The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s Guidance and Counselling Unit in collaboration with guidance counsellors at the school level, and clinical service providers, will provide counselling, psychosocial and empowerment sessions for students, children, staff and parents.
The Guidance and Counselling Unit has developed a psychosocial plan to guide interventions at the school level for the first term of the new school year, Education Minister Fayval Williams announced on Wednesday.
She said the unit will continue to support guidance counsellors to develop and implement psychosocial plans at the school level, and will monitor the process for greater impact. All schools are expected to implement a psychosocial plan.
Tele-counselling will continue in collaboration with The Child Guidance Clinic, supported by UNICEF. Students who were referred to the Child Guidance Clinic will continue to benefit from ongoing counselling, though not in school, she explained.
Addressing a back-to-school virtual press conference, Williams said 35 psychosocial helplines for parents are available across all seven regions through the efforts of the National Parenting Support Commission in collaboration with UNICEF, Victoria Mutual Foundation and Fight for Peace.
Youth empowerment sessions were implemented by the youth division with a focus on students’ safety and psychosocial care as well as their readiness for back to school, the minister said.
Meanwhile, the Government will continue to provide nutritional support to students on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) through Nutrition Products Limited (NPL). Schools have been asked to submit students’ information this week. This will allow NPL to begin distributing products to the schools next week.
In addition, funds for lunch will be paid to the accounts of parents with children on PATH through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Williams said.