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Importance of Couseling Essay

The study was limited to only sixteen secondary schools: thirteen government secondary schools and three mission secondary schools in Benin City with practicing school counsellor(s). In all, there were four hundred and twenty respondents (420). Sex was not a factor in the study. Two four-point Likert type scale questionnaires were used to obtain data for the study. These are: Secondary School Counsellors’ Questionnaire (SSCQ); and Secondary School Students’ Questionnaire (SSSQ). The reliabilities of 0.69 and 0.80 were obtained respectively SSCQ and SSSQ using the Cronbach Alpha Internal Consistency reliability.

The findings show that there are insufficient counsellors in schools; inadequate availability of counselling facilities; and that the qualification of guidance and counselling personnel has impact on the quality of guidance services they provide to secondary school students in Nigeria. These findings suggest that these variables will help to promote students’ adjustment in the school and the society at large. Paradoxically, the absence of these variables could precipitate students’ maladjustment. Recommendations on ways of improving guidance and counselling services to promote students adjustment were proffered.

Keywords: Counselling Qualities; Guidance and Counselling; Students adjustment;; Nigeria

1. Introduction

Guidance and Counselling happens to be one of the developments in the field of Education in Nigeria. It became popular with the introduction of the 6-3-3-4 educational system. It is generally accepted that in Nigeria, the organized/formal guidance started in 1959 at St. Theresa’s College, Oke-Ado in Ibadan by some Reverend Sisters, out of concern for the products of their school. They felt that there was need to offer vocational guidance to their outgoing final year students. As a result, the Rev. Sisters invited twenty educated people from Ibadan community who were in different professions and therefore knew more about the emerging world of work than the students and the Rev. Sisters. Fifty-four out of the sixty students benefited from the experts’ advice and were placed in various jobs. The innovation was highly accepted by the society because in later years this group of people, though not trained counsellors, organized career talks, seminars, guidance workshops and lectures for the class five students. Later on, the vocational guidance services spread to other secondary schools outside Ibadan and across the entire federation.

The ministry officials became so interested in these organized services that this group of “Career Advisers” was invited to provide career workshops for teachers and career masters. Eventually the term “Career Advisers” became a national issue. In an attempt to overhaul the old educational system, towards the needs of the nation, the Nigerian Educational Research Council (NERC) in September 1969 organized a conference on curriculum development. The curriculum conference was followed by a government sponsored National Seminar in 1973 under the chairmanship of Chief S.O. Adebo to deliberate on all aspects of a National Policy on Education using the report of the 1969 curriculum conference as the working document. The conference came up with recommendations for a New National Policy on Education, which the Federal Government accepted and published in 1977 and revised in 1981, 1989 and 2004.

With the highlighted changes in the Nation’s educational system, the need for guidance and counselling services in Nigerian secondary schools became more glaring. Consequently, Guidance and Counselling Services became an integral and essential component of the educational process for all students as they progress through the educational system. According to Egbochuku (2008), the aims of school guidance and counselling services, which are based on a developmental hierarchy, are to provide students with: 1. Opportunities to develop knowledge and appreciation of themselves and others; 2. Opportunities to develop relationship skills, ethical standards and a sense of responsibility; 3. Opportunities to acquire skills and attitudes necessary to develop educational goals which are suited to their needs, interests and abilities; 4. Information that would enable them to make decisions about life and career opportunities (: 15). Today, guidance and counselling has gained prominence in the Nigerian educational system and many people are getting interested in the guidance of youth in making wise educational, vocational and personal/social decisions.

Consequent upon the expansion of counselling activities in Nigeria and the need to form a larger association to embrace both counsellors and career masters, the Counselling Association of Nigeria (CAN) was launched on the 11th November 1976. To facilitate efficient management of guidance and counselling services in Nigeria secondary schools, guidance and counselling personnel are being trained in the tertiary institutions and sent to schools to deliver these services. Also, basic courses in guidance and counselling feature in all teachers-education programmes. Prominent among the services rendered by guidance and counselling personnel in secondary schools are Information, Appraisal, Referral, Guidance, Counselling and Planning, Placement and follow-up services for the proper guidance of students.

Against this background therefore, the focus of the study is to assess the realities of guidance and counselling services in providing adequate guidance for Nigerian secondary school students. 1.1. Statement of the problem It is assumed that with the increasing complexities in the society, industrial and technological development all going hand-in-hand, the succeeding generation will find it difficult to adjust themselves both to the society, work, family and schools. Failures in proper adjustment to all the facets mentioned could affect the education of young people and expose them to environmental as well as personal problems in development. Guidance and Counselling, as a delivery service, should not be misconstrued as the traditional type that is based on the principles of “to guide, to direct on a course, to enlighten, or to assist”.

This traditional type of counselling was principally carried out in African setting by heads of families, Priests, and church leaders (Olayinka and Omoegun, 2001). Because of the complex nature of Nigerian society, the counselling profession has assumed a wider role. Present day Guidance and counselling is based on the process of helping individuals understand themselves which will lead to the better understanding of the other aspect of their lives (Egbochuku, 2008). \

According to the literature, these services are the formalized actions taken by the school to make guidance operational and available to students. These formalized actions typically consist of a set of processes, techniques and functions that serve to carry out the guidance and counselling goals of a particular educational level. For students to be properly informed, they need the assistance of trained guidance and counselling personnel. Hence, the government made it a policy that guidance and counselling should feature in teacher-education programmes because teachers are closer to the students. Furthermore, the department of Guidance and Counselling has been established in most Nigeria Universities to train counsellors at the B.Sc., Master and PhD levels, to equip them with the appropriate counselling techniques to carry out guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.

There is need therefore to assess the guidance and counselling services rendered by school counsellors to find out if these services actually provide adequate guidance for students’ development. It is therefore hypothesized that Qualification of guidance and counselling personnel, availability of guidance and counselling facilities, quality of guidance and counselling services will not significantly predict students’ adjustment 1.2. Purpose of the study This study assessed the quality of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools with practicing school counsellors in Edo state. To achieve this, the researcher examined the qualification of personnel providing guidance and counselling services, availability of materials for the successful execution of Nigerian secondary school guidance and counselling services and the impact of guidance programs on students’ adjustment.

1.3. Significance of the study Guidance and counselling is the bedrock for achieving self-actualisation. It is a process of helping individuals to understand themselves by discovering their own needs, interests and capabilities in order to formulate their own goals and make plans for realizing those goals. An analysis of guidance and counselling services in providing adequate guidance for secondary school students is of paramount importance; hence the this study.

The result from the study will help in throwing more light on how guidance and counselling services is being implemented in secondary schools in Nigeria and the quality of guidance services received by secondary school students. In addition, it provides information to education planners and school administrators on their responsibility in providing adequate facilities for guidance and counselling services in order for students to receive quality guidance. It also reveals the extent to which guidance and counselling services influence the total development of the potentials and proper adjustment of secondary school students.

2. Methodology

This is a survey study using correlational research design. The scope of the study covers some selected government and mission secondary schools with practicing school counsellors in Benin City of Edo State Nigeria. This is because Benin City is a metropolitan city and consists of three well-populated Local Government Areas (Egor, Oredo, Ikpoba Okha LGA) in Edo –South Senatorial District, out of the 18 LGAs in the 3 Senatorial Districts of Edo State. Purposive sampling techniques and simple random sampling techniques were employed in selecting the sample for the study. This study was limited to only sixteen (16) secondary schools thirteen (13) government secondary schools and three mission secondary schools in Benin City because only these schools had practicing school counsellor(s) as at the time the study was carried out. In all, there were four hundred and twenty respondents (420). Sex was not a factor in the study.

2.1. Instrumentation Two different four-point Likert type scale questionnaires were designed by the researcher to obtain data for the study. These are: (1) Secondary School Counsellors’ Questionnaire (SSCQ); (2) Secondary School Students’ Questionnaire (SSSQ) The SSCQ consisted of two main sections viz: Section ‘A’: This consisted of three items requesting information about the level of qualification in guidance and counselling from the respondents. Section ‘B’: This consisted of five items requesting information about the availability of guidance and counselling facilities\materials in the school. The SSSQ also consisted of two sections viz: Section ‘A’: This consisted of eleven items eliciting information about the quality of guidance services rend by counsellors in the school from the respondents.

Section ‘B’: This consisted of twelve items requesting information about the impact of guidance and counselling services on Nigerian secondary school students’ adjustment. The respondents in each case were requested to indicate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed to each item. Items one to three in section “A” of the SSCQ and items one to eleven in section “A” of the SSSQ were used to test hypothesis one. Items one to five in section “B” of the SSCQ and items one to eleven in section “A” of the SSSQ were used to test hypothesis two. Items one to eleven in section “A” of the SSSQ and items one to twelve in section “B” of the SSSQ were used to test hypothesis three. The scoring of the instruments was as follow: Strongly Agree (SA)-4 Agree (A)-3 Disagree (D)-2 Strongly Disagree (SD)-1

For all positive worded items the above was the case, while the reverse was the case for all negative worded items in the questionnaire. 2.1.1. Validity and Reliability of the instruments Both construct and face validity was established. The reliability of 0.69 and 0.67 were obtained respectively for sections A and B of the instrument for Counsellors (SSCQ) using the Cronbach Alpha Internal Consistency reliability test. The Students’ Questionnaire (SSSQ) yielded an alpha coefficient of reliability 0.80. 2.1.2. Administration of the instruments Permission was obtained from the school before administering the questionnaires, which were personally administered by the investigator to the respondents in the various secondary schools selected for the study. 2.2. Analysis of Data Descriptive Statistics and Pearson Product Correlation were used were used for analysis.

3. Results

Variables Qualification of guidance and counselling personnel Quality of guidance services

The table 1 shows an r. value of .169 testing at an alpha level of .05 and a p< .001. The p. value is less than .05 (p


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