The Andhra Pradesh government has directed all state universities to set up campus counselling centres to help students, as the pandemic has disrupted their education, careers and future plans. With many studentsâ€™ mental health being strained due to various issues related to their finances, career and future, the state department of Higher Education has asked all the government universities in the state to set up a counselling cell on campus. Qualified psychology professors who have also been practicing counsellors will be responsible for counselling students through these cells.
"We have noticed that a lot of students are scared about their future, thinking COVID-19 can damage their chances of being successful. They need to be told that their careers aren't in danger and that the government and the departments stand with them," said Special Chief Secretary for Higher Education Satish Chandra. He said some students continue to face stress caused by the COVID-19 lockdown and the pandemic outbreak.
"Mental health is as important as physical health for a student who aims to do well. Due to the same, as per the directions of the Chief Minister, we have undertaken this initiative with the aim of getting such students back to the right path," he said.
The state government has recognized that the psychological impact of coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has been a matter of much deliberation across the world.
According to officials, the student community happens to be one of the most vulnerable sections amid turbulent times such as the pandemic, leading to emotional turmoil and putting their careers at stake.
"As a step towards addressing the same, the government of Andhra Pradesh has decided to actively help the students deal with their psychological issues emerging out of financial and career oriented as well as any other forms of stress which could push them into a pessimistic sphere," said an official.
The department of higher education has been directed to tell all the universities in the state to set up a counselling cell on campus.
"Highly qualified psychology professors, a lot of whom have at some point been practicing counsellors will be responsible for addressing the issues of students in order to bring them back to the right path," added the official.
Students across the board lost as many as five months of face-to-face learning as classes were suspended from March 26.