STUDENT PERCEPTION OF SCHOOL COUNSELLORS’ ROLE IN CAREER CHOICE IN SOME SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The research was conducted to justify the effectiveness or otherwise of counseling services in selected secondary schools in Maiduguri, Borno State. The descriptive survey research method was used in this study. This study’s population consists of students from secondary schools in Maiduguri, Borno State, which include boarding, day, and private schools.
The samples were drawn from four (4) schools in Maiduguri, Borno State, and fifty (50) students were drawn from each school to represent the population; the procedure used in this research was random sampling techniques. The questionnaire was used as the research instrument, and the data was analyzed using a simple percentage method. The main finding of this study is that the majority of female students want to be doctors.
We also discovered that the level of education of parents has significantly increased, which has influenced the students to pursue higher education. We also discover that parents have no direct influence on their children’s career choices.
It was suggested that students be properly guided in making the right career choice by the authorities in charge, and that more female students be encouraged to pursue medical careers, particularly in northern Nigeria. We also recommend that school officials organize various guidance and counseling activities in school and that resource persons be assigned to give lectures in various professions, particularly to final year students.
1.0 Introduction to the Research
According to Melvin (1975), secondary school education is the engine room of knowledge acquisition, a stage in which students come into contact with various subjects that influence the field of study they will pursue in higher education.
Secondary school education comes after primary school and before higher education. Its prominence in the educational system attests to its significance. According to Schwarzeller (1962), school provides an outside perspective on what needs to happen in order for change to occur, as well as an equal opportunity for developing capabilities and talents.
Secondary schools are always the primary focus of education reforms in Nigeria. In fact, it is regarded as a powerful stage for acquiring knowledge, skills, and experience, as well as a diverse range of career opportunities for young boys and girls (Ezekwesili, 2006).
It is a system aimed at improving secondary school education and providing students with more practical knowledge that will enable them to be self-sufficient after graduation. Individual differences exist among people, according to Kutara (1977), and this influences who people are and what they are capable of doing.
What a person does is sometimes at odds with his ability, aptitude, capability, and interest. Individual differences in growth rate, intellect, school achievement, and gender usually set the pace for how students view themselves in terms of career orientation.
However, factors such as home, school, mosque, church, and community are very important in the students’ environment, influencing their career choice or aspirations. Other factors, such as parental expectations, large salaries, societal prestige, personal security, good rapport with friends, opportunities for advancement, and the nature of the work itself, have either directly or indirectly enticed most students about to leave school to make unrealistic career choices.
The term “career” has a broad and technical meaning in the field of counseling. Technically, it refers to a series of roles or positions that include work, leisure, and educational pursuits and may include a variety of occupations, vocations, or jobs that one engages in during his working life (Seligman, 1980). According to the international Encyclopedia Britannica (1978), a career is a job that allows people to advance in their careers, allowing them to take on more responsibility and earn more money.
Career can also be defined as the total lifetime experience of work that has come to serve as his means of subsistence (Kolo, 1991). Previously, choosing a career was not as difficult as it is now. There were fewer job opportunities available, and more importantly, parents, teachers, and religious organizations were aware of the available opportunities and the requirements for entry.
Today’s situation is exacerbated by the fact that secondary school students rarely have a complete understanding of the requirements for each job and can no longer keep track of the numerous career opportunities; it is against this backdrop that guidance and counseling were introduced to assist secondary students in choosing a career.
Guidance and counseling is a helping profession that focuses on molding, reconstructing, and rehabilitating troubled individuals. It is a relationship that is both preventive and curative of maladaptive behavior. It is widely acknowledged that guidance and counseling activities are for people, with or without problems, normal and abnormal.
The establishment of modern guidance and counseling in secondary schools in Nigeria, on the other hand, is based on the realization of the need for a more sophisticated and integrated package to assist individuals in dealing with the problems and concerns of modern living.
Okon (1984) defined guidance as a total program of a number of highly specialized activities implemented by specialists to assist individuals in making wise and intelligent choices and decisions. Makinde (1987) defined counseling as a service designed to assist an individual in analyzing himself by capabilities, achievements, interest mode of adjustment towards what new decision he has made or has made.
As a result, because guidance and counseling is a profession, effective counseling must involve the application of basic principles for effective helping. These, however, include the principles of comprehension, sequential process, self-disclosure, and ethical observance. Their applications not only improve the effectiveness of counseling but also add to the specialist of the counseling relationship.
For guidance to be meaningful, it must be viewed as a series of programmed activities that assist the typical school child in knowing himself/herself as an individual, becoming more aware of his/her person, experiencing his/her world and those people with whom he/she interacts.
It is a dynamic process that undergoes continuous change over time as it is not a single event but a series of events, steps, or actions geared towards the general development of the individual. As a result, guidance and counseling play an important role in students’ career choices.
Most schools in Nigeria run programs that are insufficiently diverse to accommodate all career options for students. Most students in these schools are left unguided, either because their schools lack guidance and counseling services or because the environment is subpar. Students are prone to making poor career choices or none at all because there is no counselor to guide them until after schooling.
Due to a lack of information, I chose my subjects and courses. Aside from this issue, there is a conflict between the students’ freedom of occupation and not only the nation’s manpower needs, but also between the students’ choices, the parents’ choices, and the advice of friends.
The fact that secondary school students are unable to make realistic career plans is a serious problem, and this research will look at the problem associated with guidance and counseling, career choice, and aspirations of these levels of students, given that guidance and counseling has an impact on their choice and aspirations, and that career choice has serious consequences for their future and, by extension, the society at large.
1.3 The Study’s Objectives
The study’s broad objectives are to investigate students’ perceptions of the role of school counselors in career choice in some selected secondary schools in Maiduguri, Borno State. Among the specific goals are:
To demonstrate the effectiveness or otherwise of counseling services in the schools under consideration,
To determine the roles of guidance and counseling in the academic performance of students at the schools under consideration.
To determine the career choices of students in the study area’s secondary schools.
To investigate the effects of secondary school students’ career choices on their future prospects in the area under consideration.
To investigate the factors influencing secondary school students’ career choices in Maiduguri. The state of Borno
1.4 Research Issue
This study aims to answer the following questions:
What roles do guidance and counseling services play in students’ academic performance in the area under consideration?
What roles do guidance and counseling services play in secondary school students’ career choices at the schools under consideration?
Is it necessary to improve guidance and counseling services in the area under consideration?
What are the students’ career options at the school where they are enrolled?
Do parents’ and their children’s occupational statuses influence their children’s careers?
What factors influence secondary school students’ career choices in their field of study?
1.5 Delimitation and Scope
Maiduguri, Borno State, has over fifty senior and junior secondary schools owned by the federal government, states, and private individuals. This study has limited time and financial resources, and the scope of the study is the students’ academic performance and career choices.
1.6 Importance of the Research
Naturally, decision-making is critical; it is the most difficult thing to do in life. Youths are typically concerned with career choices, which may be aided by guidance and counseling officers.
The research is important for parents, students, the community, and the government because it will reveal areas of weakness in the guidance profession as well as reasons why students who are well counseled should have good performance and careers.
This research will also inform school administrators about the importance of guidance and counseling services in schools.
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