How Nigeria ran counselling services without policy
Despite the crucial nature of educational counselling to children, the services have been offered across the country without a National Policy guideline for almost 60 years.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the absence of policy had resulted in the lack of a well-defined structure for delivering counselling services, poor communication among practitioners and stakeholders and lack of synergy among professionals.
Adamu, who spoke in Abuja at the public launch of the National Policy on Counselling and its implementation guidelines, said the situation has given room for inefficiency in the delivery of counselling services.
The minister also said the lack of a well-coordinated and consistent counseling practice in the country’s basic and secondary schools has contributed in no small measure to the number of out-of-school children.
“Lack of a well-coordinated and consistent counseling practice in our basic and secondary schools has contributed in no small measure to the number of out-of-school children, reduction in completion rate, increase in the rate of anti-social behavior in schools and other vices militating against the development of our school children into responsible members of the society,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the new policy would entrench a regime of international best practices and clarify all areas of possible conflict and misconception in the practice of counseling.
Adamu added that effective implementation of the policy would address the rise in truancy, poor performance, cultism, examination malpractices, drug abuse, sexual harassment and the general decline in parental care, the need for counseling services becomes imperative.
Earlier, the Director of Education Support Services, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Justina Ibe, said the national policy on counselling was developed to enhance the capacity of learners through the promotion of services to schools and non-school settings in the country.
Ibe noted that the policy had become imperative in order to have proper counselling service delivery among professional counselling practitioners, adding that the document will assist in attaining the educational goals of the country.