FACTORS INFLUENCING PROVISION OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING SERVICES IN MIXED DAY SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The purpose of the study was to find out the factors influencing effectiveness of guidance and counseling services in mixed day secondary schools in Nyakach district, Kisumu County, Kenya. The study objectives were; to establish the extent to which teacher/counselors’ training influenced the provision of G&C services in public mixed day secondary schools in Nyakach District. To assess the extent to which G&C facilities influence the provision of G&C services. To examine the extent to which readiness of students to seek G&C services influence the provision of G&C services. To determine the extent to which students’ attitude influence the provision of G&C services.
The study employed descriptive survey research design, the sample consisted of all the 36 public mixed day secondary school in Nyakach District because they are few,312 students from both forms two and three, and 72 Guidance and Counseling teachers. Research instruments used to collect data were questionnaires for students and teachers. The reliability of the study correlated using Pearson product movement correlation
The study concluded that, most teacher counselors are not trained on G&C, the G&C departments lack essential resources, the students are willing to seek G&C services but just a few do seek for guidance and counseling because of lack of confidentiality and that the areas of G&C mostly focused on by teachers are academic and civic/ social G&C. The study recommends training teachers for guidance and counselling and that government should provide resources for guidance and counseling. The study suggests that a further research be carried out in school in urban areas, on the funding of guidance and counsellingdepartment and also, a research should carried out on confidentiality matters in G&C.
1.1 Background to the study
The Ministry of Education established the guidance and counselling unit at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) headquarter in 1971 to deal with psychological maladjustment of students in schools, consequently each secondary school was to establish guidance and counselling department (Mutie and Ndambuki 1999). Discipline remains the most common and pernicious problem that educators feel in their day to day teaching (Gachigua 2005). According to Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOEST, 2001), indiscipline activities which have been prevalent among pupils include rudeness to teachers, absenteeism form school, fighting, damaging school property, failure to complete homework, involvement in drug and substance abuse, and stealing from other learners among others. Guidance and counselling helps shape the management of discipline in schools.
An upsurge in the number of unrest in secondary schools increased from 22 (0.9%) to 187 (7.2%) according to the report of the task force on students discipline and unrest (MOEST, 2001). Incidences of indiscipline and violence in schools reached an alarming level in 2001 causing a lot of concern among educationalists, school managers, and stakeholders. The response was the formation of a task force on students’ discipline and unrest in secondary schools (MOEST, 2001). Among other factors facilitating indiscipline in secondary schools, the commission found out that, weak and ineffective G&C units in the schools are to blame. Another wave of students’ riot in Kenyan schools was in 2008 after post- election violence in which 300 secondary schools were closed after students rioted and burned dormitories and administration blocks (hppt://reliefweb.int/report/Kenya/violence-kenyan-schools-spreading). Article 28 (2) of the United Nations (UN) conventions on the rights of child states that, school discipline methods should be consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the present convention” (UNICEF,1998).
This led to banning of corporal punishment in many countries beginning with the developed countries where we find that, discipline deteriorated after the banning of corporal punishment. According to Kindiki (2009), research studies conducted in developed countries like United States of America (U.S.A) and United Kingdom (U.K), France, and Spain consistently highlight similar issues of the deteriorating school discipline. In USA a son bashed head and slit the throat of his parent known to be a strict disciplinarian in one the brutal crimes in Bronx, New York (Mwende, 2005).
In Kenya corporal punishment was banned through a “Kenya Gazette” notice on March 13th, 2001. This was through a Legal Notice No 56 of 2001, which repealed the Legal Notice No 40 of 1972, which introduced corporal punishment in the Education Act (MOEST, 2001). According to a UNESCO (2001) report (htt://www.unesco.org), many teachers in Kenya argued that pupils would become even more unruly by the time they reach high school.
Some cases, which are traumatising are the case of kyanguli high school where sixty-eight students were burnt to death, and Bombolulu secondary school where ten students died and Nyeri high school where three prefects were burnt to death in an arson attack, (Wango and Mungai 2007). Three students died after being peddled with stones by form four students when they went on strike (Gikandi, 2011). In 2013, students of Bolo Girls’ secondary school in Nyakach District went on strike and burned their dormitory, all these problems prompted the researcher to establish the factors influencing provision of guidance and counselling in secondary schools in Nyakach district.
Several studies have strongly associated violence in schools with alcohol consumption, drug and substance abuse (Ngesu et al, 2008). In 2009, senior assistant director of education, Christine Mutisya while commenting on the survey carried out by NACADA confirmed that the cases of drug abuse are rampant in schools, and attributed them to risky sexual behaviour, which has resulted in unplanned pregnancies and poor academic performance (Scholar’s Insight June-July 2013 Ed). Indiscipline can also be caused by domestic problems like parents quarrelling and fighting in the presence of their children and poor role model by parents (Kabiru, 2007). These attributes make students to develop negative attitude towards life and to become aggressive towards others, this kind of environment affect their behaviour (Nzuve, 2007) hence the need for guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.
In today’s race for career mobility and to earn more by many parents, parental supervision is becoming obsolete leaving children at the mercy of teachers who, too, do not have enough time for children (Gachigua, 2005). It has been noted that, students face a number of problems during adolescent (Bruce and Cockreham 2004), since secondary school students are in the adolescent stage, some of them end up doing bad things if not guided well. Incidences of students having psycho-social problems have been persistent in most secondary schools in Nyakach district, some of the recent cases are; a student of Mbugra mixed secondary school committed a suicide after it was discovered that, he is having an affair with a first cousin and the cousin was transferred to another school (Chief’s occurrence book, Kabodho location. 2014).
Training is very important as it equip teachers with skills of guidance and counselling, a task force on students discipline and unrest in secondary schools (2001), reported that teacher/counsellors whenever appointed were unable to meet the school expectations due to lack of relevant training, Students should always be ready to receive guidance and counselling services in the school, Cottle (1973) cited by Mutinda (2005) argued that the readiness cannot be created by the counsellor, it must come from within the person. Unwillingness of the students may affect the provision of guidance and counselling in schools.
There was no record of research which has been done on guidance and counselling from the office of the D.E.O this may be because Nyakach is a young district. These incidences and others which are not recorded shows that guidance and counselling services in secondary schools has not been effective, and there is need to establish the factors influencing provision of guidance and counselling services from school counsellors and students’ perspective in the district.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Guidance and counselling services are meant to assist students to develop their academic, social and personal competencies in order to make realistic choices and relevant decisions in life, to reduce indiscipline and students unrest. This was also emphasised when corporal punishment was banned in Kenyan schools by the government through Legal Notice No 56 of Kenya Gazette on March 2001, and recommendation by the “Report of the Task Force on Students Discipline and Unrest”(Republic of Kenya 2001) that guidance and counselling be used in the management of students discipline in schools due to its positive approach. Despite this, guidance and counselling has not been effective in many schools, Wachira (2010). Did a study in Nyeri District and found out that, only students who are open up willingly to give information benefit from guidance and counselling services. There is limited literature in Nyakach District. This study will therefore use related literature from other counties in Kenya.
If all the schools are providing guidance and counselling services, then the unrests and cases of students doing undesired things like abortion and committing suicide can be minimal, therefore there is need to find out the factors, which influence provision of guidance and counselling in secondary schools in Nyakach district.
1.2 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors influencing the provision of guidance and counselling services in public mixed day secondary schools in Nyakach District, Kisumu County, Kenya.
1.4 Objectives of the study
This study was guided by the following objectives:
- To establish the extent to which teacher/counsellors’ training influence the provision of guidance and counselling services in public mixed day secondary schools in Nyakach District.
- To assess the extent to which adequate guidance and counselling facilities influence the provision of guidance and counselling services in public mixed day secondary schools in Nyakach District.
- To examine the extent to which readiness of students to seek guidance and counselling services influence provision of guidance and counselling in public mixed day secondary schools in Nyakach District.
- To determine the extent to which students’ attitude influence provision guidance and counselling services in mixed day secondary schools in Nyakach District.
1.5 Research questions
This study was guided by the following research questions:
- To what extent did the effects of teacher counsellor’s training influenced the provision of guidance and counselling?
- To what extent did resources influenced provision of guidance and counselling in secondary schools?
- To what extent did the students’ readiness to seek guidance and counselling services in the school influence provision of guidance and counselling?
- To what extent do students’ attitudes towards guidance and counselling services influence provision of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools?
1.6 Significance of the study
The findings of this study may be used particularly by the guidance and counselling unit in the Ministry of Education in obtaining feedback on the factors affecting the provision of guidance and counselling services offered in schools. It may also be beneficial to the Teachers Service Commission, to review and update staffing of teachers accordingly with reference to guidance and counselling services provided in secondary schools. The findings may also be used by Head-teachers and assistant teachers to asses and improve on provision of guidance and counselling services in their schools and can be used to improve the management and administration of the students and G&C department. The results of the study may help the students to realise and change their attitude towards guidance and counselling services in order to benefit from it, and the school to suggest measure which should be taken at all levels in schools to ensure effective counselling for the students.
Finally, the findings of this study, apart from adding to the world of knowledge in guidance and counselling services in Kenyan secondary schools could provide data for future studies on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling.
1.7 Assumptions of the study
The following assumptions underlined this study.
- All schools offer guidance and counselling services.
- Respondents provided honest answers to the questions asked.
- All schools have established guidance and counselling department.
- The students have stayed in school long enough to be aware of guidance and counselling services offered in the school.
1.8 Limitation of the study
According to Orodho (2005), limitations refer to constrains that the researcher has no control over. This study did not involve form four students in answering the questionnaires because they may be busy preparing for mock and national exams which normally take place in 2nd and 3rd term respectively, this may cause them some inconveniences. Form ones are also not included because they are new and some may not have enough information concerning guidance and counselling in their schools. Some teachers may not be willing to volunteer information about their school because of fear of victimization by school head.
1.9 Delimitation of the Study
The study was restricted to public mixed day secondary schools in Nyakach District, Kisumu County. It did not cover boarding or private secondary schools because they are administered differently and may not experience the same problems experienced by day school students that stay in a different environment every day after school. The collection of data will be limited to the students of forms two and three students in sampled schools and their teachers in the department of guidance and counselling only. This is because the forms two and three students have been in the school long enough to be aware of G&C department.
1.10 Definition of significant terms
Academic qualification refers to the teachers’ highest official records of academic achievement.
Attitude refers to someone’s opinion or feelings about something, especially as shown by his/her behaviour.
Confidentiality refers to the trust that students have on the teachers that the promises or guidance and counselling rules that restrict disclosure of information to a third party is followed.
Counselling refers to advice or guidance especially provided by a trained teacher in a given field; in the case of this study, given specially assigned and trained teacher. Discipline refers to maintenance of appropriate standards of behaviour, and observation of established rules and regulations for harmonious functions of the school society.
Guidance refers to a process of helping students through advice and information to achieve self-understanding and self-direction necessary for making informed choices and to realize personal growth.
Guidance and counselling room/office refers to part of the house where guidance and counselling sessions take place and records are kept.
Public mixed day secondary school refers to a four year post primary school, which has both female and male day-scholar students, and the school is developed, equipped and provided with staff from public funds by the government.
Recording and filling resources refers to material used in record keeping ofguidance and counselling cases.
1.11 Organization of the study
This study is organized in five chapters: Chapter one consist of the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions and significance of the study. It goes further to give the assumptions of the study, limitations of the study, delimitations of the study, definition of significant terms and organization of the study. Chapter two reviews the related literature on the study highlighting the concepts of effective guidance and counselling, quality, training and development of teacher/counsellor, facilities and resources in the guidance and counselling department, provision of guidance and counselling in schools, readiness of students to seek guidance and counselling, attitude of students towards guidance and counselling, challenges facing guidance and counselling services in schools, focus areas in guidance and counselling, importance of guidance and counselling to students, theoretical frame work and conceptual framework.
Chapter three deals with the research methodology used in the study; it consist of research design, target population, sample size and sampling procedures, research instruments, validity of instruments, reliability of instruments, data collection procedures, data analysis procedures and ethical considerations. The fourth chapter has the analysis of the data, interpretation and discussion of the data in the order of instrument return rate, demographic information of the respondents, training of teacher/counsellors, facilities and resources for guidance and counselling department, provision of guidance and counselling in secondary schools, readiness of students to seek guidance and counselling, attitude of students towards guidance and counselling services, Chapter five, which is the last, gives the summary, conclusion and recommendations of the study and areas for further research.