|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of this study was to investigate the social and academic factors that affected access to guidance and counselling services among learners in Luangwa district, Lusaka province, Zambia. Invitational Educational Theory guided this study. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study population was all grade 11 pupils, guidance teachers and head teachers from the selected schools. The objectives of the study were to; assess social factors that may have affected access to guidance and counselling services in the selected study secondary schools, examine academic factors that might have affected access to guidance and counselling services, establish the effect of non-accessibility to guidance and counselling services on social and academic lives of the learners and suggest measures that may influence pupils’ access to guidance and counselling services in the study schools. The study targeted 90 pupils, 3 head teachers and 4 guidance teachers totalling 97 participants. The researcher used two data collection tools namely interview schedules and questionnaires. Qualitative data was analysed thematically while quantitative data was analysed through the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 23 in order obtain frequencies, charts and graphs.
The study found that the following social factors affected learners’ access to guidance and counselling services: stigmatization among learners, cultural and traditional practices, lack of self-esteem and shyness among learners. Academic factors included use of untrained guidance teachers, lack of confidentiality among guidance teachers, dual roles that guidance and counselling teachers played, guidance and counselling not time tabled and not examinable. The study also established that lack of access to guidance and counselling had a negative effect on social and academic lives of learners, such as, poor academic performance, early pregnancies and general indiscipline. Participants suggested the following measures could improve learners’ access to guidance and counselling services: training of guidance teachers, guidance teachers to uphold confidentiality, need for adequate guidance materials, community sensitization and inclusion of guidance on the teaching time-table. The study recommended that the government of Zambia through the MoGE should train more guidance and counselling teachers so as to professionally provide guidance and counselling services in schools. The study also recommended that the MoGE should come up with measures aimed at preventing guidance teachers from disclosing information brought to them by learners. The study further recommended that schools should come up with deliberate policies aimed at sensitizing learners about the evils of victimizing other learners seeking help from guidance teachers.||en