To address the mental health and psychosocial needs of school-going children in the Kashmir Valley, the Child Guidance and Wellbeing Centre at IMHANS Kashmir, in collaboration with the Directorate of School Education Department Kashmir (DSEK), has launched a capacity training program for teachers in government schools.
Syed Mujtaba, Coordinator at CGWC IMHANS Kashmir, informed Rising Kashmir that this joint initiative between the Directorate of School Education Department Kashmir and the Child Guidance and Wellbeing Centre aims to provide comprehensive training to teachers in government schools as part of a capacity-building program.
"Under this initiative, all government schools across the Kashmir valley's villages will be covered, and teachers will receive comprehensive training. The program commenced on October 1 and will continue until November 30," Mujtaba stated.
This initiative also serves the purpose of identifying mental health and psychosocial issues among school-going children. Mujtaba explained, "The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has already implemented a ban on corporal punishment in educational institutions in the Kashmir Division. However, our center, CGWC IMHANS Kashmir, has approached the Director of School Education based on our findings, which reveal that school children are still being subjected to various forms of punishment, including physical, psychological, and mental punishments."
The training program encompasses educating teachers on how to establish positive discipline in classrooms, schools, and among students. Mujtaba emphasized, "The training will be provided in all 90 education zones of the Kashmir valley, covering all government schools."
He added, "This training program will help teachers understand the detrimental effects, both psychological and legal, that may arise within school environments. Additionally, we shall offer psychoeducation to students, with the aim of safeguarding, promoting, and preventing mental health issues in the daily lives of school-going children."
Furthermore, this initiative will empower teachers to identify psycho-social and mental health concerns among their students, fostering a child-friendly atmosphere within schools.
Dr. Zaid Wani, the head of the Child Guidance and Wellbeing Centre at IMHANS Kashmir, highlighted the collaborative efforts made over the past four years with the Director of School Education Kashmir. These initiatives have addressed a range of issues concerning teachers and students.
"Furthermore, we are planning to provide comprehensive training to teachers in all government schools. This training will equip them with the necessary skills to establish positive discipline among students, ensuring that they refrain from engaging in any activities related to corporal punishment, which has already been prohibited by the Director of School Education. “We intend to conduct further training programs throughout Kashmir, focusing on topics such as the student-teacher relationship, corporal punishment, mental health, personality development, and communication skills of students," said Dr. Zaid.