The roles of guidance and counselling cannot be overstated. Guidance and counselling is needed in schools in order to make education more wholistic and cater for the affective domain of students development.
In this article, I will be highlighting 15 ways in which guidance and counselling helps the educational system— the school as a whole, the teachers, as well as the students.
Importance of Guidance and Counselling in Elementary and Secondary Schools
Guidance and counselling play the following roles in secondary and elementary schools:
1. Help achieve educational goals
The educational goals of elementary and secondary schools cannot be achieved without the effective implementation of guidance and counselling in the school. For schools to be a place where the total being of students are developed, counsellors need to be brought into the scene to cater for the affective domain of students development.
2. Create conducive learning environment
Guidance counsellors are trained in paying attention to the unique needs of the students and the school as a whole through the conduction of yearly or termly needs assessment, which is not part of the responsibility of teachers.
Through this needs assessment programs, necessary adjustments can be made in the activities of the school and new strategies can be implemented that will create a better learning environment in the school.
3. Reduce cases of bullying and social vices
The presence of guidance counsellors in schools can help reduce the cases of bullying and social vices we are faced with currently as a nation. Counsellors will both help in developing the moral character of students as well as notice the rise of new trends in the school before the escalate or get out of control.
Also, because students are more comfortable around counsellors than teachers who might be strict or not listening, they can open up cases of maltreatment by other students so necessary actions can be taken.
4. Aid effective administration of the school
School guidance counsellors can help in the effective administration of the school because they aid the flow of information between administrators and teachers, students and teachers, and students and administrators.
In most schools, there is usually bureaucracy in reaching other stakeholders especially from students to administrators. But students can easily relay their complaints to the counsellors who will then take them to the administrators.
5. Keeping and updating of the Cumulative Record Folder
Counsellors are in the right position to keep the cumulative record folders of the school. This will ensure that it is always up to date, confidential, comprehensive and easily accessible. If the keeping of CRFs is left with teachers, many information that should be recorded might be left out since the teacher is mainly busy with other activities and might not be skilled in assessing affective domains of students.
Importance of Guidance and Counselling to Students
Guidance and counselling play the following roles to students
6. Counsellors can help students overcome psychological and mental health issues
Students are not exempted from the waves of mental health issues that are rampant in our society today. Since schools are where students spend most of their time, providing an environment that can help them overcome these issues will be beneficial to them.
Also if schools do not cater for the mental and psychological wellbeing of students, it will affect the academic performance of the students too.
7. Counselling can help students develop effective study habits
Effective study habits are necessary for students to perform well academically. But there are no facilities in the school that help students develop effective study habits. This makes the presence of counsellors of huge advantage to the students. Not only are they catered for affectively, their cognitive domains will also benefit from the services of counsellors.
8. Career guidance
Guidance and counselling is necessary to help students choose and progress in careers that best maximize their potentials and fit their unique strengths and personality. With the ever changing and dynamic world of work, students need guidance so they can make the right choices.
After choosing their preferred careers, students need guidance to know the right subject combination for that career, they need to be enlightened about the demands of the world of work and be exposed to opportunities for growth. All these cannot be achieved without the presence of guidance counsellors in schools.
9. Orientation programs
Counsellors are useful in helping new students adjust to the school environment. If students do not receive good orientation as they are enrolled in the school, they wouldn’t be able maximize all the opportunities that they school environment provides. Orientation is one of core guidance services of guidance counsellors.
10. Help shape students behaviors
The presence of guidance and counselling can help the school be a ground for the development of good moral behaviors. Counsellors can help students increase desired behaviors, eliminate undesired behaviors and learn new desired behaviors through several behavior modification techniques.
Importance of Guidance and Counselling to Teachers
The presence of guidance and counselling in schools benefits teachers in the following ways:
11. Reduces workload on the teachers
Schools that do not have guidance counsellors usually expect that teachers play all the roles of counsellors (like behavior modification, career guidance, development of morals and so on) in addition to their regular activities of teaching. While teachers can support in these areas, it isn’t their primary assignment.
These excessive workloads on the teachers will reduce their overall effectiveness and negatively affect the school’s/ students’ output.
12. Aids effective continuous assessment of students
For the continuous assessment of students to be cumulative and comprehensive, there should be the input of the school counsellor to provide information about the students that aren’t cognitive.
And since the counsellors are in charge of keeping the Cumulative Record Folders of each student, they can easily compare current test (both performance and psychological test) results with previously recorded results and this will make the aim of continuous assessment (tracking step by step progress) better achieved.
13. Counsellors can teach teachers basic counselling skills
Since teachers spend significant amount of time with students, guidance counsellors can teach them basic counselling skills that they can use in relating with students instead of leaving students unattended to or always waiting for the counsellors to intervene.
Simple moral misbehaviors can be effectively/professionally handled by the teachers if they are taught while more serious cases are referred to counsellors.
14. Counsellors can advocate for the teachers of the school
Since one of the expected activities if counsellors is to conduct periodic needs assessment and relay feedback to the school administration in what needs to be worked on, counsellors can advocate for the welfare of teachers by making the administration see how poor teacher’s welfarism is behaving affecting the school.
15. Teachers can also benefit from one on one counselling
Counsellors are not only trained to counsel students. The presence of a counsellor in schools means teachers who are going through one issue or the other can easily walk up to the school counsellor and seek for professional help. Counsellors can help teachers overcome work stress and attain work-life balance.
Needs of Guidance and Counselling in Education
There you have a few of the various ways guidance and counselling helps the entire educational program of schools. Schools that embrace the services of guidance counsellors have more to gain than what it would cost them. Guidance and counselling helps the school achieve its curricular goals, helps the students become all-round developed, and help the teachers offer more effective services to the school.
Olusegun Iyejare is career coach and certified counsellor. He helps entrepreneurs balance mental wellbeing and entrepreneurial success. Think about maximizing your potential or living a fulfilling life and Olusegun is your go to person.