GUIDANCE COUNSELLORS’ CAREER AWARENESS CREATION ROLES AND ACCEPTABILITY OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OKPOKWU EDUCATION ZONE OF BENUE STATE.
1.1 Background of the Study
In recent times, the problem of global economic recession and its negative impacts on the well-being of citizens of nations, Nigeria inclusive has been drawing the attention of researchers scholars and policy makers. In Nigeria, this situation has posed a lot of challenges such as increased youths unemployment, violence attacks, stealing and kidnapping activities by youths to list but some (Amazue & Okoli, 2004). According to Dike (2009) about 80% of Nigerian youths are unemployed while about 10% of the employed are underemployed. Amazue and Okoli (2004) remarked that youths’ unemployment tends to account for their involvement in social crimes and over dependence on government for employment. Implicitly, it could adduced that curbing these problems calls for proper guidance and counseling of school students and retooling of Nigeria educational policy to incorporate entrepreneurship education. No doubt, Obunadike (2013) remarked that when youths are properly guided and counselled, as well as equipped with entrepreneurial skills their over dependency on government for employment will reduce and they would become more of employers of labour than seekers of jobs.
Guidance and counselling are two separate terms though the former precedes the later. Guidance is a range of organized activities designed in schools to students learn and make appropriate choices in schools (Ezeji, 2011). Similarly, Owuamanam (2003) defines guidance as involving activities which are designed to help students acquire information, plan and implement programmes and enhance their decision making process in educational or vocational and personal social matters. Contextually, guidance is a helping service given to individuals to enable them achieve their potentials and be useful to themselves and the world in general. Guidance is preventive in nature in the sense that it aimed at preventing students from groping in darkness with regards to educational and occupational challenges. When an individual is properly guided and counselled, the individual would be able to evade or overcome unnecessary problems when faced with such in life (Igwe, 2013).
Counselling is an integral element of guidance. Nwoje (2001) views it as an integral part of guidance which provides the forum for interaction between a counsellor and counsellee. According to Uzoeshi (2004) counselling is a process of assisting a client to overcome problems and become happier and more effective individual in the environment. Operationally, counselling is defined as a helping relationship between counsellor and counsellees through which the counsellor helps counsellees (students) to maximize their potencials by providing career information, and awareness creation of job opportunities in the millennium world of work.
There are accompanying services which students gain from counselling sessions. These services include information, placement, guidance, referral, and follow-up (Akinade, 2002). In essence, counselling is a cognitive educational service which provides accurate, reliable and valid information about opportunities in the society. It is the duty of a trained guidance counsellor to perform these roles. Therefore, counselling encourages students to accept full responsibility and utilization of their potentials to maximize opportunities available in their environment.
A Guidance Counsellor which can also be referred to as School Counsellor according to Ifelunni (1997) is a trained expert who is exposed to enough psychology necessary to understand and predict human behaviours. This author further indicates that a school counsellor is a school personnel and a professional who is trained in test construction and administration, supervision of practicum exercise, as well as has good knowledge of psychological and counselling theories needed for better understanding of clients’ problems so as to proffer assistance. Sowemino (2012) also defines Guidance Counsellor as one who utilizes both individual and group counselling to shape and remould students in Nigeria education, academic, vocational and social personal problems. Operationally, a Guidance Counselor is a professional educator with specialized, graduate-level training in counselling and related guidance services aimed at helping individuals achieve better educational, vocational and personal social developmental potentials necessary for functioning more effectively in the environment. Guidance Counsellors are primarily saddled with the responsibility of facilitating a total and holistic development of individuals who will be useful to themselves and the society. Specifically, their roles according to Denga (2001) involves Counselling, planning and developing of Guidance programmes, appraising, interpreting and making appropriate referrals to relevant specialists on problems and issues that fall outside their competence orbit. Other roles of guidance counsellors include researching, evaluating and organizing programmes, attending conference and workshops, disseminating information including career awareness creation.
Career is an important area of concern for secondary school students. This is because every attempt at schooling aims at helping people in fulfilling their well-meaning ambitions in life. It is therefore expected that students should aspire to be in some given careers someday (Ifelunni, 2003). Career, according to Anyebola (2000) is a sequence of roles, work, occupation and position occupied during one’s working life time. It includes the series of both remunerated and non remunerated positions one assumes throughout life. Omeje (2002) also defined career as the totality of occupations which an individual have occupied throughout his life. Eze (2012) perceived career as the series of educational pursuits, work progression, achievements made in the course of work-life-time. It is a reflection of vocation as the individuals displays inherent interest in the occupation or any of the work related fields. Operationally, career is a series of jobs an individual has over his or her life time. These jobs may reflect an upward trajectory meaning that one will have increasing responsibilities, compensation and more prestigious titles with each subsequent position. Career provides a reflection of the life long series of work roles of an individual. Consequently the secondary school students need career awareness to enable them make right choice of career in life.
Career awareness entails the creating and motivating of people to become informed about the available world of work in life. According to Cronin (2014) career awareness is the degree to which individuals in the target population are aware of the target field as a possibility for long term employment and growth, and knowledge of what they must do to enter and progress in the career field. In this text, Career awareness refers to an understanding of the world of work, knowledge and skills needed to become an entrepreneur. Consequently, school guidance counsellors need to create career awareness for students to enable them to acquire necessary occupational information and knowledge hoped to broaden their knowledge towards acceptability of entrepreneurship education.
In career awareness creation, Guidance counsellors provide career information to students via strategies such as Career day, Field trip, Film modeling, Posters, individual and group vocational counselling to list but some. Such career awareness strategies help to educate students on nature of various occupations, entry requirements, qualification, subjects’ combination, training institutions, salaries, job prospects and hazards (Heward, 2003). It also helps in motivating the students to becoming entrepreneurs.
In recent times, the concept of entrepreneurship seems to have been receiving global recognition as a measure to curbing youths’ unemployment. According to Ogundele (2007), entrepreneurship is a process involving the recognizing of opportunities in the environment, mobilizing resources to take advantage of such opportunities in order to provide goods and services for consumers. Zuamo and Aondoakaa (2007) define entrepreneurship as the process of identifying development and bringing a vision to life. Entrepreneurship is a means used in developing people and inculcating right attitude of self-reliance into people using learning process (Ogundele, 2007). It helps ameliorate youths’ economic dependence and gives them empowerment strategies and economic dynamism in a rapidly globalizing world (Chigunta, 2001). Contextually, entrepreneurship is a dynamic process of vision, change and job creation to enable youth to be self reliant. It implies that entrepreneurship helps youth to understand and acquire skills, competencies and education which would make them become self- employed.
Education is usually seen as a vital transformation tool, the fulcrum around which the economic growth of individuals and that of nations revolves. Education has proved to be the surest and most credible way to self-reliance. In order words, education is generally seen as an agent for both individual and societal development (Ukeje, 1991). Nwabuisi (2000) defines education as a deliberate, systematic and sustained effort to transmit, evoke or acquire knowledge, values, attitude, skills and sensibilities. This means education is an intentional activity, which is directed towards helping an individual to make him or her worthwhile person.
Entrepreneurship education is an important tool for achieving the objective of preparing students for the 21st century market. It provides students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings (Nwekeaku, 2013). Igwe (2008) emphasizes that entrepreneurship education is the type of education that equips the citizen with the right training and motivation they need to be self-reliant and job creators thereby reducing the unemployment rate among secondary school students.
In this contemporary times, entrepreneurship education has gained a rich background and of course, increasing general recognition as a source of job creation, empowerment for the unemployed and a means of economic dynamism in rapidly globalizing world(Chigunta,2001). According to Igwe (2008) entrepreneurship education is the type of education that equips the citizen with the right training and motivation they needed to be self- reliant and job creators thereby reducing the unemployment rate among secondary school students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in variety of setting (Onongha, 2015).
Operationally, entrepreneurship education is a process of acquiring entrepreneurial skills which will make an individual become self reliant in the society after school. The essence of introducing entrepreneurship education to schools is to equip students with necessary skills and mindsets required for successful entrepreneurship from early years (Osorochi & Ovute, 2013). Olufemi (2012) is of the view that the introduction of entrepreneurship education in our educational system helps to prepare the students to succeed in an entrepreneurial economy, create the spirit of creativity and initiative in the students and also for them to develop basic skills to be self employable in the country. It is a concern that despite the foregoing relevance of entrepreneurship education to national economy and wellbeing of Nigerian youths, it seems that many secondary school students are finding it difficult to embrace and assimilate entrepreneurship education and its values (Ugwoke, Ibe & Muhammed, 2013). Their poor perception seems to be affected by the fact that entrepreneurship subjects are made as elective subjects in the national policy on education (FRN, 2004). Hence, in students’ perception, entrepreneurial subjects are just to increase their academic workloads rather than for developing their potentials (Ifedili & Ofoegbu, 2011; Ugwoke, Ibe & Muhammed, 2013).
In Nigeria, secondary school students are schooling children between ages 10 to 18 who are undergoing Basic or senior Basic education. These students are often adolescents who have completed their primary education. Generally, the secondary education entails six years of education comprising three year Upper Basic (junior secondary) and three years senior Basic (senior secondary) respectively. After the three years senior secondary education, the student can choose to enter into a tertiary institution for further studies. In Nigeria, secondary school could be public or private school. The public schools are schools established and managed by either federal or state governments. Often times this class of schools have large population of students and teachers who operate the educational curricular stipulated by Federal government (Olatoye & Agbatogu, 2009).
On the other hand, private school exists in Nigeria. This class of schools are owned and managed by either individuals, associations or organizations and level of parental involvement varies from one private school to the other (Berkeley Parent Network, 2009). Parents pay higher school fees in private schools than in public schools, have lesser authority over the school management than is in the public schools. In addition, the private schools have smaller students population than the public schools (Berkeley Parent Network, 2009). Lubienski, Lubienski and Crane (2009) note that private schools provide more school friendly environment and intense skills development than do public schools.
In a bid to actualize skill-based approach in Nigeria educational system the secondary education has been restructured to include Technical, Commercial and Vocational courses This is hoped would help in making secondary school graduates self-reliant and economically independent (Ugwuoke, Ibe, & Muhammed, 2013). According to World Report (2003), developing countries have ten times more inhabitants in the 0 – 14 years of age group than the developed countries. If their talents and energies of the young ones are developed through counselling, entrepreneurship education, sustainable leverage would be experienced in terms of national development. Implicitly, the need for career awareness for acceptability of entrepreneurship education by secondary school students in Nigeria needs not to be overemphasized.
The acceptability of entrepreneurship education depends on the schools involvement in the programme and also the individual students’ attitude towards the programme. Lim (2001) stated clearly that positive attitude towards a career is a very important mindset besides having specialized or technical skill. This, therefore demands that it falls on the anus of the guidance counselors in providing activities that would motivate and put the students in a sweet frame of mind to accept entrepreneurship education. From general observations of the researcher, it seems that secondary school students in Okpokwu Education zone of Benue State do not appreciate and accept the novel introduction of entrepreneurship programme initiatives and policies in the educational system by federal government. As a practicing counsellor in this study area, it is observed that the students appear to be reluctant to attend lesson on entrepreneurial subjects like animal husbandry, Agricultural science, food and nutrition, to mention but a few. Rather, they prefer to roam around the streets in search of white-colar jobs, that are not available stealing, prostituting, kidnapping among others. This attitude of theirs create concern for researchers, parents and general pubic to see how this trend can be controlled.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The high rate of unemployment, poverty and crime among secondary school leavers tend to have been attributed to lack of possession of career skills required in the world of work. Most of these students do not possess entrepreneurial skills that will enable them establish and manage small business enterprises so as to become self employed and self-reliant on graduation. This observed deficiency in secondary school graduates have necessitated the positing of secondary schools Guidance Counsellors who are professionally trained to render guidance services among which is career information and other activities which are aimed at enabling them broaden their career knowledge, skills and attitude towards entrepreneurship education.
It is worrisome to observe that despite Federal Government of Nigeria effort at improving career development of students through the posting of Guidance Counsellors to secondary schools as stipulated in the National Policy on Education, secondary school graduates are still found roaming the streets as jobless youths and engaging in inappropriate behaviours such as prostituting, stealing and kidnapping to list but some. Although, school Guidance counsellors are expected to be involved in career awareness creation roles in schools for students, the researcher is uncertain if the counsellors actually do so, the perception students have about entrepreneurship education and students acceptability level of entrepreneurship education. It is against these concerns that this study was carried out.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to determine between Guidance Counsellors’ career awareness creation roles and acceptability of entrepreneurship education by secondary school students in Okpokwu Education Zone of Benue State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to:
1. Ascertain guidance counsellors’ career awareness creation roles among secondary school students within Okpokwu Education Zone.
2. Ascertain if difference exists between Guidance Counsellors’ career awareness creation roles in the public and private secondary schools.
3. Ascertain perception of entrepreneurship education by students in public and private secondary schools
4. Determine the acceptability level of entrepreneurship education by the secondary school students.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study.
The following research questions guided the study.
1. What are guidance counsellors’ career awareness creation roles in secondary schools within Okpokwu Education Zone?
2. What difference exists between guidance counsellors’ career awareness creation roles in public and private secondary schools?
3. What are students’ perceptions of entrepreneurship education by students in public and private secondary schools?
4. What is the acceptability level of entrepreneurship education of the secondary school student?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses postulated to further investigate into the study were tested at 0.05 probability level.
Ho1: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of students in public and private secondary schools on guidance counsellors’ career awareness creation roles.
Ho2: There is no significant difference between the mean scores of students in public and private secondary schools on perception of entrepreneurship education.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study has theoretical and practical significance. The theoretical significance involves Decision making theory and Holland’s theory of vocational behavior. Holland theory of vocational behavior posits that vocational choice is an expression of the individual’s personality and that members of a vocation have similar personality and similar histories of personal development. However, this study would be anchored on Holland theory of vocational behavior which posits that if personality characteristics of an individual go with a vocation in an environment, such individual would exceedingly do well and be satisfied. By this, it becomes necessary for students to understand their personality, to make right choice of career.
Decision making theory on the other hand is the bed rock of choice making. It emphasizes decision making as central to career development. The theory focuses on the way the individual should put to use whatever information or knowledge he or she has that could enhance the implementation of some career decision in matters regarding self, work and the opportunities that are open to the individual in general. By this, the information and knowledge students acquire from Guidance counsellors’ career awareness creation can enhance the acceptability of entrepreneurship education by secondary school students.
Practically, the result of the finding would be of benefit to the following persons, students, guidance counsellors, parents, society and researchers. The study would benefit the students mostly through career awareness creation; the students would be equipped with necessary skills, knowledge, ability, interest, and motivation to become self employed and impact positively in the sustainable development of themselves in particular and the country in general. It is hoped that this significance would be achieved through seminar, conference and career day.
Another beneficiary is the guidance counsellors, as they would be seriously involved in creating the needed career information that would enable secondary school graduates escape from the endemic of unemployment, poverty and social vices. Through the assessment of entrepreneurship education by guidance counsellors, they also evaluate themselves to know the area of deficiency and work on it. The researcher hopes to achieve these through academic publications and conferences.
The study would be of benefit to parents of the students in that it would give direction where their wards is best suited or fitted in job placement after graduation from secondary school, since the student would be equipped with a particular skill or skills after graduation, What would be required by parents is a follow up or consolidation on already acquired skills. It would minimize parental control on career choice for their wards and reduce complete monitoring against social vices since graduands would be engaged in one activity or the other that would take their idle time. These would be achieved by organizing workshops and seminars to the parents. It would also be realized through mass media and publications.
Researchers are also beneficiaries of this study as it would give them the opportunity for further research. Reports of previous studies contain a section on suggestions for further research. Such sections usually contain a list of other studies which can be carried out based on the findings of the study being reported. Secondly, replication of a previous research is another way in which an identified problem could be further investigated. It is hoped that those researchers would achieved these through mass media.
Finally the society would benefit from this research in that it would reduce crimes like burglary, kidnapping, stealing, and roaming the street. Joblessness would be drastically reduced thereby alleviating poverty from the society. These would be achieved through conferences, workshops, seminars and mass media.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The geographical scope of this study was limited to both students in public and private secondary schools in Okpokwu Education Zone of Benue State, Nigeria. The content of the scope of the study focused on Guidance Counsellors’ career awareness creation roles, students’ perception of entrepreneurship education and acceptability of entrepreneurship education by secondary school students in Okpokwu Education Zone.
GUIDANCE COUNSELLORS’ CAREER AWARENESS CREATION ROLES AND ACCEPTABILITY OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OKPOKWU EDUCATION ZONE OF BENUE STATE.