Counsellors exempted from exam-related tasks to focus on mental health support for students

A total of 409 teachers who have been appointed as counselors to help ease student stress over board exams have been barred from any other duties related to board exams. These teachers will only focus on providing mental health support to students before, during, and after exams.

The Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) issued an order in this regard for the first time on Tuesday. These teachers have been appointed by the Maharashtra State Board as counselors as they have received training for it and can guide the students.

While these teachers help relieve stress by talking to students, they also provide career guidance in many cases. Many of them also receive calls from parents of children sitting for the High School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams.

The notice issued by the Director of MSCERT, MD Singh, states: “Teachers working as counselors should be released from all other duties related to the exam. These include supervision, paper verification, and custody of the exam center among all. If they deal with these tasks, there will be obstacles to providing the proper guidance and support to the students who will call on them.”

According to the notice, counselors must be freed from all other duties in order to better serve students.

One of the counselors, Jaywant Kulkarni, welcomed the move, sharing, “This is great as all counselors will now be able to focus on the task at hand, which would otherwise suffer if said teacher was busy at any other job.” It was also noted that all schools should post the list of counselors and their numbers at the school so that more students can take advantage of the facility.

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The HSC and SSC exams will take place from March 4 to 30 and March 15 to April 4, respectively. As most students have studied online during the pandemic, there is a demand among students that even board exams be taken online.

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