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The study investigated the Attitude of Principals, Teachers and Students Towards Guidance and Counselling in Secondary Schools in Aba North Local Government Area of Abia State. Survey method was adopted for the study. One hundred and fifty (150) respondents were involved in the study, structured questionnaire were used in obtaining data, four hypothesis and research questions were formulated for the study. The stratified sampling technique was used in the data collection; data collected were analyzed using independent t-test. The results show that there is significant difference in the attitude of principals, teachers and students towards guidance and counselling services, as principals and teachers seem to have a more negative attitude towards guidance and counselling services than students. Based on the finding of the study, principals and teachers should be made to accept the role of the guidance counsellor in their schools.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is widely acknowledged amongst civilized nations that education is the primary instrument for fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of people and for satisfying individual needs and aspirations. It is in realization of this fact that education is valued highly among the social services in every country. In Nigeria, there have been many policies and innovations introduced for the improvement of the functions, standards and quality of education. One of such giant innovations in recent times that once gained popularity is the introduction of guidance and counselling into the school curriculum.
It is assumed that one of the goals of counseling is to assist the individual live most of a self-fulfilling, creative and emotionally satisfying life, and to make wise choices. This is mostly achieved in a school setting where the individual child is constantly faced with the task of making decisions which may vary from one problem situation to the other. Such decisions may be related to goals of educational, vocational, social, emotional problems or to creative interests and appreciation based on the child’s knowledge of himself and the society in which he exists. The role of the counsellor is to help the counsellee make wise choices and decisions after careful thinking and reasoning.
These needs recognized, the Nigerian government made it a policy to send at least one Guidance counselor to each secondary school who is expected to guide the school child to attain the above stated aims and goals of education.
This study is designed to find out the attitude of the Principals, teachers and students towards guidance services in secondary schools in Aba North Vis-a-viz his role expectations.
People complain these days about the falling quality in output of students from secondary schools who seem to still be ignorant of their needs educationally, socially, vocationally and even with maladjusted behaviours characterizing the conduct.
The concept of guidance and counseling is as old as the age of man. Whenever two persons, two friends, husband and wife, parents and children live closely, the need for guidance arises. If a friend is faced with some problem of living, he can discuss his worries with another friend who gives sympathetic listening and advice, (Olayinka, 1993).
In the same way, people seek for guidance in trivial as well as complex problems of living. Parents always advice their children who are unable to make important decisions. Barry and District (News of July 12, 1962) commented that the more important the decision making, the more youths and elders seek advice from other elders and experts who are more experienced or more knowledgeable in solving critical problems.
Traditional guidance and counselling simply implied such aspects as parents advising the children on the choice of marriage, the chief priest to foretell the future for a man like embarking upon an enterprise, going on a journey; settling on matters of dispute etc. Denga, (1993) says that it is increasingly becoming evident that the traditional approaches to guidance and counselling are inadequate to help each person cope with the modern complex society and problems related to education and vocational choices.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Guidance and counselling has been popularized in schools and colleges all over the country as a panacea to curbing societal ills associated with the youths, such as juvenile delinquency, disciplinary problems, moral decadence, planlessness in educational programmes and occupational choices.
Despite the employments and services of guidance counselors in secondary schools, it has been observed that most students in secondary schools in Aba North LGA are still faced with occupational choices. It is for this reason that the researcher sought to find out the problems. Could it be that the attitudes displayed by these students towards guidance and counselling are poor or negative or could it be that principals and teachers’ attitudes towards guidance and counselling services are that of non-challancy?
These questions constitute the hub for which this work rest.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study is aimed at investigating the attitude of Principals, Teachers and Students towards guidance and counseling services in secondary schools.
Specifically the study investigated
1) The attitude of principals and teachers towards guidance and counseling services.
2) The different attitudes of principals and students toward guidance and counseling services.
3) The differences that exist between teachers and students in their attitude toward guidance and counseling services.
4) The role expectations of guidance counselors by principals, teachers and students.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
In order to provide an effective remedy for any ailment, its cause must be known in sufficient details. Assessment of attitudes of the principals, teachers and students will be carried out and if found negative, suggestions will be made to remove this negativity. On the other hand, if the attitude is positive, yet the effect of the services are deteriorating, attempts would be made by the researchers to make important suggestions that would bring about the desirable change in principals, teachers and students’ attitude towards guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.
It is also hoped that the study will be of use to principals, teachers, counsellors, school administrators, and the ministry of education to re-appraise the provision of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools, with a view to enhancing its effectiveness in the general development of the youth.
Finally, the study will be significant in providing additional literature to earlier works in this field.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions guided this study.
1. How does the attitude of principals and teachers differ in the process of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools
2. What is the difference between principals’ and students’ attitudes towards guidance and counselling services in secondary schools?
3. What differences exist between teachers and students in their attitude towards guidance and counselling services?
4. What are the role expectations of guidance counsellors by principals, teachers and students?
1.6 NULL HYPOTHESES
1. There is no significant difference between principals’ and teachers’ attitude toward guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.
2. There is no significant difference between principals’ and students’ attitude toward guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.
3. There is no significant difference between teachers’ and students’ attitude towards guidance and counselling services.
4. The role expectations of guidance counsellors by principals, teachers and students do not differ significantly.
1.7 BASIC ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
The guidance and counselling of students is an integral component of the educational mission of the school. It is assumed that guidance and counselling services and programmes promote the personal, social, educational and career development of all students mostly those in the secondary schools. Counselling services has derived impetus from the assumption that students are the major recipients of guidance and counselling services in the secondary school setting. Many crises cannot be successfully met by students without assistance as the school is in a strategic position to give the assistance needed. It is also assumed that variations within the individuals or students in question are significant and abilities already existing in individuals are not usually specialized.
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
By the nature of guidance and counselling services in schools, this study is supposed to cover a wide area- the entire city of Aba in Abia State. But for the purpose of this study, the researcher wishes to reduce the area to a manageable size for an effective coverage.
Hence, this research is being conducted in selected secondary schools in Aba North LGA. The scope covers four (4) selected secondary schools.
1.9 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The main problems limiting this research work were finance, experimental conditions, and time for the study. Financially, money was not easily available for transportation to schools, purchase of stationeries for the questionnaire and production.
The experimental conditions were not favourable either as the researcher selected schools new from her environment and the negative attitude of the respondents to cooperate with the researcher as at when needed.
Time was also not on the researcher’s side as she had to contend with some vital religious responsibilities and ill-health. This made the research work to progress rather slowly.
Nonetheless, in the face of the above problems, the researcher has tried her best to collect all the data in order to enable proper investigations into the attitudes of principals, teachers and students towards guidance and counselling services in secondary schools in Aba North LGA.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms are further amplified in this study.
1. Attitude: Attitude has been defined by Noll and Seannel (1972:455) in Denga (1983) as a response pattern or tendency to think or act in a particular way under a given set of circumstances. Attitudes are closely related to emotions and feelings. Attitudes can also be defined as a pre-disposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person or situation.
Lewell (1988:60) in Denga (1983) regards attitude as the sum total of a person’s inclinations towards a certain type of object, institution or idea, e.g towards a school subject, the church or pacifism. Our attitudes to many issues are complex and show qualitative differences as well as being for or against the issue.
Guidance subsumes all those services rendered either to individuals or groups of individuals to enhance self-understanding and consequently self-direction. It is referred to a cluster of formalized educational services aimed at assisting individual children to attain fullest self-development and self-realization of their potentials:- abilities, interests, attitudes, physical, mental, social characteristics and personal needs. (Denga, 1975).
3. Counselling Services:
This is personalized dialogue or interview between the counsellor and the counsellee or client, during which the client seeks expert assistance from the counselor regarding the resolution of his problems. The counselling service is personalized in the sense that usually, the client has personal problem which requires privacy and confidentiality for discussion with a helping expert (Denga, 1975).
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