Erase the Stigma: An Efficient Guidance Counselor and a Comprehensive Guidance Program
In this article, a Guidance Counselor or School Counselor is defined as a professional who provides valuable support to clients in reaching their academic goals, social and personal development, and career development. They are not the ones who punish or demerit a student's undesirable behavior, and they should not be seen as school police where misbehaving children are brought. Their office must be depicted as a "safe place" for a child. Guidance counselors do not lead a class, but they affect student success as much as any teacher. They help students survive difficult situations, peer pressure, depression, and other problems that hinder success.
I want the readers to help me erase the stigma attached to Guidance Counselors. Let us give the next generation a whole new perspective on this. They are the first line of mental health professionals a student can approach. If a child is trained to get help when needed, we will have a new generation who is not afraid to bounce back from difficulties in life. They will not be scared to consult a mental health professional, and these children can pass on their optimistic perspective to the next generation.
In 1521, the Philippines was rediscovered by Ferdinand Magellan, which began the Spanish Colonization, resulting mainly in religious conquest: 80% of Filipinos became Roman Catholics. The Spanish Colonization was followed by the American occupation from 1898 to 1941. The United States strongly influenced Philippine public schools and the government. The language of instruction in the country is English, and tremendous respect is given to anything American over anything Filipino (.
In 1940-1960, the Bureau of Public schools sent Filipino teachers and officials to England, Europe, and the US to learn counseling practices. Western techniques are then brought to the country on their arrival. Counseling as conceived in the United States began in the Philippines during the American occupation in 1913-1934. Two (2) colleges in Manila provide guidance services geared toward identifying professions and opportunities for employment. The first psychological clinic was established at the University of the Philippines. The growth of Guidance and Counseling was hampered by World war II. Before 2004, counselors and other mental health workers did not need a license to practice or a regulatory board to ensure adequate training.
Guidance, Counseling, and an effective Guidance Program are vital in a person's holistic development. Studies suggest that it improves the discipline and academic performance of an individual (Osakwe, 2016). Professors and teachers must employ dynamic interactions of a group of students approach. Building a solid relationship between the students, parents, counselors, teachers, and administrators leads to effective implementation of the programs.
School counselors advocate for students' well-being, and they are valuable resources for a person's educational advancement. Guidance and Counseling are interrelated and cannot be overly separated (Nyarangi, 2015).
Humans are self-determining creatures. They have an innate desire for independence, autonomy, and self-destruction (Mugabe, J. & Maphosa, D., 2016). Guidance and Counseling are essential in managing people's discipline, perspective, and lifestyle across all societies (Moyo, G., Khewu, N. & Bayaga, 2016). It will help individuals understand themselves, bounce back from difficult life experiences, determine the factors that contribute to the development of a problem, and learn suitable ways of resolving or avoiding the situations that may lead to negative outcomes.
An effective counselor must integrate Guidance and Counseling theories into their counseling framework to be efficient and effective (Chifwambe, 2019). Social Learning Theory postulates that elicited behavior results from an interactive association between inner processes and environmental variables and is not solely determined by internal drives (Bandura, 1986). A person must learn to use their insight and foresight to solve a problem since behaviors are influenced by an environment's verbal and imaginable representation. A process called "modeling" through observational learning can also help the betterment of an individual (Dhaliwal, 2015). Students can acquire competencies such as academic, social, and personal through modeling. The conviction of an individual that particular behavior will produce a specific outcome and a person's judgment their ability to plan, execute and maintain a particular behavior is called "Efficacy expectation" (Eliamani, P., Mghweno, L. & Baguma, P., 2015). Expectations influence a person's choice of activities and environment settings. Determining student efficacy expectations in the prevailing environment is essential. Bandura suggests that motivations are powered by anticipated future reinforcement and that someone's limits of expectation efficacy can control one's learning extent. He proposed that counselors must bear the skills and knowledge on how theories of system desensitization, modeling, efficacy expectation, guided participation, and phobia reduction can be applied in the practice of guidance and Counseling (Ndagire, 2018).
An effective guidance counselor can relate and empathize with the students—the ones who will not judge them. Genuine interest in helping other people is the best attribute they should have because Counseling is an arduous task. Counselor becomes an emotional sponge for other people. They should help without asking anything in return. They must be equipped with dedication and perseverance to cover different tasks in the guidance office. They are the listening ear, shoulder to lean and cry on by parents, adolescents, and kids. They have to work hand in hand with the admin, teachers, and parents. The teacher and counselor should complement each other and compensate.
Moreover, Guidance Program is a holistic program intended to assist in developing a person's self-awareness, educational growth, psychosocial development, and career maturity (Mwangi, 2016). The program's agenda is based on the needs of the students anchored with the Principles of Guidance and Counseling. Respect, dignity, uniqueness, positive self-image, goals, diverse needs of all students, equity and equality to the clients, collaboration with the school administrator, students, teachers, and parents, and learning curves must be considered in creating such a program. Clients need appropriate personal and social skills to achieve the goals of the educational program (Krieger, 2015). The program must have tailor-fitted techniques and activities to address clients' needs (Hansen, 2015).
Comprehensive Guidance programs must integrate intervention programs for individuals who have manifestations of mental and behavioral problems. It must provide students with functional and operational services that will further identify their strengths and weaknesses towards their academic success. It should engage them towards productivity, commitment, and loyalty to the school's vision and mission. It must assist the students in clarifying and evaluating issues. It must determine and develop students' abilities, aptitudes, and interests. It must raise self-awareness and assist students in making choices and adjustments for them to become productive.
Strengthening collaboration between and among community members in the framework of shared leadership and management is vital in the implementation of this program. Counselors must have the determination in the proper execution of these services, and they must have the ability to touch the lives of other people positively.
Chifwambe, G. (2019). Relationship between Self-Efficacy and Mathematical Performance among grade 11 Pupils in Lusaka Urban (Unpublished M.A Thesis) university of Zambia.
Dhaliwal, M. (2015). Teacher Perceptions and Management of Challenging Student Behaviour in Primary school classrooms. Unpublished Med. Thesis, Unitec Institute of Technology.
Eliamani, P., Mghweno, L. & Baguma, P. (2015). Access to Guidance and Counseling Services and its Influence on School Life, Attitude towards Studies and Career Choice. African Journal of Guidance and Counseling. Vol 1(1) pp.001-015.
Hansen, J. (2015). Relationship between Teacher Perception of Positive Behaviour Interventions Support and the
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Moyo, G., Khewu, N. & Bayaga, A. (2016). Disciplinary Practices in Schools and Principles of Alternatives to Corporal Punishment Strategies. South African Journal of Education. 34 (1) pp1-14.
Mugabe, J. & Maphosa, D. (2016). Methods of Curbing Learner Misconduct in Zimbabwean Secondary Schools. Journal on New Trends in Education and their Implications. Vol. (1), Pp. 111-122.
Mwangi, J. (2016). Influence of Alternative Disciplinary Measures on Students Discipline in Public Secondary Schools in Laikipia West District, Kenya. Unpublished M.Ed Thesis, University of Nairobi.
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Nyarangi, E. (2015). Challenges Facing Effective Implementation of Guidance and Counseling Programs in Selected Institutes of Technology in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Unpublished MED. Research Report, Egerton University.
Osakwe, R (2016). Principal’s Management Techniques for resolving Disciplinary problems in Nigerian Public Secondary schools. Journal of Education and Practice. Vol. 4, pp.50-57.