Monday January 23, 2017

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Educational Testing and Guidance


MISSION STATEMENT

The ETGPS department of the Ministry of Education and Training, guided by the principles of the counselling profession and government documents, and drawing from international instruments related to the field, advocates to build the whole person through the provision of such services as guidance, counselling, testing and health education.  To this end the department shall strive to ensure the existence of adequately trained full-time personnel and sufficient structures.

VISION
The educational, testing, guidance and psychological services department shall put in place all school, guidance and counselling programmes that will promote self dependence in the youth of Swaziland.
Purpose of Guidance and Counselling


The Department of Guidance and Counselling falls under the Ministry of Education and Training.  It has three main components.  These are: Guidance and Counselling Measurement and Testing, and Health Education.  Guidance and Counselling is a programme and a service that cuts across the education system.  It is offered to all learners from primary schools to tertiary institutions ensures the total development of an individual.
Services


Almost all secondary and high schools have allocated time for the guidance and counselling programme.  Not only is counselling necessary within the Ministry of Education and Training.  Other ministries and departments need these skills because they are sometimes cases that required counselling.  These are departments such as Royal Swaziland Police, the Correctional Services because some of the cases may require counselling rather than imprisonment.


Schools as Centers of Care and Support
The SCCS is a programme of the Ministry of Education and Training in collaboration with UNICEF and MiET.  It seeks the impact of poverty, HIV & AIDS on children and their associated school communities.  Attached is the Swaziland Care and Support for Teaching and Learning.

Psychosocial Support

This psychosocial training were carried out during the year 2010.  Three hundred and twenty (320) principals and teachers were trained on speaking books donated by the Global Fund.  Its purpose is to create psychological support to teachers and problems faced by orphaned and vulnerable children.

Staff Development Workshops
During the course of the year 2010 December to January 2011 six workshops, were conducted for the enhancement of Guidance and Counselling staff both in the region and school level Counselling Association of Guidance Teachers (CAGAS).  Relevant topics were identified by the staff; it helps the members of the department to perform their duties efficiently and effectively.


The Toll free Child help line
The toll free (9664) is a service offered by the Ministry of Education and Training through the Guidance and Counselling department. It helps children to timely report cases of abuse. It started operating in 2004 after the ministry conducted a research in primary, secondary and high schools. About 5309 cases have been received since the establishment of the toll free line. Some of these cases were solved and others are still under investigations. Guidance officers visited schools to sensitize both teachers and communities to report cases of abuse, many new cases were reported as children were made aware of this service.


HIV and Aids

The ETGPS continues to empower school going children about HIV and AIDS.  During training sessions teachers are encouraged to establish care and support programmes with the schools and in their communities.  Peer Educators from both primary and secondary schools were trained to provide first aid, care and support to their peers.


Collaboration with Some Organisations
A lot of work done by the ETGPS is in collaboration with other organizations and development partners such as shape, Swaziland National Association of teachers (SNAT), UNICEF, NERCHA, UNESCO, Scripture Union, AMICAAL, Red Cross, Cross Roads, Save the Children (Swaziland).


School Visits
June 2010 to February 2011 more than 100 schools were visited. Some schools had invited members of the department for staff development workshop or to talk to children about developmental issues, and also workshoped teachers on guidance and counselling related topics.  20% of schools sought help on reported cases of child abuse.


Careers’ fairs
Careers’ fairs are normally held for form 3 students so that they may choose their subjects wisely in relation to what they want to do when they finish school.  These were held in all four regions.  A total of 106 schools participated.  Schools leavers’ Fair, that is usually held in Manzini is organised by the Society for Tertiary students Counsellors (SOTESCO) in collaboration with the Guidance and Counselling Unit.

Measurement and Testing

Swaziland still maintains testing as an important component of Guidance.  Forms 3s were tested and results were disseminated to all schools in time.  The results of these tests are very helpful when children make their choice of subjects and occupations.  The department also administers International Tests.  There are the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) and the Graduate Record Examination (CRE).  These tests are for people who have applied for entrance into foreign Universities and Training Institutions.

Challenges
• There is an extreme lack of IEC material to give to teachers, especially after workshops.  This is a serious problem and waters down the good job that the Ministry is doing.
• We rely on some NGOs for assistance with our child abuses cases.
• There is a shortage of space for professional counselling.
• Guidance teachers are transferred from one to another. Retraining is therefore always necessary for the benefit of those schools that have new guidance teachers.
• Due to the global recession, since the beginning of the current financial year 2011 implementation is greatly hampered by the lack of resources from the government.

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