There was a time not long ago when schools only fulfilled the responsibility of imparting education. Students after that were left on their own to decide their careers. And disruptive behaviours were met with punishments. Although the approaches have not completely phased out today, the best boarding school in India has evolved beyond such archaic methods. These institutions not only educate their students but they also take the onus onto themselves to guide the children both in their careers and behaviours. As evident, no one department can effectively perform both functions. Career guidance is naturally very different from counselling even when the two terms are often used interchangeably.
The function of the counselling cell
Let us ensue the discussion with the help of an example. Consider a primary school student who is showing the following behaviour traits.
- She is often inattentive in class. She also struggles to note down her homework deadlines and thus rarely completes her assignments.
- The student is also disruptive in the class. Talking to peers while the teacher is teaching or denying to follow rules is frequently noticed.
How should a school deal with such a student? Write a note to the parent and go for suspension? Your logical mind will immediately tell you that these are no solutions. Instead, the counselling department should step in to find out the root cause of the student’s behaviour.
The above are typical symptoms of a learning disorder. It can vary from ADHD to dyslexia and can be brought under control through focused personalised lessons. The counselling department of the best boarding school in India does just that where an expert psychologist converses with the student to find out her difficulties and then collaborates with her parents and teachers to formulate a lesson plan. The is no job for a career counsellor.
The function of a career counsellor
Now suppose this very student has reached her senior standards. She has passed her 10th boards and has a decision to make about which stream to pick in 11th class – science, commerce or arts? She is still unsure about the career path that she wants to follow in her life and takes her confusion to the school’s career counsellor.
The career expert notices the following:
- The student exhibits a flair for creativity. But she also has talent in analytics, problem-solving and mathematics.
- The student is not an academic, she dislikes spending time with books.
- She is shy, maybe an introvert, and enjoys listening to music.
Now, combining the flairs of creativity and music, you can say that the student should take up arts and pursue music. But she also has talent in analytics which can drive her to become a successful computer programmer. A career counsellor possesses the expertise to make such suggestions by digging deeper through psychological evaluations and aptitude tests and keeping all stereotypes aside.
The noticeable difference
Career guidance comes into the picture when a student is thinking about her career. Counselling can step in at any point in a student’s life. Plus, the two experts will have two different sets of expertise and one can never dawn the role of another. Counsellors must be trained psychologists. They need to observe behaviour to figure out underlying issues. Career counsellors, on the other hand, can be veteran executives who have worked in an industry for a long time. They can take up the role with basic training in psychology.
This is why the best boarding school in India always maintain two different departments for counselling and career guidance. There might be times when the expert of one may have to collaborate with another but their roles cannot merge. The psychological evaluation for career guidance can be done by the psychologist but he/she will rarely be in a place to suggest a career path having never worked as an executive in any company or seeing a number of them work from close quarters. If smart boards and expansive playgrounds help children’s daily education, then both counselling and career guidance aid in the progress of the same.
Out of the many institutions in Sonepat, Swarnprastha Public School features among the very few where counselling and career guidance departments exist independently. Their exclusivity preserves the value of the experts and the guidance that they bring for the students. In the 21st-century, no school’s infrastructure is truly complete without priorities given to learning disabilities and career counselling and the fact that they exist in SPS as separate departments show the school’s progressiveness. Scientific researches have connected students’ mental health with the quality of education received. Facts have shown that students need career guidance right in their schools. Denying these are never the marks of a great school.