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The research was undertaken to justify the effectiveness or otherwise of counseling services in sokoto metropolis, the research method used in this research is descriptive survey research method. The population of this research consists of students of secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis these schools consist of boarding, day and private schools. The samples of four (4) schools were selected within Sokoto metropolis and the sample of fifty (50) students were collected from each school to represent the population, the procedure used in this research was random sampling techniques. The instrument used for this research was questionnaire and the method used for analyzing data is simple percentage. Major finding of this research is that, most of the female students aspire for medical profession, we equally find out that the level of education of parents has considerably increased, this has influenced the students to aspire for higher education. We also find out that parents have no direct influence on the career choice of students. It was recommended that students shall be properly guided in making the right career choice by the authorities concerned and more female students shall be encouraged to aspire for medical profession especially in the northern Nigeria. We also recommend that school authorities shall organize various guidance and counseling activates in school resources persons shall be made to give lectures in various profession especially to final year students.    



1.0     Background to the Study 

 According to Melvin (1975), secondary school education is the engine room of knowledge acquisition, a stage at which students come in contact with various subjects, which determine the field of study they will like to pursue in higher schools secondary school education is kind of level after the primary education and before higher education. Its position in educational system also speaks of its importance. Schwarzeller (1962) see school as that which provides an outside view of what needs to happen in order for change to occur and also an equal opportunity for developing capabilities and talents.

 Education reforms Nigeria always have the secondary schools as main focus. In fact, it is viewed as powerful stage for knowledge, skill and experience acquisition as well as a wide range of career prospects for young boys and girls (Ezekwesili, 2006).

 It is systems that is targeted towards strengthening secondary school education and provide students with more practical knowledge that can make them self-reliant after graduation. Kutara (1977) opines that, individual differences exist among people; this has an effect on who the individuals are and what they are capable of doing. What an individual does is sometimes variance with his ability, aptitude capability and interest. Individual differences in the rate of growth, intellect, school achievement sex usually set the pace where students look at themselves in career orientation. But such factors as home, the school, the mosque, church and the community for very vital factors in the students’ environment, thus, influencing their career choice or aspirations. Other factors like parental expectation, big salary, societal prestige, personal security, good rapport with friends, changes for advancement as well as the nature of the work itself have directly or indirectly lured most student who are about to leave school into making unrealistic career choice.

 Career as used in the field of counseling has a broad and technical meaning. Technically, it refers to sequence of role or a position including works, leisure and educational pursuit that may encompass a number of occupations, vocations or jobs one engages in during his working life (Seligman, 1980). According to the international Encyclopedia Britannica (1978) career is job for which it is possible to advance during their working life, so that they may get greater responsibility and earn more money.

 Career can also be said to be the total life long experience of work that has come to serve as his means of earning a livelihood (Kolo, 1991). The career choice previously was not as difficult as it is today. There were fewer job opportunities and more importantly, parents, teachers and religious bodies were aware of the existing opportunities as well as requirements for entry into them. Today, the situation the dame for the fact that secondary school students hardly have full knowledge of the requirement for each job and can no longer keep track with the numerous career opportunities, it is against this background that the guidance and counseling was introduced in order to assist the secondary students in choosing a  career.   

Guidance and counseling is helping profession which is concerned with molding, reconstructing and rehabilitating a trouble person. It is a selfrevealing relationship and both preventive and curative of maladaptive behavior. It is globally accepted that, guidance and counseling activities are for human beings, those with or without problems, normal and abnormal.

 The establishment of modern guidance and counseling in secondary schools in Nigeria however, rest on the realization of the need for more sophisticated and integrated package to help individual satisfy their problems and concerns of presents day living.

Okon (1984) defined guidance as total programme of a number highly specialized activities implemented by specialist to help individual make wise and intelligent choice and decisions, counseling on the other hand, has been defined by Makinde (1987) as a service designed to help an individual analyze himself by capabilities, achievements, interest mode of adjustment towards what new decision he has made or has make.

Therefore, since guidance and counseling is a profession, for effective counseling to take place it must involves the application of basic principles for effective helping. These however, include the principle of understanding, sequential process; appreciate self-disclosure and observance of ethics. Their applications not only make counseling effective but also add to the specialist of the counseling relationship.

For guidance to be meaningful, it, must be seen as a series of programmed activities which help the normal school child to know himself/herself as an individual, become more aware of his/her person, experience his/her world and those people he/she relate with it is a dynamic process which undergoes continuous change over time as it is not a single event but a series of events, steps or action which are geared towards the general development of the individual. Hence, guidance and counseling play a vital role in the career choice of the students.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

 Most schools in Nigeria run programmes that are deficient in diversification to cater for all career choice of students. In these schools, most of the students are lefty unguided either because their schools have no guidance and counseling services or the nature is not up to standard, students are prone to making unwise career choice or no choice at all because there is no counselor to guide them, until after schooling.

Choice of subjects and course as a result of lack of sufficient information. A part from this problem, there is a conflict between the student’s freedoms of occupation and not only that of the nation’s manpower needs, but also the conflicts between the students’ choices, the parents’ choice and friend’s advice.

 The fact that secondary school students cannot make realistic career plans is a serious problem and this research work will equally look at the problem associated with guidance and counseling, career choice and aspirations of these levels of students considering the fact that guidance and counseling has implication on their choice and aspiration, which career choice has serious consequences on their future and by extension the society at large.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

 The broad objectives of this study is to investigate into the impact of guidance and  counseling, career choice and its effects on student academic performance in the area of study. The specific objectives include:

1.     To justify the effectiveness or other wise of counseling services in schools under review,

2.     To find out the roles of guidance and counseling  to the students’ academic performance of then schools under review

3.     To identify the career choice of the students in secondary schools of the study area.

4.     To investigate the effects of career choice on the future of the secondary school students in the area under review.

5.     To explore the factors influencing the career choice of secondary school students in Sokoto metropolis 

1.4     Research Question 

This research is an attempt to answer the following questions:

1.     What are the roles of guidance and counseling services in students academic performance of the area under review?

2.     What roles do guidance and counseling services play in career choice of secondary school students of the schools under review?

3.     Is there need to improve guidance and counseling services in the area under review.

4.     What are career choices of the students in the school under study?

5.     Do parents and occupational status influences the career of their children?

6.     What are those factors that influence secondary school students’ career choice in the area of study? 

1.5     Scope and Delimitation 

 Sokoto metropolis is a large area with over (50) fifty  senior and junior secondary schools, owned by federal, states and private individuals. This study is limited time and financial resources, while the scope of the study is the academic performance and career choice of the students.

1.6     Significance of the Study

 Naturally decision-making is very important, it is the hardest thing to make in life. Youths are usually the people concerned with choosing careers, which may hopefully be helped by guidance and counseling officers.  The study will help to solve the conflicts that exist between parents and students in the area of career choice.

 The research is essential to parents, students, community and government because it will reveal the areas of weakness in the guidance profession and reasons why students should have good performance and careers if they are well counseled.

This research will equally inform management of schools under study of the importance of guidance and counseling services in schools.

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