Abstract: The study investigated Guidance and Counselling Services and Students’ Career Choice in Secondary Schools. To guide the study, three research hypothesis were formulated for the study. The population of this study comprised of all the JSS1-JS3 Social Studies student in all the public secondary schools in the study area. The instrument for the collection of data is Guidance and Counselling Services Variables Questionnaire (GSCVQ). Survey research design was adopted and sample sizes of 240 JSS3 Social Studies students from six randomly selected public secondary schools in the research area were made respondents.
The instrument for the study was titled “Guidance and Counselling Services Variables Questionnaire (GCSVQ)”, with a 2-part items questionnaire used in the development of data, which were analyzed using independent t-test statistical analysis. The finding revealed that students in secondary schools in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area perceive guidance and counseling programme as being effective in enhancing their personal, career and academic competencies. Based on the findings, it was recommended that there is need to organize seminars and workshops to offer continuing education in guidance and counselling.
Guidance and Counselling Services and Students’ Career Choice in Secondary Schools
1.0 Background to the Study
According to Melvin (1975), secondary school education is the knowledge acquisition, a stage at which student’s come in contact with various subjects, which determines the field of study they will like to pursue in higher schools. Secondary school education is a kind of level after the primary education and before higher education. Its position in educational system also speaks of its importance. Schwarzeller (1962) see school as that which provides an outside view of what needs to happen in order for change to occur and also an equal opportunity for developing capacities and talents.
Education reforms Nigeria always have the secondary schools as main focus. In fact, it is viewed as powerful stage for knowledge, skill and experience acquisition as well as a wide range of career prospects for young boys and girls (Ezekwesili, 2006).
It is a system that is targeted towards strengthening secondary school education and provides students with more practical knowledge that can make them self-reliant after graduation. Kutara (1977) opines that individual differences exist among people and this has an effect on who the individuals are and what they are capable of doing. What an individual does is sometimes in variance with his ability, aptitude capability and interest.
Individual differences in the rate of growth, intellect, school achievement and sex usually set the pace where students look at themselves in career orientation. But such factors as home, the school and the community form very vital factors in the student’s environment and usually influence their career choices or aspiration. Other factors like parental expectation, big salary, societal prestige, personal security, good rapport with friends, changes for advancement as well the nature of the work itself have directly or indirectly lured most students who are about to leave school into making unrealistic career choices.
Career as used in the field of counseling has a broad and technical meaning. Technically, it refers to sequence of role or a position including works, leisure ad educational pursuit that may encompass a number of occupations, vocation or jobs on engages in during his working life (Seligman, 1980). According to the International Encyclopedia Britannica (1978) career is a job for which it is possible to advance during working life so that a person may get greater responsibility and earn more money.
Career can so be said to be the total life long experience of work that has come to serve as his means of earning a livelihood (Kolo, 1991). The choice of career previously was not as difficult as it is today. There were fewer job opportunities and more importantly, parents, teachers and religious bodies were aware of the existing opportunities as well as requirements for entry into them. Today, the situation has changed for the fact that secondary school students hardly have full knowledge of the requirement for each job and can no longer keep track with the numerous career opportunities. It is against this background that the guidance and counseling was introduced in order to assist the secondary students in choosing a career.
Career decision making is a skill that only counselors can use to assist students, on it involves conscious, systematic process which students can learn and perform better practice. It is established that guidance and counselling is a procedure of designed intervention within a school system by which the total development of students are enthused in areas relating to their personal, social, career, emotional and academic concerns (Nwege and Okolie, 2014). According to them, school guidance and counselling programmed have therefore been introduced to assist students overcome the number of challenges they experience at home and at school, and because of many pressures impose on the family, parents tend to have little time with their children to give them the necessary guidance especially in this age of new technology and invention.
Guidance and counselling is a helping profession which is concerned with molding, reconstructing and rehabilitating a trouble person. It is a self revealing relationship and both preventive and curative of maladaptive behaviour. It is globally accepted that, guidance and counselling activities are for human beings, those with or without problems, normal and abnormal (Eliamari, Richard & Peter, 2015).
The establishment of modern guidance and counselling in secondary schools in Nigeria however, rests on the realization of the need for more sophisticated and integrated package to help individual’s satisfy their problems and concerns of presents day living. Okon (1994) defined guidance as total programme for highly specialized activities, implemented by a specialist, to help individuals make wise and intelligent choices and decisions. Counseling, on the other hand, has been defined by Makinde (1987) as a service designed o help an individual analyze himself by capabilities, achievements, interest mode of adjustment towards what new decision he has made or has to made.
Therefore, since guidance and counseling is a profession for effective counseling to take place, it must involve the application of basic principles for effective helping. These however, include the principles of understanding sequential process; appreciate self-disclosure and observance of ethnics. Their applications not only make counseling effective but also add to the specialist of the counseling relationship.
For guidance to be meaningful, it must be seen a series of programmed activities which help the normal school child to know himself/herself as an individual, become more aware of his/her person, experience his/her world and those people he/she relates with, it is a d dynamic process which undergoes continuous change over time as it is not a single event but a series of events, steps or actions which are geared towards he general development of the individual. Hence, guidance and counseling play a vital role in the career choice of the students.
Guidance and Counselling Services and Students’ Career Choice in Secondary Schools
1.2 Statement of the problem
Most schools in Nigeria run programmes that are deficient in diversification to cater for all career choice of students. In these schools, most of the students are left unguided because their schools have no guidance and counseling services. Students therefore are prone to making unwise career choices or no choice at all because there is no counselor to guide them, until after schooling. Wrong choice of students and courses may result due to lack of sufficient information. Apart from this problem, there is a conflict between the students freedom of occupations and not only that of the nation’s manpower needs, but also the conflict between the students’ choices, the parents choices and friends advises.
The fact that secondary school students cannot make realistic career plans is a serious problem and this research work will equally look at the problem associated with guidance and counseling, career choice and aspirations of these levels of students counseling the fact that guidance and counseling have implications on their choices and aspirations which career choice has serious consequences on their future and by extension the society at large.