Therapeutic Effects Of Group Counselling On The Study Habit Problems Of Secondary School Students
The study investigated the effect of group counselling on study habit of senior secondary school students’ towards schooling in Federal Government College, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. Two objectives were stated and two null hypotheses were formulated and tested at .05 level of significance. Experimental design was used for the study. The target population for the study comprised all the 356 (SS1) students in Federal Government College, Maiduguri. However, 30 students were drawn through random sampling technique as sample for the study.
Three stages were used in collecting the data: pre-treatment, treatment and post-treatment phases. Students Attitudes Towards Schooling Scale (SATSS) developed by the researchers was used for data collection. Pilot study was conducted to determine the reliability of the instrument. The data collected was tested using a Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient and reliability coefficient of .76 was obtained which showed that the instrument was reliable for the purpose of this study. t-test of independent samples was used to test hypotheses one and two. The results were considered at P<.05 level. The findings of the study showed that group counselling had significant effect on the attitude of senior secondary school students’ towards schooling in Federal Government College, Maiduguri. It was further found that gender has no significant effect on the study habit of senior secondary school students’ towards schooling in Federal Government College, Maiduguri.
Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that group counselling promoted favourable attitude of students towards schooling. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that Guidance and Counselling Unit of the Federal Government College Maiduguri should re-orient the students through information service on the benefits of positive attitude towards schooling.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is regarded as a strong pillar upon which every nation’s economy depends on as well as a source of empowering the youths morally and intellectually. Secondary education is an instrument for national development. It also fosters the worth and development of the individual’s and society at large. The Federal Government of Nigeria (2013) in her broad goals of secondary education enshrined in the National Policy on Education (NPE) stated that secondary education was designed to prepare an individual for useful living within the society and for higher education. Precisely, secondary education shall raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others and respect dignity of labour, unfortunately it is increasingly common to find in secondary schools nowadays unmotivated students who experience repeated academic failure, having negative attitude towards schooling which in many cases leads to dropping out of school.
The construct attitude towards school was first defined by Lewy (1986) as being the subjects’ behaviours, their feelings expression regarding affection and judgments, favourable or unfavourable for the school and school experiences. The affective characteristics of it may be an important explanatory element of quality education and investment of individual actors in different dimensions that make up the school. The phrase ‘attitude towards schooling’ pertains to feelings about school activities in general and the value attached to schooling (Morrell & Lederman, 1998). Students’ attitude towards schooling represents students positive or negative feelings associated with school. A child’s attitude is often a more accurate predictor of his or her success in school. However, the key to changing the negative attitudes of students is to understand them first, get to know the reasons behind their attitudes and try to help them, although, this may require time, observation, infinite patience and counselling. What is required from counsellors, teachers, psychologists and school principals are new ways to combat these phenomena and increase students’ interest in school and in addition improve their academic performance, until the students develop positive attitude towards schooling.
Akey (2006) asserted that students attitude towards schooling were deeply influenced by their cultural background, the kind and quality of family relationships, family and peers support and previous school performance. However, students’ positive attitudes and behaviours play an important role in their academic success. The students’ negative attitude towards schooling accompanied by discouraging performance of the students at the senior secondary school level have become a cause of great concern particularly to counsellors, educationists, school administrators, parents, government and even the nonprofessionals. School is an avenue where students should attain growth and development, thus, schooling can be described as the acquisition of curricular and co-curricular educational skills within the school system. Marijobanks (1992) reported that students attitude towards school demonstrated moderate statistically significant association with academic achievement.
Abdullahi, Atsua, Amuda, and Ago (2013) determined the effect of group study habit counselling on academic performance of senior secondary school students in Maiduguri Metropolis. The researchers adopted a quasi-experimental research design and used simple random sampling technique to select the sample of the study. The sampled students were grouped into two control and experimental groups. The experimental group was exposed to study habits counselling session while the control group was exposed to placebo. “Students Results Proforma” was designed and used for data collection on students’ academic performance. The findings of the study revealed that study habit counselling techniques has a significant effect on academic performance of the students and that study habit counselling techniques do not significantly vary with gender. Based on the findings, the researchers recommended that school counsellors should expose students to effective group study habit counselling techniques in their first year of study at school to improve their academic performance.
Mburza& Hanafi (2012) determined the effect of group counselling on the study habit problem of nomadic Fulani male parents towards girl-child education in Madagali Local Government Area, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Three objectives were stated and three null hypotheses were tested. The researchers adopted quasi-experimental design for the study. The population comprised 139 adult male parents from the four nomadic clans in the study area. Twelve male parents (sampled) were randomly selected from each of the four nomadic clans totaling 48 nomadic male parents. The researchers adapted Parents Attitude Towards Girl-Child Education Scale (PATGCES) developed by Dakasku (1998) for the study. Three (3) stages were used in collecting the data: pre-treatment, treatment and post treatment phases. The data collected were analyzed at P<0.05 level using t-test of independent samples and one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The findings of the study showed that group counselling had a significant effect on changing the attitude of nomadic Fulani male parents towards girl-child education in Madagali Local Government Area, Adamawa State, Nigeria. It was further found out that the age of nomadic male Fulani parents and their clan differences had no significant effect on their attitude towards girl-child education.
Newton and Mwisukha (2009) determined relationship between students’ attitude towards school, selected peer group activities and academic achievement of secondary school students in Nairobi, Kenya. Two of the objectives of the study were to examine relationship between students’ attitudes towards school and their academic achievement and students’ gender difference in relation to their attitudes towards school. The findings of the study revealed that there was positive significant relationship between students’ attitudes towards school and their academic achievement. Furthermore, the findings of the study also showed that gender has no significant effect on the secondary school students’ attitude towards schools in Nairobi, Kenya. This indicates that students favourable attitude towards schooling is the step for academic success and vice versa.
Igwe (2013) determined effect of individual and group counselling on secondary school students’ truant behaviour in Abia State, Nigeria, and found that there was significant effect of group counselling on students truant behaviour in Abia State. Based on the findings, the researcher concluded that there was a strong connection between negative attitudes towards schooling and students truancy in secondary schools. Akey (2006) believed gender has significant effects on students’ attitude towards schooling in general. However, students’ attitude towards school appear to be shaped by many factors such as; gender, teachers, learning environments, self-concepts, peers and parental influence. Makinde (1983) viewed counselling as an enlightened process whereby people help others by encouraging their growth. Counselling is generally used to help individuals to deal with variety of problem situations which includes negative attitude towards schooling, during counselling process it is expected that the counsellor should establish a warm, supportive, therapeutic relationship with the client using a variety of skills. Based on the strength of this relationship, the counsellor helps the client or clients explore problem areas, set goals and assists the client or clients to work through problems in order to establish a more meaningful and productive life style.
Furthermore, counselling is a process designed to help clients understand and clarify personal views of their life space and to learn to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well-informed choices and a resolution of problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature. Group counselling typically has the effect of enabling clients to deal with problematic dilemmas which impede their happiness and success in life and in their educational careers (Corey & Corey, 1992). Baker and Gerler (2001) reported that students who participated in a group counselling programme had significantly less inappropriate behaviours and more positive attitude towards school than those students who did not participate in the group counselling.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There has been an outcry against the poor performance of students in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) in Nigeria. Students who achieved academically in secondary schools were usually interested in schooling (Glick, 1970 & Weiner, 1992). The researchers during three (3) months of counselling practicum in Federal Government College Maiduguri assessed the attitude of senior secondary school students’ towards schooling and found that significant number of the students had negative attitude towards schooling. Moreover, secondary school students are expected to obtain certain amount of knowledge, skills and maintain a positive attitude towards schooling.
However, previous studies have shown that student’s positive attitude towards schooling positively correlate with their academic performance. Therefore, it is always in the interest of teachers and counsellors to assess the attitude of students towards schooling. Negative attitude of students towards schooling is of great concern to educators, counsellors and this trend if not checked may render purpose of secondary school education fruitless. It is against this background that the researchers investigated the effect of group counselling on attitude of senior secondary school students’ towards schooling in Federal Government College, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study were to determine:
- Effect of group counselling on the study habit of senior secondary school students towards schooling in Federal Government College, Maiduguri.
- Gender difference in the study habit of senior secondary school students towards schooling in Federal Government College, Maiduguri.
1.4 Hypotheses of the Study
The following null hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance in the study:
Ho1: group counselling has no significant effect on the study habit of senior secondary school students towards schooling in Federal Government College, Maiduguri.
Ho2: gender difference has no significant effect on the study habit of senior secondary school students towards schooling in Federal Government College, Maiduguri.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study is significant as it will benefit the following: students, Counsellors, teachers and parents. The study will benefit the students as it gives them good hints and techniques for their studies. The study is useful to the students as it helps in creating better understanding of good study habits which will lead to the attainment of their preplanned goals.
This study will be of much significance to the Counsellors as it helps them to guide and enlighten the students towards early identification and appropriate study habits. It creates an avenue for the counseling personnel to counsel effectively on time management and development of realistic programs for the students.
The teachers who are considered the key educators will benefit from this study as this will assist them in addressing the issue of examination malpractice and mass failure among students. Likewise, the acquisition of this knowledge will assist teachers on how to implement the curriculum objectives.
The parents, government and the society at large will also benefit from the study because the result from this study will create awareness about simple and common study habits suitable for the students. This study can also be used by future researchers in other areas in other to bring about positive changes and impressive performance in school.
1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This research covers only public secondary schools in Borno state. The study focused on SS II students so as to correct their poor study habit especially as they prepare for WASSCE (West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate examination) and NACO (National Examination Council). The study is delimited to Maidugurilocal government area located within the metropolis of Borno state which comprises large numbers of secondary schools. The students have similar characteristics and from different background. However, the study is delimited to areas of guidance and counselling focusing on its effect on study habits among secondary school students.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that group counselling promotes favourablestudy habit of students towards schooling in Federal Government College Maiduguri. Group counselling provided by school counsellors’ significantly decreases participants’ aggressive and hostile behaviours in addition to helping in changing the students negative attitude towards schooling. It was also concluded that gender was not a determinant factor when it comes to students’ attitude towards schooling, other factors like biogenic and sociocultural were concluded to be responsible.
Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that:
- Guidance and Counselling Unit of the Federal Government College Maiduguri should re-orient the students through information service on benefits of positive attitude towards schooling.
- Since group counselling was effective positively in improving the study habit of students towards schooling in Federal Government College Maiduguri, therefore, group counselling is recommended for both boys and girls with negative attitude towards schooling.
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