Perception of Dual Roles of Teacher-Counselors in Technical Schools in Thika County
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Dual roles of teacher counselors can distort the professional nature of counseling relationships between teacher counselors and students. It can create conflict of interest that compromises professional judgment of the teacher-counselors, and can consequently compromise students trust in their teacher-counselors. The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of dual roles of teacher counselors on students' willingness to seek counseling. The target population included all teacher counselors and students from the two technical schools giving a population of 2,200. Stratified sampling was done to include students from different years of study and gender. The sample size for the students was 220 while all 21 teacher counselors were used in the study. Data was collected from the teacher counselors and students using two sets of questionnaires that were used to measure the influence of dual roles of teacher counselors on students 'willingness to seek counseling. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, which employed frequency distributions and percentages. Qualitative data was analyzed qualitatively using content analysis based on analysis of meanings and implications emanating from respondent information. The study established that teacher counselors were overloaded with school work hence could not offer quality counseling services. This discouraged students from seeking counseling services from them. It also emerged that teacher counselors were frustrated with their dual roles as they could not give enough attention to students who sought counseling. The study recommended that the Teachers Service Commission should post/deploy qualified teacher counselors in schools, whose work will solely be the provision of counseling services, to avoid the dual roles and overloading the teacher counselors. The findings of the study can benefit policy makers, school principals, teacher-counselors and educational administrators in the improvement of counseling services in public technical schools, so that students will benefit.