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Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has called for the strengthening of guidance and counselling departments in all schools to curb help learners to cope with challenges. TSC expressed concern that guidance and counselling departments in most schools were treated as peripheral to the core curriculum, with little time and resources allocated to them.

Nakuru County TSC deputy director Margaret Amateshe said that while schools invest in games and sports to gain fame and win prizes, guidance and counselling departments are only mentioned in school magazines and staff meetings. She was speaking at the Regional Commissioner’s plenary hall in Nakuru during the launch of a report dubbed “Assessment of Life Skills and Values in East Africa”.

The TSC official noted that some schools have more than 2,000 learners with only one guidance and counselling teacher.

She proposed that the counselling department should have at least three teachers trained as counsellors and are regularly updated on the challenges of the modern learners through appraisal or continuous training.

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Unlike the teaching role, a guidance and counselling teacher is trained to be empathetic and caring, the official said. Amateshe said the place of guidance and counselling should be core to the learning process and allocated more physical and curriculum space. “In most instances learners with counselling challenges are counselled outside the learning hours, such as tea-break, lunch break or games time.

The teachers in some of these schools still teach a full load and hence become exhausted with the mainstream curriculum functions, delivery, and assessment, with little time for their counselling roles,” she observed.

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