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RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE RESOURCES FOR COUNSELLING SERVICES AND PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS COUNSELLORS IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background of the Study
Counselling services ascribe no preconceived limitations on the direction or nature of paternal changes or goals but demand that those vital and relevant materials/tools be made available for use during counselling. This is because no amount of knowledge possessed by a counsellor can be said to be efficient where those resources for counselling are not in place to back-up the knowledge (Bezanson 2004). The above emphasizes that there is a great significance in the use of resources/tools in counselling service. That is, the availability of resources/tools for counselling enhances service delivery while the non-availability of those vital counselling materials limit the delivery of counselling service (Fitzgerld 1999).
Counselling services, as stated by Bezanson (2004), can only be effective and more efficient where there are such facilities as text books, chart-cards, post-cards, tapes and the like, to render the service. Recognizing that there are circumstances where clients for counselling need to be reassessed, their availability of relevant materials for these services would make the delivery efficient. According to the Canadian Guidance and Counselling. Foundation, counselling service is an extra-ordinary experience which requires sensitive psychological experiments to be carried out on particular clients. The tradition is that, counselling is more or less a practical work which demands the use of some materials or resources that are relevant to this service delivery. Counselling services rendered for students at all levels is aimed at evaluating such student’s abilities, interests, talents and personality traits to bring about realistic academic and career goals. In this case, the counsellors use interview, appraisals, aptitude, test assessment and other methods to evaluate and advise students. These services so rendered are done with the help of relevant materials/tools. For instance, operating in career information centre, the school requires a comfortable accommodation which is well furnished with necessary tools (Fitzgerald, 1999).
Counselling services are very expedient to individuals and secondary schools students in the process of advising, guiding and directing them to meet the demands of their aspirations, career choice and development. For it to become very effective and efficient in secondary schools, it demands that vital and relevant materials/tools be made available for use during counselling. This is because, no amount of knowledge possessed by a counsellor can be said to be efficient where those resources for counselling are not in place to back up the knowledge (Bezanson, 2004). This signifies that there is a great importance attach to the use of resources/tools in counselling services. This mean the presence and availability of resources/tools for counselling, to enhances the services delivery while the non-availability of those vital counselling materials limit the delivery of counselling.
Nwoge (1999) claimed that the effectiveness and efficiency of counselling service in secondary schools depends on the provision of materials or resources by the school management. But unfortunately, those counsellors are assigned classes to teach and perform other clerical duties outside their primary roles. This is miss-appropriation of responsibility and it has negative impact on counselling services in the secondary school. It appears counselling is no more regarded as professional job that should be highly paid for; this is why resources are not provided for counselling services in secondary school. Hence, trained and professional counsellors decide to abandon their jobs and prefer to teach in classroom. The Federal Government and Ministry of Education have displayed luke warm attitude towards the promotion and implementation of counselling programme in the secondary school curriculum. No wonder most of the students finish school without proper identification and choice of career aspiration. The availability of counselling resources will make counsellors guide and direct the individuals and students properly on the need for quality standard for the delivery of counselling services and for the articulation of competence required for proper practice and resources utilization for productive services delivery of counselling job (Splate & Hoppins, 2004).
According to Stone (2010) availability of furniture in the counselling centre creates an atmosphere conducive to counselling services. The provision of furniture in the counselling centre should be made to differ from the furniture provided for ordinary teaching staff in the school, Generally, the basic resources requirement in the counselling office include three armchairs, a work station book. The office of the counsellor should occupy one counsellor and not two counsellors at a time. Putting two counsellors in one office would physiologically affect effective execution of counselling services. The client might be distracted and lose concentration and focus. It therefore becomes expedient to design the office to occupy one counsellor. To meet the occupational health and safety requirement both the work station and the arm chairs are economically safe in design. Furniture choice takes into consideration that the clients/students and the counsellor sit comfortably for hours without pains. Ergonomic demands that technologies and furniture be designed for office personnel and affecting the human sight and work effectiveness and efficiency.
Tennyson (2001) claimed that flexible furniture meets the needs of the student who go for counseling. Wheel chair and other necessary furniture assist the clients/students to feel comfortable during counselling session . Tennyson further observed that provision of good furniture enhances flexible and light-taste interview area. Furniture plays a significant role in enabling a counselling centre role to be flexible. This will attract the student / client to have a relaxing interaction with the counsellor. Some easy chairs in the center for example, have power socket in the arms so that the user can plug in electronic equipment and plasma screen. The arrangement of furniture within the centre can easily require matching the size of the counselling room. A combination of circular chairs and oblong tables, or palette chairs are considered (Dimmitt, 2009).
According to Studer (2006), counselling services are supported with good facility in the counselling centres. Such counselling resources like electronic gadgets- computer telephone, television, and Radio, enable the counsellor to provide effective and efficient services to the clients/student.
Studer further said, no work can be done effectively, if there is no facility to work with. Other electronic gadgets like video recorder/player, audio player, internet access photocopy machine, and fax are very necessary to support effective delivery counselling services to the student. The provision of video enables the students to watch different career topics and option because what they see affect the brain and decision making much than just hearing it. They are particular needful during interview session where the student can watch how to answer jobs interview question. The television set is used with the video player. The copy machine is used by staff and counsellor to make copies of materials for the clients/students to read at their spare time.. Text book and journals and other relevant career and reading material can be photocopied for the client (Holcomb, 2003).
Another resource that is very useful for counselling service is the provision of a good library. According to Brigman (2007), library provision with textbooks, journals, magazines, articles, enable the client/ students to have access of the career study relevant areas of the career or job aspirations. Publishers and book authors always send copies of their books to school library. It is important that the school provides a separate library center for counselling service apart from the general library. A rich library with various resource materials available to students/clients helps them assess information independently to help them in their career decision-making. Because information is very essential to transformation there is a need for the school to provide and update counselling service library periodically for students to update their information on their career and job aspiration Schellenberg (2009) advanced that student would find the resources provided by the library beneficial in terms of assisting them with the career development and job searching process and facilitating their decision making in the context that might increase career choice and opportunities.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
A closed evaluation of many secondary schools inAkwaIbomState, specifically in Uyo Local Government reveals that counselling services suffers inadequate attention. This implies that effective and efficient counselling services is unattainable due to the fact that counsellors are not provided with the relevant counselling resources or materials for their professional jobs. Lack of these counselling resources contributes immensely to the poor standard of education due to low inputs of the counsellors. These resources include counselling materials, office accommodation, electronic devices, adequate working tools, well equipped library.
For instance, Lack of basic office accommodation also contributes to ineffective performance of the counsellors. They are not assigned to a specific office to promote and enhance their profession. It is the responsibility of the school authority to provide the counsellors with an office to enable them become useful in their service with provision of career library and other relevant equipment, but the actual availability of the resources is quite far from the expectation. Therefore the problem in this study is to find out the relationship between resources for counselling and counsellor’s role performance in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between the resources for counselling services and performance of secondary schools counsellors in Uyo Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:
- To determine the relationship between availability of furnished office (Ventilation, Lighting, Fan, Location) and counsellors role performance in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
- To determine the relationship between availability of office accommodation (Writing table, chair, cabinet, bulletin board, book shelf) and counsellor’s role performance in secondary school in Uyo Local Government Area.
- To determine the relationship between the provision of electronic devices (Radio cassette, TV, Phone, Films) and counsellor’s role performance in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
- To examine the relationship between availability of adequate working tools (Psychological test, attainment test, Rating scale, socio metric device) and counsellor’s role performance in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
- To ascertain the relationship between the availability of a well equipped library and counsellor’s role performance in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
- To ascertain the joint relationship of furnished office, availability of office accommodation, provision of electronic devices, availability of adequate working tools and the availability of a well equipped library and counsellor’s role performance in secondary school in Uyo Local Government Area.