THE NEED FOR GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SERVICES AMONG NIGERIA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
This study investigated the need for guidance and counseling among Nigerian University Students, a case study of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State. The participants were sixteen thousand, eight hundred and fifty one (16,851) students of Ambrose Alli University drawn from the ten faculties of the school. To address the problem of study, five research questions were raised. The researcher adopted a survey research design. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire titled” The Need of Guidance and Counselling Services among Nigerian university, students ques6tionnaired (TNGCSNUSQ)” administered on the participants by the researcher. The method of data analysis was simple percentage for the research questions. The study found out that: the university students have problems that require the professional services of guidance counselors; the university undergraduates should be given educational service as one of the services to enhance their academic achievement; the university undergraduates lack vocational guidance and as such are in direct need of vocational services. Based on these findings conclusion was reached and recommendations made.
Background to the Study
Guidance and counselling services in the university promote the personal social planning and programming for students with special learning needs. The students need to prepare themselves not only academically but also socially in order for them to gain acceptance into the new community. It’s also good to know that, the undergraduates, even though a good number of them are adults, there is the need to guide them if the purpose which they are in the university is to be achieved. Also, majority of students in the University are faced with anxiety and stress, to be able to handle situation like this, they need counselling.
The services of guidance and counselling in tertiary institution is to bring about well guided and properly counselled among university undergraduates who will be leaders of tomorrow because the role of guidance and counselling cannot be over emphasized. Most university administrators in Nigeria are searching for stability as a way out of crises and a means to restore some lasting tranquility on campuses. Recently, dramatic increase in violence and revolutionary behaviour among students has almost attained a high proportion throughout the world. Guidance and counselling services are needed in order to find lasting solutions to some problems that have plagued institutions of learning for a very long time.
Students need counselling programme as a result of these unruly behaviours. In order words, university undergraduates need help to resolve their home, social, academics, health, emotional, vocational, financial and religious problems. The undergraduates at this level are made to understand the nature and complexity of their problems and better means of solving the problems.
Fresh students appear to be plagued by the questions self-defined by their present status within the community, by their position within their peer group and by their academic performances in secondary school. Without counselling programme/support, they will feel inferior and be defeated of their social identities. Difficulties may come the way of new students trying to adjust to the new environment and they will find it painful and hectic. This may be due to the differences they encounter in life when in secondary schools.
Values espoused by other students are social climate, course of study, study conditions and degree of freedom and adjustment to these differences often result in crises of some sort. The crises can be averted if guidance and counselling services are made available to this category of students at the point of entering into the university.
Since counselling aims at the total development of the individual persons, it also helps students to find spiritual and ethical measuring in life and help them to live in harmony within the other members of the university community. The inculcation of ethnical values through guidance and counselling services will go a long way in curbing irrational behaviours among university undergraduates. Effective counselling services in the university will constrain students from rebellion against the established rules of their schools organization and destruction of school properties.
The student is aspiration should be brought into balance with the goals of their educational institutions and those of their surrounding community will be maintained. Denga (2003) is of the opinion that the need for guidance and counselling in our educational system is increasingly pressing as educational, economic, technological, social and ideological advancements are being made. Each student will need to be helped to strengthen his own abilities to make meaningful and realistic choices and to face problems encountered in the society.
According to Oladele (2007) no matter how good and well constructed an educational policy may be, if guidance and counselling is not given priority and made an integral part of the system, it cannot succeed. Guidance and counselling services within the frame work of education has the potential to help an individual to realistically examine his/her belief and values within the comprehensive nature of the university set up, only good guidance and counselling services can help the undergraduate through social adjustment to take the right decisions and understand himself and his world.
The importance of guidance and counselling services among undergraduates are glaring and inevitable. The services are veritable instruments for achieving success in and out of school. As revealed by findings and conducted by number of Nigerian scholars, among whom are Adugbo (2000), Denga (2003), Allolla (2004), Bello (2007), guidance and counselling services are yet to take off effectively in Nigerian schools generally due to some problems that are yet to be addressed properly. These problems includes inadequate number of personnel (counsellors), lack of materials and facilities for effective guidance services, lack of finance, inadequate time allocated to guidance and counselling services in schools, unhealthy perception of the school head, counsellor, students and parents.
The need for guidance and counselling services amongst Nigerian university students cannot be compromised if the universities must actualize the goals for which they were established. So it is important for the universities to properly design counselling services to interpret the goals of the constitution the students and his family in term of its ability to satisfy students’ educational, vocational, social and personal needs. Also it is important for the achievement of academic goals and aspiration in the university.
Statement of the Problem
The following are some of the problems that will make university undergraduates face a lot of worry:
1. Emotional stress
2. Victimization from lecturers
3. Persons and social needs
4. Indecent dressing
5. Examination malpractice
6. Peer group influence e.g drinking, smoking, cultism etc
7. Financial insecurity (lack of finance)
8. Sexual harassment
9. Addiction to social networking like face book, 2go, twitter to mention but a few.
These problems have eaten deep into the fabrics of the university and as such having negative effect on the standard of graduates, however it is the researcher’s concern that this ill attitude is affecting the quality of university graduates in Nigeria, therefore urgent attention is needed. This study will fill the obvious lack of research in this area.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study is to determine the need for guidance and counselling services among students in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. The specific objectives of this study are as follows:
To identify the need for university students that form guidance and counseling services.
To find out strategies for providing effective guidance services for the university students.
To ascertain the need for guidance and counselling services in Nigerian Universities.
1. What are the common social vices among students of Ambrose Alli University?
2. What are the peculiar problems of female students of Ambrose Alli University?
3. What are the unique problems facing male students of Ambrose Alli university?
4. What are the unique problems facing male students of Ambrose Alli University.
5. Is there need for guidance and counselling services to students of Ambrose Alli University?
6. Does Ambrose Alli University management have guidance and counselling service unit for her students?
Significance of the Study
The study will provide contemporary and best way for guidance and counselling suitable for undergraduates of the university. It would help the university administrations to identify areas of guidance and counselling services that need attention. The study will also help in aiding the curriculum planners to decide essential services to be established firmly in guidance and counselling unit in the university.
Scope of the Study
This study is designed to look into the need for guidance and counselling services among Nigeria university students with reference to Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Edo State. The scope of the study also covers the period of (3) three years from (2010-2012).
Limitation of the Study
The limitation of this research work is difficult in getting relevant materials. Only small geographical area is covered in this study. As a result of the small geographical area covered, national generalization may be limited.
Definition of Terms
Guidance: Advice or information aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty as given by someone in authority (counsellor), guidance is gotten from the word guide which also means to direct, help, steer, instruct etc.
Counselling: This is about helping people who want to change some aspects of their behaviours which are not desirable. Counselling could also be seen as an act of exchanging opinions and ideas; consultation etc.
Counsellor: Means a person who counsels; adviser counsellor can also be someone who is trained to render assistance to his/her clients on the problems the individual is facing.
Undergraduate: A student in a university or college who has not received a first, especially a bachelor’s degree.
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