Necessity of ‘Guidance and Counselling’ in Schools, by Khadija Abubakar Yusuf
I am motivated to write this piece especially when people are now becoming oblivious of necessary steps, preparations and arrangements they supposed to pay attention to whenever they want to make an important decision in their life.
Educationists are really intelligent and foresightful people who have since fathomed the importance of “Guidance and Counselling” and see the necessity of incorporating it as a course of study for students undergoing Bachelor of Education (B Ed.) program across all the universities.
For me, when I was taking the course as level 200 student of Biology Education, I enjoyed every aspect of the course, as it will continue to have long lasting effect on me, because it reshaped my mind, cognitive processes and influence my everyday decision as far as life is concerned.
The term ‘Guidance and Counselling refers to the process of helping individuals to discover and develop their educational, vocational, and psychological potentialities and thereby to achieve an optimal level of personal happiness and social usefulness.
Examining the above definition will expose a person to understand that the role of guidance and counselling in regulating the mode of our lives can never be downplayed at this present situation.
However, one will be left ruminating by looking upward on how people are becoming unmindful of seeking due consultations and advices when they are trying to make important decision of their life which will continue to have effect on them till the day they cease to exist from the surface of the planet.
Guidance and counselling strive to help a person in his all-round development thereby making one to become a useful member of the society, and simultaneously fulfilling one of the strongest purposes of education which is to bring out and develop the inherent potentialities of a person.
Furthermore, for guidance, it is designed to assist a person to decide where he wants to go, what he wants to do, or how he can best accomplish his purpose; it does not solve one’s problem, rather assists one in solving his problems.
While for the counselling is a safe and confidential collaboration between qualified counsellor and client to promote mental health and well-being, enhance self-understanding and resolve identified concerns. Client are active participants in the counselling process at every stage.
Counselling relationships will vary according to need but may be concerned with developmental issues, addressing and resolving specific problems, making decisions, coping with crisis, developing personal insight and knowledge, working through feeling of inner conflict or improving relationships with others.
The process of counselling begins with exploring the challenges a client faces before assisting him in resolving developmental and situational difficulties.
Thus, the counselor supports clients with physical, emotional, and mental health issues, helping them resolve crises, reduce feelings of distress, and improve their sense of wellbeing.
When successful treatment is able to change how a client thinks, feels, and behaves regarding an upsetting experience or situation, then it is apparent that the goals and objectives of that counselling has been realized.
However, for an effective guidance and counseling, there must be collaboration between the both parties involved in the process, i.e. the ‘counselor’ and the ‘client’
Therefore, counselors and clients must both be aware that the counseling process requires patience. There is rarely a quick fix, and things may need to get worse before they get better. In addition, the counseling process is collaborative. The counselor does not fix the client; the work requires interaction and commitment from both parties.
Counseling is needed in every aspect of our lives. For example, in marriage relationship, it helps couples take time out of their busy lives and come together to really focus on themselves for attaining their future goals.
While in educational set-up, it helps facilitate communication among teachers, parents, administrators, and students to adapt the school’s environment in the best interests of each individual student. In addition, it help individual students make the most of their school experiences and prepare them for the future.
Generally, we need counselling in our daily lives when a person encounter a form of challenge which may deter him from realizing his potentialities.
These include but not limited to: developing self-harm thoughts due to mental health conditions like depression,anxiety, or eating disorder, loneliness; physical problems with no apparent medical cause, irritability or suspiciousness; sudden mood or behaviour changes and feeling uncertainty about identity or focus in life under a lot of stress or pressure.
Other conditions include feeling unhappy, withdrawn, or loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities; unable to fulfill school or home demands; death of loved one(s); broken relationship or loss of job among host of others.
To that effect, people should therefore, endeavor to always seek for the contribution of trusted people around them aimed at finding solutions to their problems.
Khadija, a Student of Biology Education, Yusuf Maiatama Sule University, Kano, wrote from Wuye, Abuja.