INTRODUCTION Background of the Study Understanding the biological, psychological, sociological and physiological nature of human development suggest the need to focus on problems that the stages often bring and the attempt to find solutions to them through the methods of guidance and counselling. Humankind, from the time of Adam has had the need for advice and counsel in order to help them understand themselves and their relationships to their fellow human beings and to recognize and develop their own potential. In responding to these needs, the chiefs and elders of the ancient tribal societies were perhaps the first forerunners of the present day counsellors. Later in the early civilizations, the philosophers, priests and other representatives of the gods were seen in roles offering advice and counselling. From the middle ages onwards teachers were also expected to provide counselling for their students. To supplement these efforts, books began to appear with increasing frequency from the 18th century that focused on providing advice and counsel to the youth in meeting many of the problems of the times especially those concerning occupational choice. Meanwhile, many leading statesmen, philosophers, scientists and educators were laying a philosophical groundwork that would eventually support and nurture an embryonic movement to establish psychology as a science and an academic discipline with an impact on school and community settings. According to Makinde, (1983), the indigenous African counsellor does not exist in the dictionary of western practice even though counselling started in Africa many
years ago. If recognized at all, he was referred to as a local herbalist, a divinatory, or at best an advisor whose techniques and procedures are unorthodox and unscientific. To this end, he remains an enigma or puzzle to western society whereas the majority of Africans who live both in village community settings (not rural) and in urban areas regard him highly in the performance of counselling services. They sometimes call him a demigod and they believe wholeheartedly in his practice and therapy. Makinde further stated that even students who are now being exposed to modern counselling in few high schools, colleges and universities will close up at sessions which are opened to these traditional helpers. Additionally, some years back in America, the blacks were denied access to counselling services in the school system. Smith (1990) condemned that practice saying that, perhaps the most important reason for blacks to be involved in counselling is the fact that the concept is a part of their heritage. He also stated that, if counselling is described as a process of helping people think, feel and do things in an attempt to solve problems, then blacks must be included. This is because blacks have used counselling techniques through the pain and pleasure of seeking justice. It was within relationships developed with other blacks that the seed of freedom was born and promoted. The ideas of escape, rebellion, sabotage and fighting evil was communicated in close association with themselves. So, it can be seen that counselling from time immemorial has been considered very important to the development of human beings. Due to the immense benefits derived from counselling, the Ghana Education Service (GES) in 1976 saw the need and issued a policy for guidance and counselling to be instituted and strengthened in
Ghanaian Schools from basic to tertiary.
Colleges and particularly universities are
sometimes unwholesome places in which to live in. Anybody who would truly seek to find or maintain integrity, dedication and stability have no one to turn to for support but the counsellor. Higher education usually confronts the student with a crushing moral dilemma for the solution of which the formal curriculum provides virtually no aid. Like raw material, the student is to be shaped, hammered, squeezed and regulated...