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School psychologist without a master’s degree in psychology. “It’s like comparing the work of a doctor with a cosmetologist”

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A child knocking on a door marked “psychologist” at school may not find a psychologist inside, but a theologian or a farmer technician – warn certified psychologists. All because school boards agree to have psychologists without diplomas in schools.

Many parents did not know about this until now. – A child knocking on a door with a “psychologist” sign on it may not find a psychologist inside – warns Patrycja Orłowska, school psychologist, National Trade Union of Psychologists.

The National Trade Union of Psychologists collected information from all voivodeships – by asking education authorities how many consents they gave to employing people without a master’s degree in psychology in schools and kindergartens. It turned out that school psychologists include theologians, master’s degree holders in management and graduates of agricultural and forestry technology. – This is a solution used in education, i.e. employing people without the required qualifications, present in our system from the moment problems related to staff shortages appeared – says Iga Kazimierczyk, president of the “Space for Education” Foundation.

Alarming data about children and adolescentsTVN24

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There is a shortage of specialists on the market

Thus, among those who have been allowed to work as a school psychologist – without a master’s degree in psychology – are students, master’s degree holders in other fields, people with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and subject teachers who have completed postgraduate studies in psychology or related fields. – It’s like comparing the work of a doctor with a cosmetologist. Because we are also talking about cosmetologists entering the competences of aesthetic medicine doctors. This is exactly such a comparison – emphasizes Patrycja Orłowska.

READ MORE: It’s not just teachers who are missing. 450 communes in Poland do not have a single school psychologist

According to the program of the Ministry of Education and Science, a psychologist should be in each school for hours corresponding to the number of students. Unfortunately, there are practically no, or very few, of these psychologists on the market. Then the director must choose – whether to employ someone who does not have full education or to be left without a psychologist. – In my case, the psychologist is either fully qualified, or I simply leave these hours vacant, because there is no way these tasks could be performed by someone without high qualifications. This is too much responsibility – says Magdalena Katarzyńska-Radomska, director of the School and Kindergarten Complex No. 25 in Poznań.

When students find people in the office who are not psychologists, they often notice differences. – (Such people – editor’s note) simply repeat anti-scientific nonsense. Is it about the fact that vaccines cause suicidal thoughts or calling LGBTQ+ people some propaganda – says Mateusz Trzaska, a high school student, from the Growspace Foundation.

Until the material was broadcast, the Ministry of Education and Science did not answer our questions about data regarding school psychologists without a master’s degree. – Polish youth are struggling with a pandemic of depression and a pandemic of mental health disorders. And school could be the place that is the first salvation – says Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk from Nowa Lewica.

Moreover, neither money nor additional positions in schools will be enough. We still need specialists.

If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here you will find a list of organizations offering professional help – both for children and adults.

IF THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE LIFE THREATEN, CALL 997 OR 112.

CHILDREN’S HELPLINE NUMBER OF THE OMBUDSMAN FOR CHILDREN’S RIGHTS 800 12 12 12.

Author:Maria Mikołajewska

Main photo source: tvn24



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