The Role of Counselling Resources and the Effectiveness of Career Guidance in Government Secondary Schools in Kumba Municipality
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This research study entitled the ‘role of counseling resources and the effectiveness of career guidance in Government secondary schools in Kumba municipality has as purpose to find out the role of counseling resources and the effectiveness of career guidance in Government secondary schools in Kumba municipality, Meme Division in the Southwest Region of Cameroon’.
Three hypotheses were used to guide the study. The objectives were to investigate the role of physical resources and the effectiveness of career guidance, to examine the role of human resources and the effectiveness of career guidance and lastly to examine the role of financial resources and the effectiveness of career guidance in Government secondary schools in Kumba municipality.
The instrument used was a questionnaire distributed to100 students from Form four in three secondary schools in the targeted area. The data obtained which was measured using the Chi-square shows the following results;
Firstly, There was statistical evidence that demonstrate that human resources determines effective career guidance with a correlation coefficient of R=0.3; P=0.05 The statistical test result has a lower figure of 0.3 P-value which is below the standard 0.5 P-value.
Hence, the Ho was rejected while Ha accepted which means, there was a significant relationship between human resources and career guidance. Hypothesis two shows that there was statistical evidence that physical resources significantly determines effectiveness of career guidance with a correlation coefficient of R=0.3; P=0.000 using Hence, the Ho was rejected while Ha accepted which means, there was a significant relationship between physical resources and effective career guidance.
Hypothesis three shows that there was statistical evidence that financial resources significantly determines career guidance with a correlation coefficient of R=0.3; P=0.000 using Hence, the Ho was rejected while Ha accepted which means, there was a significant relationship between financial resources and career guidance.
Lastly, hypothesis three shows that there was statistical evidence that demonstrated community resources and career guidance s with a correlation coefficient of R=0.3; P=0.05 Hence, the Ho was rejected while Ha accepted which means, there was a significant relationship between community resources and effective career guidance.
Conclusively, Majority of respondents were of the opinion that counselling resources can influence career choice of secondary schools students in Kumba III Sub-Division. Based on the findings of this study the following recommendations were made:
Human resources: The human resources (teachers, counsellors) should be highly employed in schools to reduce teacher-student, counsellor-student ratio so as to ensure the proper use of talent strategies to follow-up and guide students better on their career choice.
Physical resources: The physical resources which are directly related to the achievements of learners’ goals like scientific laboratory for science students, workshop for commercial student should be provided and equipped to act as motivational factors on their career.
Financial resource: The funds required for the smooth operations of a school and the educational system should be greatly available to prevent delay on the achievements of the institutional objectives.
Also, the roles of the local community such as parents, community leaders cannot be over emphasized in the sense that, parents for example, are the first educators for a child. This means that, school counsellors should collaborate with them for better sharing of information.
This chapter provides the introduction to the problem under investigation and also provides background information to the study. Furthermore, the chapter contains the statement problem, objectives of the study as well as hypotheses of the study.
Research questions and conceptual are also presented scope of the study, significance of the study and operational definition of terms are included.
Counselors play important role in formulating and implementing counselling programs, procedures, and strategies for managing the students‟ behavior. Therefore, to effectively implement a counselling program, the counsellor requires specific counselling resources to effectively execute his\her duty.
Hence, the overall responsibility for students’ career guidance lies heavily on the shoulders of the school counselor. As the captain of the ship‟, it becomes the responsibility of the school to provide necessary resources for counselor to effectively execute his duties.
Therefore, this study entails to examine the role of counselling resources and the effectiveness of career guidance in government secondary schools in Cameroon. Hence, historically, the history of guidance and counselling can be traced back to America in the late 1890s and in the early 1990s.
Frank Parsons who is considered as the grandfather of Vocational guidance was among the pioneers of guidance and counselling movement. Through his efforts, guidance and counselling became an organized service and it gained recognition for its important contribution to society.
Parsons (1908) established the first institution in the United States of American, and set the pace for the development of psychological testing. Increasingly, the guidance and counselling movement developed into an organized service, which has had a sustained significant contribution to the development of society (Makinde, 1984).
Important support towards the growth of guidance and counselling also came from Weaver (1972). She provided help to students who had difficulties upon leaving New York City schools. The movement spread throughout the country as wildfire and groups with the same vision came up in other cities.
These efforts led to the creation of the National Vocational Guidance Association (N.V.G.A) and the hosting of a conference in 1910 in Boston. The vocational guidance bulletin was published at the end of this conference.
Later on, other organizations in favor of guidance on vocations joined the National Vocational Guidance Association to form the American Personnel and Guidance Association (A.P.G.A, 1952) surfaced. During the 1920s and 1930s the role of counselling evolved beyond focusing on vocational issues only.
It was recognized that beside the need for an appropriate vocation for the student, other domains such as social, personal, and educational dimensions of a student’s life equally required attention.
However, the Great Depression of the 1930s resulted to the limitation of funds for counselling programs. Additional support for the work of counsellors in the USA came following a Presidential Committee recommendation and passage of the George Dean Act in 1938 wherein funds were directly provided for vocational guidance and counselling.
In the 1980s, the principles, standards and benchmarks for the training of school counsellors were put in place. The educational system in general and counselling programs in particular were seriously evaluated.
To ensure that schools provide sufficient learning opportunities for persons with disabilities, school counsellors were educated to adapt the learning milieu to the needs of students. The responsibilities and functions of counsellors took a new dimension.
They were given the duty to be caretakers of and follow up the Individualized Education Programs (IEP) and Student Study Teams (SST) as well as act as consultants to teachers of special education, particularly in the aftermath of the coming into place of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In Africa, counselling has been in existence since the history of man. Madu (1996) referred to African counselling as “African indigenous counseling” or “African traditional counseling.” Nwoye (2010) noted that African counselling was devoted to the study of the psychological healing systems allied to the traditional communities of Africa.
There were traditional diviners, spiritual leaders and traditional healers and these still exist today despite the shift towards Western or modern counselling. The initial preoccupation of African counselling was the systematic study of the patterned ways and rituals, theories, and techniques, invented in indigenous African communities (Nwoye, 2010).
Nwoye (2010) further stated that these rituals, theories and techniques would address the psychological needs and problems of the African populations. Today, many researchers in African counselling agree that more than 80% of Africans still seek traditional therapy in addition to the Western Psychotherapy.
Western approaches of counselling were introduced in Africa before and after independence from the late 1950s. Nwoye (2013) observed that it was important to expound the relationship between Western counselling and African counselling. This is because African counselling is pegged on secure foundations of African indigenous healing systems.
He added that today African counselling is practiced as a blended science, which involves the study and application of the most appropriate practices in Western and African psychological therapies.
From this perspective, African counselling encompasses the study of the major theories such as Psychoanalysis, Behavioral and Cognitive theories and Systemic practice in both indigenous Africa and the modern West.
Despite the introduction of the Western psychotherapeutic models, Madu (2015) noted that it is a challenge for professional counselling to treat the modern African clients and especially the treatment of emotional problems.
Majority of the counsellors have split in-between the Western forms of counselling and African forms of counselling. According to Madu (2015), the problems encountered by the counsellors are trying to apply Western-oriented psychotherapies in African settings.
According to Ebigbo and Ihezue (2015), there are three types of African counselling; the traditional, the mixed, and the western oriented types. The traditional type grew up and spent most of his or her early childhood years in rural areas. Some of them moved to the townships at a later stage in their lives. Their world image is analogical, magical and pictorial.
They always go to traditional healers when they have health problems. Madu (2015) added that the intermediate mixed type was either born and bred in the rural areas but moved to the city to work and live as an adult or grew up in a city but continued to have a very strong tie to the rural areas and their customs.
This type uses a blended therapy of the traditional African and the Western-oriented counselling. WHO (2010), agree that about 80% of African population today fall within either the traditional or the blended types. Most of the western-oriented type of clients were born and bred in townships.
They are educated, mostly Christians or Muslims and their parents are educated. From childhood, these clients have been treated in hospitals and have never thought of going to a traditional healer for treatment. The Culture-Centered Psychotherapy with its inherent values would.
In Cameroon, guidance and counselling can be traced back to the 1940s, with an in-service unit in counselling opened in the Public Works Department (Ndongko&Leke, 2000) in the then French speaking part of Cameroon.
It however underwent a series of changes in naming, for instance in 1949, it was called the Centre for Psychological Counselling and Vocational Choice (C.P.C.V.C.).
In 1963, this name changed from C.P.V.C to the Service of Vocational Guidance and Psychological Studies of Labour Problems (this time in the reunified Federal Republic of Cameroon). It was thus placed under the Secretariat for Labour and linked to the focal point of Secondary Education, where it is well rooted up to this moment.
The focal point of counselling in Cameroon has been to enable students understand and accept who they are, so that the innate talents can be discovered and used efficiently to make life more meaningful.
Today, the State has opened departments of guidance and counseling in several teaching training colleges (HTTC,Yaounde, HTTC,Maroua, HTTTC, Douala, HTTC,Bambili, HTTTC, Bambili, HTTT, Kumba, HTTC, Ngaoundere, HTTC, Ebolowa).
Graduates of these colleges are posted to work in universities and secondary schools. However, guidance and counselling was introduced many decades ago in 1949in Cameroon public secondary schools and universities leaving out the primary schools whether primary school pupils do not have problems/ needs that warrants the services of a Guidance counselor.
Following the law no 98/004 section 29, lays the foundation that “educational counseling and psychology activities shall be carried out during the child’s period of schooling at all levels of education” in Cameroon. In this vein, therefore, there are three broad categories of guidance and counseling needs in the school system.
They are; Pupils’ needs, the schools’ needs and the community’s’ needs. It is worth noting that these abilities are equally expected of every adult Cameroonian in order to fully function properly in the society. In order to achieve these objectives, the services of guidance counselors are needed to help guide pupils in acquiring these abilities.
Due to the various needs met at the Cameroon education, school system, several schools have opened to train guidance counselors to help meet up with the different needs just at the secondary and tertiary level of education. Theoretically, this study is guided by the client-centred theory in counseling which was propounded by Carl Rogers in 1951.
Originally described as non-directive, this theory moved away from the idea that the therapist was the expert, and towards a theory that trusted the innate tendency (known as the actualizing tendency) of human beings to find fulfillment of their personal potentials.
An important part of this theory is that in a particular psychological environment, the fulfillment of personal potential includes sociability, the need to be with other human beings and a desire to know and be known by other people.
It also includes the counsellor being open to experience, being trusting and trustworthy, being curious about the world, being creative and compassionate.
The psychological environment described by Rogers was one where a person felt free from threat, both physically and psychologically. This environment could be achieved when being in a relationship with a person who was deeply understanding (emphatic), accepting (having unconditional positive regard) and genuine (congruent).
Also, according to Ginzberg (1962) process theory of vocational choice, occupational choice is a long term process and these processes become increasingly irreversible. The Ego process considered critical in vocational development are: reality testing, ability to delay gratification, development of appropriate time perspective and the ability to make compromises.
These processes mature over time and affect the adequacy of the vocational developmental process. Also, the theory of vocational choice developed by John L. Holland is one of the most widely researched and applied theories of career development.
Holland’s theory of vocational choice involves assessing individuals in terms of two or three prominent personality types and then matching the respective types with the environmental aspects of potential careers.
The theory predicts that the higher the degree of congruence between individual and occupational characteristics, the better the potential for positive career-related outcomes, including satisfaction, persistence, and achievement.
Conceptually, according to Oviogbodu (2015) counselling can be defined as a number of procedures in assisting an individual to solve his problems. Counselling is more involved emotionally in the affective realm personalized learning, that is, emotions and feelings, values, attitudes.
Counselling is an interaction or relationship between two or few individuals, the client counsellor relationship of trust (Geshinde 1991).
Counselling is a learning process in which a counsellor helps an individual or individuals learn, understand themselves and their environment and be in a position to choose the right type of behaviors that will help them develop, grow, progress, ascend, mature and step up, educationally, vocationally and socio personally (Egbo, 2013).
In other words, counselling is a transformative process of helping people to learn all that are to be learnt both in and outside the School.
Counselling is a person-to-person process in which one person is helped by another to develop, increase in understanding and ability to solve his or her problems. Sometimes (Akamak, 2009).
Counselling resources provide a useful, additional tool for counsellors wanting to provide as wide-ranging a service as possible to all their counselling clients. Resources can also enhance a counsellor’s personal skills and increase the level and amount of knowledge and support a counsellor can offer through the practice of their skills.
Research libraries offer counsellors easy access to the latest books, articles, reviews, manuals, guides and summaries, and provides information on the latest developments in the field of counselling.
Counsellors can also access information on medical research and clinical trials, using electronic journals and database. These services can be accessed online or through registered associations and organizations.
Counsellors who work in specialist areas of counselling, or with clients who present more than one initial concern or issue for instance drug and alcohol dependency will discover there are many benefits to using resource materials and research knowledge.
They will become more confident in their ability to provide their clients with the best possible counselling service, and also be able to offer other avenues the client can explore. Using resources also allows the professional counsellor an opportunity to explore their own abilities, career development and personal skills and requirements.
Reflective research explores the counsellor’s skills and self-awareness and may provide renewed interest in the expansion of a counsellor’s career. Being able to access information about the latest developments in the field of counselling also supports further training (Hank, 2009).
An effective implementation of career guidance in school entails both human and physical resources. Personnel are very often trained in the context of psychological counselling, with a heavy emphasis on psychological dysfunction.
However, their background maybe appropriate for supporting students with personal problems, on the other hand, it does not often equip them to deliver advice on types of job, career prospects, and learning opportunities. Labour market information often receives limited attention within psychology-dominated programs (Watts, 2009).
Career guidance is often fragmented and/or delivered by multiple agencies to the same target groups. Within the school, it is often delivered by regular teachers with an additional responsibility for career guidance.
This function is often under-resourced because the activity competes with the ‘mainstream’ teaching functions of educational institutions which tend to dominate priorities. While there are attractions in integrating career guidance into a broad curriculum, guidance may easily be neglected if only provided as an aspect of another subject.
Schools often lack the capacity and expertise to deliver the quite complex demands of an integrated service (National Audit Office, 2005).
Sometimes career guidance is delivered through publicly-funded employment services, but such services focus primarily on getting unemployed adults back into work and off benefits a narrower perspective than desirable to guide the career choices of young people.
Sometimes, particularly for adults, guidance is delivered through other agencies such as trade unions, employers, voluntary organizations and private-sector organizations.
When resources for career guidance are lacking, one-to-one guidance may only be offered to students who seek it out, meaning that it is only utilized by those students who are most aware of its value bypassing the most uncertain and disadvantaged students who often have the greatest needs.
Higher achievers tend to be readier to seek advice and information and to have clearer ideas about their progression (Grup, 2005).
Career guidance caters for the needs of students toward appropriate career decisions through career guidance programs. Counsellors facilitate employability among their students by equipping them with the right skills, experiences and attitudes required in the workforce.
They are the master initiators for students to be functionally accomplished to understand that their present course preferences would influence their future educational and career choices.
They are obliged to address career concerns through the implementation of career programs that permit the counsellors to increase students’ competences towards employability trends.
The success in the labor market requires the use of effective career management strategies as a supplement to educational and vocational expertise. The thrust of educational institutions is to assist students in preparing for their careers (Hirshi, 2009). Therefore, such services can only effectively render when appropriate counselling resources are provided.
Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions a person will ever make. Unfortunately, many people make career choices without adequate guidance. The importance of career guidance also holds true for students who are choosing a school for furtherance of their education and ultimately choosing their major.
A major turning point in adolescents’ lives therefore, involves the career choice that they make while in school and especially high school.
Implementing an effective counseling program entails having appropriate resources such as human and physical resources for counsellors to effectively and efficiently function.
On the contrary, most counselors work under precarious conditions. Some don’t even have offices to carry out their duties and a times, the number of counselor per school is extremely low. All these, might hinder the proper functioning of the school counselor.
Hence, these might also lead to inefficiency affecting the type of career choices made by the students. At this point, one would want to know the role of counselling resources and the effectiveness of career guidance in government secondary schools in Cameroon.
To investigate the role of counselling resources and the effectiveness of career guidance in government secondary schools in Cameroon
- To examine how human resources affects the effectiveness of career guidance
- To establish how financial resources affects the effectiveness of career guidance
- To examine how physical resources affects the effectiveness of career guidance
- To determine how community resources affects the effectiveness of career guidance
To what extent does counselling resources impact the effectiveness of career guidance in government secondary schools in Cameroon?
- To what extent does human resources affect the effectiveness of career guidance?
- To what extent do financial resources affect the effectiveness of career guidance?
- To what extent do physical resources affect the effectiveness of career guidance?
- To what extent does community resources affects the effectiveness of career guidance?