Psychological counseling division to be mandatory at VN schools
VietNamNet Bridge - From February 2, psychological counseling divisions will be set up at all schools to give support to students, under a decision by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) followed experts’ warnings about the increasingly high number of students committing suicide because of depression.


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Psychological counseling divisions will be set up at all schools




Marie Curie High School in district 3 in HCMC has 5,000 students this academic year. Pham Thi Bich Phuong, MA, a psychological counselor, said there are two psychologists at the school, but another is on maternity leave.

“About 400-450 students have demand for psychology and career advice each year,” Phuong said. “The workload is heavy and one psychologist is not enough.”

A survey conducted by MOET at some schools and universities in Hanoi and Hai Duong found that 93.6 percent of students have problems in study and their daily lives and need advice. The proportion was 95.3 percent for schools and 85.9 percent for university students. 

93.6 percent of students have problems in study and their daily lives and need advice. The proportion was 95.3 percent for schools and 85.9 percent for university students. 

The problems students face vary. In some cases, students suffer from depression because their parents don’t take appropriate care of children. Other students feel pressure from study and many feel disappointed after failures. Some students try to commit suicide to end their problems.

Nguyen Tung Lam, chair of the Hanoi Educational Psychology Association and headmaster of Dinh Tien Hoang High School, commented that there is a fine line between abnormal psychological manifestations and psychiatric disorders. 

Therefore, he emphasized the important role of school psychologists who can discover and make timely interventions to help settle students’ problems before they fall into more serious situations.

The MOET survey also found that the majority of students want to share their problems with psychologists, because they find it easier to talk with experts than with managerial officers or teachers.

The HCMC Education & Training Department in the past released Decision 1090 setting up temporary regulations about the organization and operation of school counseling division.

However, school psychologists were not recognized because MOET at that time had not defined the title ‘teacher of psychology’ at schools.

At some schools, teachers, officers and librarians were asked to hold the post of school psychologists because there was no budget for professional psychologists.

This is why the newly released decision by MOET is welcomed by schools and students.

However, Dan Tri reported that professional psychologists disagreed with the decision and pointed out some problems.

Under the decision, the counseling division comprises a division head who is the representative of schools’ boards of management, and the members, who are teachers, medical officers and representatives of parents’ associations.

Le Khanh, a psychological consultant, said that no psychological specialist was included in the division.


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Thanh Lich

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