It is the teacher who is best placed to meet a student’s needs. None is closest to the student in the school and knows the student better than a teacher.

However, teachers are being faced with problems in school for which they are not properly trained, and students are not receiving the help they need. The main priority now is to equip teachers with basic counselling skills; not training them as counsellors or to work as counsellors. But to help teachers to perform their guidance work more effectively, and enabling them to recognize problems which need referring to a specialist or counselling psychologist.

Teachers need training to access the different levels of problems, so that they work within their level of competence, and do not suffer undue stress as a result of the work, and also do not harm students through frustration.

In a classroom situation, you may find students with different types of abilities and disabilities. How many teachers know what is dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, phobia, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, OCD, ADHD, identifying those with special needs, who slow learners are, and the list goes on.

The knowledge of Child Psychology that they have learned does not provide them with a comprehensive understanding of children, nor does it teach how to understand and handle vulnerable children, as I have gone through many of these syllabuses.

Therefore, the onus is now on the Principals and the Management of schools to provide their teachers with such training. What would you think if the future generation is left in the hands of incompetent teachers, with all due respect to them? What do you make of the behavior of present-day students?