Guidance and Counselling in Teacher Education Chalenges for Education Policy Makers

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This paper discusses guidance and Counselling in teacher education programme, challenges and educational policy makers. In the course of discussion an attempt was made to highlight the introduction of guidance and counseling into the Nigerian’s educational system, the functions of guidance and counseling and a review of how would be teachers a receiving training in respect of the subject, which was indicated as being insufficient. The challenges rosed to policy makers are the problems faced by our youths and I indiscipline, cultism, drop-out, examination malpractice and a host of other --- in the society due to lack of proper Guidance and Counselling in our schools which as a result insufficient training received by teachers from the training institutions. A curriculum conference is suggested to be convened so that the issue of intensive guidance and counseling training for would be teachers be addressed, in order to reduce the problems faced by our youths in terms of subject selection, courses selecting adjustment to school environment social and personal problems and a host of others.



Guidance and Counselling was introduced into the Nigerian Educational system in the 1950s when a group Reverend sisters from St. Theresa College Oke-Edo in Ibadan felt the need to guide sixty girls that were leaving school in 1956, their action led to the creation of the Ibadan careers Council as more and more schools becomes interested in the programme, this council culminated into the formation of the Nigerian careers council and more schools in the country, joined. It was as a result of these initiative that made the then Federal to government to create a unit within the Federal University Education and appointed an officer to be in charge of Guidance and Counselling to cater for all schools throughout the federation.

Oladele (2000), observed that the aim of the careers council then was among other things:-

(a) Training of teachers to serve as vocational counselors.

(b) Aiding the students in choosing a vocation wisely and in the

placement process; and

(c) Making smooth transition from school to suitable work.

He further asserted that, the central purpose of the council was to establish and maintain a sound vocationally guidance services in our secondary schools, hereby school learners educational ambitions could be properly channeled to suit their ability, aptitude and interest to the choice of careers.

It should however be noted that with all these efforts no concrete arrangement was made for Teacher Education policy in the of the country then, to introduce Guidance and Counselling as a course in study for the would be teachers for as Oladele (2000) asserted, that the major activity of the council was the annual workshop on vocational Guidance, which was usually hold at the university of Ibadan under the auspices of the institute of education. All members schools sent as least a representatives, usually the careers master or mistress to participate. Some educationist were invited to conduct the workshop. Training was given in the use of psychologist and test, compiling cumulative records and techniques of interviewing in guidance and counseling.

Following increase school enrolment in the country and decreasing job opportunities coupled with changing life style of the people resulting from technological advancement and hash economic realities of life the Federal Government included in the National Policy on Education thus: In view of the apparent ignorance of many young people


school children, careers officers and counsellors will be appointed in post primary institutions since qualified personnel in this category is scarce government will continue to make provision for the training of interested teachers in guidance and counselling. Guidance and counseling will also feature in teacher education programme. (NPE

Revised 1981 p. 43)

This policy statement made colleges of Education, institutes and Education of faculties of education in various universities to introduce guidance and Counselling as a course of study. The main thrust of this paper is to examine the importance of Guidance and Counselling to an individual and whether the course of study in the country’s teacher education programme is enough to equip the would be teacher to handle maladjustment and adjustment problems of the teeming population THE NEED FOR GUIDANCE AND COUSELLING IN TEACHER EDUCATION

Guidance and Counselling as seen by Nayak(2004), in the systematic professional process of helping the individual through education and interpretative procedures to gain a better understanding of his own characterisrics and potentialities and to relate himself more satisfactorily to social requirements and opportunities in accord with social and moral values. Since Guidance and Counselling is process through education of helping the individual, then that education must make provision to equip the teacher with the necessary tools of achieving the desired objectives. Our schools are now faced with myriad of problems ranging from drug addiction, truancy, cultism, examination malpractice due to poor study habits, inadequate knowledge about proper subject combination, problems of course combination which tallies with one intellectual abilities etc, such issues can only be handled when there is a qualified and full time counselor who received a special training in dealing with human behaviour.

Such issues are better addressed when the teacher education policy focuses attention on the training of teachers in relation to the functions of guidance and counseling on a three fold approach, viz adjustments, orientation and developmental. Guidance and counselling are adjustment in the sense that they help the student in making the best possible adjustment to the current situations in the educational institution and occupational work in the home and the community.

On the orientational function, Guidance and counseling orient the students in problems of career, planning, educational program mind and


direction towards long-term personal aims and values. While the development function, Guidance and Counselling should try not only to cure when problems have occupied and done their damage, rather the problems arise and maladjustment occur. If unresolved problems are allowed to accumulate, their total effect may lead the student to the point where his capacity for growth is blocked. In such cases a new important developmental function for helping the student achieve self-development and self-realization.

The current situation in our tertiary institution where would be teachers are produced in which guidance and counseling is only a course unit to be taken either at the final year or second to final year calls for a review, in that the course mostly taught are only an introduction to guidance and counseling. Students are not exposed to the proper rudiment of the subject, which implies that, they cannot function adequately as for demands of educational system. Only very few universities offer a full-time or part-time course specifically at undergraduate level in guidance and counselling. Many universities now offer the course at masters and Doctorate levels, the contention here is that, the economic conditions cannot allow many people to peruse a postgraduate course.

The emerging issues of personality maladjustment, poor study habit, career choice and knowledge of ones aptitudes add skills etc, make it obligatory for our educational planners and administrators to build into our tertiary education appropriate guidance and counseling programme for the development of the individual student into an adult personality, intellectual and functional proficiency, discipline and confidence. The classroom activities, however well conducted and well organized, alone are not in a position to accomplish all this.

Guidance and Counselling courses need to be introduced in our educational system whereby the would be teacher is introduced to the subject from year 1 to his study up to the end and various areas of the subjects exposed to him, so that in the end all qualified teachers can comfortably perform in the areas of helping individual students resolve their personal social and academic problems. The course should also cease to be and elective course. It should be made compulsory for all education students.

The intensive guidance and counseling programmme to be introduced in our educational system should aim at the

following;-1. To help in the total development of the student 2. to help in the proper choice of course


3. To help in the choice of careers

4. To help the students in vocational development

5. To develop readiness for choices and changes to face new challenges

6. To minimse the mismatching between education and employment and help in the efficient use of manpower

7. To motivate the youth for self employment 8. To help teachers establish proper identity

9. To identify and motivate the students from weaker sections of society

10.To help the students in their period of turmoil and confusion 11.To identify and help students in need of special help ensure the proper utilization of time spent outside the classroom 13.To help in tackling problems arising out of students explosion

14.To make up for the deference of home 15.To minimize the incidence of indiscipline

The above aims cannot be handled by a teacher who has no specialized training in guidance and counseling thus the need to entrench it intensively in the teacher education programme and introduce a degree specially on the subject of the undergraduate levels in most of our universities.

CHALLENGES FOR EDUCATIONAL POLICY MAKERS Considering the laudable aims guidance and counseling that an intensive training for the would be teachers can achieve and the recognition by the National Policy on Education that trained counsellors are lacking in our schools but asserted that guidance and counselling would be entrenched in the teacher education policy which has not been adequately taken care of the Nation education policy makers has a challenge of addressing the lapses that is crystal clear in provision of guidance and counseling to the would be teachers.

The curriculum planners at both secondary and tertiary level need to revisit the course content of the subject for the secondary schools enough provision should be made in the syllabus so that the ample time would be allocated for the provision of guidance and counseling service to our students. While for the teacher training institutions the curriculum should be enlarged so that the much


needed information that is required to be given to the teachers in training would be delivered.

A recent research on the availability of vocational Educational Guidance and counseling services in post primary schools in Sokoto metropolise by Bello, D/yaro and yabo (2006) revealed that,

a) Most schools lacked Guidance and counseling services, which signifantly and negatively affects the performance of students in various school subjects.

b) The failure of effective implementation of guidance and

counseling services in post primary schools is as a result of poor handling of the assessment, this implies that poor handling of students assessment records by the counselor significantly affect the effective implementation of educational and vocational guidance in schools.

c) The inability of school counsellor to provide adequate career

information to the students precipated poor career choice and subject combination by the students, which significantly affects future career choice.

d) There are inadequate and/or sufficient guidance and counseling facilities in most post-primary schools as a result of poor finding by the government and insufficiency of school counseling managers.

The low or no existence of guidance and counseling in the Nigerian schools, is seen as a source of the many problems faced by schools, since the teacher assigned the responsibility cannot comfortably deliver as such there must be inadequacies in their performance. The education policy maker have Herculean a task of addressing the problems emanating from schools as a result counseling service. Universities and other tertiary institutions are day by day producing graduates who can not fit into the labor market, because they only persued course they get, not considering the availability of jobs in that particular area but just for purpose of being a graduate or particular certificate holder, such youths if after waiting for a job and could not find one, then could fall into odd situations. Such and many other issues are what necessitate the education policy makers to review the policies as the world be has moved into the 21st century with improved

technological advancement and economic hardship.

A flash back at the recommendation 27 of the National Curriculum Conference of 1969 produced by Fanfunwa (2004) revealed that;


The objective of Nigerian teacher training of highly motivated, conscientious and successful classroom teachers for all education levels; encourage in potential teachers a spirit of inquiry, creativity, nationalism and belongingness; help the prospective teachers to fit into the social life of home and community; provide teachers with intellectual and professional backgrounds adequate for their assignment produce teachers who by their training and discipline will be adequate to changing roles of education in society and produce knowledgeable, progressive, and effective teachers who can inspire children to learn.

From the foregoing one can deduce that, the Nigerian education have from inception recognized the production of teachers who will be adaptable to the changing roles of education, interchanging intensive guidance and training in the curriculum is one area that stand as a huge challenge to education policy makers, if the desired teacher characterized by the 1969 curriculum conference is to be produced. All stakeholders in education, the parents, educational administrators policy makers and teacher education should together to analyse the current educational provisions and situation of our youths in An attempt to re-direct the curriculum to meet the changing demands of this century.

Conclusively, the challenges paved to education policy maker by non-existence of intensive guidance and counseling programme in the teacher education are enormous, this calls for the need that all stake holders in teacher education should be abreast with the real demands of the subject and what it has to offer to our schools, youth and the society at large. It is only by so doing that any curriculum conference would achieve the defined objective.


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