Guidance And Counselling; A Tool For Quality Enhancement In Secondary Schools
The quality of guidance and counseling services provided to secondary school students in Kenya is paramount for it to have meaningful impact on students’ performance. The study was conducted to determine the quality of guidance and counseling services as a tool for improving students performance given by teacher counselors in public secondary schools in Voi district, Taita Taveta county.Quality Enhancement
The study sought to find out the level of training of teacher counselors, the extent of awareness of guidance and counseling services by students, the availability of necessary facilities and resources that aid in the provision of guidance and counseling services to the students and the impact of guidance and counseling services on the overall performance of students. A stratified random sampling was used to obtain the study sample; questionnaires for the students which had both closed and open ended questions, interview schedules for teacher counselors and head teachers were used to collect the data. The study was conducted in 6 public secondary schools distributed as 3 boys only schools, 2 mixed boys and girls school and 1 girls only school.
The target group in this study was 392 respondents comprised of 380 students respondents, 6 teacher counselors and 6 head teachers. Quantitative data that was collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics; mean, frequency distribution tables, percentages and charts. Qualitative data from the interviews were recorded and inferences made on the responses to establish the themes The study revealed that teacher counselors have the requisite training, however, they gave priority to their classroom work which is their core mandate; guidance and counseling is done when time permits.
The teacher counselor’s workload and teacher-teacher counselor roles conflict were identified as barriers in the provision of guidance and counseling services to the students. The study also found out that most of students were aware of the guidance and counseling services offered by the teacher counselors as they were able to identify issues they would present to a teacher counselor when need arises. Resources availability was also noted as inadequate in all the schools and little or no budgetary allocation for guidance and counseling department by school management, and as such, teacher counselors had to do with what was available.
The study also established that the guidance and counseling services offered by teacher counselors had some impact on the students. The study therefore recommends that; to ensure quality and to enhance the impact of guidance and counseling services offered to students in public secondary schools, a review of guidance and counseling policy should be put in place by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology such that professional guidance and counseling specialists who are not classroom teachers be employed and be deployed in public secondary schools to be in charge of the guidance and counseling department on a full time basis.
Background of the Study
Worldwide, students experience social, personal and academic problems at schools and at homes. The problems include living in distressed family, for example, where parents are separated or divorced, where conflicts occur and where disease such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Deficiency Syndrome(HIV/AIDs) are rampant. These problems negatively affect the students in their school endevours.
Robinson (1991) states that ‘’Social experimentation in drugs and sexual relationship have some causalities among students”. A good number of student engage in drug, prostitution, truancy, indiscipline and other misdemeanours (Robinson 1991). The outcome of the above problems is summarized by Lines and Davies (2003), who view the school as bee hive of activities where teenage difficulties and peer group tension arise. In the light of these problems, schools should be more involved in conducting students’ need assessments and developing comprehensive guidance and counselling services (Kameam, et al 1980). Related to the above is Elkind’s (1990:17) argument that schools should move into a leadership role in dealing with the emotional and family problems of their students.
Nziramanzaga (2009) posits that because of many pressures imposed on the families, parents tend to have little time with their children to give them the necessary guidance. The parents expect the school to provide solutions to their children’s indiscipline in secondary schools.
Paisdly (2001) calls for schools guidance and counselling to be restructured so that they become responsive to the existing social economic and political realities within today’s complex and diverse society.
Research has demonstrated high prevalence of risk taking behaviour among adolescents who attend school in Enugu North Local Government. Okechukwu Obianugu (2010). Students in the adolescent age bracket experience rapid growth and changes, physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially (Robinson, Linderman 1991) found that rapid developmental changes occur at a time when environmental stress occur. For example parents and teachers pressures on young people to excel in school, peer pressure to experiment with drug, conflict in families or poor relationship, loneliness and pressure to make career choices are at peak.
According to Gysbers, N.C. & Henderson, P. (2001) it seems as though many educators take it for granted that students know how to succeed in life, when in fact many never learn about attitude, behaviours and other factors that contribute to success in life; and guidance and counselling services to student to cultivate attitude and behaviours leading to success in life is very important. Otwell and Mullis (1999) believe that guidance and counselling is important in schools because it increases behaviour related to achievements such as studying effectively.
In rural areas of some of the villages in Enugu North Local Government, for example, many students drop out of school as a result of poor performance in academic grade and failure to adjust to high school learning situations. A student who loses confidence in his or her ability and who devalues himself lacks concentration and this leads to academic failure. Rectondoki, (2001).
The provision of guidance and counselling should address the following three domains of learning, namely: Personal Social, Vocational career and educational guidance and counselling.
Personal social guidance and counselling deals with self identity, social skills relationships, conflicts resolution, personal loss and other problems; Vocational career counselling includes information about course, requirements, post secondary or tertiary institutions, career path, planning, potential employers and job hunting; Education guidance and counselling provides information about educational opportunities beyond schools; promotion and achievement, learning strategies and studies and test taking skills. (Graham- Migel 1999) reiterated that comprehensive school guidance and counselling services address the development need of students in secondary schools in the three domains of learning mentioned above. Thus the most function of school guidance and counselling services is to discover their abilities, interests and needs, thereby helping them to make effective adjustment to school life and to give shape to their future plans. Rutondoki (2001) states that complete guidance and counselling should be continuous. Counselling should begin when the student enters school and should carry that student into adult life. The counselling should be preventive in the sense that counselee receive help in order to avoid certain problems.
The present study sought to access whether guidance and counselling services in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State are as effective as expected.
Statement of the Problems.
It has been noted that students face a number of problems during adolescence (Amakos 1990. Since secondary school students are in the adolescent stage, the need for effective guidance and counselling becomes compelling. Thus there is need to establish the effectiveness of services from schools counsellors and students.
In addition, the view of the school as a context where students experience a number of problems (Line in Daries 2003) as well as the increased number of problems students face in modern society have prompted the researcher to investigate the effectiveness of school guidance and counselling services in Enugu North Local Government’s secondary schools.
Purpose of the Study
The purposes of the study are:
- To examine the the extent of awareness of guidance and counseling services by students.
- To investigate the availability of necessary facilities and resources that aid in the provision of guidance and counseling services to the students.
- To examine the guidance and counselling services carried out in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
- To find out the factors hindering effective guidance and counselling service, in Enugu North Local Government Area.
Significance of the Study
It is envisaged that the study will benefit school counsellors, students, researchers, policy makers and administrators by making relevant information available about guidance and counselling programmes. It will help school counsellors with information and criteria with which to evaluate their guidance and counselling services. It will help parents to know the effect of guidance and programmes in shaping the future of their children. It will also provide the information needed by students in order to weigh the value of the guidance and counselling services which the school offer them.
The following research questions were put forward to guide the study.
- Do secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government have adequate and qualified school guidance and counsellors?
- Are the guidance and counselling facilities in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area adequate in number and quality?
- What are the guidance and counselling services provided by secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area?
- What are the obstacles to effective guidance and counselling services in Enugu North Local Government?
Scope of the Study
The research limits the topical coverage of the study to the assessment of guidance and counseling services offered within secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
Definition of Terms
Euvrard, G. (1996) describe assessment as any effort to gather, analyse and interpret. The study sought to access whether guidance and counselling services in the schools are as effective as expected.
Kansayara (2005) defines it as the judgement of the quality of something. In this study it is the making of judgement about the worthiness or effectiveness of school guidance and counselling services.
Rund ell (2002) describes it as working well and producing the desired result. In this study it is the extent to which the guidance and counselling personnel’s in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area are accomplishing desired results.
Rund ell (2002) defines guidance as advice about what one should do or how one should behave. In this study, it is a process of assisting individuals to help themselves through their own effort, to discover and develop their own potentials for personal fulfillment and social usefulness.
Rund ell (2002) defines it as advice and help that is given to someone experiencing problems. In this study counselling means helping students to help themselves.
Discussion, Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
Discussion of Results
Research Question 1
Do secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area have adequate and qualified school guidance counsellors?
The results of the data analysis in tables 1 and 2 showed that both the students and the teachers disagreed that there were adequate and qualified guidance counsellors in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
Research Question 2
Are there adequate guidance and counselling facilities in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area?
This research question was treated in tables 3 and 4.The resulted data analyses and grand means for both the students and teachers indicated that there were no adequate guidance and counselling facilities despite the fact that guidance and counselling was duly included in the school daily routine timetable in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
Research Question 3
What are the guidance and counselling services provided by secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area?
From tables 5 and 6, the respondents disagreed that all the important services were adequately provided in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
Research Question 4
What are the obstacles to effective guidance and counselling services in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area?
From tables 7 and 8 it could be seen that the respondent agree that there were many obstacles obstructing the effective implementation of guidance and counselling service in Secondary Schools in Enugu North Local Government.
The Implication of the findings is that there is significant deficiency in the implementation of guidance Counselling services in Secondary Schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State compared to what it should be. This affects students in deciding areas they will fit in, in order to maximize their potentials.
The reason for carrying out this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of guidance and counselling service offered in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area. In the first chapter, the researcher looked at the nature or the background of the study, statement of the problems and purpose of the study. The significance of the study, the scope and its research question were discussed also.
In the second chapter, the idea and views of other people’s work were reviewed. The third chapter which was titled research methodology highlighted on research design, area of the study and population for the study. Sample and sampling techniques, reliability, validity of Instrument, method of data collection and data analyses were discussed as well. The fourth chapter talked about the presentation of data analysis and result, while chapter five emphasized the discussion of the finding, summary conclusion and recommendation.
The following conclusions are made based on the findings from the data analyses.
- There are inadequate number of qualified guidance counsellors hinders effective guidance and counselling services in the study area.
- Guidance and counselling facilities are inadequate in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
- The guidance and counselling services offered in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area are not adequate.
- The guidance councilors in the schools are not encouraged by the government, teachers and parents.
The researcher makes the following recommendation:
There is need to strengthen the school guidance counselling services policy. The implementation of the policy deserves wider consultation, involving all the stakeholders such as- schools, counsellors, teachers, parents, students and the community at large.
According to the studies, students’ involvement in school guidance counselling services is limited. It is recommended that orientation programmes be organized more frequently for both students and teachers.
In addition to taking part in the planning need assessment and evaluation of school guidance and counselling services, parents should contribute to the procurement of resources in the school so as to improve the effectiveness of the provision of guidance counselling services.
Limitation of the Study
This research had several limitations:
The study was primarily limited by its small sample size. A larger sample size with more diversity would have benefited the results. Therefore to generalize the results for larger area the research should have involved more participants at different levels.
The literature seems not to have established proper causal relationship using the instrument of questionnaire. A greater deal of information would have been obtained with participant observation method. The researcher was constrained by both time and finance.
However, much effort has been put into it to make the best within the limit of available time and funds.
Suggestions for Further Studies
The researcher has the following suggestions for further research:
- Similar study should be carried out in other Local Government Areas in Enugu State and in all the states of the federation.
- Study should be carried out on the Relevance of the Counsellors’ Educational Qualification to guidance and counselling profession using participant observation method. In doing this, the theoretical issue with respect to causal factors should be properly investigated.
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