BY JOHN EBIOFINI
The roles of counsellors in schools have been described as important for any child to achieve impressive level of both moral and academic excellence
Ondo State Commissioner for education, science and technology, Mr Femi Agagu stated this while declaring open the maiden conference and awards ceremony of Counselling Association of Nigeria, CASSON, Ondo State Chapter held in ondo town
Mr Agagu, represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary Mrs Lola Amuda pointed out that Nigeria was now at a moral cross road of ethical conflicts influenced by social media, poverty, materialism and declined in parental authority hence the need to apply practical measures to address these anomalies
The Commissoner stressed that Ondo State government had been employing counsellors as teachers to counsel the students against immoral habits
He said it now became imperative and compulsory for private schools to have counselling units as prerequisite before being allowed to operate in the state
The CASSON ceremony attracted many dignitaries across the south west zone of the country
Addressing the participants, President, Counselling Association of Nigeria,CASSON, Professor Elizabeth Egbochuku said the conference would look into activities of criminalities perpetrated by Nigerians especially the students
Professor Egbochuku, represented by CASSON secretary general, Professor Soji Awoyemi pointed out that very soon counsellors would take their right positions in the society.
She affirmed that a bill to make counsellors become professionals had passed through the House of Representatives and the Senate waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to it.
Presenting a lead paper tittled Counselling Profession in Nigeria: Reconceptualization and Reconstruction of Knowledge for effective practice, a professor of counselling psychology and criminal justice, Amos Oyesoji Arẹmu called for rebranded curriculum to cater for contemporary counselling issues in the country.
In a speech, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee Dr Michael Olu Ogunboyede pointed out that if Nigeria was to achieve her sustainable development goals by 2030 counselling remained a solid pillar to address myriads of challenges threatening the peace, economy, social life if citizens and the unity of Nigeria as a Nation.
On the occasion, thirteen industrious sons and daughters of the country were honoured with awards of excellence
They are Late Dr Pastor Amos Emiloju Arijesuyo; Immediate past Ondo State CAN President Rev Dr John Ayọ Oladapo; Retired Ondo Province Arch Bishop, Most Rt Rev Prof G.L Lasebikan; Rector Federal Polytechnics Ileoluji, Prof Emmanuel Adedayo Fasakin; Rev Dr Funkẹ Felix Adejumo of Agape Christian Ministry; SSG, Ondo State, Princess Oladunni Odu.
Others are Ondo State ASUSS Chairman, Comrade Balogun Tajudeen Olatunji; Pastor Beloved Opeyemi Abimbola of Gofamint, Pentecost Arena Ado-ekiti; Provost, Olekamba College of Education, Dr Yakubu Sunday Alasan; Dean of Students Affair, FUTA, Prof Gbenga Emmanuel Onibi; Bishop of Anglican Communion, Ondo Diocese, Rt Rev Dr S.A. Oni;
Head of Service, Ondo State, Mr. John Adeyemo and Bishop of Anglican Communion, Idoani Diocese, The Rt Rev Adegoke Oluwadamilare Agara
Reacting to the honour bestowed on them, one of the awardees, The Rector, Federal Polytechnics Ileoluji Ondo State Professor Emmanuel Fasakin who thanked the association for the awards of excellence stressed that counselling was important in the schools to address criminal activities among the students.
Professor Fasakin decried at the rate at which students were involved in ritual killings hence the services of counsellors at this critical time was urgently needed to correct this trending habits
Earlier in a remark, the CASSON Chairman, Ondo State, Dr Joseph Oyadeyi said the conference was organised to enable the councellors do the work perfectly
Dr Oyadeyi pointed out that lack of adequate counselling in the schools due to paucity of counsellors had resulted in a decadent society.
At the end of the conference, election of new officers who were supposed to pilot the affairs of the association in the state for the next three years did not hold hence the Dr Oyadeyi led exco was asked to oversee the affairs of the association for the next one year.