Guidance and counselling programme was first implemented in Kenyan secondary schools in 1971. It was emphasized in Koibatek district secondary schools after the banning of the cane in 2001. However, there are indications that students in the district still lack academic, career and personal competencies. Persistent poor academic performance, school disturbances and students dropping from school among others are the common problems in the district. This may be due to ineffective school guidance and counselling programme among other factors. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of on the effectiveness of the guidance and counselling programme in enhancing student’s academic, career and personal competencies as perceived by secondary school head teachers, teacher counsellors and students. This study utilized an ex-post facto causal comparative design. The respondents of the study were 18 head teachers, 18 teacher counsellors and 302 students drawn from 18 public secondary schools in Koibatek district. The samples were drawn from a population of 1366 form three students, 25 head teachers and 25 teacher counsellors. Random sampling method was used to select respondents. Purposive sampling method was used to select the head teachers, teacher counsellors and the District Education Officers who were interviewed. Data for the study were collected using open and close ended questions and interview schedules. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Means, frequencies and percentages were the descriptive statistics while one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was the inferential statistic. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5 was used to aid data analysis. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used to estimate the reliability. Reliability coefficients of 0.87, 0.92 and 0.60 for Students’ Questionnaire (SQ), Teacher Counsellors’ Questionnaire (TCQ) and Head Teachers’ Questionnaire (HTQ) were obtained respectively and were considered acceptable for this study. All the respondents who participated in the study perceived school guidance and counselling programme as effective in enhancing students’ academic, career and personal competencies. Education stakeholders and policy makers in education that include parents, teacher counsellors, school managers, T.S.C personnel, Ministry of Education officials and NGOs interested in education matters may use the results of this study to strengthen, improve and maintain the programme services. It is recommended that guidance and counselling programme be implemented on a school wide basis as a matter of priority in all secondary schools to equip all students with necessary academic, career and personal competencies.

Background Information
Guidance and counselling is becoming an increasingly important programme in Kenyan secondary schools as it assists students to handle day-to-day psychological and social problems arising from their transition from childhood to adulthood and from modern challenges afflicting the Kenyan society. According to Corsini (1987), the guidance and counselling profession started in United States of America during the Great Depression. It began as a means of matching workers and jobs due to increased diversity of occupations and lack of jobs, a situation similar to what is happening in Kenya today. Later in mid 1950’s it was applied to all areas of human life including academic, career, personal growth and progress. McDaniel (1956), Makinde (1984), Tumuti (1985), Sindabi (1992), Biswalo (1996), Mutie and Ndambuki (1999) and Kiragu (2002) pointed out that students’ problems, which require guidance and counselling interventions, are mainly in academic, career, and personal domains. The guidance and counselling programme in secondary schools is thus expected to assist students to develop competencies necessary to overcome academic, career and personal problems. The Kenya government has long recognized the need for school guidance and counselling. For instance, in 1971 guidance and counselling programme was implemented according to the recommendations of the Kenya Education Report (G.O.K, 1964). The objective of the programme was to provide academic, career and personal advice to the students.

Subsequent education reports have recommended the strengthening and improvement of the programme to make it more effective. For example, the Report of the National Committee of Education Objectives and Policies recommended the provision of resources needed for the expansion of the guidance and counselling programme services (G.O.K, 1976). The Presidential Working Party on the Establishment of a Second University recommended that the career guidance be given greater priority and be developed in a manner consistent with national needs (G.O.K, 1981). The Report of the Working Party on Education and Manpower Training for the Next Decade and Beyond recommended the decentralization of the programme to district level, and the establishment of the course in schools and senior teachers to be in charge (G.O.K, 1988). The Commission of Inquiry into the Education System of Kenya recommended establishment of peer counselling services in all education and training institutions in the country and that the guidance and counselling services be offered by professionally trained and mature teachers (G.O.K, 1999). The Report of the Task Force on Student Discipline and Unrest in Secondary Schools recommended initiation and training of peer counsellors and teacher counsellors in every school, few lessons for teacher counsellors, involvement of parents in counselling in schools and creation of a division in the Ministry of Education to coordinate guidance and counselling activities among other recommendations (G.O.K, 2001).

Despite the programme implementation and subsequent improvements, there are indications that it may not have achieved its goals and it remains unclear to students, teacher counsellors, teachers and head teachers (Sindabi, 1992). This was supported by a study by Okama (2003) on the implementation of guidance and counselling programme in some selected secondary schools in Butere-Mumias district, Kenya. The study revealed that little guidance and counselling was going on in the selected secondary schools. There are also indications that students may be lacking the competencies required to maximize their academic, career and personal potentials (Owiro, 1996 & Mutie and Ndambuki, 1999). The observation that students are recalled to fill university application forms after Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education(K.C.S.E) results have been released and upon realization that they qualified for university admission attests to lack of career competencies. A large proportion of students who qualify for admission to the public universities each year are often recalled by the Joint Admission Board (J.A.B) to revise their degree choices as indicated in Table 1....

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 90 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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