On the 10th and 11th of August 2019, teachers representing Don Bosco Schools in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were given the wonderful opportunity to attend a Training Workshop on School Counselling by Rev Fr. Donthi Raja SDB. The program was organized by the Don Bosco Province, Hyderabad. Vice-Provincial, Rev. Fr. Santiagu, in his opening address outlined the plans of the Province to provide continuous counselling training for Don Bosco School teachers throughout the year. He spoke about the need for teachers to be well equipped with dealing with the social problems that impact the lives of many of our youth today. In addition, he said that teachers who are interested in training further would also be encouraged to pursue their Masters in Psychology.
As the Province Youth Director, Rev. Fr. Donthi Raja has vast experience working with children. He also is about to complete his Phd in Psychology, so his expert guidance was deeply appreciated by the participants. Over the two days, Fr. Raja gave great insight into the realm of psychological counselling. He stressed on the need for teachers to undergo thorough training over a period of time, as well as attaining the right qualifications, before they could counsel students. The purpose of this workshop was to give an overview of the skills required in counselling. He said that, “Counselling should be seen as the first step along the path to facilitating the development of young people so they become all they could be.” “Counselling and supporting students with difficulties should be seen as a means of beginning the process of empowering young people to fully utilize their potential.”
Teachers were trained for the skills needed in interviewing and counselling students from building a rapport with the student during counselling to observing verbal and non-verbal communication. The participants were given the opportunity to practice some of the techniques learned during a practical session.
Our grateful thanks to Rev Fr. Raja for his expert guidance during the training which certainly sparked off a lot of interest among the teachers. We are also very grateful to the Provincial and Vice-Provincial of Don Bosco Province Hyderabad for introducing this great initiative to train teachers in counselling.