An exploration of factors affecting provision of guidance and counselling services in inclusive Secondary Schools in Southern and Lusaka Provinces, Zambia

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Hamainza, Welcome Luyando
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The purpose of the study was to explore factors negatively affecting the provision of GCS in inclusive secondary schools in Southern and Lusaka Provinces. The specific objectives of the study were to: explore factors affecting the provision of guidance and counselling services in selected inclusive schools in Lusaka and Southern provinces; determine the extent of guidance and counselling services provision in inclusive secondary schools; determine beneficiaries of GCS in inclusive secondary schools. It was carried out in two provinces, (Southern and Lusaka) of Zambia. The population for the study were 4 inclusive secondary schools in Southern and Lusaka Provinces. The target population was eighty (80) pupils, eight (8) school counsellors, 4 head teachers. Descriptive survey design was used for the study. Simple random sampling procedure was used to select learners. Purposive sampling procedure was used to select school counsellors and head teachers. The primary data was collected by the use of questionnaires and interview schedules. Thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data while quantitative data were analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) computer programme. Qualitative data were organized and presented in common themes while quantitative data were presented in pie charts, tables and graphs. The study found out that the following factors negatively affected the provision of GCS in inclusive secondary schools; inadequate of spacious and conducive rooms specifically for guidance and counselling, lack of enough time for counselling, inadequate materials such as books, inadequate of support from fellow members of staff and administration, counsellor-learner ratio was very high, dual roles as a school counsellor and teacher, non examinable subject, cultural practices and beliefs, and inadequate of training in counselling and special education (sign language and braille). Based on these findings, the researcher recommended that the Ministry of Education and the Teaching Service Commission should come up with clear policy guide lines on appointments of counsellors, training of counsellors, workload, remuneration and responsibilities of school counselors, all teacher training institutions and universities should review their programmes to ensure that they include more mandatory courses on guidance and counselling, school counsellors should be freed from other responsibilities that may interfere with their responsibilities as counselors, implying that head teachers should relief guidance counsellors of heavy teaching loads so as to allow them to practice effectively. It was also recommended that teachers should be trained on career guidance and counselling to improve their competences by organizing in-service trainings, seminars and workshops. In addition, the study should be carried out on challenges in school guidance and counselling services provisions for learners with disabilities in inclusive secondary schools in Zambia.
Guidance and counselling-Secondary Schools-Lusaka, Zambia , Counselling Services-Secondary Schools-Lusaka,Zambia , Educational Counseling-Lusaka,Zambia