Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

By Gami Tadanyigbe

Association of Professional Counsellors in Nigeria (APROCON) held its 6th Annual International Conference between November 14th – 18th 2022 at the University of Ilorin to foster the development of education in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Members of APROCON across Nigeria converged on Nov. 15th for the Opening Ceremony which commenced with welcome address by LOC Chairman Dr. Barakat Ibrahim

The Opening speech was done by the National President Prof. Ekundayo Ocholi. The Chief Host welcome address was by the Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Prof Wahab Egbewole (SAN).

There were two Keynote presentations by Dr. Garba Abari (DG, NOA) and Prof. Maximus Sefotho (South Africa). November 16th, 2022 and two lead paper presentations by Prof. O.A.T Sotonade and Prof. Jide Adekeye.

November 17th, 2022 was a skill training presented by Prof. Mary.O. Esere and followed by technical papers presentations.

The National President of APROCON, Prof. Ekundayo Ocholi decried the lack of professional counsellors in many schools which is far from what is expected in our educational system.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Wahab Egbewole (SAN) charged the association not to relent in her efforts in youth formation and reformation.

The Hon. Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu who was ably represented by Dr. Aliyu Andrew Apeh decried a growing number of youth restiveness in our educational institutions.

He stated that the Federal Ministry of Education has intensified efforts by embarking on initiatives and interventions aimed at reducing high incidences of anti-social behaviours.

However, He further urged that APROCON should not relent in proffering solutions to the social problems.

The Director General NOA Dr. Garba Abari expressed optimism that with concerted efforts from all stakeholders, the dream of National re-birth is achievable.

On her part, Amb. Nimota Nihinola Akanbi (OON), Chairman, National Secondary School Education Commission promised a collaboration between her Commission and APROCON in ensuring that counsellors employed in schools are not given subjects to teach or anything different from what they are trained to do as counsellors.

Besides, APROCON made passionate plea for the following: The National Assembly concludes the legislation process on the bill which has now reached an advanced stage.

The Bill when passed and assented to, will regulate the helping relationship and mental health concerns in school and non-school settings.

The need for massive deployment of Professional counsellors at all levels of our educational system to address moral decadence/deficits among school children and students.

A call on government and school proprietors for full engagement of professional activities of counsellors in schools.

The engagement of counsellors in non-school settings, especially in critical governmental agencies such as NOA, NDLEA, NAPTIP, Correctional Centres. etc., and other humanitarian sector such as the IDP camps

NAN also reports that the theme for next year conference is “Counselling for Value Re-Orientation”. The conference will take place between 5th and 10th November, 2023 at Keffi, Nasarawa State. (NAN)

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