The Status of Guidance and Counseling in Selected Primary Schools in Lilanda Zone, Lusaka District, Zambia
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This study sought to establish the status of guidance and counselling in selected primary schools of Lilanda Zone in Lusaka district of Zambia. The objectives of the study were to identify the types of guidance and counselling services provided; establish the extent to which guidance and counselling services were provided; determine challenges faced by guidance and counselling teachers; and explore prospects for guidance and counselling in primary schools in Lilanda Zone. A descriptive survey design was employed by the study. A sample of 57 respondents consisting of 6 school administrators, 6 guidance and counselling teachers, 15 teachers and 30 pupils was purposively selected. Data was collected using interview guides and focus group discussion guides. Data was analysed thematically by identifying common themes and results presented using key concepts and narrations. The study revealed that the types of guidance and counselling services offered in primary schools in Lilanda Zone were personal, vocational, educational and disciplinary. It also revealed that provision of guidance and counselling was not given prominence in primary schools as it was considered periphery to the teaching and learning process. The study indicated that challenges faced by guidance and counselling teachers included lack of office space for guidance and counselling sessions, lack of training opportunities, high guidance counselling teacher-pupil ratio and limited support from school authorities and the Ministry of General Education. It also showed that although there were few guidance and counselling activities going on in primary schools in Lilanda Zone, prospects for the future were bright because the government had indicated commitment to supporting and enhancing them as was the case in secondary schools. The study concluded that the status of guidance and counselling in primary schools in Lilanda Zone was generally low going by the limited support it received from stakeholders and challenges faced by teachers providing it. The study recommended that school authorities should provide appropriate and adequate infrastructure and materials for use by guidance and counselling teachers; the Ministry of General Education should deploy trained full-time guidance and counselling teachers in all primary schools; the Ministry of General Education should ensure that all teachers not trained in guidance and counselling but performing these functions are appropriately trained; and the Ministry should come up with a policy that would ensure that guidance and counselling services are provided in all primary schools in the country.