During this past week, primary and high schools counsellors from the Belize Counsellor Association (BCA) have been engaged in a training program. The program was organized in collaboration with Ministry of Education. Today, we spoke to Tashera Swift Myers, president of the BCA, who told us that the program seeks to teach counsellors how to implement the skills learned to better assist the students.
Tashera Swift Myers – President of the BCA: “We have touched topics like Mental Health Literacy for example, looking at trauma, informed intervention and we know these are areas where we see our students being affected by these issues. It helps us to first of all to take stock of our own personal lives and see how these topics can help us personally as well as professionally as we work one on one with our students as well as staff members. As the counsellors go back to their respective schools they are able to implement programs that are specific to the needs of their students that they serve. In yesterday’s sharing for example we heard from a couple counsellors who implement like the Uniform Program, Feeding program, peer helping programs at their school and these are things that throughout the years of doing these professional development trainings. We’ve had counsellors from different schools share what they are doing and we go back then and do a needs assessment to see what is it that our students need in order to reach their full potential. In implementing these programs we are able to see a reduction in school dropout, we are able to see a higher retention of students within our respective schools as well as when we do the one on one counselling, being able to look back at a student and see how he or she has developed coping skills to deal with their present and future problems.”
This is the ninth year that the program is being held, and this year it took place at the ITVET./////////////////