JOB SATISFACTION AMONG SCHOOL COUNSELLORS IN SCHOOL
Introduction to the study
The counseling field is notable for its diversity and vitality. It is affected by various political, economic, and social forces in society. As a result, the vision, mission, and values of the field of counselling with regard to the promotion of good health, family dynamics, career assessment, school adjustments, developmental tasks, ethical standards, and research training have expanded dramatically.
Educating and assisting students in their overall development is one of the primary responsibilities of school counselors. In the 21st century, it becomes increasingly difficult to assist students in achieving academic success and becoming more productive members of society.
According to Gysbers, Lapan, and Blair (1999), today’s youth face a rapidly changing work environment and labor force, violence in the home, school, and community, divorce, adolescent suicide, substance abuse, and sexual experimentation. School counselors occupy an important position within the school system in order to aid students in coping with these crucial issues and the typical developmental challenges adolescents face.
There is no doubt that a worker’s level of job satisfaction has a significant impact on whether or not he or she searches for alternative employment opportunities. The counselors anticipate receiving their salaries and other benefits on time, if only to satisfy their physiological requirements. This may influence their decisions regarding work commitment and contribute to the achievement of organizational objectives.
Thus, non-recognition of counselors for excellent work, lack of opportunities for advancement through promotion, irregular salaries, and absence of in-service training, among others, have a significant impact on the level of job satisfaction and counselors’ commitment to schools/clients. The importance of school counselors cannot be emphasized enough.
They aid students through the primary interventions of counseling, large-group guidance, consultations, and coordination (American School Counselor Association (ASCA), 1999). Although each is an essential element of a comprehensive guidance program, research indicates that the most effective programs concentrate on providing direct services to students in the form of individual or group counselling (Borders & Drury, 1992).
Increasing school enrollments in Nigeria, coupled with the implementation of the Universal Basic Education, would continue to increase the demand for school counselors. In recognition of this, the Nigerian government devoted considerable time to the planning and implementation of a guidance and counseling program in secondary schools.
The Federal Government of Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (2004) states that career officers and counselors will be appointed to post-primary institutions due to the apparent ignorance of many young people regarding career prospects and personality maladjustment among schoolchildren.
Due to the scarcity of qualified personnel in this field, the government must continue to fund the training of interested teachers in guidance and counseling. The government believes that guidance and counseling is an educational service that can enhance the personal growth and psychological development of school-aged students. Counsellors must be interested and willing to contribute meaningfully to the students’ personal growth and psychological development in order to provide this essential educational service.
In order to increase the productivity of school counselors in a developing nation such as Nigeria, it is essential to examine counselors’ job satisfaction. For members of an organization to effectively carry out their responsibilities, they must be satisfied with their jobs, as this will inspire their dedication. Job satisfaction refers to a person’s contentment with his or her job.
It is a positive emotional state resulting from the evaluation of one’s job performance. Several factors can influence a person’s level of job satisfaction, including the level of pay and benefits, the perceived fairness of promotion within an organization, recognition, favorable working conditions, and the nature of the job itself. If school counselors are to carry out their responsibilities to the admiration of all, it becomes imperative to provide for their working conditions and guarantee their job satisfaction within the school system.
They experience feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness if they are unable to achieve their goal as counselors, which may make them susceptible to stress and job dissatisfaction. The issue of school violence as manifested by cultism in schools is a complex problem facing schools and school counselors today. Increasing instances of bullying and emotional abuse against students.
Many students have been murdered or permanently disfigured as a result of the alarming rise in school violence. As school administrators struggle to prevent acts of violence in their schools, they are increasingly turning to school counselors for leadership and assistance in establishing safety policies (Fryxwell & Smith, 2000). In fact, school counselors are viewed as change and prevention agents.
As a result, they may become dissatisfied as additional responsibilities are placed upon them, despite their efforts to find novel approaches to combat school violence. Counsellors may experience job dissatisfaction if they are required to perform roles and functions for which they lack the necessary skills, serve too many students, or are involved in other ancillary duties that detract from their primary responsibilities (DeMato, 2001).
Extrinsic ‘hygiene’ dimensions of a job, such as salary, job security, and working conditions, contribute to job dissatisfaction. In an organization, job dissatisfaction promotes stress, fatigue, and frustration, which result in low productivity.
This study of job satisfaction among school counselors is conducted with this context in mind, as school counselors have always been agents of change tasked with assisting students with a variety of problems and issues vital to the mission and vision of the educational enterprise. When counselors are prevented from implementing new school counseling programs or performing their duties, frustration and dissatisfaction may ensue. Description of the Problem
Multiple factors influence the job satisfaction of employees in any organization. These include the nature of the job and its accomplishments, recognition, responsibility and promotion, status, and safety. These considerations are applicable to school counselors as well. The level of job satisfaction influences the effectiveness of an employee’s performance. (Bacharach, Bamberger & Mitchel, 1990; Spector 1997).
Additionally, research (i.e. Coll & Freeman, 1997; Cucharme & Martin, 2000) indicates that job satisfaction influences an individual’s emotional and physical health. On the other hand, job dissatisfaction is linked to stress and burnout (Kesler, 1990; Burke & Greenglass, 1991; Martin & Schinke, 1998).
Education is essential for the development of science and technology in the world today. Nigeria cannot afford to fall behind in a context where secondary education will play a crucial role. Counsellors in the school system must be content if they are to fulfill their duties. Consequently, the implication is that without enhancing the working conditions of counselors and ensuring their satisfaction, very few of the educational goals will likely be properly attained.
The role of school counselors in the educational process has attracted considerable public attention. In recognition of the importance of this service to the educational enterprise, the government has begun training and retraining school counselors through seminars, conferences, workshops, and in-service training. In addition to their primary responsibilities of counseling students, school counselors perform a variety of auxiliary duties, such as instructing students in a variety of subjects.
In some instances, counselors are assigned as full-time classroom instructors, relegating their professional responsibilities to the background. The implication is that the demands of a school counselor’s position within the educational structure result in strain and stress, prompting the question of whether secondary school counselors experience job satisfaction.
Numerous issues plague Nigeria’s educational system, which have a negative impact on the job satisfaction of counselors. These include working with more challenging students and needs, increased administrative and managerial tasks, time constraints, a lack of funds, increased counselor-to-student ratios, and inadequate facilities. In Nigeria, however, these factors’ effects on counselors’ job satisfaction have not been studied systematically.
Numerous studies (e.g., Nwagwu, 1981; Arubayi, 1981; Okoro, 1988) on the topic of teacher job satisfaction indicate that the majority of teachers are satisfied with their positions. However, little is known about school counselors’ job satisfaction (e.g. Eddy 1960; Miler & Muthard 1965; Alao, Olaniyi & Kobiowu, 1989 and Demato, 2001; Demato and Curcco, 2004). Therefore, it is necessary to investigate job satisfaction among school counselors in secondary schools in the Nigerian states of Edo and Delta.
In an attempt to address the issue under investigation, the following research questions were formulated.
i. What level of job satisfaction do secondary school counselors in the states of Edo and Delta report?
ii. Which of the following aspects of the school counselor’s job (promotion, job tenure, salary, social support, and supervision) contribute to school counselors’ job satisfaction?
Is there a difference between the job satisfaction of male and female counselors?
Is there a difference in job satisfaction between older, middle-aged, and younger counselors?
Is there a difference between the job satisfaction of married and single counselors?
Is there a difference in job satisfaction between counsellors with and without experience?
The following hypotheses were proposed to direct the research.
I There are no significant differences between the levels of job satisfaction of male and female counselors.
(ii) There is no significant difference between the job satisfaction levels of old, average, and young counselors.
(iii) There is no significant difference between the levels of job satisfaction of married and single counselors.
There is no significant difference between the levels of job satisfaction of experienced and inexperienced counselors.
Object of the study
This study sought to determine the level of job satisfaction among school counselors in secondary schools in the Nigerian states of Edo and Delta. The level of job satisfaction has a significant impact on how an employee performs his or her duties in an organization. Job satisfaction is required to maintain and improve the quality of services provided to schoolchildren and adults who work with them.
Specifically, the study evaluated the dimensions of job satisfaction, namely promotion, job tenure, salary, social support, and supervision, to determine which of them significantly contribute to school counselors’ job satisfaction.
This study also examined demographic factors that could influence school counselors’ job satisfaction. These factors include gender, age, marital status, and counselling experience.
Importance of the Research
This study’s findings will contribute to the body of knowledge and expand our understanding of school counselors’ job satisfaction. Consequently, it will be of utmost significance to the educational sector and the counseling profession in particular.
It would bring to the attention of educational planners and administrators the need for qualified, job-satisfied counselors, since it is the counselors’ primary responsibility to foster the personal growth and development of students.
The study would also aid the federal, state, and local governments in the areas of planning, policy formulation, and program implementation pertaining to the job satisfaction of secondary school counselors, as it is believed that a happy counselor is a productive and devoted worker.
The findings of the study will prompt counselor educators to conduct additional research on job satisfaction among school counselors. This will contribute to the production of additional empirical studies in the field of professional school counseling.
The study would be of great assistance to the post-primary school board, school principals, and counsellors themselves in gaining a clearer understanding of the factors affecting job satisfaction and evaluating the secondary school counselling programme with the goal of ensuring that counsellors are adequately supervised and cared for within the school system.
The Range of the Study
This study’s primary objective was to determine the level of job satisfaction among secondary school counselors in the Nigerian states of Edo and Delta. This study was limited to professional school counselors in public secondary schools in the states of Edo and delta. Promotion, job tenure, salary, workers’ social support, and supervision were among the aspects of job satisfaction examined.
Other aspects of job satisfaction, such as achievement, recognition, administrative climate, and organizational practices, were not examined in this study. In addition, private secondary schools were excluded because they differ from public secondary schools in terms of counselor service conditions and administrative control.
Explanation of Terms
To facilitate comprehension, the following terms are defined within the context of their use in this study:
Job Satisfaction: The extent to which a counselor is pleased with the nature of the work and the terms of employment, including salaries, fringe benefits, and allowances.
Conditions of Service: The service conditions established by the Ministry of Education to govern the appointment, promotion, and discipline of counseling staff.
A counselor with less than ten years of professional experience in the field.
A counselor with ten years or more of professional experience in the field.
Over the age of 44, a counselor is considered to be an elderly counselor.
The average counselor is between 25 and 44 years old
A young counselor is one who is younger than 25 years old.
A public school is one that is constructed and owned by the government.
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