Policy and Practice: Roles of the Guidance and Counseling Teachers in the Implementation of the Girls’ Reentry Policy in Selected Schools in Lusaka, Zambia
Mulenga, Innocent Mutale
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The effectiveness of the guidance and counseling teachers in Zambia is partly determined by the extent to which the schools meet the established girl’s reentry policy guidelines, how they conduct their counseling sessions with the girls and what activities they put in place for the reentered girls so as to help them remain and perform well in school. This paper is based on the study which evaluated the roles of the guidance and counseling teachers in the implementation of the reentry policy from a management perspective in Lusaka, Zambia. The study’s main purpose was to find out the extent to which the school guidance and counseling was helping the reentered girls in reducing teenage pregnancies. The research method design was descriptive in nature and used a qualitative approach. The research population was all the public primary and secondary schools in Lusaka district in Zambia. Head teachers and guidance and counseling teachers were interviewed while information from the reentered girls was obtained through questionnaires. The results of the study indicated that school managements had strived to implement the policy through the help of guidance and counseling departments. It was revealed from the study that the girls who did not want to go through counseling sessions had a lot of problems and dropped out of school due to lack of skills to help them contain the pressure and stigma from their peers. The results of the study also indicated that there seemed to be less sensitization on safer sex and abstinence for the girls in schools. The guidance and counseling teachers did not have regular contacts with the reentered girls as a result the girls faced a lot of problems both at home and at school which they struggled with on their own. Lack of a curriculum for guidance and counseling had also contributed to less contact which the teachers had with the girls. The results of the study also showed that the schools did not have specific programmes meant to help the reentered girls and had no system of following them up when they went on leave hence, most of the girls decided to stop school. The study results had also established that the schools had inadequate qualified guidance and counseling teachers to effectively conduct the sessions with the girls.
Journal of Education and Practice