AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NEEDS FOR GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING SERVICES IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
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The purpose of this study was to conduct research into “the needs for guidance and counseling services in primary schools as perceived by primary school teacher in Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara State.
Data were collected through the use of questionnaire four types of questionnaire were designed.
Type one is there any difference in the need for guidance and counseling service in primary school as perceived by primary school teachers based on respondents gender?
Is there any difference in the need for guidance and counseling service in primary schools as perceived by primary school teacher based on respondents’ educational qualification?
Is there any difference in the need for guidance and counseling service in primary schools as perceived by primary school teacher based on respondents’ religion?
Is there any difference in the need for guidance and counseling service in primary schools as perceived by primary school teacher based on respondents’ teaching experience?
It was therefore,
Background to the Study
Guidance and Counselling is based on the assumption that every individual in any society had, is having and will have a problem that he/she alone could not solve (Makinde, 1983).
Okon (1984) suggested that African communities had always been carried out by traditional helper’s who assisted people when they had personal concerns and problems that could not be solved all by themselves.
These traditional helpers have been identified in the various African cultures as ‘Uzenakpo among the Ibiobios, Dibia, Bokaye Uganda, Ngangu in Tanzania, Sikidy in Malaysia, Babalawo among Yoruba and Oboz among the Igala-tivs (Makinde 1983).
This list is sufficiently convincing to indicate that traditional guidance have always been part of the role of the African extended family system in the traditional Nigeria society too.
People sought solution to their problem in various ways, including going to fortune fellers, seeking advice from the elders, relation or friend.
To explain the term guidance, Durojaiye (1992), viewed guidance within the content of the total educational process.
He describe guidance as a complex process with encompasses the total needs of the individual, students to be directed or guided.
This guide is available to the individual educational, social, emotional, health, vocational and leisure-time needs and for the individual preparation for a suitable occupation.
This assistance h stressed, may take many forms.
It may be educational, vocational, social, recreational, emotional and/or moral.
Okon (1984) also defined guidance as a total program of highly specialized activities implemented by all staff members to help individual make wise intelligent choices and decisions.
As a service, guidance is the activities required for helping an individual for the enhancement of the individuals functioning. Guidance consist of the process of thinking an doing, it is the process of thinking and providing service aimed at helping individual to understand how to help themselves realistically.
Seltzer and Stone (1994) define guidance as the process of helping individuals to understand themselves and their world.
It should be clearly pointed out here that guidance has several definitions but they all point towards helping, aiding, directing or assisting an individual towards better understanding of him/herself and his/her world which leads to adjustment of the individual.
It is a dynamic process, which undergoes continuous changes over time, as it is not a single event but a series of events, steps or actions, which are geared to general development of the individual.
There are various guidance services which Okon (1984) called the basic element of guidance program.
The following activities are the essential services taken to paddle and cushion individuals off some of the problem that he or she may be faced with.
These services include, Counselling information.
Counselling services is a procedure by which a counselor assists a client or a group of clients achieve self-understanding and self-actualization.
Information services involve the creation of awareness and provision of necessary guidance to assist students in decision making.
Appraisal services encompass gathering, organizing and interpreting data or information about students for the purpose of assisting them to understand themselves.
Orientation service involves the introduction of new students or staff to schools and members of a community.
Placement services refer to the organization or any experience helpful to them according to their needs and capacities.
Referral services it is a procedure by which a student or client who needs special attention or assistance is directed to relevant institutions and agencies in the community.
Follow-up services involves monitoring of client or students by obtaining relevant and up-to-date information on their progress in school, working place, etc.
Local research is related to the study of happenings in the school and the community in which a school is located.
The main objectives of local research is to accelerate the growth and development of the students and the community.
Counselling is a part of guidance; it is the care of the school guidance program.
It is a interaction which takes place between a counselor and a counselee or a group of counselees (Idowu 1996).
Thompson and Poppen (1986) defined counselling as a person to person relationship in which one person assist another to resolve an area of conflict that has not been hither to resolved. The purpose of Counselling is to assists students to explore and understand themselves so that they can become self-directing individuals.
Burks and Steffire (1991) described Counselling as a professional relationship between a trained counselor and a client.
The relationship is usually person-to-person (individual) Counselling although it may sometimes involve more than two people (group Counselling).
It is designed to help clients understand and clarify their view of life space and to learn to reach their self-determined goals through the resolution of problems of an emotional or inter-personal nature.
Makinde (1983) described Counselling as an enlightened process whereby people help people by facilitating growth, development and positive change through an exercise of self-understanding.
The further explained that Counselling is designed to provide an interacting relationship where the counselee to better understand himself in relating to his present and future decision or problems.
The counselor provides information about the counselee and his environment, he reacts in certain ways that stimulate the counselee to develop behaviors which enable him deal more effectively with himself and his psychological and social environment.
Therefore, Counselling provides insight for the future and make personal gains in the self-actualization process.
Guidance and Counselling are similar in that they have as their basis a helping relationship that seeks to assist individual in attaining self direction.
However, practitioners know that the two terms are not synonymous.
Guidance is abroad term, usually applied to a total-school program of activities and services aimed at assisting students to make an adequate plan and to achieve satisfactory adjustment in life.
Counselling is usually viewed as a part or subset of guidance services.
Therefore, it is essential to realize that guidance and Counselling process were initiated to assist societal aspiration of raising good citizens in all ramification as determines by the philosophy of the society. Awokoye (1980), felt that without academic and career guidance and Counselling in the schools the whole purpose of education cannot be achieved.
The students must be counseled about the combination of subject which will lead to the career in which he/she has interest and motivation.
He argued that no matter how good and well structured the new educational policy may be as it relates to any level of education, if guidance and Counselling services are not given priority and made an integral part of the system, it cannot succeed.
The National Policy on Education (2004) identified guidance and Counselling as one of the major means of achieving educational goals.
This is a service that enables each learner in our institutions of learning to deprive optional educational benefit.
This came to the limelight during the nations 1975 – 1980 development plan.
The plan was made to introduce guidance in the national educational training program.
As a follow-up to this plan, the government aptly stated in the national policy on education of 1977 (Revised in 1981 and 1989) that in view of the apparent ignorance of many young people about career prospects and in view of personality maladjustment among school children, career officers and counsellors will be appointed in post primary institutions.
The school guidance program is founded upon two primary beliefs.
Firstly, it recognizes that each student is a worthy individual possessing unique qualities abilities and needs.
Thus, the school guidance and Counselling program focuses on the identification of, and the provision of individual’s needs of the student.
Secondly, while acknowledging individual difference, it is also recognizes that there are needs and concerns which are common to everyone.
These common needs can best be met through carefully planned sequenced program which are provided, witnessed a remarkable growth in secondary school Counselling since the 1980s.
In response to the increased recognition of the Nigerian adolescent development needs, problems and concerns perhaps in given guidance and Counselling at this points in time some recognition, the Federal Government probably believed that the objective of National Policy on Education (1998) can be brought about more easily through the services of guidance and Counselling.
Some of important objectives of the policy are:
– Respect for the worth and dignity of the individual.
– Faith in means ability to make national decision.
– Moral and spiritual value’s inter-and intrapersonal human relations.
– Shared responsibility for the common good of society.
– Promotion of the emotional, physical and psychologically of all children.
Therefore, a look at the Nigeria educational sector today reveals that the needs of elementary of primary school pupils for the kind of developmental assistance that school counsellors will provide have not yet been recognized. The National Policy on Education (1998), refers to the primary school as the institution for children aged normally between 6 to 11 or 12 years.
It also recognizes the fact that since the rest of the educational system is built upon the primary school, it is the key to the success or failure of the whole system.
However at the moment, attention seems to be focused on providing guidance service for post-primary school students why elementary school Counselling is on the other hand relegated to the background.
Statement of the Problem
The primary school children face many developmental problems which hinder their intellectual physical, social, emotional, moral and vocational development.
Guidance and counselling in the elementary school is an emerging field in the world, report according to Hoose et al (1983) revealed that the United State of America witness a remarkable growth elementary school counselling in the decade of 1960 to 1970. A few surveys conducted by Hoose, Pietrofesa and Carlson (1983) and Hoose and Carlson (1981 – 1982) revealed a phenomenal increase in the primary school counsellor size.
According to the study, the number was 6041 for 1968 – 1969 period and 7982 for 1981 – 81 periods.
This substantial growth suggests the recognition in United States of America of elementary school guidance and Counselling as a permanent part of elementary school education.
The study may be the same in other parts of Europe. In contrast, the picture of elementary school counselling in Nigeria is dismal.
This is not surprising since secondary school counselling itself it not yet properly rooted in the Nigeria education system barely taking off.
This not withstanding primary school counselling in Nigeria has to be given the recognition it deserve, this is because most future unhappiness of adults are rooted in their needs were created for and their concerns solved in their early educational period.
Since maladaptive behaviors and problems originate in the primary schools, primary school guidance and counselling needs to be explored, developed, applied and implemented in Nigeria primary school.
Consequently, counsellors can also be able to work in the primary schools by virtue of their provisional training.
This study is to investigate the perception of primary schools teachers in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State on needs for guidance and counselling services.
recommended that government should try to employ the qualified counsellors for primary school for effective changes in pupils and teachers.
It was also recommended that adequate teaching and learning materials should be provided for the teaching.
The provision could be made entirely by the government or through counterpart finding with the parents.