Life in Gurgaon

Boards round the corner, Delhi govt schools struggling due to lack of counsellors for students

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Board exams are round the corner but government schools in Delhi are struggling because of the absence of adequate number of counsellors.

Most private schools have at least one counsellor available for students every day during school time. But there are only 213 of them for over 1,100 government schools that cater to over 15.5 lakh students.

Officials of the Educational and Vocational Guidance Counselling (EVGC) bureau, in charge of advising students in government schools, said they were facing problems due to the low counsellor-school ratio.

“Presently, we have only 213 counsellors for over 1,100 government schools. One counsellor is covering at least 5-6 schools. It’s difficult to give personal attention to each and every student. We generally need counsellors from class 6. We will soon hire more counsellors to bridge this gap,” said a member of the bureau.

Principals of a few government schools said they were managing without counsellors. “They mostly visit after December every year. In the absence of an adequate number of counsellors, it’s impossible for them to interact with each and every student during their few visits. We keep on speaking to children preparing for boards throughout the year. However, there are some government helpline numbers on which students can call and take their queries,” said AK Jha, principal of Sarvodaya Co-ed Vidyalaya in Rohini.

The principal of a government school in Jahagirpuri said they have not got any counsellor this academic session yet. “Only a few days are left for the board exams to begin but we have not got any counsellor this year. Last year, there were a few visits,” the principal said.

According to CBSE affiliation norms, every school is advised to have at least one counsellor on a full-time basis.

Sanjay Goel, director of the government’s Directorate of Education (DoE), admitted the crises. “One counsellor is covering five schools. The Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSB) has almost completed the recruitment process of hiring more counsellors and they may join soon. We will soon bridge the gap,” he said.

Officials at the EVGC bureau said they had launched multiple helpline numbers and put up boards in every school to inform the students about them. “We will launch a 24*7 helpline called “yuva”, specifically for the boards, from next week. The helpline is normally active in the morning hours but it will now work round-the-clock ahead of the boards,” said an EVGC bureau official.

Most private schools, including Springdales School Pusa Road and Mount Abu School in Rohini, have full-time counsellors. “We have three full-time counsellors to take student issues throughout the year. They interact with students in groups and take their queries individually,” said Amita Wattal principal of Springdales.