Thai counseling teachers need more system support

After 12 years of counseling work, Manus Onsang, editor-in-chief of Dek-D.com, said he’s met enough teachers in counseling to know that they’re mostly well-meaning and overloaded with schoolwork unrelated to school. advice.

Although every year he gets the chance to mentor new faces from high school looking for pathways to college, he said some issues still persist.

“The same problem I’ve had every year is their self-discovery. They’re almost out of high school. They’re at the intersection, and they don’t know which direction they should turn, or which direction will be right for them.

Another problem that occurs every year, but which can take different forms, is the university entrance system.

There are many changes to the college entrance system, both big revisions and small details, especially in the last 6 years, Manus said. Every time things change, advisors need to re-educate themselves about it.

Overload

In a perfect world, counseling teachers will primarily do counseling work and keep abreast of changes. In the real world, at least in Thailand, counseling teachers are often assigned to work other than counseling, and most schools usually don’t even allocate one hour a week to their students for counseling sessions.

Manus said he was lucky to have worked as an education journalist for a long time and if there was a change he would be informed. He often has occasion to ask the reason for these changes.

“Sometimes I could see that the explanation of the adult and the children came from different perspectives. This is why children are confused with the system because adults explain things from their point of view while children understand it from another angle”.

Manus said he acted as a medium. He knows how he can communicate with children to make them understand all these systems.

He has shared his knowledge with schools across the country. It’s not just the students who are confusing, the advising teachers often have something to ask him too. the overwhelming non-advisory work seems to hold these teachers back on their true intended duty.

From Manus’ personal experience, he said he felt sorry for all those teachers.

“The first thing I want to think about is that all counseling teachers are well-meaning and want to achieve their counseling goals, but the context and the environment don’t help them at all. Some counseling sessions were just on a marble bench (outdoors), and the kids have to learn things on their own.”

“Simply put, it’s the class that doesn’t get as much attention from management or (education) structure as it should,” Manus added.

Manus also says that while some students consider studying to become a counseling teacher, the psychology and counseling major doesn’t even open every year.

He summed up that in his experience, consultant teachers often have too much work to do, they have no helpers, not even a practicing teacher, and there are certainly not enough teachers- tips for everyone.

All this means that teachers only have time to put out a fire in front of them.

Manus said counseling work is not really about understanding the system and getting them into college. It is also a question of self-discovery.

Solutions

Manus first said that Thailand needs to provide more support for teacher advisors. We need to support them more.

Second, we need to promote the counseling session. Counseling is a subject that does not exist in the course schedules of many schools. They simply summarize with other classes.

Third, he said that the curriculum, the structure of the system, between high school and college is not exactly linked. It’s like kids are studying in high school, so they can graduate with a good grade. Then the students cannot continue with this. They don’t know where to go next, what major (in college). It’s as if the two programs were unrelated.

“And I also think that the secondary school curriculum, although updated, is not up to date, not catching up with the world.”

Manus recalls the importance of self-discovery. It is crucial that children know their own potential and know what they like. And the current secondary education system in Thailand does not give them space or opportunities to explore much beyond academic classes.

Schools may not have time to do much for students who will take a college entrance exam in 2023 now. But for the lasting solution to guarantee our next generation a full opportunity in life, we must change the way we treat our children in school. They need time to digest what they learn, experience things beyond the textbook and discover themselves.

by Kiratikorn Naksompop Blauw

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