The Ministry of Education has partnered with the Australian government to strengthen student support services in Fijian schools where teachers will be up-skilled to take on counselling roles in schools.
The Ministry will also develop standards to professionalise counselling services across Fiji and develop resources for teachers and parents to use to support student mental health.
Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar says counselling is a high priority for the Ministry because drug use, sexual harassment, child abuse, violence and other social issues are increasing.
She says there is a great need to ensure they have a policy that will address these issues in schools, homes and in the communities and to make schools safe for all children.
Akbar says as part of the Student Support Services Pilot program, the Ministry is working closely with the Australian Government on counselling support to students and teachers in 25 pilot schools and 35 teachers are expected to graduate with a Diploma in Counselling qualification from the regional training institution, Australia Pacific Training Coalition in November.
Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji, Anna Dorney says they are pleased to work with the Ministry in the area of mental health support, especially around COVID-19 and post-disaster situations through the development of psychosocial resource materials that can be used by teachers and parents.
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