Students’ perception of the guidance and counseling programme A Comparative Study Between Secondary School Boys and Gills in Kericho District, Kenya
The ever-growing complexity of the society coupled with social problems and rapid development of science and technology place a heavy demand on education. A student faces many difficult situations in today's life. He/she has to make wise choices in curricular and other activities, acquire basic skills for optimum achievement and adjustment to his/her peers, teachers and parents. With increased demands on the school, there is great challenge to adapt these demands and change patterns and to help institutions prepare citizens for future challenges. The purpose of this study is to establish the variations in perception on Guidance and Counseling Programmes between boys and girls in secondary schools in Kericho District. It will compare the responses of girls and boys and is motivated by the belief that underutilization of psychological services in schools is due to inadequate support for students in need of such services. The African socio-cultural set-up often discourages girls from learning and subsequently lowers their aspirations and output. The provision of efficient counseling should assist the improvement of the self-image of both boys and girls and should broaden their educational and occupational aspirations. A successful implementation of school-based Guidance and Counseling Programmes requires the concerted effort and a constant support of all stakeholders to effectively prepare students to develop more positive attitudes and approaches to life's challenges. The key stakeholders include the head teachers or principals, teachers, students, parents and school management. An effective Guidance and counseling Programme on the other hand, makes management of the schools and other institutions easier by ensuring timely management misunderstandings between the students and the institutional administration structures. Consequently, it is imperative that institutions provide suitable settings where guidance and counseling can be conducted because some of the problems encountered by students are very unique and require special attention. The study was conducted in two distinct phases: phase one involved a survey of the students' socio-economic, demographic, psychosocial, cognitive and behavioural attributes. Phase two was intended to elicit in-depth information on the school-based G & C Programmes and students' responses from the teachers' point of view. The exercise targeted teachers directly involved in G & C programmes and the information yielded was used for descriptive purposes to beef up and validate the quantitative data obtained through the survey. The study found that gender disparity is pronounced in accessibility to key social services such as education and health in most developing countries including Kenya. More female students than male students reported a positive perception of the Guidance and counseling (G & C) programme in schools. It is possible that the way students perceive the school-based G&C programme also varies by the place they stay, especially when they are not in school the people they interact with and lifestyles they arc exposed to. Based on the chi-square tests results, there is no significant difference between students’ perception on G & C programme and religion. Age is of little significance in perception to G & C programme. The majority of the students reported that the school-based G&C programme was important to their lives. Most students indicated that teachers had a wide knowledge of issues concerning the youth as well as G & C skills. Although most students provide an impression that the programmes are fully operational and that they are satisfied with issues such as appropriateness, quality of services, provider friendliness and providers’ understanding of the issues affecting the young people, the programmes are grossly under-equipped with both physical and human resources. The teachers hinted that in most schools, there are no proper facilities such as counseling room that is fully convenient to the clientele. The government adopted the integrated approach when establishing the programme, where the G&C offices were created within the existing buildings, rather than free-standing G & C centres.
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