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Learners need more counselling, Prof Gicharu

By Philip Mwakio | January 17th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation Chairman Simon Gicharu hands masks to pupils of Bodoi Primary School. [Joackim Bwana, Standard]

Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation Chairman Simon Gicharu said some learners returning to schools after the long break suffered forms of mental stress and required help.

‘’There is need for the Government to ensure that among teaching staff posted in schools, there are dedicated ones who can help the learners with personal, emotional and psychological concerns at these very depressing times,’’ Gicharu said.

He said the recent attacks on teachers by some pupils in schools soon after re-opening following almost a year’s closure were tell-tale signs that some learners are stressed and require urgent attention.

‘’If there are counselling experts in a school setting, it is easier to detect any wayward learner from an early age before he or she strikes. The Government should thus consider coming up with tailor-made courses to provide short-term counselling, psychiatric support and group workshops to help institutions manage a range of personal, emotional and psychological concerns,’’ he said.

Gicharu made the remarks after a tour of Bodoi Primary School in Kilifi South Constituency on Friday where he made a donation of re-usable face masks.

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“While we try to address the existing challenges in most of our learning institutions as schools open up to students, it is imperative to ensure full support remains available in the form of closer monitoring of each learner by skilled teachers,” he added.

Kilifi South Sub-county Assistant County Commissioner Ahmed Mahmud noted that many parents cannot afford face masks, which have become part and parcel of school uniform.

“A big number of pupils have enrolled in this particular school despite the challenges they continue to face,” he said.

Mahmud said the sub-county had reported a 95 per cent back-to-school attendance by learners from both primary and secondary schools.

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