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The Guidance and Counselling activity in the secondary school settings is gaining a new dawn. As the educational mission in Nigeria has expanded to include Guidance and Counselling services in elementary, secondary and higher institutions. In Nigeria junior secondary school starts after successful completion of the 6th grade or primary six. A child will complete three years of classroom instructions and be able to sit for the junior school certificate examination. The successful completion of JSS III will lead to enrolment in SSS I. The students who start the junior secondary school are predominately early adolescents, who made successful transition from the primary six grades. The early adolescence period is a turbulent period for the developing child. Let us look at our society today; the most endangered age group is the adolescence. Those who drop out from school join the antisocial groups, committing all forms of crime across the entire country. The secondary schools have turned out to be the recruitment grounds for antisocial groups (Eremie, 2006). These children not only join the dangerous antisocial groups, but also do hard and illicit drugs (Effiong, et al 2005). They are highly influenced by peer group pressure which leads to juvenile delinquencies across the nation. Some of these students drop out of school due to lack of adequate guidance and counselling services in the school system. We cannot watch daily, seeing our students get wasted on the streets and in jails awaiting trial or already sentenced. There is a great need to reclaim these students through effective guidance and counselling at the junior and senior secondary school level. The Federal Ministry of Education in response to such needs of the students has spelt out guidance and counselling objectives in the Blue Print for educational institutions in Nigeria. The recognition of such needs by the Federal Ministry of Education, if carried out effectively by school guidance counsellors will help to focus the students’ attention on their academic work. Guidance was the father of counselling as it was practiced during the period of Frank Parson. The focus of guidance in the days of Frank Parsons was to guide an individual to make choices in the areas of choosing classroom instructional activities, and also to prepare the individual to enter a given vocation or occupation. A guidance counsellor is to assist individual to make choices in selecting and planning of courses in the school setting. While, counselling is the process whereby a person (counselee) enters a helping relationship with a professionally qualified counsellor to help the counselee in making choices and decisions leading to desirable development and growth throughout the life span.
Students and teachers in secondary schools have different perceptions towards guidance and counselling services. These perceptions determine whether they will seek for the guidance and counselling services or not. The perceptions also affect their behavior, academic performance and everyday experiences. The persistence of indiscipline and many social ills in secondary schools in Nigeria such as drug and substance abuse, strikes, teenage pregnancies besides poor performance in the national examinations, are an indication that the secondary school students are not seeking for guidance and counselling services.
As individuals develop through stages of life and educational attainment, they encounter problems, challenges and conflict situations. These individuals also need to develop value systems, make decisions, set goals and work towards them. All these cannot be achieved without self-understanding and decision-making skills, which are not innate, but need to be developed. The need to address these challenges and to promote educational success and healthy life therefore, call for exposure to guidance and counselling programs by individuals/students. Guidance and counselling is a term usually used together which focus on assisting individuals attain self-understanding and direction, although attempts have been made by various authors to define the term separately. While Ezeji (2001), defines guidance as the help given by a person to another in making choices, adjustment and in solving problems, Denga (2001), sees guidance as a cluster of formalized educational services designed by the school to assist students to achieve self-knowledge or self-understanding which is necessary for them to attain full self-development and self- realization of their potential. On the other hand, Okeke (2003), defines counselling as a helping relationship involving the counsellor and the client, in which the counsellor uses his professional knowledge and skills to assist the client attain proper development and maturity, improved functioning and ability to cope with life’s problems. Counselling is also defined according to Eze (2012), as an inter-personal relationship between a professionally trained individual (counsellor) and a troubled individual (counselee) or individuals (counselees) whereby the former utilizes his professional skills to help the latter to be able to solve his educational, vocational and person social problems. Bark (2003), states that guidance and counselling are the assistance made available by qualified and trained persons to an individual of any age to help him to manage his own life activities, develop his own points of view, make his own decisions and carry his own burden. Based on various definitions presented above, the researcher sees counselling as a process of utilizing professional skills by a person (counsellor) to assist another (client) in a person to person relationship to achieve the resolution of general life problems, in order to attain proper development and functioning. General life problems here, refers to all aspects of the individual’s life which include; personal, social, educational and vocational among others, as no single individual is said to be free from trouble or problem. Guidance and counselling is therefore designed to help individuals/students in their different problems and concerns, so that they grow up well-adjusted individuals capable not only of living productive lives, but are also prepared to contribute their quota to the development of their society. Gibson, 2008 states that Guidance and counselling services prepare students to assume increasing responsibility for their decisions and grow in their ability to understand and accept the results of their choices.
The focus of guidance and counselling in school is to address the needs and concerns of students or learners at different levels of academic or educational development. Braddock (2001), states that the purpose of guidance and counselling in schools is to improve academic achievement, foster positive study attitudes and habit, increase acquisitions and application of conflict resolution skills and decrease school dropouts. The primary mission of a school’s guidance and counselling program is to provide a broad spectrum of personnel services to the students. Denga (2001), referred to these services as “cluster of formalized educational services designed by the school to assist students to achieve self-knowledge or self-understanding which is necessary for them to attain the fullest self-development and self-realization of their potential”. These services include: student appraisal service, information service, counselling service, placement service, orientation service, referral service, follow-up and evaluation service, and research service. Appraisal service involves the use of tests and non-test instruments to collect, analyze and interpret data on students to understand themselves better. It also affords counsellors and significant others, the opportunity of having insight into the strengths and weaknesses of students. Information service is tailored towards equipping students with the necessary information in the areas of educational, vocational and personal social. These information are very important because they assist students to make wise decisions about life. Counselling service is a face to face interaction between the counsellor and the students, through which students are assisted towards overcoming obstacles to their academic, vocational, personal-social progress and other life needs. Placement service is concerned with assisting students to adjust to the next stage of development whether in school or on the job. Orientation service is designed to familiarize fresh students with their environment. It is a process of initiating an individual to a work or learning situation and of instructing him about rules, regulations and responsibilities, as an introduction to a new situation. Referral service affords the school counsellor an opportunity to refer the cases which he cannot handle to specialists like clinical psychologist, medical practitioner and others. Follow-up and evaluation service is designed to ascertain the extent to which the guidance program previously carried out by the school is meeting the objectives for which it was established and also to monitor the progress of students in their work places. Research service helps the school counsellor to discover relevant information that can improve students learning and understanding. The service should be an on-going process which professional counsellors should embrace and encourage. These services constitute the core of any guidance program and should be organized to facilitate the growth and development of all students from kindergarten through post high school experiences (Erford, 2010; Erford, 2011; Neukrug, 2011).
The Federal Government of Nigeria, in its National Policy on Education (2004), has mandated every state to include guidance and counselling programs in the school curriculum. Yet one wonders with dismay the slackness with which the Government has taken the implementation of this important education policy. This is evident in the fact that, of the public secondary schools in a state which are supposed to have at least 300 professional guidance counsellors, only 70 out of this number have. This has consistently affected the academic performance of the students. No wonder the general performances in the external Examination of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), over the years have been low, and consequently the rate of transition of students to tertiary institutions. This hereby arose the interest of researcher to find out the teachers perception on the role of guidance and counselling in secondary school.
The main objective of this study is to find out the perception of teachers on the role of guidance counselling, specifically the study intends to:
1. Ascertain the provision of guidance and counselling services in Taraba state secondary schools.
2. Find out the influence of guidance and counselling services on students’ academic achievement.
3. Find out the influence of guidance and counselling services on transition rate of Taraba State students to tertiary institutions.
4. Find out the transition rate of male and female students to tertiary institutions.
The following research questions helps the researcher to achieve the stated specified objectives:
1. What is the guidance and counselling services provided in Taraba state secondary schools?
2. What is the influence of guidance and counselling services on students’ academic achievement in Taraba state secondary schools?

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