Background to the Study

            Guidance and counselling are two closely interrelated concepts and each determines the availability and efficient of the other. According to Makinde (1999) and Patternson (1997) the word ‘guidance’ refers to a broad area of educational activities and services related to individual students inorder to understand them and adjust to school life. The development of guidance and counselling originated from the United State of America in 1900’s. A person named Godwin in 1911 orgarnised guidance programme in USA that catered for students. The emphases was on vocation information, awareness of the world of work, location of employment and reduction in examination anxiety (Makionde, 1999). He noted that since 1950, popular views of guidance and counselling have changed rapidly and that understanding youth problems are among the functions of school guidance and counselling. A random sampling of 100 consellors’ educational programme was carried out in USA. The study found out that guidance and counselling specifically influence academic performance of students.

            Guidance and counselling are inevitable academic tools needed for educational development, academic building, moral booster and behavioural building and modification. Its roles can not be underestimated in places like schools, colleges, hospitals, courts and industries. Based on its importance in the society and different academic fields, there is need to introduce counselling in every area of our wold (Oladele, 2000).

As part of guidance performance, counselling is a process where by the counsellor assist a counsellee. This assistance may be educational, vocational, social or emotional. In other words, guidance and counselling is an assistance given by a guidance counsellor or career personnel to another person to identify his own resources and its environmental opportunities to be able to have self understanding and make decisions in order to be able to cope with the developmental problems and aspirations in life (Olayinka and Omoregun, 2005).

            The principal good of a counsellor is to assist the counsellor to arrive at solutions, answers, plans and as well as make decisions which will assist the counsellor to understand himself, and find a satisfactory answers which are rewarding to his problems and assist him (counsellor) to grow towards the person.

The idea of guidance and counselling students in Nigeria could be regarded as an embodiment of rapid development which has started in the late 1950’s before Nigeria attained independence. Kolo (2007) is of the opinion that the British system emphasis heavily on classroom teaching at the expense of child’s welfare and personal development. The assumption then was that since the classroom teaching covered all aspects of the child’s development, the remaining aspects will be taken into consideration by parents and religious bodies.

Apparently, at the grassroot. Education and vocational guidance was presumed to be unnecessary in Nigeria system of education. This was because the selected for who went into study various subjects were successful or considered very capable of self direction academically while jobs were readily available in these days.

According to Oladele (2000), the period 1970 to date witnessed a great expansion in the development and training of guidance counsellors which has now become a household in Nigeria society. In 1972 for example, the idea of school guidance programme spread to other parts of Nigeria. During this period, efforts were made by the various state ministries of education to introduce guidance and counselling programmes in schools. Activities of the states regarding the programme were uncoordinated and did not have much impact.

            The role of counselling as a predictor of academic excellence in secondary schools can not be over-emphasised. According to Oladuntoye (2005), educational guidance is the assistance given to students individually and through group techniques to assist them function more effectively in their school programmes. In other words, educational guidance and counselling refer to any assistance given to students to enable him place a suitable educational programme. Equally, Oladele (2002) observed that the primary objective of guidance and counselling services in secondary schools is to facilitate a better adjustment and development of students by providing them with information which include subjects to be taken, school extra-curricular activities, improving study skills etc. guidance and counseling services assist students to choose the right subjects that would lead them to the careers of their interest as well as provide them with information about schools, colleges and universities that offer these courses.

         Secondary school students face various challenges that if not well handled it will affect their academic achievement. Therefore inorder to adequately address these challenges, emphases has to be placed on existing programmes within schools. Guidance and counselling is one of the programmes. Detailed studies are needed to evaluate the influence of counselling services as a predictor of academic excellence. The study was based on the premise that it is important to understand the extent to which counselling programme is used in addressing the challenges of students in school. This study will assist the counsellor to evaluate the impact that counselling will have on academic excellence in their respectful schools. When counselling programme is well conceptualised by the Ministry of Education and implemented by the counsellor with the support of the school administrators, the students will benefit by improving their academic achievement and self actualiasation.   

Against this background, this study was carried out to examine ‘Counselling Services As A Predictor of Academic Excellence in Secondary Schools As Expressed By Counsellors in Ilorin Metropolis’ as a case study.

Statement of the Problem

            Education in any society is expected to help members of that society to acquire the necessary knowledge, attitude and skills for effective performance in the society. This implies that these three areas of learning play complementary roles to each other and therefore functionally related. The importance of guidance and counselling programme in achieving academic excellence in secondary schools can not be over emphasized. This fact has more been realized by scholars and experts not only in order facets of life but as well as education or academics as a whole.

For example, Jimoh (2002) examined the challenge as it exist among the teachers in the 21st century and found that the Nigeria’s search for development in the 21st century may be an allusion by the government to give due recognition to the teacher who is the heart of Nigeria’s educational system and a catalyst in the realisation of national educational aims and objectives.

            Similarly, Alhasan (2006) investigates the role of counselling in the character development of primary school pupils. He concluded that to develop capacity to learn and achieve certain basic skills, including analysis and inference which are essential to the forming of sound judgment and to develop in pupils a positive attitude to citizenship and a desire in them to make a positive personal contribution to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

            From the above, it can be seen that previous researchers focused mainly on challenges on teachers of counselling in the 21st century and the role of counselling in the character development of primary school pupils. However  none of this study was on counselling on predictor of academic excellence nor on Ilorin metropolis. This present research is being embarked upon to investigate the roles of counselling services as a predictor of academic excellence as expressed by students in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State.