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Influence of Guidance and Counselling on Students’ Discipline in Public Secondary Schools in Okpokwu Local Government Area, Benue State Nigeria

ABSTRACT

 This study set to investigate the influence of guidance and counselling services in public secondary schools students’ discipline in Okpokwu Local Government Area, Benue State. The researcher set objectives, which sought to determine the extent to which provision of guidance and counselling materials, teacher counsellors’ exposure, peer training, guest speakers and the time allocated to students counselling influenced students’ discipline in Okpokwu Local Government Area, Nigeria. The researcher used the descriptive survey design to carry out the research. The respondents for this study were 20 secondary school principals, 20 teacher counsellors and 144 form 4 students.

A pilot study was conducted to test the validity and reliability of the instruments. Data was analyzed using percentages and descriptive analysis. The study findings revealed that guidance and counselling services were offered in the schools and 82.4% of the principals considered it important but lacked the necessary material and literature support. From the literature review it is found that character formation is achieved through intense formal and informal programmes for guidance and counselling. It is through guidance and counselling that students remain disciplined and focused in life. The result indicates that through guidance and counselling students are assisted to be disciplined and become able to deal with challenges and realities they face in their academic, social and physical environment.

The following were the recommendations made .The principals in secondary schools should put in place guidance and counselling services and provide an office where privacy is made a priority. This will encourage more students to visit the office. Guidance and counselling teachers should be well trained on how to carry out their duties. To have adequate provision of guidance and counselling materials as well as application of peer counselling, there is need to make proper budgeting for the same in terms of finances and time respectively. Guest speakers should be invited to provide the counselling services to the students in areas of concern.

Since this study was based in Okpokwu Local Government Area, a predominantly local area, it is therefore suggested that a replication of this study be carried out in an urban setting. A study on student discipline in relation to parent or guardian upbringing should be carried out. The influence of minimal integration of guidance and counselling in selected subjects in the curriculum should be researched on. The objective is to curb the long standing problem of lack of time to practice guidance and counselling. To integrate guidance and counselling in the curriculum is to ensure that students move up the educational ladder with guidance and counselling knowledge.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1   Background of the study

 Guidance and counselling as a movement was started in America at the beginning of 20th Century as a reaction to change process in an industrialized society. Guidance and counselling services were set up within the department of education in September 1968 when the recommendations made by Louis, a consultant sent over to Malta by United Nation’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), were taken up, Sammut (2017). Globally, guidance and counselling services are essential elements in discipline management of people in all societies. It could be difficult for any society to function well without the exercise of discipline.

 

School guidance and counselling programmes have therefore been introduced to assist students overcome the number of challenges they experience at home and at school. Nziramasanga (2019) states that because of many pressures imposed on the family, parents tend to have little time with their children to give them the necessary guidance. The parents expect the school to provide solutions to the indiscipline in secondary schools caused by their children. UNESCO (2012:2) adds that “African adults have become more concerned with earning money and are less occupied with many traditional practices that formerly contributed to the upbringing of young people”. Rapid sociological changes emanating from modernization and urbanization stress students.

 

In Nigeria the need for guidance and counselling is recognized when a survey was done of 20 school counsellors in southern and central regions and the main problems examined. It was proven that, there is great need for a clear rationale and guidelines for Guidance and Counselling programmes, Taylor and Francis (2018). The main goal is to help the counselee learn to deal more effectively with himself and the reality of his environment. Allis and Kamel (2019) conducted a cross-section survey on indiscipline among 2170 preparatory and secondary school students enrolled in the mainstream governmental schools in Alexandria in Egypt. Indiscipline among school students and its predictors were investigated. Few indiscipline cases were related to family background whereas the majority was related to the children themselves. Schools are social systems which have several objectives to achieve and the role of guidance and counselling is vital in shaping the discipline of the students (Abiri, 2016).

Counselling is a process of helping individuals or group of people to gain self- understanding in order to be themselves. Burks and Steffler (2018) see counselling as a professional relationship between a trained Counsellor and a client. Olayinka (2012) defined it to be a process whereby a person is helped in a face-to-face relationship while Makinde (2014) explained counselling as an enlightened process whereby people help others by encouraging their growth. Counselling is a process designed to help clients understand and clarify personal views of their life space, and to learn to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well-informed choices and a resolution of problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature. It believes that every human individual has the potential for self-growth, self-development and self-actualization (Achebe, 2016).

 

Although guidance and counselling was introduced to Nigeria formally in 1967, under the Ministry of Education, it had been engraved in the African traditional society since time memorial. A report of the National committee on Education Objectives and Policies Gachathi Report, (Republic of Nigeria 1976), recommended that the Ministry of Education should take charge of delivering counselling services. Despite the recommendations, the use of guidance and counselling services was still wanting in helping curb indiscipline in various schools, which was increasing. It is now vital to borrow the concept of formal guidance and counselling from the western world to meet the social changes in our society (Adimula, 2018).

Gitonga (2017) laments that due to educational and economic challenges they have to grapple with; parents are left with no time to positively parent their children. The result is permissive parenting style, which has its toll  on the growing child. Permissive parenting style has no rules or limits. Wangai (2014), in supporting this view observes that modernization in Africa has caused the disintegration of the traditional social structure. He suggested that clear supportive and progressive policies are needed to deal with most problems facing youth through schooling. Such policies can be implemented through the integration of guidance and counselling in secondary school programs (Borg & Gall, 2019).

 

Guidance and counselling as the third force in education along with instruction, is an integral part of educational system. Guidance programmes for secondary school students are designed to address the physical, emotional, social, vocational and academic difficulties of adolescent students (Bulus, 2011). This is to complement learning in the classroom and also enhance academic performance/achievements of students. Guidance plays a vital role in preventing educational, personal, social, mental emotional and other similar problems among secondary school students.

 

The Report of the Presidential Workshop Party on Education and Manpower Training (The Republic of Nigeria 1988), observed that guidance and counselling of youths in secondary schools is essential in enhancing discipline. The report suggested that guidance and counselling programmes should assist students to appreciate themselves and their role as workers and to develop right attitudes towards discipline (Ayieko, 2018). The challenge of indiscipline in secondary schools as been rising especially from the 2000s’ when corporal punishment was banned by the Ministry of Education by the gazette notice of 13th march 2001. Many people have blamed the banning of the cane for the escalating cases of the school  unrests. Counselling makes a student feel closer to the teacher thereby establishing friendly relationship. The student has the freedom to express himself/herself and realize the consequences of his/her misbehaviour, in the process positive discipline is ensured (Al-Rowaie, 2011).

 

Discipline is part of a very long tradition that may have been there from the beginning of human existence (Adimula, 2018). It is through guidance and counselling that school administrators can manage discipline to students. Discipline is a rudimentary ingredient that plays a crucial role in school system and insists on upholding the moral values of students (Anwana, 2012). It is intended to suppress, control and redirect  behaviour. In a school system all students must be aware of the rules before disciplinary action can be administered, Franken (2018). The concept of matching discipline and guidance and counselling helps to determine the value of G&C to students in schools. Parents and schools share the responsibility of promoting values and standards which we hope will help younger people to establish sound behavioural codes for their lives, hence they ensure good discipline is maintained among students (Castilo, 2018). There is great effort made by the Ministry of Education to offer guidance and counselling services to schools but still cases of indiscipline in public secondary schools are reported and Okpokwu Local Government Area is not exceptional. The researcher intended to explore the influence of guidance and counselling towards students’ discipline in secondary schools in Okpokwu Local Government Area, of Benue State.

 

1.2      Statement of the problem

 In spite of the implementation of guidance and counselling in public secondary schools indiscipline issues still exist. Wangai (2014) points out that the youth indulge in pleasure and luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, and disrespect for older people (Edet, 2018). It is common to hear parents, teachers and church leaders blaming each other, for failing to teach young people to be well behaved. Many parents have abandoned the teaching of their children which they have entrusted to the teachers The Ministry of Education has ensured that each school has a teacher-counsellor appointed by Teachers Service Commission, (T.S.C) yet indiscipline cases persist and Okpokwu Local Government Area is not exceptional.

Due to the influence of external environment as most schools are day schools and the abject poverty among many families, many students indulge in drug abuse and unwanted sex. Egbochukwu (2018) in the study: “Causes and effects of students’ unrest in Benue State,” asserts that attempts to curb unrests by education stakeholders, the community and the government have not yielded any success. Through the information obtained from the Area Education Officer  of Okpokwu Local Government Area, secondary school students within Okpokwu Local Government Area are demanding are in need for more resources (man, machine and materials) to expanding students Horizon (Okaro, 2015). These among other incidents contributed to the need to research on the ways in which good discipline can be restored in the institutions of learning (Egong et al., 2017). So this study sought to ascertain ways in which guidance and counselling influences discipline in public secondary schools in Okpokwu Local Government Area in Benue State. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of guidance and counselling services on public secondary schools students’ discipline in Okpokwu Local Government Area, Benue State.

1.3   Objectives of the study

To fulfil the purpose of the study the following objectives were examined:

 

  1. To determine the extent to which provision of guidance and counselling materials influences students’ counselling in Okpokwu Local Government Area.

 

  1. To establish the extent to which teacher-counsellors’ exposure to training influences students’

 

  • To determine the influence of training of peer counselling on students’ discipline.

 

  1. To establish the extent to which guest speakers on guidance and counselling influences students’

 

  1. To determine the extent to which the time allocated to student counselling influences students’

 

1.4   Research questions

The following questions were used as a guide to this study:

 

  • To what extent does principals’ provision of guidance and counselling materials and facilities influence secondary school students’ discipline in Okpokwu Local Government Area?

 

  • To what extent does the teacher- counsellors’ exposure to training influence students’ discipline in secondary schools?
  • To what extent does the training of peer counselling influence secondary school students discipline?

 

  • To what extent do guest speakers’ guidance and counselling sessions influence students’ discipline in secondary schools?

 

  • To what extent does the time allocated to counselling influence secondary school students’ discipline in Okpokwu Local Government Areas?

 

1.5   Significance of the study

The findings of this study would shed light to educational stakeholders about the significance of guidance and counselling in upholding discipline among secondary schools students. Some school administrators and teachers in general would appreciate the importance of guidance and counselling in promoting discipline among students and be encouraged to go for Professional training in the discipline to be able to perform it professionally. The students would also benefit from the guidance and counselling services to have a focus in life and be responsible citizens with the skills in time management as well as upholding good morals.

1.6   Limitations of the study

According to Best and Kahn (2018), limitations are conditions beyond the control of the researcher that may place restrictions on the conclusions of the study and their application to other situations. The major limitations of the study were:

some respondents were unwilling to divulge the information and thus curtailed a clear data collection. Some respondents were reluctant to respond and caused a delay for the researcher to finish in time. The attitudes and perceptions of respondents were not controlled by the researcher but however reliable data for analysis was obtained. The researcher encouraged the respondents to be honest and promised anonymity to them.

1.7   Delimitations of the study

The study was confined to public secondary schools in Okpokwu Local Government Area. The private schools were not included because they would not be free to share confidential information. However, every effort was made to ensure that sampling used was adequate to collect information required for drawing conclusions. Principals, teacher counsellors and form four students preferred by the researcher as the main respondents because they were the direct consumers of the researcher’s concern.

1.8   Basic assumptions of the study

In the research study, the following assumptions were made:

 

  • All the respondents would be cooperative and provide reliable

 

  • That teacher counsellors in secondary schools had some professional training in guidance and
  • That the principals would provide the information on the challenges he/she faced while providing G&C services to instil

 

1.9       Definitions of significant terms

 

Administrationrefers to the coordination of the effort of all the people in an organization towards the achievement of common goals.

Adolescentsrefers to young people who experience a transition period following the advent of puberty that marks the changes from childhood to adulthood especially within the period of learners between ages 10 and 20.

Attitude-refers to positive or negative predisposition to think, feel, perceive and behave in a certain way towards a given situation.

Career Counselling– refers to a process of offering, advising and cautioning learners who may go astray in their career choice.

Client-refers to a learner receiving guidance and counselling services from a Professional helper, also known as counsellor.

Counselling-refers to helping process that uses the safety of a special relationship between the counsellor and the counselee-who together explore the thoughts, feelings and counsellor attitudes of the counselee with the objective of tapping  the resources within the counselee to effect healing and change.

Counsellor– refers to a Professional with skills of helping people deal with challenges in their lives by creating a relationship with them.

Discipline– refers to a system of guiding an individual to make reasonable decisions and uphold social ethics personally and in groups.

Effect-refers to a change produced by an action or cause or an outcome.

Guidance– refers to all the activities rendered by educational institutions, which are primarily concerned with assisting individual students understand themselves, thus their needs, interests abilities and potentials. Guidance also refers to advise given to the students to show them the right direction to take in their academic and social life.

Influence– refers to the attraction given to students by external stimuli to change in their character while in their schooling.

Morals- refer to the right conduct in the life of a person.

Principal –refers to the head teacher of a learning institution of students with changing mental attitudes.

Respondents-These are the direct parties to answer questions in a research study.

Students- refer to a group of people in the learning process in a school.

Teacher Counsellor– refers to a Professional teacher who is also a trained counsellor, who carries out the counselling processes in a school setting.

1.10   Organization of the study

The study was organized in five chapters. Chapter one consisted of: background of the study, statement of the study, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research basic assumptions of the study, and the definitions of the operational terms. Chapter two consisted of Introduction, concept of education, guidance and counselling, historical development and the need for guidance and counselling and types of Counselling. It had also government involvement in guidance and counselling, the counsellor and counselling, the role of principals in discipline management in schools, guidance and counselling programme and discipline in secondary schools, personal and social guidance and approaches to counselling. The other sections of the chapter include challenges facing the school management in implementing guidance and counselling, theoretical framework, conceptual framework and the summary of literature review

Chapter three described the research methodology used. These included research design, target population, sample size, and sampling procedures, research instruments, and data collection procedures and data analysis techniques. Chapter four described the analysis and interpretation of the findings of the study from the field and chapter five was the summary, conclusions, recommendations sand suggestions for further research.

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