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INFLUENCE OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN IBESIKPO ASUTAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Guidance and counseling as a course study have been conceptualized as a programme of activities which has provided man with the gateway out of the existing numerous problems in this present age of complex scientific and technological development (Okobiah and Okorodudu 2004). The UNESCO module on guidance and counseling (2000a) also stated that guidance is a programme of service to individuals based on their needs and influence of environmental factors.  Guidance and counseling is a professional field which has a broad range of activities, programmes and services geared towards assisting individual to understand themselves, their problems, their school environment and their world and also to develop adequate capacity for making wise choice on their career. There is agreement among experts that there are three major components of guidance and counseling.  These are educational guidance, vocational guidance and personal social guidance UNESCO module (2000a).  Under these three major areas, there are several guidance and counseling services such as appraisal, information, placement, orientation, evaluation, referral and follow-up Dengo (2001).  Each of these major components of guidance and counseling along with their services address students need, challenges and problems. The goal of guidance and counseling services is to enable ear learner in institutions of learning to derive optimal educational benefits so as to actualize his/her potentials. Thus, the highlights of the national policy on education (1998) states in view of the apparent ignorance of many young people about career prospects and in view of personality adjustments among school children, career officers and counselors will be anointed in post-primary institutions and tertiary levels.  Unfortunately, the practice of these services in our institutions of learning is nothing to write home about. The programme is not encouraging at the secondary school level and even at the university level. Anwana (1984) and Abiri (1996) argued that if the society is not to be plagued by a band/group of disgruntled, frustrated and unrealistic individuals, it is desirable that adequate guidance and counseling and career information be provided, to enable the school and society arrive at a realistic vocational choice for their children/wards with due realization of their potentials. Previous studies such as those of Achebe (1986), Adenula (1988); Bulus (2001); Denga (2001); Edet (2008); have shown that principals and teachers constitute the greatest obstacles to the success of guidance and counseling services in schools.  The report showed a negative attitude of school authorities to guidance services and to counselor in particular.Adimla (1988) also attributed the negative attitude to the ignorance of principals and teacher about the relevance of guidance services in schools. Achebe (1986) explained that the counselor is being seen as a new comer to the school system who is still being regarded with some sense of suspicion and caution and distancing.  According to her, some of the principals and teachers regarded the services of the counselors as an unnecessary frill. Bulus (2001) believed that principals and teachers misconceived the counsellors’ status, which often creates conflicts between them and in most cases teachers who being in the need for counselors in the school may see no reason why there should be full time counselor in schools. Denga (2001) stressed that the principals who know little about counseling will not in any way appreciate  the need for the counselor to be relieved of heavy  teaching load and other co-curricular duties  such principals with stifle the counsellor’s work by withholding budgetary allocation for guidance services. Achebe (1986) stated that some principals are rigid and traditional and would not welcome new ideas.  She said even when principals are aware that modern schools require the practice of the counselor, they may deliberately bark at the idea of implementing the guidance services in the school practice for the erroneous argument that historically, the school has operated successfully without formal guidance. Edet (2008) on her research with 99 subjects on parents and teachers’ perception of vocational guidance in secondary schools in Calabar metropolis discovered that teachers perception/attitude towards vocational guidance services was significantly negative (+=-4.6). Educational therefore, to become functional and effective for individual and national development guidance and counselor has to be incorporated in our institutions.

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