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Counselling and Nigeria National Policy on Education: The question of relevance and competence
The provision for guidance and counseling in the Nigeria National Policy on Education has been an issue of concern to professional counselors for some time now. A critical appraisal of this provision reveals an obvious non-recognition, ignorance and neglect of the crucial contributions of counseling to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the National Policy on Education. Every fiscal year, much financial allocation is given to the education sector but without corresponding results to show for this huge investment. Counseling has been with man since time immemorial, and it has been found to be effective in producing long term results and positive effects. Even in the vicarious non formal indigenous education system, counseling still took the pride of place. It is therefore an issue of great concern to observe the terse provision made for counseling in organized formal education settings in Nigeria. The paper interrogates these concerns, investigating especially the relevance of counseling and the competence of school guidance counselors in the school system. Specifically, the paper focuses on the secondary school system to be able to make specific recommendations in defining the way forward as regards effective utilization of guidance and counseling for this sector of the educational system. The paper makes a brief review and analysis of the Nigeria National Policy on Education (NPE) (2004), thereby presenting a position on the recognition of guidance and counseling, and making recommendations on effective implementation of guidance and counseling in secondary schools in Nigeria.
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