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Some 35 Schools Welfare Officers are now certified to provide psychosocial support to children in schools, the Ministry of Education has said.
During a small ceremony at the Pegasus Hotel Thursday morning, the Welfare Officers graduated from a European Union (EU) funded Gender Responsive Programme for Psychosocial Support to Children in Schools. This training programme was conducted through the Spotlight Initiative and implemented by UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Institute of Gender Studies, University of Guyana. Education Specialist at the Ministry of Education, Dr Olato Sam, stated that the programme aids in paving the way to ensure students are supported. He noted that the last few years has not only highlighted the need to address the academic development of children, but also devise strategies for addressing physical, mental, emotional and psychosocial dimensions of students.
As such, Dr. Sam deemed the programme timely as it addresses these needs of children.
“Initiatives such as these underscored the importance of a collaborative approach to meeting their educational needs.”
Highlighting the fact that teachers are also often faced with challenges, he said that a collective approach is needed to create a learning focused culture needed to ensure all students and teachers receive the support they need to optimize their full potential. Representative of the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to Guyana, Irfan Akhtar reiterated that it will improve children’s participation in the classrooms. He said UNICEF remains committed to providing the necessary support needed to ensure the needs of children are met.