CBSE starts career guidance portal in collaboration with UNICEF

In a move that will serve as a panacea for several students, CBSE has launched a career guidance portal in collaboration with UNICEF and iDreamCareer. It’ll offer guidance on courses from different countries, college directories, competitive entrance exams and much more.

“To bring scale, speed and standard to the career guidance process, CBSE has dovetailed these objective to develop a holistic integrated vision for career guidance and counselling for building knowledge and skills of students and to make them ‘Future Ready’,” read CBSE’s notification.


The facility is available for all CBSE students at no cost. Every student will have a personalised career dashboard that can be accessed by teachers too. It plans to reach 21 million adolescents who are studying in Class 9 to Class 12.


There will also be two teachers/counsellors per school who will get digital training sessions through the portal. They’ll get access to a 90-hour self-paced training course. Once they finish it and clear some online assessments, they’ll be certified as a counsellor.


This is a welcome change as the presence of these counsellors can really help students who are grappling with several issues that afflict teenagers. For certain reasons, a student may not be able to speak freely in front of their parents or teachers about an issue they are facing. The issue may affect their self-confidence and lead to diminishing results in exams. Sometimes, teachers can be partial, parents can be abusive and friends can be cunning. A student may feel lost and broken in such a situation with no one to go to. This may reduce a student’s sense of self-esteem and he/she will continue to suffer in silence without a counsellor to guide them.


After 10th, a lot of students are also exposed to negative influences and they pick up bad habits. Often, these habits last for their entire lives and lead to a painful death. Counsellors can guide such students in a better way and make them aware about the repercussions of their decisions.


According to a report in The Times of India, one student in India commits suicide every 55 minutes. A lot of them are forced to pursue careers against their liking and depression is extremely common among those preparing for entrance exams. Counsellors may not be able to reduce the suicide rate completely but they can certainly help a few students decide against it.


In an interview with The Indian Express, renowned psychiatrist Dr. Harish Shetty highlighted the negative effects of not having counsellors in school. “Children with emotional disturbances may fail academically, be socially rejected and have a poor self-image. They may also have difficulties in relating to peers or adults and may have little respect for the laws of their society. Academic failure and social rejection often have lasting consequences because the failure to learn in school limits a person’s chances to succeed in the future. Such children are more likely to drift from mainstream society and become targets for unemployment, homelessness or other symptoms of social dysfunctioning,” he said.


In India, there’s still a lot of stigma attached to seeking help for mental issues. Despite the several awareness campaigns, people still take offence if you recommend that they see a psychiatrist. The presence of counsellors in schools will go a long way in helping normalize the conversation.


Just like we seek help for a stomach ailment or a bone fracture, we need to seek help for mental health issues too. Ignoring the warning signs, pretending to be fine and putting a fake façade of strength can spell doom in the long run.


During my days in school, there was no counsellor to help me with issues like bullying, anxiety and career-related confusion. I wish there was as I would have certainly reached out. At 15 or 16, a student’s brain starts working faster than ever before. They can either use this time to make themselves into great human beings or waste these fertile years seeking momentary stimulation and entertainment. It’s a choice they shouldn’t be making without some guidance from a counsellor.


References:


1. CBSE to launch online career guidance, counselling portal for students (The Indian Express)

2. ‘Schools are neglecting counselling’ (The Indian Express)

3. One every hour: At 10,335, last year saw most student suicides in 25 years (The Times of India)