This study is concern primarily with the need for guidance and counseling services to secondary school students in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State. The main objectives of the study are to find out the need and importance of educational, vocational, and personal-psychological guidance and counseling services to students. In order to archive these objectives, information was obtained through questionnaire. The study revealed that, educational guidance and counseling helps young people to pursue the right type of education, cope with examination anxiety, and develop effective study habits. The students are assisted to improve their competence in reading, note-taking, and academic achievement. The study also shows that, vocational guidance and counseling Aid in placing talent where it is needed, Strengthen the educational system by providing motivation and meaning to education. The student is helped to develop the ability to control His/her future, provide information about occupational opportunities, decision-making, also assist students to understand the process of making choices, and to foresee the possible consequences of their decisions. The study also shows that, personal psychological guidance and counseling resolves issue of student’s private problems such as family problems, bullying, drug abuse, sexual issues, cultism, alcoholism, lying, abortion, rioting and raping. It also provides students with services that will enable them adjust properly in their moral, emotional, social and psychological problems, so that they are able to make appropriate decision. Therefore, ministry of education should ensure that, guidance and counseling is available in all secondary schools. This will only be possible if guidance counseling teacher are posted to the schools.
Student’s lives are getting complex day by day. This is because students are found in activities that are rendering their lives useless. Many school leavers today end up on the streets, and quite a size able number keep on moving from job to job trying to explore, within the world of work, which job meets their interests and capabilities. A majority of these school leavers are not aware of their potential. There is, therefore, a need to help young people and children to know themselves, i.e., their abilities, interests, personalities, values and beliefs, and potential (NCGE, 2004). They should also be assisted to acquire the skills they need in order to cope with the different circumstances they may encounter later on in life.
However guidance and counseling services help the students for optimum achievement and adequate adjustment in their valued live situations, (Department of education & Science 2005). Counseling is a service offered to an individual who is undergoing a problem and need professional help to overcome the problem. Counseling therefore is a more specified service requiring training in personality development and handling exceptional group of people. According to Willey and Andrew, counseling involves two individuals one seeking help and the other a professionally trained person helping to solve the problem to reoriented and redirect him toward a goal. But to Crow and Crow (1957) guidance and counseling “is an assistance made available by a professional to an individual of any age to help him manage his own life activities, develop his own point of view, make his own decision and carry his own burden”.
Guidance and counseling is aimed at providing staff of the school with meaningful information which can be utilized to improve the educational services offered to individual students, it assist students in developing a sense of belonging and self-respect and also aid student in identifying options and making choices about their education.
Akume et al., (2008) agree with this view when they stated clearly that, guidance and counseling assist student in making wise decision as regard to their educational, vocational and personal-social relations. Guidance and counseling help in total development along with intellectual development, proper motivation and clarification of goals and ideals to students in conformity with their basic potentials.
Guidance and counseling provide personal-social information to students. Personal-social information according to Adana (2004) and Lannap (2000), is to provide students with information about home and family background, financial planning, sex, physical and mental development, personal appearance, social behaviors and skills as well as understanding self and getting along with others. In essence, personal-social information provide students with inter and intra-personal facts, figures, ideals, directives and information to enable them adjust properly to their moral, emotional, social and psychological problems so that they are able to make appropriate decisions and be positive functional members of the society. Akume et al., (2008) also stated that guidance and counseling in schools provide basic information on contemporary issues like cultism, examination malpractice, sexuality education, HIV and Aids among others. All these vices abound in every community this days, Buruku local government is not being an exception. The researcher therefore chose this topic to help schools to identify the importance of guidance and counseling, and introduce same in their schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In our secondary schools today students are being identified in some immoral activities like cultism, drug abuse, and unwanted pregnancies among students. Societal norms and values are diminishing among our students, premature marriages are common among our youths as well rapid increase of HIV/Aids patients, more so, examination malpractice has become a common thing among our secondary school students, and students are no longer facing their studies seriously. Secondary education is no longer meeting the demand of the society. Many discipline problems that occur in schools is as a result of inadequate guidance and counseling services. It is for these reasons that, this study investigates the Need for Guidance and Counseling Services to Secondary Schools in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The study investigates the need for guidance and counseling services to secondary schools students in line with educational, vocational and social activities. Specifically the study seeks;
To determine the level to which guidance and counseling services are offered to students in secondary schools.
To examined the function and effectiveness of guidance and counseling services to secondary schools.
To evaluate the impact of vocational and educational guidance and counseling services to students.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study would be of benefits to school administrators to understand properly the concept and services of guidance and counseling to students in their schools. The study would contribute meaningfully to ministries of education to recognize the need for developing guidance and counseling services in schools where there is none and ensure it is operational and also encourage schools to be organizing special guidance activities such as workshops, seminars and carrier orientations.
The study would also be of help to parent to initiate the habit of counseling their children at home by giving them information regarding their societal norms, values and demands and also assist their children develop healthy habits, positive attitude, self-control and good characters.
The study would provide relevant information that would be of help to school principals to embark on organizing seminars in their school concerning HIV/Aids, examination malpractices, entrepreneurship and job opportunities which would assist their students to understand their strength and weakness, potentials and their limitations.
1.5 Research Questions.
- Does your school offers guidance and counseling services?
- What are the function of guidance and counseling in your school?
- What type of problems does guidance and counseling handles in your school?
- How does guidance and counseling services affect students’ choice of vocation?
- How does guidance and counseling services affect students’ academic achievements?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
- There is no significant relationship between services of guidance and counseling offered in schools.
- There is no significant difference between functions of guidance and counseling services and schools.
- There is no significant difference between problems guidance and counseling handled in schools.
- There is no significant difference to the effects of guidance and counseling service and students’ vocational choices.
- There is no significant difference to the effects of guidance and counseling service to students’ academic achievements.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study was delimited to entire Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State, but due to vast geographical area of Buruku Local Government the researcher has narrowed his research to ten (10) secondary schools in Buruku Local Government Area since there is difficulty in mobility, time and financial constraints.
1.8 Definition of Terms.
i. Guidance: this is a process of helping a person to develop, accept and integrate an adequate picture of himself and his role.
ii. Counseling: This is a process of helping people to help themselves to live their lives more effectively and meaningfully.