Stakeholders’ perspectives on the school counselling programme in Namibia
Ashipala-Hako, Anna Niitembu
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the Namibian School Counselling Programme from the perspectives of selected stakeholders. The study focused on what the stakeholders consider to be the objectives of the Namibian School Counselling Programme, the services characteristics of the programme, the resources available in the schools for the implementation of the programme, the beneficiaries of the school counselling programme and the programme services recipients’ satisfaction. Mixed methods approach was employed for the study and both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. One hundred and forty eight (148) schools from the Ohangwena region of Namibia were involved. The study participants were two hundred and eighty eight (288) learners, one hundred and forty two (142) principals, sixty eight (68) teacher-counsellors and five (5) parents. Questionnaire and interviews (in-depth individual one-on-one semi-structured interview and focus groups discussions) were used to gather data. Quantitative data were analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS), while qualitative data were analyzed by the use of themes and coding. The results revealed that participants endorsed all the three sets of objectives of school counselling programme, presented to them on the questionnaire, as representing those of the Namibian School Counselling Programme. Major services which the participants considered to characterize the Namibian School Counselling Programme include counselling, academic development, career planning, education and/or information dissemination, consultation and referral services. Teacher-counsellors, school principals, learners and parents were considered to be human resources for the programme which was said to have no clear or specific budget. Material resources in the forms of counselling books, job housebrochures, and some other information materials on career and health were indicated as available for the programme. However, teacher-counsellors have no counselling rooms to conduct individual counselling or therapy and that file cabinets (for the storage of learners’ cumulative records) and display boards (foreducation and career information) were only available in very few schools. Generally, participants positively perceived the counselling services provided by the Namibian School Counselling Programme as satisfactory.