PRINCIPALS’ AND STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS PROVISION OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING SERVISES AND MAINTENANCE OF DICSIPLINE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS OF NYAMIRA DISTRICT-KENYA BY: DR. OURU JOHN NYAEGAH
The overall running, control, tone maintenance, the general development of school education and all-round standards in secondary schools is the ultimate responsibility of the principals. They are particularly charged with the responsibility of fostering the right atmosphere for child growth and development (Calestine, 2002). Principals must constantly be in touch with all school activities, whether academic or co-curricular although they may delegate some of their many responsibilities to other members of staff (Republic of Kenya, 1979). In essence, the principal is held responsible in case of the failure of any activity or services in the school (Mbithi, 1974).
It is within this set up that this paper endevoured to investigate principals’ and students’ attitudes towards provision of guidance and counselling services and maintenance of discipline in schools of Nyamira District. The study also sought to determine the importance of guidance and counselling in the running of schools and establish whether principals were trained to guide and counsel students. The study used questionnaires for principals and students as research instruments which were issued to eighty (80) principals and four hundred and four (404) students drawn from sixty (60) public and twenty (20) private secondary schools. The questionnaires were each divided into three parts. The first part sought demographic information of the respondents and schools. The second part contained attitude items while the third part contained open-ended questions. Besides that, the study used interview schedules for principals and also observation schedule.
The study was Ex-Post Facto in design. Two-tailed T-test and One Way analyses of Variance (ANOVA) were used for data analysis. The T-test was used to test for significant differences between principals’ attitudes towards guidance and counselling in relation to their gender, and school category. ANOVA was used to test for significant differences between principals’ attitudes towards guidance and counselling and their age, teaching and administrative experiences. From the analyzed data, it emerged that only 24.4% of the principals were conversant with the objectives of guidance and counselling services in schools. The study also showed that principals and students were not adequately informed about the role of the teacher-counsellors. Besides, principals and teachers-counsellors lacked training in guidance and counselling skills and therefore they felt incompetent to guide and counsel.
Background of the study
The Ministry of Education views the school principal as a key player in initiating and organizing good guidance and counselling services (Rono, 1989). Roeber (1955:26) emphasized how important it is for principals to have positive attitudes towards school guidance and counselling by stating that; School administrators’ attitude towards any service in the school, whether new or old needs the acceptance and leadership of the school administrator. Without his/her approval and continued support, any service will wither on the vine because teachers and students sense and frequently adopt the school administrator’s attitude towards any service in the school.
Provision of guidance and counselling services in Kenyan schools was formally started in the 1970s. This was as a result of the 1967 and 1968 careers conference reports which was followed by the establishment of Guidance and Counselling Unit in the Ministry of Education in July, (1971). Before this year (1971), guidance and counselling services in schools mainly concentrated on career guidance which was almost entirely based on the voluntary efforts of teachers who somehow felt motivated to provide it. In secondary schools, guidance and...
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