Impact of headteachers’ support on the implementation of guidance and counselling in secondary schools in Mombasa District, Kenya
Nyaga, Juliet Igoki
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Teachers and school administrators recognize the important role that guidance and counseling plays in School management. Guidance and counseling in most Kenyan schools is not effective as indicated by the many cases of indiscipline in the schools. The head teacher as the chief architect of the school is responsible for the overview of the systems, processes and resources and how they combine to produce intended student learning outcomes. This implies that the success or failure of a given school project is determined by decisions made by the school head. The purpose of this study was to find out the impact of head teachers’ support on implementation of guidance and counseling in secondary schools in Mombasa District. The objectives of the study were; to identify the nature of support given by the head teachers to guidance and counseling departments, to establish the adequacy of the head teacher’s support on implementation of guidance and counseling services, to determine the challenges faced by teacher-counselors in executing their guidance and counseling duties and to establish the measures that can be undertaken to improve guidance and counseling in secondary schools in Mombasa District. The study aimed at answering the following research questions; what is the nature of support given by head teachers to guidance and counseling departments, how does the head teachers support affect implementation of guidance and counseling services, How effective is guidance and counseling as measured by the attitude of students towards it as a way of dealing with their problems, which challenges do teacher counselors face in executing their guidance and counseling duties, and what measures could be taken to improve guidance and counseling in secondary schools in Mombasa District? The study employed the descriptive survey research design. The study targeted all the 23 public secondary schools in Mombasa District, from where a sample of 12 (52.2%) schools was selected using stratified random sampling technique. The study participants were 12 head teachers, 12 teacher counselors, and 240 students, a total of 264 participants. Two questionnaires and an interview schedule were used for data collection. The researcher used questionnaires to collected data from teacher counselors and students, while an interview schedule was used to guide interviews with head teachers. After the consent from the Ministry of Education for data collection the researcher visited the schools to administer the questionnaires and the interviews. The research instruments were piloted in two public secondary schools which were not included in the final study to determine their reliability and validity. Quantitative data was analyzed using frequencies and percentages, and the results reported in summary form using frequency tables, pie charts and bar charts. Qualitative data was organized into themes and concepts and then analyzed in order to answer the research questions. The study found out that, the head teachers’ support to guidance and counseling is inadequate and this coupled with and challenges facing teacher counselors such as heavy workloads, lack of facilities, inadequate time and limited knowledge due to lack of training makes guidance and counseling not to achieve the intended purpose. This has impacted negatively as evidenced by the many problems experienced by students while in school. Implementation of guidance and counseling in secondary schools largely depends on support given by the head teacher. The study findings highlighted measures that can be taken to improve guidance and counseling in secondary schools and recommended that head teachers should put in more energy in support and provision of material resources to guidance and counseling as well as ensuring parents understand the impacts of parental guidance in their children’s education. The Ministry of Education should also ensure that all schools have operational and autonomous guidance and counseling departments headed by trained counselors. The study finding contributes to the advancement of knowledge and has a practical significance, since it revealed the areas of further research.