The study investigated influence of guidance and counselling services on academic achievement in economics in secondary schools. The research adopted the descriptive survey research design. The population of the study was 66,164 respondents. A sample size of 399 was drawn using the Taro Yamen formula. The study implied the simple random sampling technique. The instrument for the study was a structured questionnaire titled “Guidance and Counselling Services and Career Choice/Academic Achievement
Questionnaire (GCSCCAAQ) with a four point rating scale designed to elicit information from the respondents. The instrument was content and face validated by experts in the fields of Guidance and Counselling and Educational Measurement and Evaluation, while a reliability coefficient value of 0.74 was obtained using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation. Means and Standard Deviations were used to answer the research questions, while z-test was used in testing the null hypotheses at 0.05 significance level. It was found that there is no significant difference in the opinion of students on the extent to which educational, vocational and personal social counselling services influence career choice and academic achievement of secondary school students in The state. The study concluded that guidance and counselling services such as educational, vocational and personal social counselling programme in school assist students to harmonize their abilities, interests and values and thereby help them to develop their full potential. The study recommended that schools should be supplied with sufficient manpower in terms of trained counsellors who will be able to guide, direct and assist the students towards achieving their ultimate goal in life.
Keywords: Guidance and Counselling, Services, Career Choice, Academic Achievement, Secondary School, Students.
1.1 Background of the study
Over the years, secondary school education has been the engine room for acquiring knowledge. This is a time when students are made to understand or learn about other subjects that determine the course of study which one would want to engage in higher education after primary school as opined by Melvin (2015). Where it is placed today in the educational system depicts its relevance. Schwarzeller (2016) stated that a school is regarded as that which gives an outside view of what needs to happen in order for change to occur and also an equal opportunity for building up ones strengths and talents. In Nigeria, educational reforms always place secondary schools in the fore front. To be precise, it is seen as a strong avenue for the acquisition of skill, experience and knowledge cum wide range of vocational prospects for youths (Ezekwesili, 2006). This is a system that is geared towards strengthening secondary school education and providing students with more practical knowledge that can make them strong and stand on their own after graduation. Individual differences exist among people which invariably has an effect on the personality of the individuals and what they are capable of doing (Kutara, 2017). Differences in the individual growth rate, intellect, school achievement, sex usually set the pace where students look at themselves in career or vocations orientation. The home, school, mosque, church and the community are very vital factors in the students’ environment, thereby, having an effect or impact in their choice of career or vocation (Olawanle & Obayemi, 2010) Factors such as parental expectation, big salary, societal prestige, personal security, cordial relationship with friends, changes for advancement as well as the nature of the work itself have directly or indirectly caused or made most students who are almost graduating from secondary schools into making unrealistic career choice.
Career cum vocation as used in the field of counselling has a broad and technical meaning (Gonzalez, 2012). Technically, career refers to sequence of role or a position including works, leisure and educational pursuit that may encompass a number of occupations, vocations or jobs one engages in during his working life (Seligman, 2010). It is a job for which it is possible to advance during ones working life, so that he or she may get greater responsibility and earn more money. Career can also be said to be the total life long experience of work that has come to serve as his means of earning a livelihood (Kolo, 2011). The career choice previously was not as difficult as it is today. There were fewer job opportunities and more importantly, parents, teachers and religious bodies were aware of the existing opportunities as well as requirements for entry into them. Today, the situation is that secondary school students hardly have full knowledge of the requirement for each job and can no longer keep track with the numerous career opportunities (Issa & Nwalo, 2008). It is against this background that the guidance and counseling services was introduced in order to assist the secondary students in choosing a good career.
Counselling simply means to give advice to (a person) on social or personal problems, especially professionally and the process of assisting and guiding clients, especially by a trained person on a professional basis, to resolve especially personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties. Counseling is a collaborative process that involves the development of a confidential professional relationship that focuses on personal problems. The objective of counselling is to help you clarify issues, gain insight into your feelings and thoughts and deal effectively with problems. The major aim of guidance counselling service is to encourage students’ academic, social, emotional and personal development. To reach this aim, it helps students get to know themselves better and find effective solutions to their daily problems. The guidance and counselling services in the school refers to the range of the client to develop their own understanding of their situation. They will enable the client to explore aspects of their life and feelings, by talking openly and freely (Nikweze, 2005).
Talking like this is rarely possible with family or friends, who are likely to be emotionally involved and have opinions and biases that may affect the discussion. Talking to a counsellor give clients the opportunity to express difficult feelings such as anger, resentment, guilt and fear in a confidential environment. The counsellor may encourage the client to examine parts of their lives that they may have found difficult or impossible to face before. There may be some exploration of early childhood experiences to throw some light on why an individual reacts or responds in certain ways in given situations. This is often followed by considering ways in which the client may change such behaviours. Good counselling should reduce the client’s confusion, allowing them to make effective decisions leading to positive changes in their attitude and/or behaviour. The ultimate aim of counselling is to enable the client to make their own choices, reach their own decisions and act upon them. There are a number of skills that are required by counsellors. Perhaps the most important are good communication skills (Navin, 2009). Counsellors therefore, need to be particularly be able to listen effectively, giving their full attention to the client. They need to be aware of body language and other non-verbal communication. Clients will often communicate far more non-verbally than verbally, so this is an important area of skill. Questioning is an important skill for counsellors, just as it is in coaching. Counsellors use questioning both to improve their understanding (as a form of clarification), and also as an active way to help expose the client’s feelings and emotions. They will also use reflection to show that they have heard the client, and to validate the client’s feelings and words. Counsellors also need to be able to build a certain amount of rapport with their client, but not to an extent that would allow them to become emotionally involved (Mashige & Oduntan, 2011). They also need to be empathetic.
This means that they are aware of their client’s feelings and emotions. Empathy goes beyond being sympathetic (which is basically feeling sorry for someone), because the root of the word means to ‘feel with’. Empathy therefore means that the counsellor understands how the client feels and can therefore ask appropriate questions and lead the client to positive conclusions. The nature of empathy is rooted in helping others, and particularly in empowering them to help themselves, so this is an essential skill area for counselling is suitable to the student based on their skills and interest. Educational counselling is a field focused on the preparation of students to professionally apply the theory and principles of guidance and counselling for the personal, social, educational, and vocational development of others. As in coaching Egbochukwu (1997) opined that counselling is rooted in the principle that individuals can help themselves, provided that they receive the right kind of support. A counsellor is not there to tell their clients what to do, or how to do it, but to help them work out for themselves what they are going to do, and the best approach to take. It is, therefore, very important that individuals, person-centered, and those who provide counselling need to remember that above all. Educational counselling help students to know the value of education, educate students and parents about the various courses in education. Educational counsellors suggest the stream of course or subject, and assist students at all levels, from elementary school to college, listen to students’ concerns about academic, emotional or social problems. Help students process their problems and plan goals and action, and finally, mediate conflict between students and teachers.
Vocational counselling is a set of services designed to develop the skills and ability to practice a vocation in a productive way (Seligman, 2010). Those born with physical or cognitive impairments are taught how to perform in the workplace taking into consideration their abilities and challenges. It is a process during which a vocational counsellor helps their clients decide, in an aware and independent way, which profession or occupation they want (Issa & Nwalo, 2008). In personal social counselling, individual counseling (sometimes called psychotherapy, talk therapy, or treatment) is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained mental health clinician in a safe, caring, and confidential environment. Individual counseling is counseling focused on the individual’s immediate or near future concerns.
Academic achievement according to Ipaye (2004) is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. It is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessments but there is no general agreement on how it is best evaluated or which aspects are most important whether via procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts. Furthermore, there are inconclusive results over which individual factors successfully predict academic achievement, elements such as test anxiety, environment, motivation, and emotions require consideration when developing models of school achievement. Individual differences in academic achievement have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality. Students with higher mental ability as demonstrated by IQ tests and those who are higher in conscientiousness (linked to effort and achievement motivation) tend to achieve highly in academic settings. A recent meta-analysis suggested that mental curiosity (as measured by typical intellectual engagement) has an important influence on academic achievement in addition to intelligence and conscientiousness (Anyanwu, 2009).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
When considering the educational stage at which choice is to be made, secondary school is the best option. The tertiary level of education is the level of education at which students limit themselves to a specific area of proficiency based on the foundation level while in the secondary school level. It is on this premises that this study seeks to address the problem of wrong career choices which deeply and highly influences the choice of career and academic achievement of students in secondary schools. This is because most of these students choose jobs without relating them to their interests, satisfaction and capacity to cope with the nature of the job. It is against the backdrop that the study was carried out to investigate the influence of guidance and counselling services on career choice and academic achievement of secondary school students The aim of guidance and counseling service in secondary schools is to assist students to understand themselves, their problems and to be ale to solve these problems without difficulties. An observation has been made by the researcher that in spite of the guidance and counseling in secondary schools, some students still drop out of school and some have non-chalant attitude toward their studies; others engage in drug abuse and juvenile delinquencies. This has been a major concern to the researcher and hence the decision to write this project so as to fine out if really guidance and counseling service have the mush desired and expected impacts on the students.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to identify:
- The impact of guidance and counseling services in some selected secondary schools
- The problems affecting guidance and counseling service in the schools.
- The attitudes of students towards guidance counsellors.
- The attitudes of parents towards their children’s career choices
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research question will guide this study:
- Does socio – economic background of parents at times make some parents impose pressure on their wards early in life in terms of career choice?
- Do peer group have any influence on students towards non-chalant attitude to studies?
- what is the relationship between the students and the guidance and counseling teacher?
- what is the degree of students exposure to guidance and counseling service in some schools.
1.5 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Just like in the case of a bread baker who must follow some steps in baking bread, so is the case of a counselor who must follow a process in order resolve the problem of a client.
By going thought the works of authors such as Nwoje (1987), Peterson and Nisenholz (1991) and Okobiah (1992), there seem to be similarities and differences in their opinions. The counseling process according to Okobiah has four stages which are as follow:
- Interviewing Stage:This stage is also known as the familiarization, orientation or introductory stage. The counselor and the client meet for the first time. The counselor inquires about the client’s name, class, parents, friends, progress in school and his mission to the counselor’s office.
- Working Stage: This is the stages the counselor fully engages the client in discussion about what to do and how it will be done concerning the problem of the client. Here the counselor uses different techniques to diagnose the problem.
- Terminator Stage: This means bringing an end to the counseling relationship between the counselor and the client. The termination could be due to the following reasons: counseling goals have been achieved uncooperative attitude from the client, the client may decide not to continue, referral to an expert or death of counselor or client.
- The fourth stage is the follow up stage.This is the stage the counselor will want to know what is happening to the client after termination.
These stages in the theoretical framework are relevant to the work at hand because it will help the researcher to know how the counselor will draw out the problem from the client and the kind of solution he will proffer.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is most significant to students, teachers, parents and the society at large as its importance cannot be overemphasized. Students will benefit from this study if guidance and counseling teacher actually play their role by helping in understanding their personal social and academic problems and how to go about solving them.
The aim of formal education is to shape the behaviour of an individual.
That is bringing about some desirable changes in the students behaviours.
Teachers will benefit from the study if government will play its role in funding guidance and counseling programme and administrators properly manage the money. This incentive would boost the teacher’s moral and they will produce quality student through effective teaching and counseling.
Parents and the society at large will benefit because they will produce competent and responsible individuals.
This study will help in making students to have good subject combination and help to fulfill their career. The rate of drug abuse and addition among students will be reduced because the negative impact of it will be pointed out to them; at the end of which families and the society at large will have fulfilled citizens.
The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and tested at 0.05 significance level.
There is no significant difference in the opinion of students on the extent to which educational counselling services influence career choice and academic achievement of secondary school students in The state.
There is no significant difference in the opinion of students on the extent to which vocational counselling services influence career choice and academic achievement of secondary school students in The state.
There is no significant difference in the opinion of students on the extent to which personal social counselling services influence career choice and academic achievement of secondary school students in The state.
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study intends to investigate critically the impact of guidance and counseling service in some selected secondary school in Doka area. These schools are: Rimi College, Sardauna Memorial College, Maimuna Gwarzo Secondary School and Government Girls Secondary School.
The researcher has limited herself to these schools because they are nearer to her and she can not go around all the secondary schools in Doka area. In addition she is familiar with most of the students from these schools.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Ability: power to do special things. A student is said to have particular ability when he/she has the power to carry out a related physical or mental action without prior training or education.
- Counseling: Is an enlightened process whereby people help other by encouraging their growth. That is help to properly understand themselves, their environment and the problems that are causing a high rate of concern.
- Counselor: Is an expert in his area of specialization and also has cultivated skills in helping people understand their situation clarity their values and make informed decision for which they assume responsibilities.
- Education: Is the process of acquiring knowledge and skill so as to prepare an individual to live happily with himself and others in the society in which he lives.
- Guidance: This is the process of helping a client to understand himself and his environment: understanding himself in terms of his interest, needs, fears, anxieties and general personality. He also understands is environment in terms of rules and regulations that must be obeyed to avoid any punishment.
- Aptitude: Natural tendency or talent or acquired skill which is assumed to underline and is conducive to an individual capacity to learn and attain a level of achievement in specific field.
- Achievement: Performance in school or college in a standardize series of educational tests.
- Capability: Ability to learn and to something
- Career: Way of making a living i.e one’s occupation or profession
- Choice: a particular thing among several things to be chosen
- Client: a student or an individual that get help from a guidance and counseling teacher.
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