STATUS OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SERVICES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
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.
To achieve the aim of this study, the following objectives are drawn.
- To assess the position of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools ini Uyo L.G.A.
- 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.
- What are the services provided by Counsellor Secondary in schools?
- Do practicing counsellors have basic amenties to carryout their duties?
- Has the objectives of the National Policy on Education with respect to guidance and counselling services been achieved?
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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 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 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.