Why Educational Counselling Is Desperately Required In Kashmir, Right Now?

by Peerzada Zubair

Every 55 minutes one student commits suicide in India. In the last three years, more than 26,000 students have committed suicide due to stress, anxiety and depression.

MBBS students writting their examinations

All of us, at some point or the other, go through this conundrum, where we feel clueless about what stream to choose or which career to pursue.

In the past few years, the education sector has witnessed significant changes. Not only has the quality of education improved but the number of specialized courses offered at colleges and universities at various levels across the world has increased.

In such a scenario, students looking for quality education find it difficult to choose from an array of courses. This is where educational counselling is needed and proves to be of great support and help to an aspirant.

What Is Counselling?

Educational counselling refers to providing advice and assistance to students in the development of their educational plans and choice of appropriate courses. They offer proper guidance on how to deal with psychological problems which can badly impact the studies of students.

Which Way To Go: Students need some help in understanding the careers and their interest

Through the sessions of counselling, the students are able to develop problem-solving skills, which to an extent, help them to deal with particular issues surrounding their lives while being in an academic institution.

It not only helps to shape students’ behaviour but also instils enough discipline in them. Proper guidance helps a student to achieve their goals because well guided and counselled students to know what to do and how to do things in the best possible way. Students get comprehensive advice on careers, courses and jobs that enable them to make a proper choice and understand what they can do with higher studies after they are done with schooling.

Apart from providing a broader spectrum of various options for choosing their career, educational counselling also helps students to learn how to live in peace and harmony with others in academia. Conversations related to personal feelings, substance use or any kind of abuse can be openly discussed in psychological counselling that has emerged as a novel concept in the field of career counselling.

The India Scene

 India has one of the worlds’ highest suicide rates in 15-29 age group. The main reasons include failing in examinations, depression, unemployment. There are several suicidal stories making headlines during the board examination in Jammu and Kashmir as well.

A 1950 photograph showing an open-air classroom in the harvested rice fields to help students stay warm.

In India, children are under extreme stress, trauma and anxiety related to examinations. The Indian educational system is always under the hammer for being competitive and focusing more on quantitative learning, long school hours, heavy school bags, improper curriculum. With this type of system, students become less creative, less innovative and have no room for self-learning, which is the need of the hour. Fortunately, such drawbacks of the Indian education system have been taken care of in the new education policy of 2020.

Rising Suicides

 According to a recent news report in The Times of India, every 55 minutes one student commits suicide in India. In the last three years, more than 26,000 students have committed suicide due to stress, anxiety and depression.

Owing to huge competition and an expensive education system, parents pressurize their children to perform well and restrict them from sports and other outdoor activities. This all doesn’t work, rather, this makes the child depressed, which burdens them fulfilling expectations of their parents. In this perspective, the new education policy of India lays emphasis on the establishment of career and psychological counselling cells in every educational institution.

Immediate Requirement

Counselling sessions at an early stage opens the lines of communication making children familiar with the importance of choosing the right career.

The students in Jammu and Kashmir end up choosing the wrong option due to a lack of proper counselling and guidance. The results are obvious.

Kashmir has a huge dearth for educational counselling

Thousands of students get bachelors degrees every year only to find themselves enlisted among the unemployed youth. These degree holders fail to contribute to society because they are not equipped with the tools needed for such endeavours. It has been rightly said that education works best when it is focused and career-oriented. The policymakers and authorities have to do something substantial apart from taking administrative measures every now and then in this regard.

Back Home

 In Jammu and Kashmir, there are very less career counselling cells for students in their life and studying situations, which could help us to improve the general framework conditions of the higher education environment. Not much attention had been paid to students’ educational and career counselling in the past.

Peerzada Zubair

This remained a low priority for two evident reasons. Firstly, there is a lack of awareness amongst the teachers, students and parents about the significance of career counselling and secondly, the scarcity of resources doesn’t permit schools to consider it as a priority.

Margaret Mead has said: “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think”. That is required right now within Jammu and Kashmir and beyond.

(The author is pursuing Integrated PG in Zoology from the Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Srinagar. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)

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