Debswana's decision to equip guidance and counselling teachers with Psychological First Aid and Resilience Training around the Jwaneng Mine's Zone of Influence is expected to benefit both teachers and learners by mitigating the psychosocial impacts of COVID-19.
Jwaneng Mine's Education Manager, Malebogo Moepi, says the training was timeous given the increased psychological challenges to students, teachers, and parents because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Looking at the impact of COVID-19, particularly on the school communities, we made a decision to offer psychosocial training and upskill guidance and counselling teachers to manage challenges and identify possible triggers that might set children off," explains Moepi who further added that the trained teachers will assist learners better and condition them properly for their studies, which may improve the pass rates in these schools. According to Moepi, the post-training feedback received was positive. "The teachers really appreciated the training and they felt that it was relevant to their profession and current circumstances," she says.
One of the beneficiaries of the training is Getrude Gombani, a Guidance and Counselling Teacher at Betesankwe Primary School. Her duty, besides teaching, is to assist learners who come to her office with different psychosocial problems. Gombani says the workshop was an eye-opener which immensely helped her on how to identify and help learners who have psychological problems. "At first, I could not identify the learners who needed psychosocial assistance," she says. "The workshop helped me to identify them as well as help other teachers in dealing with emotional and social issues." Gombani says Jwaneng Mine is on a noble mission and must continue to roll out similar workshops to equip guidance and counselling teachers more in its Zone of Influence.