How to develop youths, by counsellors

Prof Ngozi Osarenren

Prof Ngozi Osarenren

THE Counselling Association of Nigeria (CASSON), Lagos chapter, is advocating a collaboration of stakeholders in ensuring a safe, supportive and secured environment in order for youths to thrive in the country.

Hosting students from over 75 schools as well as practicing counsellors in the state to its 2015 yearly youth jamboree with the theme, “Youths as Instruments of Building a Safe, Supportive and Secured Society,” the chief host, Prof Ngozi Osarenren, stated that any youth that is not socially well adjusted cannot perform optimally in other aspects of life.

According to her, the role of counsellors in the society was not just limited to schools, but also to provide guidance to people on personal, social or psychological problems, as clearly stated in the National Policy for Education.

While underscoring the importance of counsellors to the society, she explained that because of the apparent ignorance of young people and adolescents about their problems, psychological, emotional and physical, it has become overwhelmingly important for schools to have counselors, adding that these counsellors would be able to help young people understand the problems associated with their stage of life.

The former Edo State Commissioner for Education, said, “To assume that the function of the counsellor is just in the school is a total misunderstanding of the whole concept of counselling. The counsellor is not just interested in the academics of the student because if a student is emotionally disturbed, he or she would not perform well and academic performances would be affected.

If a student is socially not well adjusted, his/her academic performance would also be affected.” She admitted that a very intelligent student who is emotionally disturbed would fail to manifest his/her intelligence.

“You can have a very intelligent student who is traumatised and if the trauma is not properly handled, it becomes a major problem. The work of the counsellor is total and not just advising.

It is to ensure that the student becomes a fully functioning member of the society and that informed our choice for this year’s theme.

If we are able to manage our youths then we would end up having a safe, supportive and secured society,” she added. Citing the 2012 National Baseline Youth Survey Report, the Registrar, University of Lagos, Dr Taiwo Ipaye who was guest speaker at the event, held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the school described young people as key actors and a driving force for global development and peace.

According to her, youths were critical partners in the development of nations and their contributions to society must be measured in terms of productive pursuits and service to humanity. In her remarks, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Calabar, Prof Florence Obi, said the high level of moral decadence in schools was an offshoot of happenings in the society and Nigeria as a whole.

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