Status Of Guidance And Counseling Services In Secondary Schools

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Status Of Guidance And Counseling Services In Secondary Schools


Abstract


The study on the status of counseling and guidance services in secondary schools was conducted in public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom state. The purpose of this study was to assess the practice of counselling and guidance services in secondary schools. This study employed descriptive survey design. Mixed research approach was adopted. Purposive and random sampling techniques were employed in the selection of respondents. While heads of schools and teacher counselors were purposively selected, schools and students from each class were randomly selected. Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and observations. The collected data were analyzed using frequencies and percentages using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) programme. The study findings revealed that the guidance and counselling programme as required. The study also proposed measures to overcome the challenges namely; provision of in service training of councilor teachers and heads of school through seminars and workshops, provision of the needed facilities for guidance and counselling. It also recommends further studies to be carried out in various contexts on the provision of G&C in public schools.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Guidance and counseling services is a very essential educational support service without which the aims of education cannot fully be realized. The guidance programme which provides students with information on educational, vocational and personal social issues in the early school years, has been found to be very effective in assisting to prevent such issues from occurring later in school years (Bergin, Miller, Bergin & Kock, 1990).

Alutu (2006) assert that to facilitate learning, the instructor should consciously adopt instructional strategies that will allow for guidance of the learner.

The purpose of guidance and counselling services is to impact specific skills and learning opportunities in a proactive and preventive manner which ensures that all students can achieve school success through academic, career, and personal social development (American School Counsellor Association, 1997). It is therefore important to note that as students achieve developmental competencies, their perceptions of themselves and their opportunities in school become better defined.

The word guidance refers to the assistance of a guide. This term suggest two distinct individuals or parties – the one with a definite purpose or goal to be achieved and the other with the special experience, knowledge and skill necessary to the help the former in attaining the desired goal (Anwana, 2005).

“Guidance and counselling is called a helping relationship, this means that the counsellor enter into a relationship with the counsellee mainly for the purpose of providing help to the latter on whatever issue is at hand (Ipaye, 1993:1).

Nwachuku (2000) sees guidance and counselling to involve conscious concern for the past, present and future life of an individual in a continuum. He views it as a process of providing help for an individual which gives him the opportunity within his social and moral values to attain his optimum best even including chances and fate where it naturally occurs.

Good (1973) in George (2004) describe guidance as a process of assisting an individual to understand himself, the world around him, and to gain knowledge of the implication of this understanding for educational progress, career development and personality fulfillment.

Ipaya (1983) maintains that guidance can be taken as a genetic label and an umbrella that covers all the means whereby each institution identifies and responds to the individual needs of students no matter the nature of the need and no matter is source. It thereby helps the child develop to his maximum potentials.

Guidance is assistance made available by personally qualified and adequately trained men or women to an individual of any age, to help him manage his own life activities, develop his own point of views, make his own decisions and carry his own burdens (Crow & Crow, 1957) in Nigeria Journal of Guidance & Counselling.

Formal guidance began in Nigeria towards the end of 1959 at St Theresa’s College Ibadan. The need for guidance arose when the students of the college completed their secondary education and the staff (Reverend Sisters) realized that the students will need guidance on how to gain entrance into higher education or seek employment. This led the teachers to invite resource persons from various walks of life to give information to the students experience and the world of work. These resource persons where not career guidance specialist, but they all definitely knew a lot more about the world of employment than any of the prospective graduates and staff of the college. Later on, this group of advisers developed into the University of Ibadan career council which eventually formed the nucleus of the Nigeria’s career council (Anwana 2005, The Nigerian Journal of Guidance & Counselling vol. 10, 2005).

Their approach was inline with the basic principles of guidance as stated by Okon (1984) that guidance activities should be based upon the needs and total development of the pupils and students.

In the revised National Policy on Education (2004), section 1(5), it is clearly stated that Nigeria’s philosophy of Education is based on the integration of the individual into a sound and effective citizen. In addition, it laid emphasis on the provision of equal educational opportunities for all citizens of the nation at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, both inside and outside the formal school system. Indeed, the National policy on Education in our society is directed towards ultimately improving the quality of life of its members. Edem (1982) described the Educational Policy as thinking at a high level of astraction, which expresses educational goals and the means of achieving them.

The blue print on guidance and counselling educational institutions in Nigeria, FME (2001,:42) stated that in order to achieve the stated objectives of secondary education, the Ideal counsellor/student ratio should be 1:300. At present in Akwa Ibom State, all the public schools have atleast one counselling staff. The Ministry of Education had recruited counsellors into schools that had no counsellor. The state government through the Ministry of education had integrated counselling into the school curriculum. Upon this background, it is therefore pertinent to investigate on the present status of guidance and counselling services in public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Guidance and counselling services as an essential educational support service was recognized and given a place in Nigeria’s educational system 6-3-3-4.

In the National Policy on Education, section 11(101J), it was noted that there is need for guidance services for the young school child in view of their varied background and likely career choice problems. The government also realized that qualified personnel were scare and that efforts should be made to produce adequate man power. This was done as professional counsellors were recruited and posted to schools.

There is therefore need to access whether the stated objectives have been unrealized. Over two decades after the inception of the 6-3-3-4 system, the guidance and counselling services in our post primary institutions seem not to be clearly crystallized. There is urgent need to carryout a study such as this to assess the status of this important service in the implementation of the system of education.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

This study intends to investigate the status of guidance and councelling services in secondary school in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

  1. To achieve the aim of this study, the following objectives are drawn.
  2. To assess the position of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools ini Uyo L.G.A.
  3. To examine the areas of improvement for the counsellor to enhance his level of utilization in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Question

The study intends to provide answers to the following research questions.

  1. What are the services provided by Counsellor Secondary in schools?
  2. Do practicing counsellors have basic amenties to carryout their duties?
  3. Has the objectives of the National Policy on Education with respect to guidance and counselling services been achieved?
  4. What are the obstacles encountered by counsellors in the performance of guidance counselling in secondary schools?

1.5 Significance of the Study

In carrying out a study on the status of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools in Uyo L.G.A. of Akwa Ibom State

The need of guidance and counselling services will be exposed and the principles re-emphasized.
It is hoped that the study will assist in upgrading the present status of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.


1.6 Delimitation of the Study

The study shall concern itself with the importance of guidance services, the principles of guidance services and the present status of guidance services in secondary schools in Uyo L.G.A.


1.7 Assumptions of the Study

  1. It is assumed that at least one professional counsellor is practicing in all the public secondary schools in Uyo L.G.A. of Akwa Ibom Sate
  2. It is assumed that guidance and counselling services is being practiced in all public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.

1.8 Definition of Terms

The following terms used in the study are defined below to give the appropriate meanings with respect to this study.

Guidance

A complex process which encompasses the total needs of the individual student to be directed or guided. This guidance is also applicable to the individual’s educational preparation for a suitable career in future.

Counselling

Counselling is a personalized dialogue or interview between the counsellor and the counselee or client, during which the client seek expert assistance from the counsellor regarding the solution of his problem. Such problems include emotional problems, family problems, sexual difficulties, marriage issues and other psychological problems.

Counselling may involve group of individuals especially when the problem is not a private one.

Guidance and Counselling Services

Guidance and counsellign services are those organized assistance given to an individual that aids in solving his educational, vocational and personal – social problems in order to make him useful to himself and to his environment.

Status

Status is defined in relation to this study as a condition that determines a formal position of a thing. It determines the state to which a thing has been attained.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This study is organized in five chapters. The first chapter has covered the introduction section, background of the study, statement of the problem, research objectives, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitation of the study, conceptual framework, and definitions of the key terms and organization of the study. The second chapter provides the literature review and the research gap. The third chapter presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter converses about data presentation, analysis and discussion. The fifth chapter covers summary of the study, provides conclusions and makes recommendations for action and for further research studies.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of the Study

The study on the appraisal of students’ guidance and counseling services in seven public secondary schools was conducted in Uyo Local Government Area. The study was guided by the following specific objectives; analysis of the status of school guidance and counseling services in secondary schools, investigation of the challenges affecting provision of guidance and counseling services to secondary school students and; lastly examination of suitable measures for improving guidance and counselling services to students in secondary schools. In carrying out the study, the person-centered theory was used.

The research design adopted for the study was descriptive survey which facilitated the collection of data from respondents based on their opinions towards the topic of the study. The study employed simple random, stratified random and purposive sampling techniques to select participants and schools. The details of sampling procedures have been discussed and elaborated in the research methodology chapter.

The study employed qualitative and quantitative approaches. Data collection was done through interviews, focus group discussion, questionnaires and observation. Tables, frequencies and percentages were the key descriptive statistics used to analyze and present the findings. Narratives were also used in the presentation and analysis of the findings.

Based on the first research question, the findings revealed that guidance and counseling service programmes were available in all schools as directed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, whereby teacher chancellors were present in every school to provide this service. However, the day to day practices of the program was not that much active and therefore in adequate.

The findings relating to the second research question which investigated on the challenges affecting the practice of guidance and counseling services in secondary schools indicated that there was a short supply of trained teacher counselors, neither were there special rooms for conducting guidance and counselling services. This implies that schools had inadequate facilities for conducting guidance and counselling services.

The findings relating to the third research question of providing suggestions of measures to be taken in order to improve guidance and counseling services in secondary schools, the suggested measures included; provision of in service training of school teacher councilors through workshops and seminars; provision of facilities such as special rooms for conducting guidance and counseling services; developing student awareness, student choice of school councilors and lastly improving cooperation between teachers and parents.


5.2 Conclusion on the Study

The findings of the study have revealed that although guidance and counseling services are provided in all schools in the study sample as directed by the MOEC 2002 circular. However, the level and quality of services provided are not adequate. There are various reasons that have contributed to such a situation. These include:

  1. Lack of availability in schools of the 2002 circular and the accompanying forms to guide the schools to implement properly the G&C activities;
  2. School counselors lack in service training programmes on G&C, making them to rely on theoretical knowledge obtained in teachers’ colleges and Universities.
  3. Provision of guidance and counseling services in schools are undefined as there are no timetables for providing guidance and counseling services, and
  4. Schools lack appropriate facilities to allow proper implementation of the programme.

Based on the discussed factors, the observed challenges that have to be addressed include; the lack of trained teacher counselors. Most of teacher counselors lacked guidance and counseling skills. They only used knowledge acquired from colleges, which technically were insufficient to handle students’ problems. All schools faced shortages of facilities for enhancing guidance and counseling services such as special rooms for conducting G&C services and for keeping students’ record files, and poor cooperation among teachers and parents. The findings further revealed that parents were not ready to cooperate with teachers in solving student problems, even to make follow up on academic progress.


5.3. Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study which have been discussed in Chapter four, the following recommendations for action and further research have been drawn.

5.3.1 Recommendations for Action

There is a need to review the school guidance and counseling circular of 2002 by helping schools understand how teacher councilors should conduct themselves when providing guidance and counseling services for students and how to evaluate guidance and counseling services conducted in schools. The government needs to establish in service training of the teacher counselors about youths problems, importance of helping the students especially during foolish age and also to impart the teachers with counseling skills which will build confidence among counselor teachers during counseling sessions. The government should provide adequate funding to support guidance and counseling activities so that schools can obtain required facilities and create friendly environment for conducting guidance and counseling services at schools.

School inspectors who have been addressed in the Circular of 2002 should be coordinators of this program at district level, responsible for supervising and monitoring the practice and effectiveness of this program at district level down to school level. The district coordinator will work hand in hand with school counselors.

The government should make sure that there is a formal means of evaluating this program by empowering quality assurers to do so. Quality assurers/school inspectors who were one of the stakeholders addressed by 2002 circular should be empowered to carry out the monitoring task.

At school level it is recommended that each school should prepare its own policy/guideline on how this service should be conducted at the school. Awareness building should be promoted on the part of teachers, parents and students in being effectively involved in this program and also to be educated on the importance of guidance and counselling program. School administration should support this program by reducing the responsibilities of counsellor teachers and give close supervision on the implementation of guidance and counselling program.


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Frequently Asked Questions


Why study guidance and counselling services in secondary schools?

The need of guidance and counselling services will be exposed and the principles re-emphasized. It is hoped that the study will assist in upgrading the present status of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.

What are guidance and counselling services?

Guidance and counselling services are those organized assistance given to an individual that aids in solving his educational, vocational and personal – social problems in order to make him useful to himself and to his environment.

What is the objective of guidance at the secondary level?

Objective of guidance at secondary level to familiarize child with different aspects of new school life: the children faces adjustment problems when they shift to secondary stage leaving primary school.

What is the need for guidance services for young school child?

In the National Policy on Education, section 11 (101J), it was noted that there is need for guidance services for the young school child in view of their varied background and likely career choice problems. The government also realized that qualified personnel were scare and that efforts should be made to produce adequate man power. 

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