Proper counselling solution to students’ challenges - Expert

Murtala Usman
Mrs. Yamtu

A counsellor with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Mrs. Margaret Yamtu, has said the power to put an end to all challenges encountered by students lies with the university by embracing the 21st-Century guidance and counseling methods.

Yamtu, who stated this while reacting to the rising rate of challenges faced by students, also said the time has come for all at any level to focus more on proper communication with students, just as school counsellors need to go beyond career and academic guidance.

Yamtu, who is also the acting director, Gulak Community Study Centre, Adamwa State, disclosed to NOUN News that the role of Counsellors in ODL setting was to bridge the distance between the students and services of the university by addressing several challenges of the distance learners through proper counselling.

"That's why counsellors are there, like in NOUN, we have students counsellors. The role of counsellors in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) set up is to look at the challenges of these distance learners since they are not in the campus like conventional settingm” she said..

According to her, they grapple with the challenges in their families or in the university. In fact, the major work of a counsellor is to see how he can harness the challenges of students with the aim of solving it and make ways for them.

The counsellor added that guardian and counselling in a student's life is very important right from the primary school, saying that it has to be incorporated in a school set up.

"Counselling is like a platform that provides a clear path through which students should follow towards the career they want to take. So you see, counselling is not just what is required at the higher institution level alone. In developed countries, it is right from the foundation classes that counsellors are engaged so as to shape children properly with regards to a subject combination, and career path. Counselling is central in the life of a student," she added.

The acting director explained that even students with mal-adoptive behaviours could be counselled and adjusted in whatsoever they are facing.

"As counsellors, we have counselling theories that we use to apply to solve different issues. So by the time you apply those theories on the behaviour of a child and could not get a desired results, you could escalate to a psychologist in a hospital or meet someone that can make him/her come out from that situation.

But actually when you have sessions with that student, you evaluate the behaviour by seeing him/her weekly as the case may be. After assessment and it was noticed improvement in behaviour and learning skills, you as a counsellor you will be happy,” she said

Yamtu, however called on the staff of NOUN at all levels to work on the interest of the university, be diligent, hard-working and maintain cordial and harmonious working relationship and shun any act capable of tarnishing their images.