Certain Problems militating against the development of guidance and counselling in Nigeria include the following:
- Counselling Facilities: Counselling facilities is a prominent index that has militated against counselling in all capacities. The government through its National Policy on Education in 1977, 1981, 1998,2004 and revised in 2013 saw counselling as an instrument for sustaining education and affecting national development (Owuamanam, 2005 and Agbajor, 2013) and hence its inclusion in the Nigerian educational system by the federal government (Sa‘idu, 2011). The implication of this is that education can be reformed and sustained when the necessary counselling facilities which (Oladele) listed as psychological tests (vocational interest inventory -V11, motivation for occupation preference scale – MOPs and student problem inventory-SPI), career album, information boards, counselling office, counselling records, Suggestion boxes, tape records, computers, stationaries, etc. are provided. These counselling facilities when available in any counselling or school settings make counselling functional and the relationship a worthwhile experience. Counselling in any school environment should be to cater for pressing issues that bothers on relationships, poor study habits, poor performance, psychological and social challenges that tend to disturb learning processes.
- Funding: Counselling practice like any other service need finance to provide facilities, run its programmes and pay its personnel where necessary. The reverse seems to be the case in the school system. Odigie (2005) is, however, of the opinion that there ought to be enough financial support for counselling units for the purpose of the adequate provision of utilities such as audio visuals, stationery, and fund for the attendance of conferences, seminars, and workshops. Lack of fund in most cases, tend to thwart the effort of the counsellor in achieving counselling goals and in performing administrative roles and functions. This is the ordeal of counsellors in most cases as there is no financial budget made specifically for counselling programmes (Alao, 2005). Where is no fund is often the slangs of principals, counsellors are consequently left to fend for themselves and their programmes which are financially involving.
- Training of Counsellors: Training of counsellors for the purpose of creating change and sustainable education is as important as training the recipient. One of the major challenges plaguing counselling practice is lack of adequate and qualified counselors in the schooling environment and this Aluede and Imonikhe (2006) noted, is largely responsible for lack of articulated guidance curriculum. Individuals without appropriate training in counselling may lack psychological skills for diagnosing, administering and analyzing psychological tests as well as employing the right therapeutic measures for the treatment of certain behavioural cases.
- E-Counselling: E-counselling seems to be a new phenomenon within the counselling parlance. It is a modern means of communication between counsellor(s) and client(s) in sessions via internet within a stipulated period of at least once a week in a year or six months with a singular purpose of assisting clients in discovering themselves and making useful choices in relation to their educational, vocational and personal-social needs. E counselling or telecounselling is an extension of information and communication technology which Ivowi (2005) prescribed as the generic term employed in describing the generation, storage, dissemination and eliciting of relevant information for the therapeutic encounter.
Most counsellors seem to be regressive in relation to familiarization and use of information technology. Their lack of competency in the use of electronic services could deter them from relating effectively with clients who are not within their immediate reach. Electronic communication involves the use of e-mails, internet, and communication aided strategies in counselling clients (Ivowi (2005). Ivowi further added that counsellors are not left out in this all-important phenomenon which has the potential to transform not only counselling practices but education as well. Counsellors who lack basic skills in electronic services may not be able to email and make internet contact with distant clients that need such help. This may have been necessitated by lack of access to the electronic gadgets or lack of training in their usage.
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of Sir Pee Integrated Services and www.libraryguru.com and www.projectvilla.com.ng. A reputable researcher, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.