Guidance and counseling aims at assisting individuals in various aspects of life. In Kenya, the Ministry of Education established guidance and counseling services to deal with formal areas of counseling which include educational counseling and psychological counseling in which home challenges of students in both day and boarding secondary schools can be addressed. The purpose of this study was to find out the influence of guidance and counseling in addressing home challenges faced by students who are day scholars in Trans-Nzoia County. Majority of the schools in the county are day secondary schools and students face various challenges at home which include travelling long distances to and from school, accommodation, interference by friends, a lot of home chores assigned to them after school among others. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The target population was 720 teachers and 11290 students from 132 day secondary schools in Trans Nzoia County. Purposive sampling method was used to select a sample of eight day secondary schools from which 386 students and 34 teachers were randomly selected from the selected schools. Out of the 34 teachers, a teacher counselor from the sampled schools was included in the sample of teachers. The data was collected using two questionnaires, one for the student and the other for the teachers. Interview schedule for teacher counselors was carried out. A Pilot study was conducted in West-Pokot County in Kapenguria involving 10 teachers and 40 students from two day Secondary schools and a reliability of 0.72 was established and accepted. The data collected was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer program. Descriptive statistics (averages, percentages, frequencies) was used to analyse the data. The study found out that guidance and counseling is offered in the day secondary schools but counselors are not trained and the students face home related challenges. It was concluded that guiding and counseling is offered in the schools but most teachers have no training in counseling and that students face home challenges which cut across gender and classes equally. The study recommended that education stakeholders offer more support to the department of guiding and counseling by training more counselors and creating more awareness of the home related challenges so that the students can be helped.

Background of the Study
The guidance and counseling movement began in Europe and USA in the 19th century and did not gather momentum until the beginning of 20th century. Technological changes made major impact upon people‟s lives and work. Industrialization resulted in social and vocational mobility (Rao, 2003). It affected children rearing practices and one way of coping with the rapidly changing world was to start guidance movement. The guidance movement later led to the growth of counseling psychology (Rao, 2003). Although the principles of guidance have remained the same, the method and focus have evolved over time (Mutie & Ndambuki, 1999). At the beginning of the guidance movement the focus was on provision of occupational information, later there was more need of accessing individuals for different jobs (Mutie & Ndambuki, 1999). Modern counseling is a product of educational system which has deep roots in concern for an individual‟s freedom, rights, dignity and worth of as a human being (Rao, 2003).

Formal guidance and counseling started in the United States of America and it was founded by people who were social workers and reformers. The primary concern of the movement was hardships and problems with child labour and transition of the youth from school to the world of work. This resulted to vocational guidance and counseling. Systematic vocational and guidance program was developed in California school of Mechanical Arts in San Francisco in 1877, Jesse B. David, a principal in Central High School Detroit took upon himself to counsel 500 students. Several people initiated efforts designed to assist young people with vocational concerns. Among the pioneers are Frank Parsons, David S. Wheeler, Anne Reed, Eli Weaver, Daniel S. Hill and William A. Wheaty. In Hongkong, school guidance and counseling services were introduced in 1950s because of increased variations in children background, increased developments, interpersonal and social problems (Rao, 2003). The school guidance and counseling services helped students overcome the above problems that led to better adjustment and improved academic performance.

The development of counseling in Botswana after independence resulted from changes associated with transition into a modern society which brought about social challenges such as unemployment, crime, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse among others. The positive changes associated with the transition of Botswana into a modern society also brought with them a number of serious social challenges that are more common in modern societies, including increased rates of unemployment, crime, teenage pregnancy, and substance abuse, among others. Additionally, in many other parts of Africa, the increased urbanization of the society has slowly resulted in a breakdown of the extended family system of support and a need for an organized support system to meet the needs traditionally met through the extended family (Okasha, 2002). Initial effort to provide career guidance information to students in secondary schools in Botswana date back to 1963, when a workshop was held to train a selected group of secondary school teachers in career guidance. Following the workshop, a system of provision in this service was implemented to provide career information. Later, efforts were gradually undertaken to develop a more comprehensive program for guidance and counseling in schools, a crucial factor in the development of counseling. In 1985, a policy direction seminar recommended that a career guidance services should be expanded to include social, educational and personal needs of the learners.

In Kenya guidance and counseling can be traced back in 1960s (Rao, 1999). At the end of 1962, the Ministry of Education came up with a plan to offer vocational guidance with the help of career masters in schools. In 1965, the Ministry of Labour produced a booklet called Choosing Career; the book gave information on career selection for secondary students. There was vocational guidance which was geared towards preparing the young people to the world of work. Though very essential, vocational guidance was not adequate in character building of the youth. The Ministry of Education established guidance and counseling program in July 1971 with the aim to deal with three major areas of formal guidance namely vocational guidance, educational guidance and psychological counseling.

National committee of education emphasised that guidance and counseling is expected to play an increasing important role in education system. This is because the totality growth and development of the youth depends on guidance and counseling. The committee stressed that guidance and counseling services must be concerned with overall development and not careers only. Further progress in establishing guidance and counseling in school was made. The plan recommended that guidance and counseling be incorporated in teacher training curriculum at both college and university levels. The recommendations were implemented though the content of the course was inadequate (Rao, 1999).

Numerous problems which affect students in overall development as they pursue education require effective counseling to be delivered to them (Gladding, 2003). Guidance and counseling is a necessary service in all education and training institutions. Schools counseling has substantial impacts on students‟ emotional and personal development (Mutie & Ndambuki, 1999). School counselors with a comprehensive guiding and counseling services help children and adolescents adjust to many challenges that they face both at home and at school. There is need to examine how effective guidance and counseling services is in helping day secondary schools in dealing with their home challenges. Rao (2003) emphasises that a school guidance program may initiate steps to overcome difficulties in learning and help student gain insight into himself or herself and understand his or her own problems in proper perspectives, thus addressing home challenges faced by day students in secondary schools.

It is well established belief that children of higher and middle level can achieve higher than children from poor backgrounds. The environment the students grow in, their past educational experiences and the way teachers perceive these students can go a long way to influence their achievements. Schools can play an important role in the success and academic achievement of children considering them as capable of achieving instead of failures and setting them up to achieve to the utmost (Kovalic & Olsen, 1998). To take the children away from poverty, they must receive a good education. This in turn leads into more future opportunities for them. Cultural relevance and superior content quality is of great importance. Knowledge of students‟ culture can help teachers prepare lessons that are effective and challenging. Additionally, instructional and classroom management techniques that work well with poor children can be put in place. The perspective and experiences of the children need to be considered (Goodwin, 2000).

Statement of the Problem
A number of secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia County are day schools, meaning that the students spend a lot of time at home. It has been observed that these students face several challenges at home which directly affect their personal development and behavior, their self esteem which in turn affect their academic performance. Some of the challenges are cultural issues for example preference of gender as pertaining education, some students are orphans who live on their own or with relatives, the living condition of homes of many students are not conducive for learning. It has been observed that many students also travel long distances to and from school with many having problems with meals and payment of school fees among others. The study intended to investigate the influence of guidance and counseling in addressing these challenges.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of guidance and counseling in addressing selected home-related challenges of students in Trans-Nzoia County.

Objectives of the Study
The study aimed at achieving the following objectives:

i) To find out the status of guidance and counseling in public day secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia county

ii) To establish selected home challenges of students in public day secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia County.

iii) To establish the prevalence of selected home related challenges across gender and class.

iv) To determine the influence of guidance and counseling in addressing the selected home challenges in public day in day secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia county.

Research Questions
The study aimed at answering the following questions:

i) What is the status of guidance and counseling offered in public day secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia County?

ii) What are some of the home related challenges faced by students in public day secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia County?

iii) What is the prevalence of selected home related challenges across gender and class of students in public day Trans-Nzoia County?

iv) Does guidance and counseling offered in public day secondary in Trans-Nzoia county address selected home related challenges of students?

Significance of the Study
The results of this study may serve to highlight the status of guidance and counseling in secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia County. The findings may also be used by principals and teachers to evaluate whether students in day secondary schools face similar challenges and how effective the guidance and counseling offered in these schools is. The students may use the findings of this study to understand some of the challenges they face at homes and how they can be addressed. The ministry of education may also use the results to come up with guidance and counseling programs that address the areas highlighted by this study and also counselor training programs for adequate skills.

Scope of the Study
The study was conducted in Trans-Nzoia County and was focusing on public day secondary schools. Most of the day schools in the county are mixed schools and the form two, three and four classes were chosen because they were mature and could explain the challenges they faced as day scholars better.

Limitation of the Study
The limitation of the study was that the results could not be generalised to the whole country since it has focused on only one county.

Assumption of the Study
The researcher assumed that the sample schools would be a representative of all the day schools in Trans-Nzoia County.

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 66 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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