A guidance and counselling programme in a school assist students to harmonize their abilities, interests and values and thereby develop their full potential. All this is geared towards improving the self-image of the students and facilitating better achievement in academic performance. This study sought to establish the influence of guidance and counselling programme on academic performance of secondary school students in Agatu local government area of Benue State. A random sample of 196 students, ten teacher counsellors and ten head teachers were selected from the five schools. Data were collected through administration of questionnaires with the selected respondents. The collected data were then processed and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 16 for windows. The study established the following findings: Secondary schools in the study area differed in the number of guidance and counseling services that they had implemented. Teacher counsellors had little training in guidance and counselling. Stakeholders adequately supported guidance and counselling programme in the schools. Students were aware of the role and importance of career counselling in their schools. There was poor academic performance among students. Guidance and counselling programme has a positive impact on the academic performance of students. Based on these study findings, the following recommendations were made: There is need for the teacher counsellors to implement all the services required for a guidance and counselling programme. There is need to improve the level of training of teacher counsellors in guidance and counselling. Teacher counsellors should take advantage of the positive attitude of the students to enhance career counselling in their schools. Guidance and counselling programme should be strengthened in order to improve the academic performance of secondary schools in the area.


Title page                                                                                                       i

Certification                                                                                                  ii

Approval page                                                                                              iii

Dedication                                                                                                     iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                     v

Abstract                                                                                                        vii

Table of contents                                                                                         viii


Background Information                                                                                         1

Statement of the Problem                                                                                        4

Objective of the Study                                                                                            5

Research Questions                                                                                                 6

Significance of the Study                                                                                       6

The Scope of the Study                                                                                           7

Assumptions of the Study                                                                                       8

Definition of Terms                                                                                                             8


Introduction                                                                                                              10

Genesis of Guidance and Counselling                                                                  10

Role of Guidance and Counselling in Secondary Schools                                11

An Effective Guidance and Counselling Programme in Secondary Schools 13

Causes of Poor Academic Performance in Schools                                            19

Theoretical Framework                                                                                           22

Conceptual Framework                                                                                           25


Research Design                                                                                                       26

Area of the Study                                                                                                     27

Population of Study                                                                                                 27

Sample and Sampling Techniques                                                                         27                    Instrumentation for data collection                                                                   28

Validation of the instrument                                                                                  28

Validation of the Instrument                                                                                  28

Administration of the instrument                                                                          28

Data Analysis                                                                                                           29

CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS AND DISCUSSION                                           30


Introduction                                                                                                              50

Summary of the Findings                                                                                       50

Conclusion                                                                                                                51

Recommendations                                                                                                   51

Suggestions for Further Research                                                                          52

References                                                                                                                53

Appendices                                                                                                               55





 Background to the study

Guidance and counselling are two closely interrelated concepts and each determines the availability and efficient of the other.  Guidance” refers to a abroad area of all educational activities and services aimed at assisting individual students to understand themselves and adjust to school life.

According to Mutie and Ndambuki (1999) defines “counselling” as a learning-oriented process which usually occurs in an interactive relationship with the aim of helping the client learn more about him/herself. Guidance and counselling is therefore aimed at bringing about maximum development and self-realization of human potential for the benefit of the individual and the society. In a school, the programme assists students in harmonizing their abilities, interests and values and enables them to develop their full potential. It directs students on appropriate career and subject choices; solving discipline, education, social and psychological problems; and general adjustment to school life (Gerardo, 2006).

One of the major causes of unemployment in Nigeria today is lack of proper guidance of the young ones. There is no programme for guidance and counseling in most of our primary and secondary schools. As a result of this, many pupils grow up confused over what to do in life. Many of the young ones have chosen the wrong profession and as a result they become less useful to themselves and the community at large. Many of them have the idea that they would be able to work as managers in the public or private establishments as soon as they complete secondary education. Some have planned to become lawyers, engineers, physicians, accountants, etc. Students in secondary schools, like many other young adults, are always worried about ‘what they will do with their lives and what kind of adults they will be, or eventually become.

It is a fact that many young people and their parents do not want education principally as an end in itself but as means of getting better employment and improved condition of living (Abiri, 2007). Many of them are concerned with the type of life they will live in the feature .They are always pre occupied with the type of work (an activity that may be a vocational or technical) that will give them significance as people. Unfortunately, many educational policies of various governments in West Africa are unable to help young people prepare for the realities of life after school.

In a similar fashion, Segun and Segun (2018) were of the view that in some of our secondary schools, there were no effective vocational guidance and counseling to advice students on the choice of subjects which best fit their aptitude. In the study carried out by Ewueleke (2007), it was found that most students choose their subject for WAEC because their friend and peers choose the same subject, Their teachers regardless of their previous performance in the selected subjects, some even confessed that selecting subject for them. It is imperative therefore that there should be proper guidance and counseling in both primary and secondary schools to direct the young ones so that we may have equitable supply for the various demand of personnel.

The role of counseling in secondary school cannot be over emphasized. Many graduates are unemployed today because they do not specialize in certain field of education. What one is saying here is that there is need for proper guidance and counseling on the pre-requisite to cope with such vocation.

Guidance and counseling are essential elements in discipline management of people in all societies even the most primitive societies grew out of the necessity of guiding individual’s behavior patterns in the interest of the group. Society itself could not function without the exercise of discipline. Using guidance and counseling to enhance discipline must be continuously being practiced if people are to work harmoniously for the achievement of common purpose. Hendrikz (1986) stresses that teachers and school administration have the responsibility of ensuring that students matures steadily along his own personal line. Students are priceless assets and most essential element in education.

It was absolutely necessary to direct students to exhibit acceptable attitude and behavior within and outside the school. The rapid expansion of student enrolment in most African countries since the attainment of political independence, coupled with inadequate resources to cope with the ever increasing demand for educational provision, had made school management a much more complex and difficult enterprise than a few decades ago. Meyer (2011) states that discipline problems in schools and institutions are perhaps the single greatest cause of concern for educators globally. Discipline in consistently identified as serious school problem in public opinion polls Meyer (2011) and some authors believe that school discipline in the United States has not change greatly since (Rue & Byarr, 2012).

Student indiscipline had plagued schools leading to series of unrest, destruction of school property,

vandalism, sexual abuse, killing and drug abuse just to mention. According to Agenga and Simatwa (2011) at Colobine high school in Colorado two heavily armed students killed twelve students, one teacher and seriously wounded nearly two dozen others before killing themselves, in the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 affected students in South Africa. In Nigeria 1990 schools were in so much conflict that soldiers were deployed to school assist in control of students’ behavior. In Kenya the indiscipline cases were on the rise ranging from school unrest, drug abuse, sexual abuse pregnancy, bullying, aggressive behavior laziness and inept parenting.



According to Gururani,G.D. (2006) Guidance is commonly understood as leadership, instruction or direction. Counseling may also be taken as a psychological process of helping an individual to achieve his self-direction, self-understanding and mental balance necessary to make the maximum adjustment to the school, home and society. Bhatnagar & Gupta (1999) view guidance as a process of helping individuals to find solutions of their problems. They further say that guidance is an integral part of education; a continuous service; both generalized and specialized service, for the “whole” child and is not confined only to some specific aspects of his personality. Guidance and counseling has been conceptualized as a programme of activities which has provided us with the gateway out of the existing numerous problems in our present age of complex scientific and technological development (Okobiah and Okorodudu 2004). The country like Pakistan wherein the literacy level is already falling below the desired level as well as drop out ratio is alarming, an optimistic scenario could be arisen by applying guidance and counseling techniques to improve the academic performances of the students. Olayinka (1996) and Yahaya (2003) view that passing examination to secure certificates either for admission into higher institution or secure good jobs is the main goal of education to many people and not the acquisition of knowledge and skills through studying.

Many students perform poorly because they lack the right attitude to study and do not have the right orientation from home and from the society (Obilade, 1987; Ladipo, 2000; Eweniyi, 2002). The attitudes of human beings play significant role in their behaviours. The study of human habits and attitudes is relevant and essential to counseling, as it can help in the understanding of the rationale for their behaviour and provides basis for prediction and assistance. Abiri (1996) argued that if the society is not to be plaque by a band/group of disgruntled, frustrated and unrealistic individuals, it is desirable that adequate guidance and counseling and career information be provided, to enable the school and society arrive at a realistic vocational choice for their children/wards with due realization of their potentialities.

Akpama (2005) perceive that the issue of sex and academic performance has attracted reports while some propose that males perform better than females in academics, others argue that the reverse is the case, and still another group says that the difference in performance between the two is insignificant. Guidance services are presented by Nwachukwu (2007) as information services, placement services, appraisal services, vocational guidance services, counseling services, referral services, evaluation, follow-up, consultancy and research services. As a vital component of any type and any level of education the absence of non utilization of these services in the present day school system has led to the unprecedented rise in the crime wave, violence among students, fuelled cultism, wrong career choice, and wrong subject combination among other issues.

Therefore, this study was intended to examine the  underutilization of guidance and counseling programs in junior secondary schools.


Statement of the Problem

The underutilization of guidance and counseling programme in secondary schools in gbombe state  has been declining over time.  This has a negative reflection on the various programmes put in place to promote teaching and learning in the state.

Guidance and counselling programmes in Nigerian education system has not been given the attention it deserves. And until the attention is given to this form of education programme, majority of secondary school students will continue to find it difficult in career decision making.

It has been observed that many students who perform well in mathematics and science technology related subjects in secondary schools end up studying arts or social science related courses in the University instead of studying science, technology or engineering related courses to pursue their careers the relevant fields; this is mostly seen in Nigerian education institutions. After been admitted into the University, such students find it difficult copping with other students who choose the right courses leading to their chosen career path

It could be discovered that most of the secondary schools in Gombe state find it diffulcult to utilized that service of guidance and counseling in their schools as a result of lack of qualified counselor, as a result of this most of the students find it difficult to choose their career. It was on this note that the researchers find it necessary to carry out his research on underutilization of guidance and counseling programme in junior secondary schools in Gombe metropolis

Objectives of the Study

This study sought to assess the  underutilization of guidance and counseling programme in junior secondary schools in Gombe State

The study aimed at achieving the following specific objectives:

  • To find out the reasons why most secondary schools underutilize guidance and counseling service in Gombe metropolis
  • To determine the attitude of students towards educational/career counselling in their schools.
  • To establish the relationship between the level of effectiveness of guidance and counselling and academic performance of secondary school students.
  • To identify the challenges facing guidance and counselling programme.


Research Questions

The study addressed the following research questions:

  • What are the reasons why most secondary schools underutilize guidance and counseling service in Gombe metropolis?
  • What are the attitude of students towards the utilization of educational/career counselling in their schools.?
  • What are the relationship between the level of effectiveness of guidance and counselling and academic performance of secondary school students.
  • What are the challenges facing guidance and counselling programme in Gombe metroplis

Significance of the Study

Secondary school students face various challenges that if not well handled affect their academic achievement. Therefore, in order to adequately address these challenges, emphasis has been placed on the existing programmes within the schools. Guidance and counselling is one of these programmes. Detailed studies are needed to evaluate the influence of guidance and counselling programme on academic performance. This study was based on the premise that it is important to understand the extent to which the programme is used in addressing challenges facing students in schools. Such a study helps in providing useful information that could be useful in redesigning and giving impetus to the programme by those concerned including the Ministry of Education, administrators of the institutions, teacher counsellors and students so as to boost the academic performance and overall self-actualization of secondary school students.

The teacher counsellor will use this study to evaluate the impact that guidance and counselling will have on academic performance in their respective schools.

The Ministry of Education will also use this study in evaluating whether guidance and counselling programme is an effective measure in addressing the challenges facing secondary school students in the country.

The study will also assist school administrators in assessing their contribution to guidance and counselling programme and its influence on academic performance of students in their schools. When guidance and counselling programme is well conceptualized by the Ministry of Education and implemented by the teacher counsellors with the support of the school administrators, the students will benefit by improving their academic achievements and self-actualization.

The Scope of the Study

The study focused on the underutilization of guidance and counseling in gombe metropli

Only Junior secondary school  students were involved in this study  .

Definition of Terms

In this section, operational definitions are presented as used within the context of this study.

Academic performance: This refers to the academic achievement of a student which is Usually measured in terms of grades or marks attained in a test.

Counselling: Involves helping an individual to deal with or remove frustrations and obstacles that interfere with their lives and develop his most acceptable self by thinking through the situation him/herself in an accepting atmosphere.

Effective counselling: Producing a desired result. In this case, effectiveness refers to the Ability/capacity of guidance and counselling programme to offer its required services in a school. In this study, the effectiveness of guidance and counselling will be measured on a likert scale by examining the extent to which the programme is able to offer various components of academic/career/educational counselling in schools.

Guidance: A process of helping learners to develop self understanding, capabilities for making realistic career decisions, overcome personality deficits and make optimal academic progress.

Guidance and counselling: Includes all services that help an individual understanding of him/herself, his/her attitude, interests, abilities, physical, mental and social maturity for optimum development.

Public schools: These are schools facilitated and controlled/regulated by the government. Teacher Counsellor: A school teacher who has undergone formal training in guidance And counselling including theory and practice.




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