INDIA: Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services graduates 42 teachers from Basic Skills in Counseling program
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services, located in Mumbai, India, recently graduated 42 teachers who are now trained in basic skills in counseling. The teachers took the training course from June to November 2019.
One of the teachers said, “I would call these 100 hours a journey within. More than anything, this course has empowered me to understand the feelings of others and at the same time scrutinize my own thought processes.”
Another teacher noted, “More than ever, our children today need our emotional support and understanding. This course has helped me to accept and understand the variety of children I encounter in my all-inclusive classroom and be present for each of them.”
Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services was started in 1998 and provides psychological evaluation and diagnosis, professional counseling, career guidance, remedial education, psychiatric services, and occupational therapy. The organization’s psychologists and other professionals offer these services to individuals, groups and families to help aid independent functioning and improve quality of life.
To help increase mental health awareness and meet the needs of children, Prafulta Psychological Services offers coursework and training for professionals, including teachers, to advance their skills in helping youth and their families in a school setting. The Basic Skills in Counseling for Teachers program was launched in 2005 and provides training to help teachers learn the skills to handle basic emotional and developmental issues of their students. To date, the program has trained 777 teachers from 133 schools.
“This course started with the vision of transforming every school into a home, where the environment becomes more child-friendly,” said Father D’Sa, director of Prafulta Psychological Services.
Shalu Mehrotra, course coordinator and facilitator of the program, highlighted the program’s success. “A follow-up study reveals that even after several years, there was an attitudinal change in many teachers, helping them be more empathetic towards their students and assisting with issues of relationships, stress, self-esteem, and conflict with parents and peers.”
Prafulta Psychological Services also launched the Don Bosco Teacher Training Program in Remedial Education in May 2014. It aims to empower teachers, school counselors and parents by giving them the information and the know-how to effectively help children with varying needs and disabilities in mainstream schools. For more advanced training, Prafulta offers a certificate course in educational counseling enabling practitioners to understand children’s difficulties in both educational and emotional areas.
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
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