Fiji in Need of Qualified Counsellors in Schools
The Ministry of Education admits there is a shortage of qualified counsellors in schools.
Rosy Akbar explained that this is because the higher education institutions are not providing enough qualifications for counselling and there is a lack of interest shown in students to become counsellors.
According to Akbar, the Fiji National University offers post graduate diploma in mental health and post graduate diploma in mental health nursing which is more aligned to the medical profession.
The University also offers some counselling units in its Bachelors of Education.
Meanwhile, the University of Fiji does not offer any courses related to counselling while the University of the South Pacific, through its Pacific TAFE, offers Certificate 4 Counselling.
26 trainees graduated in 2018 while 95 trainees registered this year under the Pacific TAFE programme.
The Australian Pacific Training Coalition also offers Diploma in Counselling.
Akbar said this is a specialist area that needs qualified people who will do good rather than damage.