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The study was on influence of guidance and counselling programme on the academic achievement of secondary school students in Toto Local Government Area. The aim was to identify how guidance services help to improve students academic performance. The study used a cross-sectional survey design. It sampled 326 respondents made up of 281 SSII students, 30 teachers and 15 counsellors. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire designed by the researcher and was validated by three experts from Faculty of Education. The percentage and the Chi-square were used in data analysis. Results showed that students welcomed guidance and counselling programme as part of measures to improve students’ academic performance. It was equally from the study that students and teachers differ in their opinions regarding guidance and counselling. The study recommended among other things counsellors should be sponsored to attend workshops, seminars and conferences to gain new knowledge. The study therefore concludes that there is a significant effect of guidance and counselling programme on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Toto LGA of Nasarawa State.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Guidance and counseling as a discipline in education concerns itself with assisting students world-wide to function effectively by enabling them get over the difficulties which might prevent them achieve self-actualization in their academic pursuit. This stresses the fact that modern African children and youths need guidance and counseling. But to be effective, guidance practices must be based on philosophies that reflect African thinking (Esen, 1977).
The National Policy on Education (NPE). In this document the need for the integration of the individual into a sound and effective citizens, and provision of equal educational opportunities for all citizens' of the nation at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education, both inside, and outside the formal school system, are clearly stated Contained also in The National Policy on education is the change from 6-5-2-3 system of education to the new 6-3-3-4 system of education. This change was the aftermath of the Curriculum Conference of 1969. Based on the philosophical assumption that although intellectual cultivation is a primary function of education, educational objectives cannot be conceived of in solely intellectual terms, but must rather be conceived in terms of a far broader realization of the many facets of human personality. This is because it is the function of the school to develop in each individual the habits and powers whereby he will find his place and use that place to positively shape both himself and society. Educational goals should transcend the narrowly circumscribed limits of intellectual cultivation. It must include the training of the individual in the optimum use of the head, the heart, and hand. (Okafor, 2004).
It was at this backdrop that the national policy on education was re-designed/harmonized be geared towards self-realization, better human relationship, individual and national efficiency, effective citizenship national consciousness, national unity, as well as towards social, cultural, economic, political, scientific and technology progress (NPE, 1981; Okafor 1988).
In addition to the change in the school system the nation has witnessed a number of economical, technological, political and social changes in recent times, which tend to rock all spheres. The result is that the machine invented today becomes obsolete tomorrow. The solutions adopted today become out-dated tomorrow. The courses popular today become replaced with new ones tomorrow. In situation such as this effective guidance services become an indispensable factor of an equation which will result in making students acquire better knowledge of themselves and their environment. The understanding of self and environment can facilitate technological progress.
Furthermore, the wind of change and innovation so evident in modern times and which has brought with it the multiplicity of occupations or careers make it mandatory that information be provided for students in all levels of our education system. To do this effectively, sincere efforts needed to be made to survey and inform students about the available occupations. This need to supply students with information in different areas of life is even more urgent now. This is because some students in the Junior Secondary School (J.S.S) who cannot continue with academic work therefore must branch off to other areas other than “in-school-training” need information as to how to fit into the out-of-school vocational training. Information is equally needed for the senior secondary school (SSS) students who most also have information as to how to enter into disciplines where they are better fitted and the requirement for any given discipline. Adequate information service is necessary as its presence helps to strengthen individuals is not only realizing his potentials but also in fulfilling his dream.
The introduction of the 6-3-3-4 system of education therefore addresses the apparent ignorance of many young people about career and the emphasis on “the training of the mind in the understanding of the world introducing guidance and counseling in schools. The acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competences, both mental and physical, as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the individual and society”, became mandatory for government to employ the services of professionals for effective implementation. This is because the business of guidance and counseling include assisting students to understand themselves better in terms of intellectual, potentialities, aptitudes, talents, educational and vocational interests as well as helping students to become psychological well adjusted, emotionally healthy, morally sound and capable of making wise decisions.
In view of the cited values/transformation of our educational system there is need to assess the effectiveness of guidance and Counseling programme in the secondary schools in Toto Local; Government Area of Nasarawa State.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The school guidance programme is undoubtedly be set by problems especially in an assessment of guidance programme on the academic achievement of students. For this reason, the need to assess guidance and counseling programme has been stressed. Lewis (1983) clearly points out that (if a counselor can prove through a thorough assessment that counselor’s programme is having a positive effect he has made a counseling less vulnerable to attacks by critics and will have more evidence in his own professional ability” Shertzer and Stone (1981) state “assessment of the programme will make it possible for the school personnel to judge how effective the services are and the nature of decisions needed.” It is generally agreed that one of the primary reasons for assessing the guidance programme is the need to prove its services.
The implication of this is that counselors should provide information in the three major traditional areas of guidance and counseling in the senior secondary schools to help students to develop positive self concept, proper understanding of self and environment.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The research work is designed to assess the effect of guidance and counselling programme on academic achievement of students in Toto Local Government Area.
The specific objectives include to;
1. Identify how guidance and counselling improves the academic achievement of secondary school students in Toto Local Government Area.
2. Identify the various guidance services available in senior secondary schools in Toto Local Government Area.
3. Identify challenges to full integration of guidance and counselling programme into senior secondary school system.
4. To examine the influence of guidance and counselling on the academic performance of SS II students.
5. To compare the opinions of students and teaching regarding guidance services in schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the assessments of the effect of guidance and counseling on the academic achievement of secondary schools students in Toto Local Government Area?
2. What are the guidance and counseling services available in Toto senior secondary schools to help students achieve their academic performance?
3. What are the challenges of full integration of guidance and counseling programme in the schools system?
The following hypotheses which were tested at 0.05 level of significance were formulated for the study.
1. There is no significant effect of guidance and counselling programme on the academic performance of secondary school students.
2. There is no significant difference between the opinions of students and teachers regarding the effects of guidance and counselling programme on students’ academic performance.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of the research are expected to benefit the students, teachers, counselors, parents and school administrators.
After the completion of this study, the finding would benefit the structures to acquire the true image of self-actualization. To acquire skills in decision making, problem solving. To help the teachers and parents understand and appreciate the needs and problems of students. To assist the school provides suitable learning-activities and healthy atmosphere for learning. For proper placement in academic pursuits in tertiary institutions.
1.7 THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
This research work adopts the trait and factor theory. Trait and factor theory was propounded by Freudian Gordon Allport (1960). It also called dispositional theory. Which is an approach to the study of human personality or mature. This theory addresses the individuals trait (aptitudes, interest, personal abilities) and the knowledge capacity of students academic performance. The theory is much concerned of the individuals rational and objectives judgement about the relationship of academic achievement of students. The trait theorist is also primarily interested in the measurement of traits which can be defined as habitual pattern of behavior though and emotion.
According to this theory, trait this perspective traits are relatively stable overtime, differ across individual for example. Some people are outgoing whereas others are shy and influence behaviours.
Freudian Gordon Allport was an early pioneer in the study of trait which he sometimes referred to a dispositions. It is also a theory that include intelligence and aptitudes tests vocational tests and personality inventories. The researcher intends to use this theory to help assess the guidance programme on the academic achievement of students. This is based on the capacity of the individual’s trait aptitudes, interests, personal abilities and the knowledge capacity of students’ academic performance or achievements.
This involves the collection of data from different sources to gain understanding of the student’s aptitudes, abilities, interest and other personality traits on the academic achievement.
The researcher will obtained these data and other relevant information by administering different categories of psychological tests through the uses of questionnaires as a techniques.
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The conduct of this study will not be without some minor or shortcomings. The study is delimited to Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The scope of the study will be de-limited to only to survey of the assessment of guidance and counseling programme on the academic achievement of secondary school in Toto Local Government Area.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
To facilitate the comprehension of this work, definitions have been provided for the following within the context they were used.
Guidance Service: Refers to all the activities and assistance rendered
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