THE NEED FOR GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SERVICES AMONG NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
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The literature on guidance and counselling services in schools both in Nigeria and also in the different parts of the world were reviewed in this chapter.
The review is as follows:
- The meaning of guidance and counseling
- Origin and development of guidance and counseling
- The needs of university undergraduates
- Objectives of guidance and counseling services in Nigeria
- Summary of review of related literature.
The Meaning of Guidance and Counselling
There are different opinions in the definition of guidance and counselling. It has been defined clearly by different authors.
The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines guidance counseling as a help or advice that is given to somebody especially by somebody older or with more experience. According to Bakare (2003) guidance and counselling is defined as number of processes having problems in any phase of life so that he can be more effective, satisfied and useful to the society in which he lives.
Guidance is the process of helping an individual understand himself and his world. The word guide means to direct, watch over, know, pilot, manage etc. Guidance aims at aiding the recipient to grow in a person’s independence and ability to be able to be responsible for oneself. Guidance is found in all phases of life in the home, business, industry, government social life and hospital, in fact it is present where there are people who desire help.
Guidance and Counselling in Nigeria
Since (2000) Nigeria has been concerned with the problem of vocational choice and decisions. As might be expected, this concern has led to research in the area and numerous theories with respect to how individuals make their career choice. Before the introduction of the western system of education, vocational guidance on the choice of a career could be given to children by a grown up member of the family or community to prepare them for future. According to Fafunwa (2003) there was vocational guidance in the traditional African society. Vocational training in traditional society which was largely run on the apprenticeship system and is a time honoured device for educating millions of African youths and adults. Usually the children are not yet trained by parents, but by relatives, masters, and craft man in particular fields or friends in order to ensure discipline and concentration.
As Callaway (2004) described it, vocational education is vast apprentice training system which began as part of widen education process through which the indigenous societies of Nigeria passed on their cultural heritage from one generation to the next for example, a biro Blacksmith on the Jos Plateau inherited.
Akintoye and Cole (2004) stated that guidance in Nigeria started at Saint Theresa’s College, Ibadan in 2000 when the Reverend Sister running, the school found that the product of their school (the secondary school leavens) would have problems in seeking for employment and adjusting to the hard conditions in the society after leaving school. In short they saw the need for proper guidance and counselling for the products of their school. Consequently the sisters invited professionals who knew more about the emerging word of works to direct course of study for the outgoing students in their career opportunities.
Nwoye (2007) indicates that Oliwajo College of Education, Ibadan was established and started by a team of professionals to assist the people in need for problem solving skills in learning.
Amadi (2004) remarks that through guidance and counseling services the school will understand the needs of individual students and what can be done for individual improvement. According to Denga (2003), some of the problems found amongst university students as identified are academic problem, vocational problem and personal, social and psychological problems. Guidance and counselling services enables the students to understand that what they are doing in school today will likely determine what they will do after graduation from the university.
Iwuama (2005) observed that for the students to realize these needs, lecturers and parents should be assisted. The average Nigeria parents want sound education for his/her child as a means of social mobility amongst other reasons. Invariably parents of university students need guidance in order for their children to cope with the challenges of producing children.
Objectives of Guidance and Counselling in a University
- To help students understand themselves in terms of personal ability, interest, motivation and potentials
- To alter maladaptive behaviours
- To assist students in moving towards the direction of fulfilling their potentials or in achieving an integration.
- To provide students with skill, awareness and knowledge which will enable them to confront social inadequacies
- To help students gain insight in the origins and development of emotional difficulties leading to an increased capacity to take rational control over their feelings and actions
- To help students gain some insights into the world of work realities there in end the relationship of education
Guidance and Counselling Services Needed by University Students
The choice of university course is vast from the onset.
Educational counselling is vital especially when decisions have to be made regarding enrolment of major courses.
According to Olayinka (2003) guidance services frequently found in a university include the following;
- Vocational services
- Orientation services
- Social personal services