Pupil's perceptions of guidance and counselling services offered in selected secondary schools of Mazabuka district, Zambia
Mweemba, Bestridah .M.
The University of Zambia
This study was designed to establish pupils’ perceptions of guidance and counselling services provided in selected secondary schools in Mazabuka district. It was guided by the following objectives: to identify the types of guidance and counselling services provided in secondary schools, to examine how guidance and counselling services are provided to pupils in secondary schools, to establish the challenges faced by secondary school pupils in accessing guidance and counselling services and to determine pupils’ perceptions of the guidance and counselling services offered in secondary schools. A qualitative approach of the descriptive survey design was used which followed both qualitative and quantitative methods. Four schools where picked as study sites, two missions, a co-education private school and a government co-education rural boarding/day school. The sample size of the study was 371 participants: 4 head teachers, 4 guidance and counselling teachers and 363 pupils. Stratified, random and purposive sampling techniques were adopted to select participants. Data collection tools included questionnaires, focus group discussion and interview guides. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically while the quantitative data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20. The study revealed that social, vocational, educational, personal, health, spiritual and moral guidance and counselling services were offered to pupils. However, some schools stressed more importance to particular types of guidance and counselling to pupils in particular grades at the expense of other types and pupils in other grades. Pupils were dissatisfied with the provision of career guidance and counselling services. Guidance and counselling services were provided on one-on-one basis and in group sessions, with the majority of pupils having preference to individual mode. Challenges which were highlighted as being faced by pupils in accessing guidance and counselling services included: lack of self-confidence, lack of materials accompanied by poor physical facilities, gender of guidance and counselling teachers and little or no time by the guidance teachers and pupils. The study further indicated that despite the challenges pupils faced in accessing guidance and counselling, it was perceived as a worthwhile component of the education system by the majority of the pupils. The study recommended that all the essential types of guidance and counselling services be provided equitably if more pupils are to access the services and perceive them positively. Challenges that pupils face in accessing guidance and counselling services should be curbed in schools by ensuring their privacy and confidentiality, GCE to run independent from guidance and counselling department, schools to have male and female guidance teachers and ensure an adequate allocation of guidance and counselling materials.
Educational counselling--Zambia , Counselling services-Secondary schools--Zambia , Guidance services-Secondary schools--Zambia