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Meaning and Definition of Guidance and Counselling

            Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines guidance as “advice that is given to somebody especially by someone with more experience while counselling “is a professional advice about a problem”.

            In a literary meaning guidance is the process of helping an individual to understand himself and his environment.

            According to Adenigbagbe (2011) guidance is the process of directing, assisting, guiding an individual to achieve his/her goals. Adenigbagbe (2011) also define counselling as a professional interaction between a client or individual and a professional counsellor with the aim of assisting the client to voluntarily change his behaviour for more productive one.

            Several authors have define guidance and counselling in different various ways. According to Ferguson (1999) have attempted to clarify the usage of the term by pointing out the word guidance, as a concept, as an educational construct and as an educational services to meet a demand.

            Counselling, according to English and English (2001) was defines as a relationship in which one person endeavour to help one another, to understand and to solve his adjustments problems.

            Carl Rogers (2001) define counselling as a therapeutic endeavour aimed at helping a client to relax his structure gain new experience and become integrated whole in the emphatic counselling environment counselling can be defined by Shertzer and Stone (2004) “as the process of helping an individual to understand himself and his world”.

            UNESCO (2008) says, guidance and counselling is a professional field which has a broad range of activities, programmes and services geared toward assisting individuals to understand themselves, their problems, their school environment and their world and also to develop adequate capacity for making wise choices and decisions.

            According to Adenigbagbe (2010) defines guidance and counselling as a subjects that deals with developmental problems of life or phenomenon problems of human being.

            Guidance and counselling is the process involving a special kind of relationship between a person who asks for help with a maladative problem and a person who is trained to provide that help (which is the counsellor).

            Counselling can be done in two different ways:

-                      Individual Counselling

-                      Group Counselling

            Individual counselling is the counselling in which the counsellor who is skilled in psychological strategies assists only one at a time in resolving the clients adjustment problems.

            Group counselling: This is the counselling which allows the counsellor to be involved with a group of counselee at the same time.

            There is no distinct line of demarcation between guidance and counselling because the two term are interwoven. There is much guidance in counselling just as counselling entails guidance.

            In practice however, the counselling psychologist should be able to identify where guidance activities stop and where that of counselling begins. For examples guidance is said to be more involving because it entails provision of useful information for path finding whereas, counselling is an aspect of guidance because it is one of the guidance service which is more intimate and involving means to resolve problems which require more than mere provision of information. 

            In terms of severity of the issues or problem as it affect the personality of an individual, counselling is more serious than guidance, though they both deal with the adjustment of individuals within their contexts.

     The Importance of Guidance and Counselling are as the following

-                      Guidance and counselling services enable each learner in institutions of learning to derive optimal educational benefits so as to actualize his/her potentialities.

-                      It helps the students to make meaningful decision and choice.

-                      It helps students to interpret his understanding of life experience.

-                      It helps the learner to understand himself, his world and to learn how to meet life demands.

-                      It is a profession to make an individual to understand who he is.

-                      It also help individual to accept responsibilities for his actions.

-                      It assist the student to develop his maximum potential.

-                      It helps learner to develop in self-understanding an transfer knowledge gained through this experience to other event in his later life.      

-                      Student who have access to counselling programmes reported being more positive and having greater feelings of belongings and safety in their schools.

-                      It promotes student development and academic success.

-                      Guidance counsellor also assist in reducing victimization and bullying behaviour of the students.

-                      It helps to address the physical, emotional, social, vocational and academic difficulties of adolescent students.

-                      Counselling services support teachers in the classroom and enable teachers to provide quality instruction designed to assist students in achieving high standard.

Who Teaches Guidance and Counselling?

            There are exceptional characteristics which the counsellor is expected to display in the day-to-day professional practice of his job.

-                      The counsellor should be a person who belief in each person as an individual.

-                      He/she should be committed to individual human values.

-                      He/she should be alertness to the world.

-                      He/she should be open mindedness.

-                      He/she should be self-understanding.

-                      He/she should have the ability to maintain confidentiality in the counselling relationship.

-                      He/she should always demonstrate positive verbal reinforcement and showing feelings of concern.

-                      He/she should treat the person before him as a fellow human being who is worthy of respect.

The Choice of Career

            Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2004) defines Career as the series of jobs that a person has in a particular area of work, usually involving more responsibilities as time passes.

            It also mean, the period of time that you spend in your life working or doing a partial thing.

            Adenigbagbe (2011) defines choice of career as the decision and choice making of an individual on the series of jobs that a person has in a particular area of work.

            It is the duty of school guidance counsellor to assist the adolescent student pre-vocational by guiding him to choose the right subject which can be combined easily with the choice of future career.

            Left unguided students, are prone to choose subjects without directly relating them to their interests ability and aptitude and without thinking of their future careers and the subjects that are pre-requisite for them. For instance, a good knowledge of Mathematics is required before a student can pursue careers in Engineering, Economic, Geography etc. When the students want to further their education, they may encounter difficulties as a result of their wrong choice of subject which cannot be combined for higher education.

            It is the counsellor responsibilities to expose his students to the career possibility and limitation of each subjects and their combinations with other subjects.

            A good combination subjects is likely to lead to the choice of a course of study and eventually a career in which the learner can fulfill himself.

            The combination should be meaningful and should be such that can be passed easily and be combined for students in higher institutions in order to secure a good occupation.

            Nigeria, the choice of career are often made at early age of JSS 3 – SS 1 and once the choice are made, it become very difficult to reverse.

            Counsellors needs to look into this because it is beneficial to the country that the youth work in positions in which they can make a full contribution to the society.

            The dislike of ones job is a wide spread of job dissatisfaction and frustration in Nigeria today. The feeling of frustration is even sharper, if it has taken years of study and experience to became a trained practitioner and if it is apparent that more years will have to spent (at lower pay) in order to change to another job.

            Most often, people wish that they could have chosen differently. If such people had possessed greater insight into the possibilities open or available to them, it is very likely that they would have made a totally different choice.

            There are some factors needs to be considered when making a choice of career

i.                    Interest of the choice maker

ii.                  Intelligence of the choice maker

iii.                Aptitude and talent of the choice maker    

-           The interest as to do with the interest that the choice maker has towards the particular course, since interest is what a person is fond of doing above others as it appeals to one’s mind. Therefore, it is necessary to put into consideration the interest of the students on a particular subjects combinations before choosing it. 

-           Intelligence: The intelligent of the student also is very important. For instance, a student that is intelligent in the area of Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics want to read law in the higher institution prone to encounter difficulties on his way because he needs English language and Government as the most subjects combined for law course. Intellectual ability remains a significant factor in educational and occupational choices.

            In the choice of subjects that leads to specific occupations, the students should seek the assistance of a counsellor to guide them in their choices.

-                      Aptitude and talent of the choice maker: Aptitude is an inborn ability to be able to profit from a course of instruction.

            Aptitude and talent are closely related. Talents refers to that inmate inability which make a person perform a specific task without making a conscious effort. A person who shows interest aptitude and talent for a career is likely derived job satisfaction.

1.2.1  Purpose of Choosing Career

-                      To make the students prepare and be aware of the specific tasks of their choices.

-                      To directs students in cultivating proper attitudes and skills needed to function in the society particularly in the world of work.      

-                      To enable students to prepare and develop awareness of the time and money required of a person be trained and educated for specific career.

1.3     Background of the Study

            Most students in senior secondary schools find it difficult to choose correctly the subject combinations in their final exams (WAEC/NECO) which determines their future choice of career.

            The crucial decisions made may become very difficult to reverse, if wrong choices are make, it will affect the future life of the students career.

            With the existence of guidance and counselling in the secondary schools, it will really help students in choosing their subject combinations which will enable them to be happy in their future career.

            In Nigeria, guidance and counselling was introduced with the aim of directing, helping, assisting those choosing vocational occupation job, placement, employment opportunities and advancement.

            The Federal Government included the offering of guidance and counselling courses in the university curriculum both at the post-graduate and undergraduate programme, now some colleges of education offer courses in guidance and counselling. This become compulsory course in the teachers curriculum in tertiary institutions that train teachers, with the aim of making young men and women teachers in training to understand human behaviour from the psychological perspective and the factors that are responsible for the changes in that behaviour.  


            The counsellor occupies a very strategic position in any educational system. The Federal Government is aware of this fact this is why the re-emphasis is one the need for guidance and counselling services in the new National Policy on education (9-3-4) system. It is also clear from the Federal Ministry of Education that counsellors should operate on full time basis. Also most principals and teachers are aware of the counsellors’ services. Despite this fact, it has been observed that the services are not encouraged at the secondary school level.

            Apart from academic problems of failure and dropout of students, from schools, other numerous psyco-social, vocational and personal social problems abound among students in our secondary schools.

            The control or resolution of these problems is always channeled to mainly school authorities and teachers while the seeking of counsellors attention is always ignored.

1.3    Purpose Of The Research

            It examines the important role of guidance and counselling in the secondary schools.

            The purpose of the study is to find out the effect of guidance and counselling on senior secondary school student in their choice of career.

            It also intends to assist and enlightened the secondary school students when choosing their subject combinations, especially the senior students when preparing for their final examination which lead them to their offer courses in higher institution.

1.4 Research Questions

Research questions     

1.         To what extent has vocational guidance been able to influence career decision making of secondary school students?

2.         How does vocational guidance reduce the level of unemployment among school leavers?

3.         What factors influence the career decision making of secondary school students?

4.         What are the factors that influence or affect the effective implementation of vocational guidance in secondary school leavers?

1.5    Significance Of The Study

            The outcome of this study may serve as the basis for arising the government to locate and appoint counsellors in our secondary schools as guiding the (Adolescent) students in choosing their career for their future.

            The researcher will also enlightened the administrators in the secondary schools on the vital role of a counsellor in a school and not an intruders in their schools.

            The guidance counsellor also will not be looked down on their job which the government think it is mere luxury.

1.6  Scope Of The Study

            The study is based on the effect of guidance counselling in our school especially the senior secondary students in their choice of career when choosing it and how school administrators will embraced counsellors in their schools.

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