various career options Virtually  
  • Student counseling for students for 10-12
    • Psychometric test to help Identify individual personality trait
    • Psychometric test to identify a career by exploring career options.
    • Stream selector in Humanities & Engineering during college.
    • Profile building assistance
    • Giving clarity on various career options Virtually
  • Parent counseling to help parents build their child’s future

I will elaborate on these in my next blog. Till then happy times.

Posted in India on Jul 14, 2021