Roles of the Guidance and Counseling Teachers in the Implementation of the Re-entry Policy: An Evaluative study from a management perspective in selected schools in Lusaka District
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the roles of the guidance and counseling teachers in the implementation of the reentry policy from a management perspective in selected schools in Lusaka district. The study's objectives were to find out the extent to which the school guidance and counseling sections were following the established guidelines of the re-entry policy, determine the effectiveness of the guidance and counseling activities in the school in reducing teenage pregnancies and establish the views of the reentered girls on the guidance and counseling activities in the schools. 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. The sample size of the respondents was 49. It comprised of 31 readmitted girls, 10 from primary schools and 21 from secondary schools, 12 guidance and counseling teachers and 6 head teachers. The participants were purposively selected. The Head teachers and guidance and counseling teachers were interviewed using semi-structured interview guides so as to find out how they are following the established guidelines in helping the reentered girls and to determine how effective are the activities towards helping the girls in order to reduce the problems they faced due to pregnancy. The information from the reentered girls was obtained through the questionnaires. The effectiveness of the guidance and counseling teachers was determined by the extent to which the schools meet the established policy guidelines, how they conducted their sessions with the girls and what activities were put in place for the reentered girls. The results of the study indicated that the school managements had strived to implement the policy through the help of guidance and counseling departments. It was revealed from the study that schools were following the guidelines as stipulated in the policy guidelines. Few girls who were identified to be pregnant by the school were put on a counseling programme and were helped ^to stand the challenges of stigma and other pressures coming from their peers. ^However, the study also revealed 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. 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 of 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. The researcher made six recommendations which were based on the findings of the study.