An Assessment of the Implementation of Peer Counseling Program in Secondary Schools of Gatundu South Division in Kiambu County
Ng'ang'a, Maria Wacera
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Secondary school level is an important preparatory ground of human resource in the various professional. areas that are key in the development of the nation. However secondary school students face various challenges emanating from family background, adolescent related problems, social, economic and political problems. The provision of Guidance and Counseling in schools. aims at helping students to cope with the challenges they face. Some of the above challenges sometimes overwhelm the Guidance and Counseling teachers, hence need to adopt other strategies that would be of benefit in helping the student in need of counseling .Peer Counseling is one approach that is being used in tackling the challenges .However, Peer Counseling is a new strategy in Kenyan secondary schools and little has been done to assess its effective implementation. This study adopted descriptive study design to assess the implementation of Peer Counseling Program in Secondary Schools of Gatundu South Division in, Kiambu County. The Division has 34 Secondary Schools but only 12 of them have running Peer Counseling programs. The 12 has the population of 4360 students, 12 principals and 12 teachers in charge of Guidance and Counseling Departments .To ensure representativeness of the population, probability sampling techniques were used. Using stratified random sampling five schools were selected to provide a sample size of 5 Principals, 5 teachers in charge of Guidance and Counseling Departments and 210 students (Peer Counselor and Non -Peer Counselors) giving a total of 220 respondents .The categories consisted of one Boys' Boarding Schools, One Girls' Boarding school and three mixed day Schools. Fourteen students from each Form (Two, Three and Four) were randomly selected bringing the total to 42 students per secondary school. Data was collected using four self-generated questionnaires (Peer counsel or, HOD of Guidance and Counseling, principal and non -peer counselors). Descriptive statistics including pie charts, frequencies and percentages was used to analyze data using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) Program. The study revealed lack of support for the implementation of peer counseling program in secondary schools. In the light of the findings, it clearly implied that peer counseling service can be achieved if developed within the framework of a whole school policy. Based on the findings it was recommended that a coordinating mechanism should be established within the framework of the Ministry of Education and provision of professional support to peer counseling program and providers.