Street Talk: 'People change and can do better'

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Street Talk: People change and can do better

Rema Menon > Profession: Education counsellor > Nationality: Indian


Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Fri 10 Jun 2016, 10:01 PM

Last updated: Sat 11 Jun 2016, 8:24 AM

People change and can do better, says Rema Menon, a resident of Dubai for the past 18 years. "They should always be given a second chance," she tells Khaleej Times.
Rema, who works with students, has been with them on the ups and downs in their journey. "As an individual, I have learnt a lot from them," says the education counsellor.
"Each person comes to me with a different perspective and's not always money."
Rema came to the UAE in 1998 and offered counselling services in Indian High School to G5 to G12 girls section before deciding to open up own counselling centre in Dubai. "There has never been a day that I have regretted my decision to open my own centre," she says.
"This is my forte and I understand the local needs of students. I will keep on helping and guiding students. in fact I wish I could do more," she adds.
Recalling incidents that she remembers during her long journey, Rema says, "I have been very blessed with quite a few incidents that have been like a lesson for me."
"A few years ago I happened to meet a young boy. The family had some financial issues so he was sent to India to his grandparents for further studies. His parents thought he would be more secure, so he was relocated. But this impacted him deeply."
"It was very competitive there and there was lots of pressure - from his parents and grandparents even though they meant it in a caring way."
The pressure to perform was so great that he refused to appear for the board exam saying that he was not ready. "This news was such a big blow to the family who were expecting so much for him," she recalls.
Initially there was denial and then anger. "The boy was deeply affected as well as the family. I then counselled him but most importantly his family and discussed better options including studying abroad."
The boy then was somehow sent abroad where he stayed independently and did really well in college and university. "He made it to the dean's list! And that was a very proud moment for his family and me."
During his convocation, his dad could not believe that he was the same boy, Rema explains. "I also had the privilege to attend his wedding." Today the boy is a successful banker based in Dubai.
"As parents, we should give our kids a second chance. If you have made a few wrong choices in life, it doesn't mean you cannot do better in future," she says.

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