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THE CHALLENGES OF COUNSELLING IN THE 21ST CENTURY AND SECODNARY SCHOOL EDUCATION IN UKANAFUN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria, among the developing countries of the world, have undergo changes init educational, social, occupational and economic structures substantially due to the unfolding development of the 21st century.
Development is dramatically increasing (Gysbers&Handerson, 2000). The rapid change in the personal/social values and work world are creating complex challenges specially in the educational sector, and these challenges include: Technology development (ICT) for counseling services (Okafor, 2002). Recruitment and employment of professional counselors for counseling services (Gysbers&Handerson, 2006). Inadequate counselling tools for counselling (psychological test, e.g. Intelligence, aptitudes, inventories, interest, personality test, etc) (Anagbogu, 2002); and poor counselling resources, like well equipped library, office accommodation, storage space, counselling resources centre, etc, (Denga, 1982; 1989; Anagbogu, 2002).
These challenges have affected the personal/social career and educational development of the students (anagbogu, 2002). As the challenges take place in the society, various organization, individual and group of interest are providing programmes and services at different level of the state and the local government to help students deal effectively with these challenges within the educational community, schools counselors have been and will continue to be in the forefront in the effort to assist students response to these problems through their work within the structure of comprehensive guidance and counselling programmes in schools across the societies in the State (Anagbogu, 2002).
Counselling as referred to a process whereby one person assist another person in a person-to-person or one-on-one or face-to-face services. This assistance may take various forms. It may be educational, vocational, social, personal, emotional and moral. Counselling becomes an attractive and only and the necessary option when people find themselves unable to handle the complexity of modern life.
Counselling is necessary in helping individual student or clients solve their problems. Students who have problems goes to a school counsellor because he or she cannot solve a particular problem. The counselor is presumed to be an expert because he has mastery of some counselling theories, laws, skills, technique or conceptual models to use as a base line for his counselling (Otti, 2007).
Counselling services uses positive approaches towards solving disciplinary problem among students of different levels of education. The secondary school counselor finds out the causes of behavioural problem and helps the students to handle the situation. The counselors need to keep an eye on the psychological atmosphere of the school in crisis which may arouse the students’ tensions and reduces their effective learning (Albert, 2000).
The school counsellors work directly with the students to support them through their academic life to foster, promote and improve their success and achievement. The secondary school counselling unit believes that sound education involves the development of the whole students. This includes the social, emotional, intellectual and physical aspect of the student life (Albert, 2000).
Counselling services are provided to improve the academic performances and career choices of the students. Counselling programmes was designed to provide academic solution to students in order to help them in career aspiration and development (Puisley, 2001).
The significance of guidance and counselling programmes in secondary schools has not been fully embraced and appreciated by the government and schools. These affect the students’ academic performances. Since the benefits of counselling could also be extended to the provision of peace and the security of school’s properties that would have been stole, destroyed or vandalized by restive students, and other deviant behaviours minimized or eradicated in schools through the agency of guidance and counselling (Riddle and Benzenson, 2004).
Nwoye (1991) in his view, stated that the rapid development of guidance and counselling in Nigeria over the years has not been followed by adequate counselling resources to meet the need of a successful counselling in schools. Stakeholders often doubt the effectiveness of counselling due to the mass failure of students in the external examinations like the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO). Lack of good study habit and failure of achieving academic excellent by students has been attributed to counselling ineffectiveness. Some attribute mass failure in schools to inadequate counselling services but forget that the basic needs and tools that make counselors and counselling services effective and efficient has not been provided by the government and stakeholders (Anagbogu, 2002).
Innovations appearing in the society today, shown that the world is dependent on computer technology. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has now become a prevalent and part of lives, therefore make the entire world now, a small village where people readily communicate to function productivity (Okafor, 2003). The development in science and technology has brought into lime light the indispensable roles of computer in the area of information technology. Traditionally, most guidance services have been built around one-to-one counselling interview, but now as part of information and communication technology, some guidance services have now move away from services centred on long interview to an open-access models with information rooms containing ICT and other resources supported by brief informal interview being available. ICT now has the capacity to take the services of guidance and counselling to individual who finds it difficult to visit such centre because theylive in geographical remote area, or they have disabilities at home or based for other reasons. The concept of “distance guidance” by telephone or through internet makes it possible to deliver guidance services to remote location (Watt, 2000).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In Nigeria, are a lot of changes taken place as a developing country. These changes have possed or brought a number of challenges in the area of counselling and education. Counselors have been alienated from the traditional way of counselling in schools as a result of westernization. Now, counselors have certainly resorted to unorthodox method to fill the gap. There are also a lot of factors that posed challenges to guidance and counselling services in secondary school education which have affected both counselors, counselling services and students’ academic performances and achievement as well as the education system in general (Anagbogu, 2002).
Among such factors include: Technology development (ICT), inadequate recruitment and employment of professional counselling personnels (counselors), inadequate psychological counselling tools, and poor counselling resources. The presence of these factors pose a serious challenges to counselling services and our secondary schools, therefore, the researcher sought to ascertain the significant challenges pose by these factors on or to guidance and counselling services and secondary school education in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The above identified problems constitute the focal point of the problem for investigation of the following purposes:
- To assess the challenges posed by technology development (ICT) on counselling services and secondary school education.
- To examine the challenges posed by inadequate recruitment and employment of professional counselling personnels (counselors).
- To identify the challenges posed by inadequate counselling tools (psychological test) on counselling services and secondary schools.
To determine the challenges posed by poor counselling resources on counselling services and secondary school education.