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Full-time counsellors to be mandatory in technical colleges

The Higher and Technical Education Department will soon make it mandatory for managements of all technical colleges in the state to have full-time career counsellors.

The need was identified after it was highlighted that the state did not have any full-time career counsellors for secondary and higher secondary students in the science and engineering streams.

According to data available with the department, the state has only 480 career counsellors for over 23,000 schools, with the city having about 85 and Mumbai over 100 counsellors.

Currently, there is no provision to appoint full-time counsellors.

Most counsellors today work part-time because of the heavy workload.

It was felt that there was a need to appoint career counsellors for students of technical education, especially those who have problems choosing the right subjects for them.

Also, secondary teachers across the state who had been working as counsellors complained about the additional work of counselling being given to them, saying they had to juggle this with their daily duties that include teaching, conducting examinations and assessing exam papers.

The training for counselling is imparted by the State Council for Education, Research and Training (SCERT), Pune Division, to teachers from government-aided schools. Every year up to 40 teachers are trained.

"We have received complaints from teachers who are recruited as counselors that they are unable to devote time to other duties. That's why we have asked all college managements to appoint counsellors who will not have to engage in other academic duties," said an official from the department.

Higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope remained unavailable for the comment as his phone was switched off.

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