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Aug 4, 2014

Academic Counselors Attend Seminar

Academic success is not confined to the work of teachers and principals; it extends to the hours put in by school counsellors.  For the rest of the week, the counsellors will be meeting at the ITVET in a conference billed to unleash their potential. At the opening this morning, their role was recognized as an integral part of the education system. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The first counsellor conference under the auspices of the Belize School Counsellor Association was held today at the ITVET Compound in Belize City. Counsellors from all school levels and from across the country gathered for day-one of a week of training just before the start of the new school year. The theme for this year is, “The 21st Century Belizean School Counsellors: Unleashing Your Potential!”

 

Dr. Shirlene Smith-Augustine, Keynote Speaker

Shirlene Smith-Augustine

“School counsellors in schools are not a luxury, but a necessity if we are to strategically position each and every child for academic success, adequately prepared to respond to the need of a changing global competitive world. School counsellors are not a soft element of education reform, but an essential part of the student academic team. They share the same mission of academic excellence that teachers, principals and the larger education system advocates. Academic success is contingent on a number of factors that extend beyond content and pedagogy knowledge, instructional techniques, learning theories and classroom management. Societal non-school fact so such as crime, poverty, violence, unemployment, discrimination, safety can effectively sabotage students’ pursuits of educational success.”

 

The association was formally established back in October of 2012 and has a mission to represent, support and develop professional school counsellors in Belize with a focus on academic achievement for all students.  Essentially, a counsellor has become an integral part of the formal education system. The association has partnered with the Ministry of Education and the United National Development Program.

 

David Leacock,

David Leacock, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“A gap between aspirations and reality in school counselling in Belize demanding a response. But it was not a technical problem, it was not easily diagnosed and it was without a predetermined solution. The implementation of this association is not like replacing a faulty part on a car nor is it even like a prescription of a particular type of medicine for a particular ailment. The gap between aspirations and reality that you saw was not so easily framed, designed or measured; nor is the response to close that gap. The response you have fashioned through the creation of this association is just one of many different types of responses that you could have conceived of to close the gap between aspirations and reality. As you go along implementing this response, you will no doubt have to keep refashioning, redefining and reframing it. Your implementation of this association therefore involves learning.”

 

The week-long conference will include presentations from various local and international experts. Duane Moody for News Five.

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