There are many different reasons why Guidance and counseling services are very important in both Primary and Secondary schools as well as Some Institutions of high Learning. This helps to promote positive change in the lives of many students as well as their parents. Would you love to know the school where your child goes requires the services of a professional counselor!!
1. INCREASED ENROLLMENT IN SCHOOLS
Learners in educational institutions- Originally classes were estimated at less than 50 students per class; but now they accommodate thrice or four times the number. Due to the increased number of learners the social, psychological, physiological and personal problems that face these learners are more than double.
It is essential that proper guidance be made available in schools to make it possible for students’ problems to be identified and effectively dealt with.
2. CHANGING SOCIAL PATTERNS:
A lot of changes have taken place and many more will continue to take place in our cultural and social patters of life. This is as a result of the intrusion of other cultures and social habits, and the developments in modern science and technology. Such changes bring in new ways of life and values.
• Ways of dressing have changed.
• Relationships between children and parents have changed.
• Ways of worship have changed from traditional to foreign worship.
• There is Increase in unemployment and under employment leading to;
2. Alcoholism and drug – abuse
3. Crime and violence
4. Individualistic as opposed to communal way of life.
5. Cultural and traditional practices tend to hinder girls from pursuing certain educational programs
Girls and boys face major challenges in:
• Dealing with changes in adolescence.
• Peer Influence
• Making educational decisions.
• Handling the conflicting cultural messages and values.
• Managing their sexuality in a social environment that encourages delay in adult hood.
• Coping with changes in family structures.
• Understanding and coping with issues of HIV/AIDS e.g.
1. Single parent families
2. Adolescent headed families
3. Breakdown of the extended family
4. Existence of orphans
All these and others not mentioned here are challenges that affect the student’s life and performance in schools. They have to be assisted to face them objectively, with courage and appreciation through guidance and counseling services.
Its Important for well placed people to go out of their way and reach out to girls in rural schools and encourage them to stay focused. This means a lot to such girls.
3. CHANGING CONDITIONS IN LABOR AND INDUSTRY:
Uganda is advancing in service and technology industry leading to the emergence of new demands on the part of employees and employers.
There is higher demand for more specialized forms of education and training. As such, there are many new study programs and subjects being included in the school curriculum. e.g. technical education, vocational subjects, and IT.
These are aimed at providing appropriate types of knowledge and skills to meet these new demands.
The programs and subjects being new, require that the students be properly guided on appropriate choice of subjects visa-a-vis their desired careers.
They should be made aware of the available industries and their job requirements such as the qualifications needed to join them.
They should therefore be given career information and this is best done through guidance and counseling services.
4. LEISURE PROBLEMS
Due to advancement in technology, work that used to take long time to accomplish can now be done in much shorter time.
Therefore, young people have more free time at hand than before.If left on their own, many students or school children may not know the fruitful and more valuable ways of spending their free time. They may start engaging in undesirable activities like;
-Drug- abuse including alcohol,
-Pre-mature sexual intercourse and prostitution. Others may engage in unnecessary loitering which ultimately results in acts of indiscipline.
These activities can ruin their education and ultimately their future life.
It is therefore essential that guidance and counseling services be given on the more appropriate ways to spend free time. They should be guided on how to engage in productive activities; like playing games, participating in club, religious activities or helping the community around the schools and colleges.
5. GENERATION GAP – PARENT SENSITIZATION
This is a gap between the parents and children in terms of age and experience. Such a gap results in differences in interests, values tastes, beliefs, goals, and ways of life and methods of approach to problems.
It tends to create rifts between the two groups. For example the young people of today would like to discuss matters of sex with their parents but the parents especially those who grew up 30 years ago and beyond see this as a taboo.
Children of today will need shoes, watches, school bags etc. to go to school but there are parents who will argue that these things are not necessary.
They will argue that they went to schools without these items but they made it.
Hence, both the children and parents need some guidance in order to understand and appreciate these differences and live amicably.
The parents/guardians should be guided that the times are fast changing and they have to gradually change from the old ways.
Some students perform poorly in schools due to the conditions they live in back in their homes.
Also, the teachers should understand the biological, psychological, sociological problems that the stage usually brings and try to discuss with the young people and the parents/guardians; and try to find solutions to them through the methods of guidance and counseling.
Minimum Standards for Guidance and Counselling Programs in schools
• Records of Students who receive counseling services
• Community involvement in supporting Guidance and Counselling activities
• Introduction of clubs in schools
• Careers days/weeks conducted
• Friendly school environment
• Talking environment with appropriate Guidance and Counselling messages.
• Improved academic performance
• Good teacher-student relationship.
Parenting Workshops and other capacity building workshops for teaching and non- teaching staff is done on special arrangements.