COUNSELLING AND STUDY GROUP AS MEANS OF IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN INTEGRATED SCIENCE IN OYO WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OYO STATE
This research sought to investigate counselling and study group as means of improving the performance of junior secondary school students in integrated science in Oyo West Local Government, Oyo State. The objectives of the study are to ascertain available counselling services and determine problems associated with counselling services for Junior Secondary Schools. Also, to determine the extent to which counselling services and study group affect academic performance of Junior Secondary School students in Integrated Science in Oyo West Local Government, Oyo?
- Background to the study
Counseling as a movement was started in America at the beginning of 20th century as a reaction to change process in an industrialized society. Counseling services were set up within the department of education in September 1968 when the recommendations made by Louis, a consultant sent over to Malta by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), were taken up, summit (1997). Globally, counseling services are essential elements in discipline management of people in all societies. It could be difficult for any society to function well without the exercise of discipline.
School counseling programmes have therefore been introduced to assist students overcome the number of challenges they experience at home and at school. Nziramasanga (1999) states that because of many pressures imposed on the family, parents tend to have little time with their children. The parents expect the school to provide solutions to the indiscipline in junior secondary schools caused by their children. UNESCO (2002) adds that African adults have become more concerned with earning money and less occupied with many traditional practices that formerly contributed to the upbringing of young people. Rapid sociological changes emanating from modernization and urbanization stress students.
In Nigeria, the need for guidance and counseling is recorgnised when a survey was done of 20 school counselors in southern and central regions and the main problems examined. It was proven that, there is a great need for a clear rational and guidelines for counseling programmes, Taylor and Francis (1998). The main goal is to help the counselee learn to deal more effectively with himself and the reality of his environment. Allis and Kame (1991) conducted a cross-section survey on indiscipline among 2170 preparatory and junior secondary school students enrolled in the mainstream government schools in Alexandria in Egypt. Indiscipline among junior secondary school students and its predictors investigated. Few indiscipline cases were related to family background whereas the majority was related to the children themselves. Schools are social systems which have several objectives to achieve and the role of counseling is vital in shaping the discipline of the students.
Counseling is a process of helping individual or group of people to gain self-understanding in order to be themselves. Burks and Steffler (1979) see counseling as a professional relationship between a trained counselor and a client. Olayinka (1972) defined it as a process whereby a person is helped in a face-to-face relationship while Makinde (1983) explained counseling as an enlightened process whereby people help others by encouraging their growth. Counseling is a process designed to help clients understand and clarify personal views of their life space and to learn, to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well-informed choices and a resolution of problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature. It believes that every human individual has the potential for self-growth, self-development and self-actualisation.
Gitonga (2007) laments that due to educational end economic challenges they have to gripple with; parents are left with no time to positively parent their children. The result is permissive parenting style, which has its toll on the growing child. Permissive parenting style has no rules or limits. Wangai (1994), in supporting this view observe that modernization in Africa has caused the disintegration of the traditional and social structure, He suggested the clear supportive and progressive policies are needed to deal with most problems facing youths through schooling. Such policies can be implemented through the integration of counseling in junior secondary school programs.
Counseling as the third force in education along with instruction, is an integral part of educational system. Guidance programmes for junior secondary school students are designed to address the physical, emotional, social, vocational and academic difficulties of adolescent students. This is to complement learning in the classroom and also to enhance academic performance/achievements of students. Guidance plays a vital roel in preventing educational, personal, social, mental emotional and other similar problems among junior secondary school students.
According to Kang (2006), study group means a small group of friends which have close relations with each other and they have regular interactions. They share views and exchange ideas with each other and do activities in groups. When students take step into the stage of adolescence, they spend a large amount of time with their friends compared to their parents. Study group is a group of people who are equal in some ways. Those in a peer group have the same status and are about the same age.
In words Wikipedia is both a social and a primary group of individuals through homophile shard similarities such as age, background, social and political affiliations. The members of this group are likely to influence the person’s beliefs and behavior. These contains hierarchies and distinct patterns of behavior. Eighteen years old are not in a peer group with fourteen years old even though they may be in the same school, just as teachers do not share students as a peer group. Study group shows strong academic achievements , such tthat strong CGPA, strong aspiration for college, giving much time to home work, strong temperament of competition and participation in co-curricular activities. Socialization and selection strongly contribute to homophile. Socialization is the process of influencing similar attributes of peer group on each other, while selection is the process of friends (http://WWW2.ke ntisd.org/, 2012).
Kang (2006) in his study quoted Sacerdote (2001) that peer group influences are felt more in the elementary and secondary stages of education because of puberty, independence and their experiences in relation. Mukama (2010) have also examined the effects of non-academic peer groups such as smoking, the use of alcohol and crimes. It is investigated by researchers that peer groups do not show differences in qualities, characteristics and in others attributes. Really speaking, they have common and similar features exceedingly. The affiliation among them on the basis of these same features is a force of social dynamism which is called homophile. The beliefs, behavior and attitudes of these study groups show a large scale of outcomes –homogeneity, good chatting, sometimes smoking and drug abuse as compared to student body as a whole.
Study group interactions influences individual’s socializations directly as well as indirectly, social reinforcement is the best example. If beliefs and behaviour of study groups are once discouraged or negatively received, their redisplaying becomes difficult or even impossible, but positive acceptance or encouragements to beliefs and behaviour can arouse these beliefs and behaviours and once again with other friends. But sometimes the ways of influencing are less direct. For instance, modeling process like commitments to do assignment, voicing to a belief, engaging in new school activities etc. these modeling process can bring positive or negative behaviour of peer group. Gossiping, teasing, humour, communication, sharing experiences, exchanging information, interaction with each other’s and even motivation in activity based engagement at school for the peer influences (www.education.com, 2012) .
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Reports have shown that there has been a downward trend in academic performance of integrated science students in Nigerian Junior Secondary in general and in Oyo West Local Government Area of Oyo State in particular. Parents, Teachers, Curriculum experts have also expressed considerable concern about this poor performance in Integrated science in Transit Examination to Senior Secondary. So also are teachers and counselors. These groups of individuals tend to point accusing fingers on influence of negative peer study group and inadequate competent counselors as being responsible for poor academic performance. These factors are suspected for the luring of junior school students into engagement in negative habits such as excessive drinking of alcohol, smoking of Indian hemp, engagements in unhealthy sexual behaviour, cultist activities and other maladjustive behaviours that distract them from academic pursuit. These unhealthy behaviours of Junior secondary students which in turn impacts poor academic performance make the researcher to ask “why are Nigerian students not very concern about the current trend on their academic performance in examination? Could it be that they are insensitive to the possible negative influence of study group and poor counseling service on their academic performance. It is in view of these concerns that this study was carried out to determine the relationship among counseling study group and their academic performance.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The main purpose of the study is to determine the counseling and study group as means of improving the performance of Junior secondary school students in Integrated science in Oyo West Local Government of Oyo State. Specifically, the study intends to:
- Find out the level of counseling services available for students in junior secondary school.
- Find out the level of study group as a means of determining junior secondary school students’ academic performance in Integrated science.
- Determine the relationship between counseling and academic performance of students in junior secondary school in Integrated science.
- Determine the relationship between group study and academic performance of students in junior secondary school in integrated science.
1.4 Significance of the study
The findings from this study will be of immense benefits to the counselors, teachers, the society, school, students and researchers. To the counselor, it will help create discipline in the life of junior secondary school students. When this is done, there will be sanity, peace and order, which will enhance the moral tone of the school as well as the society. It will also help the counselor to know the right technique to adopt in modifying negative peer group study. To teachers, the teachers will equally benefit from the findings of the study because the findings will help them know what is expected of them as they are role model. To the school, the findings of the study will directly lead to raising of our standard of education because experience has shown that disciplined and counseled students learn faster and perform better academically than undisciplined students. Therefore, the findings of this study will help the school produce students who can contribute meaningfully towards the development of the nation in future. The finding of this study will be made known to public by organizing conferences, workshops and seminars to inform them of the positive and negative effect of peer group. This will help sensitise junior secondary school students by making them to be aware of the merits of good study group. Finally, the results of the work will be of great help to future researchers. This will be a source of research materials or empirical data for them.
1.5 Scope of the study
The study is delimited to some selected junior secondary schools in Oyo West local Government Area of Oyo State. The study will be restricted to JSS3 students, both male and female junior secondary school students. They will be chosen because it is expected that they have spent three years in school and they have acquired the experience of both positive and negative study group and counseling service, and how it can affect their performance. Academic performance is delimited to the students cumulative average score of school subjects in a session.
1.6 Research questions
- What are the available services counseling services for junior secondary school students in Oyo West Local Government?
- What are the problems associated with counseling services for junior secondary schools in Oyo West Local Government?
- To what extent do counseling services affect academic performance of junior secondary school students in Integrated Science?
- To what extent do study group affects academic performance of junior secondary school students in Integrated Science in Oyo West Local Government?
1.7 Definition of terms
Counseling: is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families and groups to accomplish mental health. wellness, education and career goals.
Study Group: is a group of people who meet to study a particular subject and then report their findings or recommendations.
Academic performance: is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Cumulative GPA and completion of educational bench marks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor degrees represent academic achievement.
Integrated Science: Integrated science is a revolutionary programme subject provided by many universities of the world. The subject is devoted to providing a wide range of knowledge in various fields of science. Integrated science is the developed version of science education.