Need for counsellors in schools with low student intake.

THE Education Ministry is prepared to consider a suggestion that schools with an enrolment of fewer than 350 students, be provided with counsellors.

The Malaysian International Counselling Association (Perkama) had requested that there is a need for counsellors to service schools even with a lower student enrolment because of the many issues faced by school-goers.

So far only schools with more than 350 students have counselling teachers or counsellors, said its minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid recently, adding that the ministry is ready to consider the matter.

He added that there were currently about 11,000 full-time counsellors in schools nationwide, a ratio of one counsellor to every 500 students.

Meanwhile Mahdzir said on Tuesday, that the government had no plans to close the 2,996 under-enrolled schools (SKM), despite having to spend RM2bil a year to run them.

“The ministry’s policy is clear that the under-enrolled schools will not be closed unless there is consent from both parents and the local community,” he said in response to a question in the Dewan Rakyat.

Based on analysis, the cost of operating schools with an enrolment of 150 students and below was high, at RM67,130.65 per student a year, compared with only RM5,321.84 per student a year for normal schools.

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