An assessment of guidance and counselling programmes' capacity to offer effective services in public primary schools in Kikuyu sub county ,kenya
Kebongo, Stella Nkatha
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The current problems facing the Kenyan pupil require Guidance and Counseling (G&C) teachers to be knowledgeable about psychological and behavioral interventions, both at the preventive and responsive levels. Despite the fact that Kikuyu Sub County public primary schools record high incidences of pupils’ absenteeism, alcohol and drugs abuse, psychosocial and teenage sexuality issues, G&C activities are very minimal. The main purpose of this study was to assess the G&C programmes’ capacity to offer effective services in public primary schools in Kikuyu Sub County, Kiambu County, Kenya. Specifically, the study aimed at establishing the preparedness of G&C teacher; assessing the availability of G&C programme resources; and examining the stakeholders support for effective G&C services in public primary schools in Kikuyu Sub County. The study was premised on the Rogerian client-centred therapy theory and the Egan’s Skilled Helper model. Descriptive survey design was adopted. The study target population comprised of 30 G&C teachers, 93 class teachers and 31 head teachers. All the 30 G&C teachers, 93 class teachers and nine head teachers were sampled for the study. Data was collected through G&C teachers’ questionnaires, class teachers’ questionnaires, head teachers interview guide and G&C resources observation schedule. Items from data collection instruments were reviewed for content and construct validity by a panel of University lecturers in the field of counselling, followed by a pilot study for further revision. Reliability of quantitative items in the questionnaires was established by computing Cronbach’s alpha in which both G&C teachers’ questionnaire and class teachers’ questionnaire had a value of more than 0.60 and hence acceptable. Both the reliability and validity of the instruments qualitative data was ascertained by ensuring the researcher’s credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability. Quantitative data was analyzed by use of descriptive and inferential statistics. Qualitative data was thematically analysed as per the three objectives of the study. The study found that though there was a high need for guidance and counselling in psychosocial and sexuality issues, most of the schools G&C programmes had no capacity to provide effective services. Most of G&C teachers had no formal training in counselling, had high work load and no programme structure. Almost all the schools had no essential resources such G&C office and vital reference books. In addition the support from stakeholders was wanting. It was recommended that the government should recognize school counseling as a profession in its own right, harmonize the training of G&C teachers to have a common curriculum and accreditation body, and come up with a unified ethical code for school counsellors. All stakeholders such as the county government, national government and parents should view G&C as an essential component in education and not as an auxiliary and as such fund the programmes.
Africa Nazarene University