Factors influencing the provision of online guidance and counselling services in selected colleges in Lusaka district.

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Pelekelo, Silishebo Francis
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors that influence the provision of online counselling services in selected institutions of higher learning in Lusaka District of Lusaka Province in Zambia. The objectives of the study were to i. To establish the views and experiences of various stakeholders on e-counselling to clients. ii. To assess the factors influencing the provision of e-counselling (if any) iii. To determine challenges of improving online counselling services in Zambia and iv. Suggest measures to alleviate the challenges. A survey design was used to conduct this research. The sample size was 140 students and 20 counsellors in charge of guidance and counseling services in selected institutions of higher learning in Lusaka District of Lusaka Province in Zambia. Data from students was collected through questionnaires and while questionnaire and interview guide was used for counsellors. The findings of this study were that: both the counsellors and the students who took part in this study indicated that online counselling has the convenience of corresponding with each other at a range of variant times, online counselling is easily accessible to all those who wish to use it like students. However, a number of factors affect the integration of online guidance and counseling these included: poor internet connectivity, poor ICT infrastructures, lack of trained counsellors with ICT skills, lack of financial support to help them provide quality counselling services to their clients this is because online guidance and counselling requires more funding to sustain its operations, it requires buying of computes, talk time needed to communicate, other issues were issues of confidentiality while accessing online services from counsellors. The study recommended that: investing in ICT infrastructures, carry out CPD among counsellors, create awareness among counsellors and members of the public.
Counseling. , Computer-assisted psychotherapy. , Online counselling.