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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

There is great need of Career Counselling-Dr.V.S.Ravindran


Dr. V. S. Ravindran
Dr. V. S. Ravindran is a renowned Educational Psychologist, Counsellor Trainer and Teacher Educator. He has also been involved in the training of people in leadership positions in educational institutions, corporates and government organizations for more than two decades. Dr. Ravindran is instrumental in starting guidance and counseling programs in many reputed educational institutions in India and abroad. Presently he is the Director General of Institute of Counsellor Training Research and Consultancy (ICTRC). Apart from this Dr. Ravindran is also associated with NCERT, UGC-Academic Staff College, Aligarh Muslim University, CBSE , Navodhya Leadership Institute , Kendriya Vidhyalayas, National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, Delhi Police Foundation For Correction, De-addiction and Rehabilitation, Kerala Police, Government of Jammu &Kashmir and many more. Dr. Ravindran’s contributions are not limited to educational institutions.  He is also associated with corporate houses like NTPC, Indian Oil Corporation, Maruti etc. Dr. Ravindran has committed his life for a single mission ie to bring the benefits of counseling and guidance to every student, parent and teacher in the country.


 He spoke to S.S.Dogra ( Mg. Editor , Dwarka Parichay ) about career counselling in India.
Excerpts:

Q. According to you what is the status of Career Counseling in India?
Ans: In India Career counseling is still in its infancy. People believe that providing information is career counseling. But, in the real sense, career counseling is helping the student in knowing himself, his abilities, aptitudes, interests and personality and then guiding him to choose a course of study or career in accordance with his strengths and limitations.

Q. Are parents aware of the real meaning of career counselling?
Ans. Even in the urban areas, only a very small segment of parents are aware of the concept of career counseling. In the rural areas it is almost negligible.

Q. At what age or class students should be provided career counseling,?
Ans. Ideally the process should start in class IX. In class X they should get proper career counselling because after that they have to choose their subjects in class XI. Otherwise the students will choose subjects based on fantasies, opinions of friends or parental pressures. They will need career counseling again in class XII to narrow down their options and make a final decision.

Q. What are the characteristics of a good career counselor?
Ans: There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding on this topic. Now what is happening is, some one who has read a few books on careers start calling himself a Career Counselor and begins to give advice to students and parents as to what to do and what not to do. This is absolutely wrong. A Career Counselor must have professional qualifications/training and experience. A Post Graduation (MA) in Psychology and a Professional Diploma in student counseling is the best combination. However, a PG in a related area like M.Ed., M.Sc. Child Development, M.S.W. plus a professional diploma in student counseling will suffice. What is most important is the counsellor must have undergone professional training in student counseling. As regards the qualities of good counselor, there are many. He should be a patient listener, empathetic, warm, well informed, impartial, trustworthy and so on.

Q. When there is a conflict between parents and child about choice of career what to do?
Ans: Both parties should patiently listen to the other’s point of view. The parents should try to give the child maximum information and guidance available. They must not impose their views on the child. The child also should scientifically evaluate his options and be realistic about his career option. He should not be influenced by fantasies.

Q. Will visiting career fairs/career exhibitions help students?
Ans: This will depend on many factors- who is organizing the fair, who are the experts providing help, what is the motive behind organizing the fair etc. Unfortunately, many so called career fairs are only marketing gimmicks of institutions. Therefore, the information being disseminated may not be impartial. However, students may visit these fairs because it will widen their career information horizon. But they should take their decision only after proper thought. They should not be carried away by the sales talk of the representatives of the institutions.

Q. What is the response of students to career counseling?
Ans: The response of students to career counseling is overwhelming. As a result of overload of complicated information and lack of proper guidance, students are baffled and confused. They need the help of an impartial professional career counselor.

Q. What are the fees/charges of a career counselor?
Ans: The consultation charges of a career counselor vary depending on the qualifications, training, experience and popularity of the career counselor. It will also depend on whether any psychological tests are conducted or not. The charges may range from Rs.500/- to Rs.5000/-

Q. Can you name a few career counselors/ institutions who can guide the students?
Ans: Sorry !I cannot do this because I am not supposed to promote a particular individual or institution. I have already mentioned the credentials and other requirements of a career counselor.

Q. What is future of career counseling in India? What are the employment opportunities for a career counselor?
Ans: Career Counseling has great future in this country. Job opportunities and self-employment opportunities are unlimited for a professionally trained Career Counselor. However, there is a big shortage of professionally trained Career Counselors in India. Unfortunately, the facilities for training are very limited. The Govt. is doing what is possible. But it is like a drop in the ocean. The Organization that I am heading now, ICTRC (Institute of Counselor Training, Research and Consultancy) was founded in the year 1992 to fill the vacuum that existed in counselor training in this country. We are trying to equip the untrained counselors as well as train new ones. We are also training teachers as counselors.

Q. How long have you been in this profession? What is your experience?
Ans: I have been involved in counseling and counselor-training for more than two decades. My feeling is that a lot more has to be done. There is a great need for creating awareness among students, parents, teachers, administrators and authorities about the need and importance of Career Counseling.

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