ROLE OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING IN MANAGING DISCIPLINE AMONG TERTIARY COLLEGE STUDENTS IN WESTERN REGION, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Management of discipline among students in tertiary colleges is one issue that many college administrators are grappling with almost on a daily basis. Cases of sexual pervasion, drug abuse, prostitution, bullying, vandalism and examination malpractice among others have become prevalent in learning institutions in Kenya. Administrators are known to be applying more of the traditional methods than guidance and counselling to ensure effective management of discipline with very minimal success. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of guidance and counselling (G&C) in managing discipline among students in tertiary colleges in Western Region, Kenya. This study used a survey research design. The study had a population of 12,123 students and 39 G&C Coordinators. A sample size of 411 respondents comprising 375 students and 36 guidance and counselling coordinators were used. Data collection was done using two sets of questionnaires, one for G&C coordinators and another for students. The collected data was then analysed using both inferential and descriptive statistics with the aid of SPSS computer software for windows. The following were the findings of this study: - Management of discipline had not fully been entrusted to guidance and counselling as the most preferred method; when G&C was involved, 24% of the G&C coordinators participated in the disciplinary proceedings. One quarter of the G&C coordinators had no professional training in counselling. This study concluded that the number of colleges that had fully embraced G&C as an intervention measure to manage discipline among students was below average. It was established that guidance and counselling had played a key role in helping students to change their behaviour and improve in academic performance in the colleges where it was fully operational; Most colleges had clear G&C policy frameworks despite the fact that their G&C programmes were not in tandem with the policies. The study came up with the following recommendations:- All G&C coordinators must undertake a professional training in counselling; The number of counselling teachers per institution should be proportional to the student enrolment and should not have any teaching load; It should be made policy that Guidance and counselling becomes the first line of defence when addressing discipline issues among students and all G&C coordinators were supposed to be inducted about implementation of policy.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
This chapter presents an overview of the role of guidance and counselling in tertiary colleges. Focus has been given background information to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, research questions, scope, limitations and assumptions of the study. Definition of terms whose operational meaning has been given a contextual connotation have also been defined in this chapter.

Background of the Study
Guidance and Counselling refers to an interactive process between the counsellor who is a trained professional and the counsellee who is a needy person that needs psychosocial support (Makinde, 1993). Guidance and counselling (G&C) is a discipline that has found a lot of application in behaviour shaping processes in Kenya since mid-1970s. Management of discipline among students has been a big area of concern for principals, boards of governors and councils in tertiary colleges. The problem is a practice that college administrators interact with commonly in their administrative work. It is quite difficult to come across an institution that has never experienced indiscipline among students.

Most of the indiscipline among students in these institutions revolves around issues such as students‘ elections, internet connectivity, increase in fees, lack of or shortage in supply of certain facilities, entertainment, etc. For instance, students of Kenya Polytechnic University College staged a demonstration paralysing traffic along major highways in Nairobi protesting against increase in fees (Ndonga, 2012). On the same note students of Nyeri Technical Training Institute went on strike claiming rigged elections (Wambugu, 2015). The students barricaded the roads and caused a lot of disturbance within and outside the institution. These issues of indiscipline bordering on elections seem to be informed by what happens in the larger society whereby during elections in Kenya, there have always been claims of rigging, favouritism and related complaints. However, behind most of the indiscipline there is usually a likelihood of some underlying factors that could be causative reagents. A mechanism should be established within the institution that is supposed to create an enabling environment that helps students to air out any underlying issues before they degenerate into indiscipline of any nature.

These issues of indiscipline have been common among quite a number of colleges. Consider the case of students of Kisumu National Polytechnic who also went on rampage because the administration had banned discos in the compound for security reasons (Omolo, 2014). The students did not give the decision made by the administration positive thought and instead focussed only on being denied entertainment. This was a clear evidence of lack of critical thinking on the part of the students‘ leaders and the whole students body. Guidance and counselling needs to be enhanced to organise for relevant students‘ centred programmes that can help students develop life skills and develop the ability to think critically.

It is indeed important to establish ways to resolving disputes or indiscipline in colleges in order to promote smooth and conducive learning environment. Some of the cases of indiscipline have the potential of exploding into life threatening levels. For instance, students of Sang‘alo Institute of Science and Technology went on rampage and not only destroyed property worth millions but also killed their own principal, Mr. Polycap Wanyela (Wafula, 1999). This case was a clear instance of students who had been allowed to go beyond limits by drinking and being allowed to breach peace under the influence of alcohol. It was a clear case of no proactive action taken by the institute administration to contain the rowdiness among students. This was also an indication of how dangerous students‘ indiscipline can become if not addressed in good time.

Management of discipline is not just a Kenyan problem. Different Institutions apply various techniques to manage discipline among students in various parts of the world. According to Raghavan (2009) adolescents in cultures around the world have historically benefited from the presence of informal counsellors and mentors, both within the school system as well as within the society as a whole. These were typically teachers, administrative staff, parent volunteers, older peers within the school system and, in some cases religious/spiritual leaders in the community/society. Informal counsellors still play a key role of maintaining discipline in the wider society in Kenya today by upholding community values and norms. It will be a noble idea to include them as key stakeholders in managing discipline among students in colleges.

The need to include guidance and counselling in managing discipline among students in tertiary colleges cannot be over emphasised. The Kenya government started to embrace guidance and counselling as a field of study that could help manage discipline in learning institutions in the mid-1970s. Prior to this, discipline in schools was ensured through traditional means among them corporal punishment, suspension, manual work and expulsion. It is universally acceptable that discipline is crucial in any society or organisation to maintain peace and harmony and a successful education system. Discipline exists even among criminal gangs where order from the commander of the gang is like law to be obeyed respectfully. The contextual definition of discipline in relation to this study is the training used to produce desired habits in an individual. These desired habits are the established norms and values that are key to the society or learning institution.

The problem of management of discipline in learning institutions has been at the centre of the Kenya government considerations for almost four decades now. Several policy documents have been developed by the government over this period to help address the problem of effective management of discipline among students. The ―Report of the National Committee on Educational Objectives and Policies of 1976,‖ popularly known as the Kamunge Report, observed that the totality of the growth and development of youth depends on guidance and counselling to ensure its appropriate integration into the values and productive activities of society (Republic of Kenya, 1976). To be of use therefore, such guidance and counselling should be based on the values of society regarding the expectations of what education and training should enable society to achieve. The committee also recommended the recruitment of fully qualified professional persons for supervising the work of guidance and counselling in the education system. The societal values and norms are the cornerstone of discipline for any society or learning institution thus justifying the reason as to why the committee emphasised the need to have it entrenched in education and training.

The impact of implementation of the Kamunge Report on management of discipline were not very noticeable considering that guidance and counselling was not embraced as a key factor in managing discipline among students long after the report was implemented. The government in another of its policy documents, Kenya Education Sector Support Programme [KESSP] pointed out its plan to support education and G&C in learning institutions and the Ministry. The main objective of this initiative was to strengthen and instutionalise guidance and counselling in all learning institutions, Ministry headquarters and all other levels (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology [MOEST], 2005). This was started after realising that there did not seem to be a framework within which to handle issues of discipline among students.

With the realisation that management of discipline among students was continuously becoming a national concern the government has continued to establish mechanisms to address the problem. For instance, currently measures aimed at curbing the various cases of indiscipline in learning institutions and prepare the youths for a better and meaningful livelihood are being implemented by the government (MOEST, 2005). Among the measures the government has set up to ensure the success of its strategy include; ensuring that G&C units work with the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority (NACADA) to sensitise lecturers on drugs and alcohol abuse prevention; strengthening G&C services at all levels of education; prepare and disseminate training modules in G&C for primary, secondary and post-secondary levels; train peer counsellors; develop and disseminate career information booklets; formulate and disseminate G&C policy and train teachers and learners in disaster management, conflict resolution, violence prevention and trauma management among others.

The success of any policy depends on the attitude and willingness of the implementers to support and accept to propel it to its full implementation stage. Involvement of stakeholders in the formulation of policies on discipline is an important factor that most college administrators underrate leading to resistance to the smooth and successful implementation of the programmes. According to American School Counsellor Association [ASCA] (2012, as cited in Kiprop, Bomet, Kipruto & Jelimo, 2015) in order to establish and maintain safe and respectful learning environments, school systems must seek effective discipline programmes with the commitment and input of all school personnel, including school counsellors. On the same note, government policy can fail if the same government is not committed to ensure that it succeeds. According to (Okech & Kimemia, 2012) one of the reasons of failure in the implementation of government policy has been lack of commitment in ensuring that the policy was followed to its successful implementation. Therefore, at all levels of administration, it is almost common knowledge that unless a policy receives full government support, it might be too difficult to successfully implement it.

Most of the tertiary colleges in the study area have student enrolment running beyond three thousand but with only one substantively appointed G&C coordinator. There is need to establish a working ratio of students to counsellor in order to ensure efficient service delivery by the student counsellors. Failure to accord this principle the weight it requires might lead to a compromise on a counsellor‘s efficiency. This also helps to regulate a counsellor‘s practice to avoid professional burnout. According to (ASCA, 2014) the recommended student to counsellor ratio is 250:1. The U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data [CCD], (as cited in ASCA, 2014) points out that the prevailing national average for most of the 52 states of America that were surveyed between 2014–2015 was 444:1. The Kenya government policy documents have not put the requisite emphasis on this aspect hence leaving the student counsellors at risk of being overworked. This is a very risky scenario because the counsellors might end up getting so stressed leading to poor performance and even under severe cases death.

It has occasionally been rightly mentioned that lecturers are sometimes involved in students‘ indiscipline as either inciters, promoters or participants. In addition to the ratios, the character of the guidance and counselling teachers together with all their other colleagues has a big bearing on the discipline of students. According to Rahul (2010), the lecturers themselves are corrupt, greedy and run after illegal means of making quick money. They do not inspire confidence, hope and honesty among students. They indulge in dirty politics and can stoop to any depth to have money. Therefore, there is a crisis of character. Due to these, students do not have appropriate role models. As a result they find themselves groping in the dark. There is neither character, nor values, nor morals in the society. Students like any other human being like to imitate their parents, lecturers, leaders and elders whom they interact most of their time. The continual interaction makes them to adopt to certain behaviour attributes that they meet regularly.

Philippines, just like in Kenya, counselling started to take the professional shape in the 1970‘s when professional organisations like the Philippine Association for Counsellor Education, Research, and Supervision (PACERS); Career Development Association of the Philippines (Tuason, 2013). According to Tuason Philippines embraced counselling that was responsive to economic/political instability and poverty in the year 2000 and enacted the guidance and counselling act in 2004. This indicates that counselling in Philippines was growing in response to the psychosocial and economic needs of its people. Guidance and counselling in Kenya was not primarily based issue based but mostly based on the existing skills and techniques. A discipline based approach to guidance and counselling might be the right direction that this practice ought to take in order for college counselling to become more efficient in managing discipline among students.

Statement of the Problem
Management of discipline among students in tertiary colleges is an issue that many college administrators are grappling with almost on a daily. College managers are known to be applying different traditional methods to ensure effective management of discipline with varying degrees of success. The Report of the National Committee on Educational Objectives and Policies of 1976, observed that the totality of the growth and development of youth depends on G&C to ensure its appropriate integration into the values and productive activities of society. To be of use therefore, such guidance and counselling should be based on the values of society regarding the expectations of what education and training should enable society to achieve (Republic of Kenya, 1976). The position of Guidance and Counselling Coordinator was established in tertiary colleges in the light of this recommendation to primarily help in the management of discipline and by extension provide psychosocial support to students. Despite this effort by the government, management of discipline among students in tertiary colleges has continued to be a problem considering the many psychosocial challenges and cases of indiscipline among students in tertiary colleges. Many of the indiscipline reflects in forms such as sexual pervasion leading to unwanted pregnancies, abortion, theft, bullying, exposure to pornographic videos, students‘ elections, entertainment and other forms of indiscipline among students in the study area. Therefore, this state of affairs formed the foundation for this study to establish the role of guidance and counselling in managing discipline among students in tertiary colleges.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to determine the role of guidance and counselling in managing discipline among tertiary college students in the Western Region of Kenya.

Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study were as follows: -

(i) To establish the effectiveness of Guidance and Counselling in the Management of Discipline among Students in Tertiary Colleges in Western Region of Kenya

(ii) To determine the scope of Guidance and Counselling services practiced in Tertiary Colleges in Western Region of Kenya.

Research Questions
The analysis of data in this study was guided by the following research questions: -

i). How effective is Guidance and Counselling in the Management of Discipline among Students in Tertiary Colleges in Western Region of Kenya?

ii). What is the Scope of Guidance and Counselling Services offered in tertiary colleges in Western Region of Kenya?

Scope of the Study
This study was carried out on students in tertiary colleges in the Western Region of Kenya. The target tertiary colleges were mainly public TVET and Teacher Training Colleges in the region. The researcher was keen on public TVET colleges that had been in existence for at least ten years. One of the reasons for choosing the region was that it had the highest number of the targeted colleges in Kenya. This informed the researcher‘s biased selection of the region as the appropriate representation of the target population. The role of guidance and counselling in managing discipline among college students was studied. The respondents included students and guidance and counselling coordinators.

Limitation of the Study
This study was limited by the following factors: -

i) The questionnaire was the only tool used to collect primary data. However, integrating additional methods of data collection could have increased the scope and depth of analyses

ii) Data was collected from guidance and counselling coordinators and students only.

Assumptions of the Study
i) The participants‘ responses on each of the test items in research instruments were honest and candid.

ii) All participants had experienced the same phenomenon of the study.

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