February 19 According to a report by the South American Newspaper Network, João Doria, governor of São Paulo, Brazil, announced on the 17th that 1,000 psychologists will start working in 5,100 state schools to support 3.5 million students.
The emotional health of students after a prolonged shutdown was reportedly one of the main factors the government considered when deciding to reopen in-person classes this year.
“All schools will have psychologists to provide services that can support both teachers and students,” the governor said.
According to Doria, the 1,000 psychologists will work in schools mainly in a virtual format.
According to the plan, each psychologist should work 40 hours a week, and each state school should be assigned to the service.
Rosili Suarez, director of the State Education Bureau of St. Paul, stressed that the work of these professionals is not clinical treatment, but to provide psychological support for the social emotions of back-to-school teachers and students.
“The goal of these psychologists is not to treat patients, but to work towards improving the teaching environment in schools during this pandemic full of fear and uncertainty,” the director said.
To assist psychologists in their work, the state government plans to invest R$60 million annually.
The plan was put forward before the outbreak began. In March 2019, the state government studied the plan after a serious shooting occurred at the Basil Raúl State School in Suzano, São Paulo.
When some schools resumed face-to-face teaching activities last September, the government had announced a campus employment plan for psychologists.
The hiring campaign ended in January, according to Suarez, so the professionals officially began work on February 17.