Students in East Java will soon have better counselling services in their schools, thanks to a new training programme for their teacher-counsellors. Its impact will go beyond them to other stakeholders in the region’s education sector, including their parents.
The project is called Teacher Counselling and Building Students’ Resilience in Education (T-CARE). It is organised together with the East Java Province Education Agency and School Social Work Chapter of the Singapore Association of Social Workers (SASW).
The three-year initiative, which was launched in Batu, East Java, on 1 August 2023, will see Singapore International Volunteers (SIVs) work with 100 vocational high school teacher-counsellors from 100 schools in East Java.
They will exchange knowledge, skills, and experience through in-person and online training workshops, symposia and a study visit to Singapore. The training will focus on areas such as career planning support, effective parent-communication techniques, and strategies to help youths facing mental health challenges.
Ms Riska Willyanti Handayani, a teacher-counsellor from State Vocational High School SMKN 5 Surabaya, noted how the T-CARE project would be helpful.
She said: “The fresh perspectives and new skills shared by the trainers will allow me to provide better support and care for my students. The volunteers from Singapore and fellow teacher-counsellors from the other schools will also be a valuable source of support for me.”
Mr Fang Xin Wei, SIV Lead and Director, Head of Financial Assistance Unit and Yishun Family Service, Singapore Children’s Society, said: “By prioritising the students’ holistic development, schools can create an environment that fosters growth, resilience, and lifelong learning. We are grateful for the opportunity to work together with our Indonesian friends and look forward to the exchanges between our counsellors.”
From the pool of Indonesian educators, 20 will be selected and trained as Master Trainers. They will, in turn, share their newly acquired knowledge with fellow educators. The SIV team will also work with them to develop a comprehensive set of case management guidelines. These guidelines will aim to establish a more structured and effective counselling workflow in the Indonesian schools.
Mr Abid Mustofa, a teacher-counsellor from SMK Negeri 2 Trenggalek, said: "Through the project’s cascade training component, more teacher-counsellors from across the region will gain new knowledge and have access to the useful materials shared. This will greatly reduce the burden on students who face mental health issues.”