PROJECT TOPIC : CHALLENGES FACING EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING PROGRAMMES IN SELECTED INSTITUTES OF TECHNOLOGY IN NYANZA PROVINCE, KENYA
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Keywords: guidance and counselling, institutes of technology
1.1 Background Information
The concept of Guidance and Counselling is as old as man. Infact Gibson and Mitchell (2008), say that Guidance and Counselling is man‟s heritage from the past. According to them, it is quite possible that the earliest occasion (although not confirmed) in which humans sought a counsellor, was when Adam reaped the consequences of his eating the apple in the Garden of Eden. In a later occasion, God Himself gave Guidance and Counselling to the children of Israel to help them change their waste disposal behavior by telling them to designate a place outside the camp where they could go to relieve themselves. “As part of your equipment have something to dig with and after relieving yourself, turn back and cover that which comes out of you” (NIV Bible 1973). Gibson and Mitchell (2008), continue to say that no proof exists of this early beginning to counselling, but an abundance of evidence suggests that persons through-out the ages have sought the advice of others believed to possess superior knowledge, insights or experience. Perhaps the first counterparts of the present day counselor were the chieftains and elders to whom the youths turned or were sent to for advice and guidance. In early civilizations, the philosophers, priests and other representatives of gods and religions assumed the role of advising and offering counsel.
As time passed, society, the United States in particular, was growing more complex and finding ones‟ appropriate place in it and adjusting to it were becoming increasingly more complicated. Many adults were turning to such traditional sources of counselling as their family physician, the minister or the employer. As a result, the 20th century seemed ripe for a considered and genuinely scientific approach to meeting many human needs. The time had come for the development of counselling and many psychological oriented programmes to meet these needs. Around that time, many statesmen, philosophers, scientists and educators laid philosophical ground work that would eventually support and nurture an embryonic movement to establish psychology as a science and academic discipline in its own right with an impact on school and community settings (Gibson & Mitchell, 2008).
According to Pope and Hu (2002), counselling, particularly career guidance and counselling started becoming a thing of great interest to psychologists, educators and administrators in the
People‟s Republic of China in the 1990‟s when there were massive government lay-offs from jobs whenever an enterprise was not profitable. For many Chinese, especially those over 30 years old, this was the first time they had to think about what they were going to do with their lives and their careers. There was no longer any automatic job security. With freedom of choice, however, came chaos and insecurity. This system not only created a dramatic change to the employment system, but also to the traditional family-oriented communist helping system. China, an old country with thousands of years of tradition and culture had the family unit serving as the basic resource for all types of advice. Under the previous socialist system (1949-1991), all persons in positions of leadership, whether they were public officials, party leaders, employee supervisors, or school teachers offered advice and counsel to workers and students for dealing with problems whether job related, social or family related. People were even expected to obtain approval from their employer before a marriage license could be secured. People who were accustomed to obeying authority and allowing authority to manage their lives now required new sources of guidance for their future and strategies to cope with the new order
Kinara (2002), says that the concept of guidance and counselling is not a new one in Kenya; the traditional community practiced a form of it. In the traditional setting, every home provided guidance and counselling to its members where the young ones were the clients and the older ones the counsellors. The clients were helped to learn their social roles and correct social values and were expected to behave accordingly. Narayana (2002), also observed that in the traditional setting, people sought solace and comfort to their problems from family members and close associates. Due to this attitude and easy lifestyle of those days, no individual suffered undue stress. However, Kenya has undergone rapid social, cultural and technological change since independence. Improved health-care has led to a rise in population and expansion in education which have enabled many Kenyans to be enlightened. This change has brought about urbanization which has also caused rural-urban migration. The rural-urban migration has resulted in progressive breakdown of the traditional large family set ups in favour of nuclear ones (ROK, 1979). This development has therefore interfered with the traditional machinery of offering guidance and counselling. Grandparents who offered the services have been left behind and parents find themselves in towns alone with their children. The parents cannot effectively offer the critically needed developmental guidance that the youths require because of their busy working schedules or because tradition forbids them to tread on certain “taboo” topics. Young people therefore have grown up without crucial guidance and counselling (Migiro, 2005). The government of Kenya has tried to fill up this gap by introducing guidance and counselling in all educational institutions with the hope that it will fill up the part traditionally played by grandparents.
This research was carried out in TIVET institutions. Pope & Hu (2002), point out that a semblance of the present day Technical, Industrial, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training
(TIVET) programmes started in the United States of America (USA) and the Peoples‟ Republic of China very early when they realized that it was necessary to guide people to choose market driven technical occupations. A number were guided to take skilled occupations. The market driven economy brought a dramatic revolution to the Chinese employment system. Under the ideal Marxist system, there would be a job for all citizens, and for nearly a half a century, the Chinese government, through a national economic policy, undertook the responsibility of finding a job for all graduates, including college and high school students. During this time, a career was defined by the state and was introduced to younger generations as an individual‟s total contribution to communism and social improvement. People heavily depended on the government to find jobs for them; rarely was there any individual choice regarding which job was given to him/her. Schools convinced individuals to obey placement arrangements by teaching them that in order to build a socialist society, they had to be placed in occupations that were needed by the state not necessarily in the ones in which they had any interest. With the economic changes of the 1990s and the market oriented reforms, schools and universities no longer took total responsibility to present every student with a job. They were now forced to find their own jobs (Pope & Hu 2002)
According to Rateng (2004) technical education in Kenya is as old as Kenya itself because, even before formal education was introduced, people made implements for their personal use. When the colonialists came, workmen who could use their hands like masons, plumbers, carpenters and mechanics, were desperately needed. The laying of the Kenya–Uganda railway for instance, made use of artisans who had the necessary technical knowledge. As the need for these skilled people grew, many institutions which could train them, were started and people who were interested in getting the skills were encouraged to enroll. It was as a result of this that the Royal Technical college (present day University of Nairobi) and Mombasa Technical (present day Mombasa Polytechnic University College) were started in 1954 and 1948 respectively. In 1961, the Kenya Polytechnic and technical secondary schools like Kisumu, Kaiboi, Nyeri and Thika were started. The secondary schools were, however, later changed into present day technical training institutes. In the 1970s all regions in the country put up institutes of technology to cater for a demand that had expanded. In 1981, Professor Mckay was picked to chair an education commission which had the mandate to come up with a technical university. This is how Moi University was started. In the same spirit, Kenya Technical Teachers college was started in 1979 to produce teachers to run the technical programmes in schools/colleges.
Students in these technical institutions are assailed by the same academic, social, spiritual and psychological problems as their counterparts in the normal school system. They, like the rest of the students, require to be assisted to overcome or cope with their problems. Masinde (2003) in a study of one TIVET Institution in Kenya states that students in these institutions have a host of emotional and psychological problems for which they need support in order to enable them go through college life. The study established the following as problems that students of TIVET Institutions face: bereavement, drug/substance abuse, stress, sexual harassment, and domestic problems. The HIV/AIDS scourge has made orphans of many children in Kenya today (ROK, 2002). At the Kenya Polytechnic, it was observed that at least two guardians or parents die every week. This is a situation that devastates some students to the extent that they cannot continue with their studies because of lack of basic needs such as school fees, shelter and food. Besides just bereavement, some students equally suffer when their parents divorce/separate, retire or get retrenched. As a result, many of them suffer psychologically or emotionally as they try to come to terms with what has befallen them. The loss leaves a number of them feeling guilty, lonely, unworthy or even unwanted which makes them vulnerable and in need of psychological support.
Masinde (2003) points out that at the Kenya Polytechnic many students need personal assistance in order to overcome their problems. This is portrayed by the fact that they get openly drunk in class or walk aimlessly on the campus talking or arguing at the top of their voices. This makes them miss classes hence leading to failure in examinations. It also appeared that after they fail in these examinations they never inform their parents/guardians. As a result, the ignorant parents/guardians continued to give them school fees which they used to get even more drunk. A section of students in this TIVET institution are a vulnerable group that can easily be influenced to abuse drugs, smoke or drink alcohol. These are those who have nagging family problems, those who are forced to stay with relatives in town, those that lack parental attention, approval or support and those that feel discriminated against due to one reason or the other. When an institution has a functional guidance and counselling programme, these students can be identified early and they can be helped through counselling. This vulnerable group critically requires guidance in order to make alternative choices either to cope with or overcome their unique problems.
Another problem which students of TIVET institutions suffer from is low self esteem occasioned by the fact that they did not attain good enough examination cut off marks to join university, or that their parents are not rich enough to take them to parallel programmes which some of their friends might have joined. When it gets to be too much, it drives some of them to engage in anti-social behaviour. Victims of rape get traumatized, suffer guilt feelings, feel lonely, ashamed and they constantly blame themselves for the misfortune that has befallen them. Such victims need counselling services urgently in order to assume a near normal college life.
Finally, students also suffer stress because of various reasons like: fear of failure in both internal and external examinations, poor personal relationships, pressure from parents/guardians to excel, inability to cope with assignments and the pressure of fending for themselves. For some of them, these problems cause them so much stress that they think of committing suicide, and others, actually, even attempt it. At Gusii Institute, there have been three cases of suicide since 2004. There are also reported cases of riots and strikes in the colleges
Nugent and Jones (2005) remarked that the demand for counselling services for people with normal developmental concerns continues to grow and spread in schools, colleges and communities. Normal conflicts arise when individuals have difficulty fulfilling both their own needs and the expectations of others. Counsellors help individuals work through transitions and situational conflicts in a complex, multicultural society. Egerton University (2002) observed that there is a clear demand for guidance and counselling services in the Kenyan community. This is due to the decline of traditional sources of guidance and counselling to assist children, students and the youth to develop decision-making skills which will enhance their transition from the protective home and the school environment into the complex world of work. The masters degree programme in guidance and counselling at Egerton University was started in order to provide highly trained counsellors needed in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and other institutions.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Technical education institutions in Kenya, like all other normal educational institutions, have a serious problem of student riots which cause immense destruction of property and loss of human lives. As a result, the government introduced guidance and counseling programmes to be included in their curricula with a hope that this would help students to be equipped with life skills which would enable them to handle their problems in an informed and mature manner in order to curb their wanton destruction. However, the problem of student discipline still exists. An example at hand is Gusii Institute which has had four major riots and three suicide cases since 2004. This happens despite the fact that a guidance and counselling programme is in place. Therefore the study was found necessary.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to establish the challenges facing effective implementation of guidance and counselling services in Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province of Kenya.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
- To determine whether there are well established guidance and counselling facilities in Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province.
- To establish the attitude of principals and students towards guidance and counselling at Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province.
(iii)To determine whether gender of counsellor or student hinders guidance and counselling efforts in Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province.
- To determine whether teacher workload impacts on the delivery of guidance and counselling services in Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province.
- To establish the effect of counsellor training in guidance and counselling and its impact in the delivery of guidance and counselling services in Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province.
- To establish the level of support given to guidance and counselling programmes in Institutes of Technology in Nyanza by the Board of Governors.
1.5 Research Questions
- Do Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province have well established guidance and counselling facilities?
- What is the attitude of students and principals of Institutes of Technology in Nyanza about guidance and counselling programmes? iii.Does counsellor or student gender hinder guidance and counselling efforts in Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province? iv.Does teacher workload impact on the delivery of guidance and counselling services in Institutes of Technology Nyanza province?
- Does counsellor training in guidance and counselling have any influence on the delivery of guidance and counselling services in Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province?
- How much support do principals and the BOGs of ITs in Nyanza province give to guidance and counselling programmes?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The results of the study will help the Ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology (MOHEST), education policy makers and the Teachers‟ Service Commission (TSC) in either starting or strengthening guidance and counselling programmes in TIVET institutions. Furthermore the service providers in the colleges will use the information to be more focused and therefore help students to be able to handle their problems and better adjust to life than before. Finally the findings will contribute to the already existing knowledge on the important role of guidance and counselling in educational institutions.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study was conducted between April and May 2009 in two Institutes of Technology in Nyanza province of Kenya. It targeted two Institutes of Technology and was confined to issues of guidance and counselling only. There is a total of four Institutes of Technology in Nyanza Province (Appendix IV): Moi Institute of Technology (MIT), Gusii Institute of
Technology (GIT), Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology (RIAT) and Siaya Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT). Out of these four one was used for piloting and two for the study. The province was chosen because it had the highest number of Institutes of Technology in Kenya (Appendix IV).
1.8 Limitations of the study
The results of this study may not be generalized to institutes from other regions in the country since all institutions under study come from one region of the county.
1.9 Assumptions of the Study
The study had the following assumptions:
- That all the sampled respondents were willing to respond to the questionnaire.
- That the respondents gave their honest opinions.
- That guidance and counselling programmes had been implemented in TIVET institutes in Nyanza province.
1.10 Definition of Terms
Adolescence: A human developmental stage, after puberty, when youths try to establish
some independence from their parents‟ rule and develop their own identities. It is a stage characterized by social storm and turmoil.
Attitude: A positive or negative feeling that one holds about a certain object, person, issue or policy which in turn makes him either accept or reject it.
Counselling: An intensive helping relationship/process intended to assist an individual to solve her/his social, psychological or academic problems.
Facility: A building, equipment, materials or services provided in an institution to aid in guidance and counselling.
Gender roles: Society‟s expectation about appropriate duties that each sex is expected to perform.
Guidance: The process of assisting students understand their self potential or career openings that they have at the end of their course so that they can make informed choices.
Implementation: Setting up and equipping guidance and counselling office complete with needed facilities.
Influence: Presumed effect that an independent variable may have on the dependent variable.
Institute of Technology: A Technical Middle level college, which trains form four graduates who did not find opportunity to join university. It offers technical skills that prepare candidates for the job market.
Management support: This is the assistance the principal and BOG provides to enhance guidance and counselling services. This includes inclusion of guidance and counselling in the time table, provision of an office, provision of finances for trips and facilitating guest speakers for the guidance and counselling programmes.
Perception: A particular way of looking at or understanding a certain issue, which may be right or wrong.
Principal: Refers to the head-teacher of an institute of technology.
Programme: Plan of what is expected to be done in regard to guidance and counselling.
Services: Guidance and counselling help that is given to those who need it.
Stage: This refers to the first, second or third year in a course in technical institutions.
Training: A process of education that one goes through in order to acquire knowledge and skills required in guidance and counselling.
Workload: The number of lessons taught, or other school duties given a teacher counsellor besides counselling.