Guidance and counselling services in high schools : problems, implications and solutions.
Muribwathoho, Henry Nkhanedzeni.
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The purpose of this study is to determine the perceptions of school counselors or guidance educators and students about the need for Guidance and Counselling in schools. Changes in the political arena and the birth of the new dispensation brought about changes in education and service delivery. The doors of education were opened to allow even the poorest of the poor to access equal opportunities. Apartheid education had disempowered black people to the advantage of whites. For the first time in the history of our education everyone enjoyed equal access and opportunities. Our classrooms became places where young people, black and white, can now access the best education for them to succeed in life, and fulfill ambitions that not so long ago seemed so remote. The study focuses on the availability of psychological services in ten high schools in the greater Durban North region. Questionnaires were administered to School Counsellors, Guidance educators and students in schools where school Guidance and Counselling is offered and to those in schools where it is not offered. It was hypothesized that Guidance and Counselling was not effectively and adequately offered in high schools. The results of the study indicate that both educators and students feel that there is the need to either revive or improve guidance and counselling services. Statistical analysis indicated that the majority of African schools that participated in the study do not offer Guidance and Counselling, with the lack of resources as the main cause. Retrenchments and the granting of voluntary severance packages were cited as some of the factors affecting the delivery of quality guidance and counselling. Schools are unique and problems and challenges facing them differ from one area to another, yet there is a dire need to improve the Guidance and Counselling services that are generally inadequate. It is hoped that the study will, firstly, stimulate further research in education support services, specifically Guidance and Counselling as a school subject, and, secondly, the findings will evoke debates about guidance and counselling services in schools.