Students’ Conceptions of Role of Guidance and Counselling in Discipline Management in Secondary Schools in K1rinyaga County, Kenya
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Discipline is vital in the success of educational processes. Guidance and Counselling (GC) have been adopted as strategy to manage student discipline the world over including Kenyan schools. Though students form the major clientele of services provided in schools, studies regarding provision of counselling and guidance in relation to management of learners’ behaviour have largely ignored students’ conceptions. This study sought to establish students’ conceptions of the role of GC in managing discipline among learners in public secondary’ schools in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. The descriptive survey research design was used and a sample of 167 students was randomly taken from 13 secondary schools and questionnaires used to collect data. Results indicated that though students knew of availability of counselling services, they rarely sought them. The study further noted that students experienced punitive forms of punishment, including corporal punishment, despite availability of GC departments and government policies guiding the handling of learners’ discipline in Kenyan schools. The study concluded that secondary school students sampled have not fully embraced GC services. Therefore, the practice of GC as currently structured, may fail as a discipline management strategy. The recommendations based on findings are that the Education Ministry and School Boards of Management should not only enforce government policies on discipline management and explore ways of winning students’ confidence in the GC services.