PERCEPTIONS OF HEAD TEACHERS, TEACHER COUNSELLORS AND STUDENTS ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING PROGRAMME IN ENHANCING STUDENTS’ PERSONAL, ACADEMIC AND CAREER COMPETENCIES: A CASE OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BARINGO DISTRICT, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Guidance and counselling programme in Kenyan secondary schools is critical because of the psychological, social, educational and economic problems the youth face arising from the rapid changes in the society. In 1977 the Kenya government through the Ministry of Education institutionalized a policy for the implementation of guidance and counselling programme to provide personal, academic and career advice to assist the students. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of the perception of the head teachers, teacher counselor and student on the effectiveness of guidance and counseling programme in enhancing students’ personal academic and career competences. The study adopted an ex post facto research design. The target population included 36 head teachers, 36 teacher counsellors and 2387 form III students in Baringo district. Stratified random sampling method was used to obtain a sample consisting of 8 schools (2 girl-schools, 2 boy-schools and 4 co-educational schools). The sample constituted 331 students who were distributed across the 8 schools. Simple random sampling was used to obtain the sample of boys within boys’ schools, girls within girls’ schools while proportionate random sampling was used within co-educational schools. Head teachers and teacher counsellors in the 8 selected schools, were included in the sample. Three sets of questionnaires (head teacher questionnaire (HTQ), teacher counsellors’ questionnaires (TCQ) and student’s questionnaires (SQ)) were used to collect data. The questionnaire contained items measuring perceptions of the respondents on the effectiveness of guidance and couselling in enhancing students’ personal, academic and career competencies. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of the computer based Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5. The descriptive statistics included frequencies, percentages and means. Inferential statistic involved the use of one-way ANOVA and Pearson correlation coefficient (r). The results were accepted at the significance level of alpha (α) 0.05. The results were presented using tables. The findings of the study indicated that head teachers, teacher counsellors and students perceived that guidance and counselling was effective in enhancing students’ personal, academic and career competences. The findings of this study provided useful information on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing students’ personal, academic and career competencies. Based on the finding of the study, it was concluded that head teachers, teacher counsellors and students had positive perceptions on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in secondary schools.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background Information
Guidance and counselling programme in Kenyan secondary schools has become very important because the students face many personal, academic and career problems arising from changes in the socio-economic states of the Kenyan society. Guidance and counselling programme assists the students acquire values, skills and attitudes to handle these problems and become productive members of the society (Gachathi, 1976). Since independence the government of Kenya has looked for ways of developing and maintaining a relevant educational system for the youth. Several education commissions have been set up to review major issues and problems in education and to ensure that education policies are in agreement with the national development objectives (Sindabi, 1992). These include Total Integrated Quality Education and Training (1999); the Commission on Education in the Next Decade and Beyond (1988); the National Committee on Education Objectives and Policies (1976) and the Kenya Education Commission (1964), (Koech, 1999; Kamunge, 1988; Gachathi, 1976 and Ominde, 1964).

These commissions recommended that the youth of the country must be prepared and equipped so as to develop their talents and personalities to be able to contribute towards nation building. Also, as a result of these reports the education policy makers realized that learners experience educational and non-educational (social, academic) challenges that affect their personal, academic and career competencies. Hence the role and development of guidance and counselling programme was recommended to assist the students, so that the country could achieve its national development objectives. Therefore, in 1977 the Kenya government through Ministry of Education institutionalized a policy for the implementation of guidance and counselling programme in schools to provide personal, academic and career counseling to the students. A unit within the ministries inspectorate section was established to organize, coordinate, administer and supervise school guidance and counselling programme (G.O.K, 1999 & Kilonzo, 1984).

Guidance and counselling programme in secondary schools is intended to provide personal, academic and career advice to the students to assist them choose the desired direction of development. Peeku (1991) observed that guidance and counselling helps learners overcome problems which would otherwise make learning difficult or prevent students from settling down in school. It follows therefore that students who are guided and counseled develop ability to make rational personal, academic and career decisions. For example, career guidance involves the giving of information about opportunities in various institutions and their requirements to assist learners to determine courses to take after secondary education. The Ministry of Education has given school head teachers, by the virtue of their positions, the authority and responsibilities to establish guidance and counselling programme in their schools. The head teacher provides the environment within which the guidance and counselling programme thrives and also appoints the teacher counsellors or recommends him/her for appointment by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). The teacher counsellor is then responsible for implementation of the programme and provides the actual professional expertise. The teacher counsellor also offers appraisal services where he/she maintains records of individual learners (including records of personal, academic and medical reports) to be used to further determine career choices by choosing the appropriate subject combination. It therefore, follows that the success and effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing student’s personal, academic and career competencies in any school depends strongly on the support and level of perception of the head teachers and the teacher counsellors.

Despite the implementation of school guidance and counselling programme, widespread cheating in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) is reported every year. For example in 2001 alone, the results of 2880 students in Kenyan secondary schools were cancelled in over 100 examination centers by Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) because of examination cheating ( Siringi, 2001). This can be a sign of lack of adequate study skills, knowledge and information required to plan for and writing examinations among secondary school students. Many students still perform poorly in national examinations in many schools despite emphasis on academic work by the teachers (Eshiwani, 1993). This also could be an indication that the students lack academic competencies which they should acquire through academic guidance and counselling programme.

Many students are recalled to fill university application forms after Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results have been released, indicating that they lack career competencies required to assist them to make correct career choices while in school (Joint Admission Board, 2006). Makinde (1984) observed that most parents lack job related and sound study techniques required to guide their children in the choice of their school subjects and career choices. Therefore, school guidance and counselling programme is needed to supplement parental efforts.

Indiscipline cases which have led to strikes and other antisocial behaviours resulting in burning of schools, destruction of school property and loss of lives, could be due to lack of personal competencies for example, inability to disclose personal problems and poor interpersonal relationships among students. Punishment, suspension, expulsion of students and payment for damages has been used but the situation has not changed (GOK, 2001). Therefore, the widespread cheating in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE), the inability to determine appropriate career choices and the prevalence of strikes in secondary schools imply that insights about effectiveness and success of Guidance and Counselling Programme in enhancing Students’ Personal, Academic and Career Competencies in secondary schools needs to be understood if the Kenyan youth have to be assisted to develop into reliable and responsible citizens.

Statement of the Problem
The Ministry of Education directed learning institutions in Kenya to implement guidance and counselling programmes in 1977. The aim of guidance and counselling programme in educational institutions was to help develop the students’ intellectual, physical, social, emotional and spiritual capacities. Guidance and counselling programme assist students develop their personal, academic and career competencies, among others. Despite availability of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools in Baringo district, performance in national exams has been relatively dismal. Cases of indiscipline, antisocial behaviour and unsuitable career choices by the students have been on the increase in the past 5 years. This could be a sign that guidance and counselling programme has not achieved its objectives. It is against this background that this study tried to investigate the perceptions of head teachers, teacher counsellors and students on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing students’ personal, academic and career competencies.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of Head teachers, Teacher Counsellors and Students on the extent of success or failure of the secondary school Guidance and Counselling Programme in enhancing students’ personal, academic and career competencies.

Objectives of the Study
The following objectives guided the study.

i. To determine the level of perception of the head teachers, teacher counsellors and students on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing students’ personal, academic and career competencies.

ii. To determine the relationship between level of training in guidance and counselling of head teachers and teacher counsellors on their perception on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing the students personal, academic and career competencies.

iii. To compare the level of perception of head teachers, teacher counsellors and students on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing student’s personal, academic and career competencies.

iv. To compare the level of perception of students from boys only, girls only and co- educational secondary schools on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing the students’ personal, academic and career competencies.

Research Questions
The study sought to answer the following questions:

i. What are the perceptions of secondary school head teachers, teacher counsellors and students on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing students’ personal, academic and career competencies?

ii. Is there any significant relationship between the professional training in guidance and counselling of head teachers and teacher counsellors and their level of perceptions on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing the students’ personal, academic and career competencies?

iii. Are there any significant differences between head teachers, teacher counsellors and students’ perception on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling Programme in enhancing the students’ personal, academic and career competencies in secondary schools?

iv. Are there any significant differences between students from boys only, girls only and co-educational secondary schools perceptions on the effectiveness of the guidance and counselling programme in enhancing student’s personal, academic and career competencies?

Significance of the Study
The findings of this study may be used to improve the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme. The study has provided information on various roles and functions played by both head teachers and teacher counsellors in guidance and counselling programme in secondary schools. The findings may assist career teachers to guide the students in choosing their subject combination and appropriate career choices. The findings of the study have also shown the challenges facing guidance and counselling programme and made recommendations on ways to improve the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing students personal, academic and career competencies in secondary schools. The research findings may also be useful to the Ministry of Education (MOE) in policy making regarding the improvement of the effectiveness of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.

Assumptions of the Study
The following were the assumptions of the study:

(i) Guidance and counselling programme existed in all the selected public secondary schools in Baringo district.

(ii) The respondents would provide true and honest information about their perceptions on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in secondary schools.

(iii) The head teachers, teacher counsellors and students would be cooperative during the study.

Scope of the study
The study was confined to the head teachers, teacher counsellors and students in public secondary schools in Baringo District, Rift Valley Province, Kenya. The students who participated in the study were form three in their respective schools.

Limitations of the study
The study was restricted to the respondents’ views on the effectiveness of guidance and counselling programme in enhancing students’ personal, academic and career competencies. The study was carried out in Baringo district, with its own unique challenges and advantages and therefore findings should be generalized to the rest of Kenya and beyond with caution.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 84 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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