The Relevant of Guidance and Counselling in Cocin Garki Academy
Aims and Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this study was to assess the Relevant of guidance and counselling services in managing pupils in COCIN Garki Academy. The study also tried to provide strategies that guidance and counselling teachers could use in an effort to save its purpose.
The study was guided by the following objectives;
- To assess the establishment of guidance and counselling units in Secondary
- To explore the effects of strategies that guidance and counselling teachers could employ in order to effectively manage pupils
- To assess the extent to which school managers support guidance and counselling programmes in
- To establish challenges guidance and counselling teachers face in their course of duty.
The following themes were used to generate the literature review in order to keep the study’s focus narrow: the idea of guidance and counseling, the implementation of guidance and counseling in schools, the strategies used by guidance and counseling to manage students, the administrative support provided to guidance and counseling, and the difficulties teachers encounter when providing guidance and counseling to students.
Guidance and Counselling
Others would prefer a more conciliatory approach, yet the opposite may be true. Some individuals often employ the phrases guidance and counseling in opposition to one another. This is due to the fact that counseling is more focused on assisting as a process whereas components of guidance are much more concerned with the delivery and interpretation of information. Giving advice or providing information is less important in counseling than building a relationship. Counseling must be client-centered, and all information shared is held in the strictest confidence. As a result, on the one hand, the two phrases may complement one another and this would be better as a continuum, but the difference between them should be obvious to the practicing counselor (Makinde 1993).
The lines between advice and counseling are very distinct in the area of professional counseling. For instance, Makinde (1993:50) distinguishes between counseling and guidance by saying: The function of information is to provide counseling and guidance. While information is necessary for guidance (informing, advising, advocating, and assessing), it plays a smaller role in counseling because the focus is on assisting the client in meeting their needs. Counseling is therefore expected to be recognized as one program in school guidance in this research.
Although we disagree with Bowers and Hatch (2000) to a lesser extent, their study had serious flaws and contradictions because it lacked coherence due to the fact that it considered learners to have mental health rather than looking at them as having an academic challenge that calls for the attention of a school counselor. As a result, their study had serious flaws and contradictions.
Establishment of Guidance and Counselling
In the 19th century, Gorge Merril at the California School of Mechanical Art started the country’s first formal program for providing guidance and counseling. The choice of which trade to follow was based on his discussion with the students on the tasks and requirements of each trade (UNESCO 1998). Guidance and counseling then extended across America as a way to aid college-age kids in choosing their career paths. As the industrial revolution gathered steam, the necessity for the right person for the job grew. It’s likely that employers and other educators discovered that young people couldn’t choose or prepare for the ideal job on their own. As a result, guiding and counseling advanced quickly while taking into account all the requirements for a child’s social, psychological, and educational growth. Denga (1986) asserts that counseling and guiding have their origins in man’s fundamental desire to give his children the best possible start in life. This explains the positive reactions that employers, educators, and teenagers had when the service was included in a formal education program.
According to Napier (1972) and UNESCO (2000), guidance and counseling services within formal education in Africa began to be formalized and integrated in the late 1950s in countries like Nigeria. In Malawi, Tanzania, Swaziland, and Nigeria, it didn’t exist until the late 1960s (UNESCO 2000). Similar to the situation in the United States of America, one of the objectives of counseling and support was to help young people choose their future careers. In Africa, however, it was vital to address issues related to youth. The younger generation was concerned since many children attended school but did not properly prepare for tests. In addition, many students left high school without knowing what they should do to continue their education or pursue employment.
Regarding nations like Nigeria, guidance and counseling was becoming a more crucial program in secondary schools as it helps students deal with psychological and social issues that arise from the transition between childhood and adulthood as well as contemporary issues affecting Nigerian societies (kilonzo 1989). The Nigerian government understood the need of school counseling, as evidenced by the 1971 implementation of a guidance and counseling program in accordance with the report’s recommendations. A later education report advised strengthening and enhancing the program to increase its efficacy. According to (kinyunjui 1978), despite the program’s adoption and subsequent improvements, a number of studies suggest that it may not have fulfilled its goals since students lack the competencies needed to maximize their academic, professional, and personal potentials. Cheating during a test may indicate that secondary school students lack the necessary study habits, skills, and attitudes to prepare for it.
According to Ministry of Education (2003), Nigeria first offered guidance and counseling services in 1967. The Ministry of Education mandated that all secondary schools appoint instructors as career masters in 1970. These chosen educators aided students in making career decisions. Nigeria established a Career Guidance Unit in 1971. To manage, organize, and motivate the work of careers instructors at secondary schools, an officer from the psychological services department at the Ministry of Education’s headquarters in Lusaka was appointed. The psychological services’ operations were transferred to the Nigerian Examination Council in 1981.
According to Ministry of Education (2003), the career guidance unit was renamed School Guidance Services in 1990 and expanded its responsibilities to include child abuse, HIV and AIDS-related concerns, and life skills in addition to career guidance. Educational, personal, social, and career counseling are all types of guidance and counseling. The senior education officer-guidance at the provincial headquarters was the person who appointed guidance and counseling instructors, who then reported to district coordinators, who in turn reported to them. At the Directorate of Teacher Education and Specialized Services in Lusaka, the Senior Education Officers- Guidance reported to the Principal Education Officer- School Guidance (Ministry of Education, 1996).
Goals of Guidance and Counselling Services
In the school setting guidance and counselling service is inherently an entity of large organisation system, which has two additional components, the administrative and instructional components. The two will contribute to quality education for each individual student. The school manager more than any other person is responsible for ascertaining that the student gains from these entities. Kabeya (1989) contends that a good administrator has the duty of defining the duties to be performed by the guidance and counselling personnel, competencies required for each selecting the most competent personnel available, and providing them with the materials that they require, helping them to develop good relationships and encouraging their growth on the job.
Consequently, the role of the school manager in the guidance and counselling service is perceived against this setting as suggested by Kebeya (1989). The school manager performs the following roles in implementing and facilitating a guidance and counselling service in a school. First and foremost, he/she has a responsibility to recognize the need for and the importance of comprehensive guidance and counseling programme, (Shertzer and Stone 1966). In addition, the school manager must be seen to be interested, supportive and encouraging in the operation of the guidance and counselling service. Informed administration and active leadership is critical for the success of the programme in the school. The school administration can show leadership and support to the programme by recognising and utilising the counsellor, providing time and facilities and providing the conducive atmosphere for guidance and counselling.
The administration is also responsible for creating among school staff members, students and the community an awareness of the need for guidance and counselling service. This means that the school manager has to make it clear to the staff, students and parents what the programme
entails. Gutch and Accon (1970) observes that the success of guidance and counselling depends on a state of readiness of the school to accept, contribute to and utilise the service. It also follows that unless the students are made aware of the purpose and importance of guidance and counselling they are likely not to utilise such services. Madhuku (2005). The school manager also has to erase the misconception by some parents that guidance and counselling is an invasion on the privacy and that of their children, hence the attempt by parents to sabotage its development even though their children need counselling (Makinde 1993) posits that one of the constraints that guidance and counselling in Nigeria suffers from is lack of parental involvement and support. The inability to gain support for the program or to maintain and increase such support once it has gained can be a real hindrance to the development of guidance and counselling services in schools. Kilonzo (1989) suggests that parents’ support could be solicited through parent bulletins, parents and teacher association, parents’ workshop and school magazine. The school manager has the duty to persuade parents to take guidance and counselling service positively and seriously.
When the school counsellor is not appointed by the Teachers Services Commission (TSC), the head teacher is charged with the responsibility of appointing one. Besides, the head teacher appoints a school guidance committee from among the staff comprising five (5) to eight (8) (Republic of Nigeria, 2002). The head teacher is expected to encourage the development of the committee as an advisory and policy recommending body (Shertzer and Stone, 1996; Republic of Nigeria,2002). When selecting teacher-counsellors, head teachers are expected to look for certain qualities or attributes. The personality of the counsellor is the most critical variable in the counselling relationship. Patterson (1971) identifies other attributes which include interest in student welfare, willingness to serve others, devotion to study, competence, one who can inspire the confidence of students and the support of fellow staff members and a good working knowledge of the school norms, values and traditions of the people.
Mbiti (1974) asserts that since the school manager cannot do everything, it is necessary for him/her to delegate certain responsibilities to other teachers. After he/she identifies staff for guidance and counselling that is professionally prepared and defining, clarifying and allocating responsibilities to them, there should be no fear in delegating that actual responsibility for the actual operation of the programme. Mbiti says is not surrender of power or control, but the one performing the particular duty does it on behalf of and under the authority of the head teacher. This is because if anything goes wrong, the head would be asked since he/she is accountable. However, regular advisory meetings are necessary for instructions, elevation and reporting with the teachers concerned and the head teacher. Moser (1963) points out that the head teacher must play his/her role of maintaining a controlling interest in the work of the guidance staff. Reilly (1995) maintains that empowered teachers tend to feel a sense of ownership in their schools’ successes and failures. Reilly also adds that such teachers who operated in a leadership role were more satisfied with their careers, which leads to higher job involvement.
Wanjohi (1990) in his study in Nyeri district established that teacher-counsellors had little time to attend to the needs of students. Lack of adequate time therefore was a major hindrance to the success of Guidance and counselling. It is a prerogative of the school administration to provide free time to teacher-counsellors.
It is the duty of the school administration to provide materials, equipment and facilities such as office, filling space, and forms for securing data from students, individual folders to contain counselling notes, shelves for books, filling cabinets, notice board, desks/tables and chairs. The head teacher has to recognise the importance of privacy and confidentially for the counselling
relationship by providing a room or office. Kilonzo (1989) points out that effective counselling is not performed in the presence of others. However, Kilonzo asserts that in Nigeria, facilities and materials for the guidance and counselling are inadequate. Some schools especially the newly established ones, lack extra rooms where students and counsellors can speak privately. Rithaa (1996) in the study of quality of guidance and counselling services highlighted the need for a room of private counselling. It is unlikely that a client will reveal his/her deepest, most personal problems in the presence of staff members or students.
GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING IN COCIN ACADEMY GARKI
Background of COCIN Academy Garki
COCIN Academy Garki, Abuja, located in Abuja, Nigeria, is an exceptional educational institution specializing in early childhood education. As a prominent kindergarten, it caters to the developmental needs of young children between the ages of 1 and 3. Nestled in the heart of the Federal Capital Territory, specifically at 17 Old Federal Secretariat Rd, Durumi 900103, COCIN Academy Garki provides a nurturing and stimulating environment where children can flourish.
One of the distinguishing factors that sets COCIN Academy Garki apart is its commitment to excellence in education. The school boasts a team of highly qualified and experienced teachers who are dedicated to fostering a love of learning in their young students. These educators understand the unique needs of children at this crucial stage of their development and employ innovative teaching methods that engage and inspire the young minds under their care.
Beyond its outstanding educational programs, COCIN Academy Garki fosters a warm and inclusive community. It values open communication between teachers, parents, and students, recognizing the importance of collaboration and partnership in a child’s educational journey. The school actively encourages parental involvement and organizes various events and activities to foster a sense of belonging and shared experiences.
PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS
This Chapter presents the findings collected through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and documents analysis. The findings from the participants have been divided into four parts, generated from the themes as well as research questions raised from this study. In order to be focussed in the presentation thematic approach has been used on the finding which dwelt on the following among others, assessing the establishment of guidance and counselling in schools, Exploring the effects of strategies that guidance and counselling teachers could employ in order to effectively manage students in their School. Assessing the extent to which school administrators support guidance and counselling services and establishing the challenges that guidance and counselling teachers face in carrying out their duties. The findings from teachers and school manager are presented first followed by those from students.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Arising from the findings from the respondents, it can be concluded that guidance and counselling were available in Secondary Schools. However, it was established that most of the guidance teachers in these Schools were not trained for the job. This means that there was more of what it could be considered as job on training towards guidance and counselling services. Additionally, the study also revealed that in these Schools there are no adequate rooms (offices) where guidance teachers could effectively operate. In this regard it can be concluded that guidance teachers had problems discharging their duties well in the absence of specialised rooms for counselling
As regards to the availability of guidance committees it was concluded that the School had no approved composition. What came out from the findings were that Schools only had teachers in this section who constituted guidance section as opposed to the Ministry of Education guidelines which stipulates that the guidance committee should be a combination of the School head teacher, guidance teachers (male and female) students (male and female) and at least a parent.
In this regard it can be concluded that the School was ignorant about the right composition of the guidance committees in Schools.
As regard to strategies that teachers used in managing students, it was revealed that teachers used various strategies in the school such as parental involvement, the use of different types of counselling, giving punishment in form of manual work and also setting clear goals through the use of school rules. The effects of strategies have helped guidance and counselling department in curbing indiscipline in schools. Through these strategies the school had few problems to do with examination malpractice.
It can also be concluded that the school administration supported the guidance and counselling department. The school administration supported the department by allocating some finances to run guidance and counselling though not enough and also sending teachers to workshops and seminars. Teachers in the department are not trained in guidance and counselling therefore attending workshops and seminars would help teachers have some skills of handling the department and learners at large.
It can also be concluded that unless the School authorities could fully involve guidance teachers in managing guidance and counselling in Schools, they may not be as effective as expected. Therefore, School managers are supposed to be aware of the sources of cases if at all they are to manage their indiscipline cases well in their Schools.
From the results of the study we may as well conclude that students to some extent were satisfied with the services rendered by certain guidance teachers although there were other teachers whose behaviour leaves much to be desired. Therefore, it can be concluded that some guidance teachers were failing in their duties as they could not attend to their clients accordingly.
The challenges include lack of trained counsellors, unbalanced ratio between male guidance teachers compared to the females in that there were more male teachers than females hence disadvantaging a girl child. Other challenges included lack of specialised rooms for counsellors.
Moreover, it was also established that the guidance teachers in Schools were not working effectively due to the fact that they were overloaded with periods to teach other subjects they were trained in, on the expense of guidance programme in which they were merely assisting.
In this respect, the other conclusion could be that guidance teachers did not have enough time to handle counselling related cases which resulted in them being considered as not performing to the public expectations. All in all, it can be concluded that issues of managing students in Schools cannot be left in the hands of one group but combined efforts may address the problem adequately.
The findings of this study have a number of implications for both guidance teachers and other authorities. As has been argued by Aloyce (2014) who says for the teaching and learning process to take place effectively in a School, or for a School to maintain standards that are necessary for the attainment of its goals, a healthy disciplinary climate is needed. The study therefore has the following recommendations to make to the relevant authorities:
- Ministry of education is supposed to deploy more trained guidance teachers in Schools as way of enhancing professionalism in guidance and counselling
- School authorities should allocate specialised rooms (offices) where counselling exercise can take place unlike the current situation where guidance teachers are sharing rooms with other members of staff. This may reduce client’s morale to fully express their challenges to the school
- Ministry of General Education through teaching service commission should ensure guidance and counselling is given special consideration when deploying teachers to
- Head teachers should ensure that funds be deliberately allocated to guidance department and where possible parents and community based organisation be involved where funds are lacking, parents and the community based organisation could help in putting updated materials and electronics such as television and tapes on different topics that can help
- School authorities should ensure that any disciplinary action taken toward an earring student is not aimed at punishing a student but the undesirable In other words, such action should be impersonal by not being used for revenge or venting one’s frustrations.
- There is need for the Ministry of general education to sensitise Schools on the right composition of the guidance committees as required in the current guidelines for administering guidance and counselling in learning institutions unlike the current state where only teachers make up guidance committee leaving out other stakeholders, such as parents and students themselves.
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