Effectiveness of guidance and counseling in discipline management in public primary schools; a case of Kangeta zone, Meru county, Kenya.
Ncebere, Mercy Kalingu
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The government of Kenya in the year 2001 outlawed corporal punishment as a means of instilling discipline in schools. Guidance and counseling was introduced as the best alternative in the schools by the Ministry of Education. (Republic of Kenya 2001) The teachers counselor are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that indiscipline cases are curbed through carrying out guidance and counseling. There has been increase in the number of indiscipline cases in primary schools, regardless of the allowed program of guidance and counseling. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of guidance and counseling services in management of discipline in public primary schools in Kangeta zone, Meru County. The study was based on the behavior theory as viewed by Carl Rogers. The reseacher used a descriptive survey design because it gives the researcher a chance to create rapport with the respondents as the researcher carries out the study. The technique used in collecting and analyzing data was quantitative .Data was presented in tables and figures for clarity. All the respondents namely; the head teachers, teacher counselors and pupils filled in questionnaires. The population of the study comprised all public primary school teacher counselors, head teachers and pupils in Kangeta zone. The target population was 19822 pupils of Kangeta Zone, 26 head teachers and 26 teacher counselors. 800 pupils from standard six were selected purposefully for the study The sample size of the standard six pupils was 20% of the pupils' population which gave a total of 160 pupils. Random sampling was used to select 15 schools to represent all. The instrument used was pilot tested at Maua Education zone to ascertain their reliability and validity. A test-retest technique was used to measure reliability. Data was also analyzed using descriptive statistics which include percentages, mean and frequencies. The findings show that guidance and counseling has not been effectively used in promoting pupils discipline in primary schools. This is due to various discipline cases, physical punishment as a disciplinary method and lack of support of guidance and counseling teachers by the school administration and school board of management. The study established recommendations to the Ministry of Education and the Schools to provide a policy document in guidance and counseling and organize in-service courses to teachers on guidance and counseling. The schools are to provide facilities like counseling offices and facilitate the implementation of decisions made during the counseling sections. It is hoped that the findings of the study will assist the policy makers, institutional managers, parents, NGOs and other interested parties that they will use the results from the proposed study in order to make guidance and counseling a success.