An Assessment of Students' Attitudes Towards Peer Counsellors in Student Discipline in Secondary Schools in Kisumu Municipality, Kenya

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  Journal of Education and Practice   ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!! (#nline   $ol.5% No.22% 2&1'  An Assessment of Students' Attitudes towards Peer Counsellors in Student Discipline in Secondary Schools in Kisumu Municipality, Kenya )ert*er +ute ,epartent of Educational dinistration and /anageent 0ongo niersit 4ollege% P.#. )o 1&3 - '&'&'% 0ongo% +ena E-ail6  ert*er.8ute9a*  Abstract :*e attitude of t*e counselee towards t*e counsellor is crucial factor in deterining t*e results of t*e counselling  process. dolescents are readil guided and influenced  one w*o understands t*e% listens to t*e and is of t*eir status. :*is paper eaines t*e attitude of students on t*e role of peer counsellors in anaging student discipline ased on a stud of pulic secondar sc*ools in +isuu /unicipalit. 4ross-sectional sure design was used in t*e stud. :*e stud population consisted of 2! *ead teac*ers% 2! *eads of guidance and counselling departent% 532 peer counsellors and 3%25& students in 2! pulic secondar sc*ools. Stratified rando sapling was used to select 1& *ead teac*ers% 1& ;eads of ,epartent of <uidance and 4ounselling% 11& peer counsellors and 3&& for two and t*ree students. =uestionnaire and interiew guide were used to collect data. =uestionnaires were adinistered to *eads of guidance and counselling and students w*ile *ead teac*ers were interiewed% face to face. 0esearc* instruents were piloted in t*ree secondar sc*ools to deterine t*eir reliailit and alidit. ,escriptie statistics in t*e for of fre>uencies and percentages were used to anal?e t*e >uantitatie data generated  >uestionnaires w*ile >ualitatie data fro interiews were transcried and organi?ed into t*ees% categories and sucategories as t*e eerged during t*e stud. :*e stud estalis*ed t*at students alued peer counsellors and *ad a positie attitude towards t*e. It was t*us recoended t*at t*at all  peer counsellors e trained to effectiel% efficientl and et*icall *andle counselling issues t*at students consult t*e aout. :*e findings of t*is stud a *elp teac*ers and education sta8e*olders to appreciate t*e role  plaed  peer counsellors in anaging student discipline and engage t*e ore often. Keywords: Students% ttitudes% Peer 4ounsellors% Student ,iscipline% Secondar Sc*ools% +isuu /unicipalit% +ena  1   !ntroduction ccording to t*e Education ct (1@!&% sc*ools *ead teac*ers and )oards of <oernors ()#< aintain and enforce discipline in sc*ools on e*alf of Education Secretar% /inistr of Education (/#E. :*e Education ct and  /anual for ;eads of Secondar Sc*ools in +ena (0epulic of +ena% 1@!7 spell out et*ods of anaging student discipline in sc*ools% w*ic* s*ould e applied consistentl and fairl. Sc*ools rules for an iportant ac8drop against w*ic* ad*erence to sc*ool epectations are easured. :*e teac*er on dut is to oersee inor punis*ents assigned w*ile t*e *ead teac*er deals wit* aAor offences t*at would warrant suspension and epulsion. Prefects also pla an iportant role in assisting t*e staff in t*e general discipline of t*e sc*ool. Soe goernent reports (0epulic of +ena% 2&&&% 2&&1 *ae reealed t*at soe sc*ools *ae poor prefecture sste w*ere prefects are not well guided and supported  teac*ersB furt*erore% t*e *ae ecessie powers and priileges. In ost institutions% prefects are appointed wit*out inoling students in t*e process. #tieno (2&&' reiterates t*at w*en responsiilities are delegated to prefects w*ere proper guidance and counselling is not done% t*e get confused% stressed and deorali?ed w*ile t*e students get upset. ,espite t*e easures put in  place% cases of student indiscipline and unrest *ae increased in secondar sc*ools in +ena oer t*e ears. :o cur student indiscipline in sc*ools% seeral recoendations and regulations *ae een outlined. In legal  Notice '& of 1@72% corporal punis*ent was legali?ed in sc*ools to c*ec8 t*e wae of increased student unrest in sc*ools. :*e <ac*at*i 0eport (0epulic of +ena% 1@7 oseres t*at educational sste in +ena *ad failed to address t*e issue of student discipline and recoended t*e introduction of 0eligious and Social Education and Et*ics into t*e curriculu to *elp students deelop positie attitude. :*e report% *oweer% did not eplain *ow students would e actiel inoled to *elp in t*e anageent of t*eir affairs so as to iproe discipline. :*e National 1@73-1@!3 ,eelopent Plan underscored t*e iportance% of aong ot*er t*ings% t*e deelopent of peer education and counselling clus. :*is was ep*asi?ed  a report on Presidential wor8ing Part on Education% /anpower :raining for t*e Net ,ecade and )eond (0epulic of +ena% 1@!!. It also recoended t*at Social Education and Et*ics e taug*t at all leels of education% to foster positie alues% social oligations and responsiilit. )ot* reports did not *ig*lig*t t*e role of peer counsellors in iproing student discipline in pulic secondar sc*ools. :*e +oec* 0eport (0epulic of +ena% 1@@@a also epressed  Journal of Education and Practice   ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!! (#nline   $ol.5% No.22% 2&1' 7 concern aout increased cases of iolence in sc*ools. It noted t*at +enan educational sste *ad failed to  produce sociall responsile citi?ens.  anageent guide for sc*ools% (0epulic of +ena% 1@@@ stressed t*at <uidance and 4ounselling departents in sc*ools s*ould e used to sensiti?e students on t*e dangers of pre arital se% drugs% undesirale e*aiour and isconduct. ;oweer% t*ese reports failed to *ig*lig*t specific actiities t*at peer counsellors could inole in en*ancing discipline in secondar sc*ools. :*e National 1@73-1@!3 ,eelopent Plan underscored t*e iportance of estalis*ing peer education was launc*ed in 1@@@ in Neri ;ig* Sc*ool. Students went on rapage% attac8ing and setting prefectsC cuical on fire as t*e students were asleep. :*is was an effort eant to *elp t*e students oercoe *t traua and settle ac8 in t*e sc*ool after t*e stri8e (0epulic of +ena% 2&&1. ;oweer% een during t*is period% peer counsellors were not incorporated in t*e counselling process. 0eport of t*e :as8 Dorce on Student ,iscipline nrest in Secondar Sc*ools (0epulic of +ena% 2&&1a recoended t*at guidance and counselling e estalis*ed and strengt*ened to c*ec8 increased cases of student indiscipline in sc*ools. :*e report noted t*at t*e departent of guidance and counselling *ad to e full functional in sc*ools to e of *elp to students. ;oweer% t*e report did not specif actiities t*at peer counsellors needed to e inoled in to ac*iee t*at goal. :*is stud set to identif specific actiities of peer counsellors and *ow t*e en*ance student discipline in secondar sc*ools. 1.1 Students Attitude towards Peer Counsellors in Public Secondary Schools :*e attitude of t*e counselee towards t*e counsellor is crucial factor in deterining t*e results of t*e counselling  process (0epulic of +ena% 2&&'. dolescents are readil guided and influenced  one w*o understands t*e% listens to t*e and is of t*eir status (/utie  Ndau8i% 1@@@. /uteei (2&& oseres t*at in sc*ool% students prefer to s*are t*eir concerns wit* peer counsellors rat*er t*an general friends. Students find counsellors *elpful in tal8ing aout peer pressure% drugs and teenage pregnanc as opposed to friends w*o t*e do not trust. Soe of t*e findings of t*e stud  /uteei (2&& agree wit* findings of a stud  Per*a and :insel (1@!5% w*ic* set to find out student preferences on teac*er and peer counsellors. :*e reported t*at students  prefer to see8 assistance for a peer counsellor rat*er t*an fro teac*er counsellors. :*e respondents stated t*at  peer counsellors were of t*eir age% eperience and could confide in t*e. :*e respondents also reported t*at peer counsellors were easil accessile and were free to tal8 wit* t*e an tie as opposed to teac*er counsellors wit* w*o t*e *ad to arrange specific eeting tie% and also found it difficult to confide in. :*e stud was carried out aong 1& t*  grade *ig* sc*ool students w*o were selected t*roug* rando sapling Self dinistered =uestionnaires gien to students were used  ot* researc*ers. :*e Dindings of Per*a and :insel agree wit* t*ose fro a stud  <itonga (1@@@. ;e inestigated factors t*at influence effectieness of guidance and counselling serices in secondar sc*ools in /eru 4entral. nli8e Per*a and :insel w*o randol sapled students fro one grade% <itonga selected *is respondents t*roug* stratified rando sapling fro arious classes as was done in t*e present stud. ;e inestigated t*e perception of students on guidance and counselling and concluded t*at guidance and counselling teac*ers *ad little ipact on students in secondar sc*ools copared to peer counsellors ecause students *ad poor relations*ip wit* t*e teac*ers. :*e preferred to confide in t*eir peer counsellors ore fre>uentl t*an teac*er counsellors. /igiro (1@@ on *is part *as carried out a stud to assess t*e leel of studentsC awareness and preferences of counselling resources and attitudes towards see8ing *elp. ;e used self adinistered >uestionnaires aong randol selected respondents. ;e reports t*at ost students prefer peer counsellors and participated in indiidual counselling ore fre>uentl. F*ile /igiroCs focus was on t*e studentsC awareness and counselling see8ing preferences% t*e stud differed wit* t*e present stud ecause t*e focus on t*e present stud is t*e role of peer counsellors as iewed  students and teac*ers. 1.2 Statement of the Problem Seent per cent of students in secondar sc*ools in t*e +isuu /unicipalit coe fro slus w*ere t*ere is eas access to illicit drin8s and drugs% poert leels and prealence of ;I$GI,S were *ig* and 35H are orp*ans (0epulic of +ena% 2&&2 - 2&&!. :*is a8es students ulnerale% increasing t*e need of counselling in sc*ools (0epulic of +ena% 2&&3. senteeis and truanc accounted for 2&H of cases of indiscipline in da secondar sc*ools. #t*er prealent indiscipline issues included rudeness% fig*ts% incoplete assignents% lateness to sc*ool and irresponsile seual e*aiour% wit* ! percent feale students dropping out of sc*ool due to earl pregnanc earl (,istrict Education #ffice% 2&&5.  stud  #tieno (2&&5 *as furt*er s*own t*at secondar students w*o aused drugs in +isuu /unicipalit *ad increased fro 23H in 2&&1 to 37.1H in 2&&5. :en per cent too8 alco*ol ore t*an t*ree ties a wee8% 1H so8ed cigarettes and 1'H *ang ore t*an t*ree ties a wee8. :*e results of sure conducted  t*e ,istrict Education #ffice% +isuu% in 2&&! indicated t*at all secondar sc*ools wit*in +isuu /unicipalit *ae <uidance and 4ounselling ,epartent% supported  Peer Education and 4ounselling 4lus to *elp iproe student discipline. :*erefore% it was necessar to inestigate t*e role of peer counsellors in en*ancing anageent of student discipline in pulic secondar sc*ools in +isuu /unicipalit.  Journal of Education and Practice   ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!! (#nline   $ol.5% No.22% 2&1' ! 1.3 Limitations of the Study Soe >uestionnaires were not returned alt*oug* t*e return rate was @7.H% w*ic* t*e stud considered reasonale. Dew of t*e ites in t*e student >uestionnaires were also not answered. :*roug* triangulation  ot*er sources of inforation% it was possile to get ade>uate data.    Materials and Methods :*e stud was carried out in +isuu /unicipalit using a >ualitatie design. :*is design was suitale for t*e stud as it eplos response fro a saple drawn fro a pre-deterined population consisting of teac*ers and students fro different classes. It was preferred oer ot*ers as it would enale t*e aut*or to collect data wit*in a s*ort tie and data collection procedure is eas and fast wit* *ig* response rate (Draen8el  Fallen% 2&&&. :*e stud population consisted of 2! *ead teac*ers% 2! *eads of departents of guidance and counselling% 532  peer counsellors and 3%25& students in for two and t*ree in pulic secondar sc*ools wit*in t*e unicipalit as indicated  t*e ,epartent of Statistics% +isuu ,istrict. :*irt-si per cent of pulic secondar sc*ools in t*e /unicipalit were used in t*e stud. :*e sc*ools were stratified ased on gender% t*at is% single-se (osC and girlsC sc*ools and ied sc*ools. :*is gae a fair representation of t*e sc*ool etween t*e single se and ied sc*ools. Dor t*e stud% >uestionnaires and interiew guides were used to collect data. :*e data collected using >uestionnaires were anal?ed using descriptie statistics. =uantitatie data fro >uestionnaires were tallied and conerted to percentages. =ualitatie data gat*ered fro interiews were transcried and organi?ed into t*ees% categories and su-categories as t*e eerged during t*e stud. Soe of t*e responses gat*ered during t*e interiew were reported as direct >uotes. #   $esults ,uring t*e interiews% 1&&H of *ead teac*ers noted t*at students appreciated t*e role of peer counsellors in t*eir sc*ools. :*e noted t*at t*e students agreed t*at peer counsellors contriution to discipline was rear8ale. :en  percent of t*e *ead teac*ers osered t*at t*oug* peer counselling clu was oung% onl two ear old in t*eir sc*ool% students loo8ed up to t*e peer counsellors wit* a lot of appreciation. ;oweer% 2&H of *ead teac*ers osered t*at soe students were reluctant to confide in peer counsellors for *elp. F*en as8ed w*et*er t*e would approac* a peer counsellor w*en faced wit* a prole% t*e responses were as follows6 '3H strongl agreed% 2H agreed% 11H were undecided% 1&H disagreed w*ile anot*er 1&H strongl disagreed. It is iportant to note t*at & students out of 3&& students indicated t*at t*e would not approac* a peer counsellor first w*en faced wit* a prole. :*is could *ae coe up fro t*e fact t*at soe of  peer counsellors were appointed  teac*ers and prefects. It is possile t*at students loo8ed at peer counsellors as an etension of t*e teac*ers aut*orit students appeared to *ae trust and *ad confidence in peer counsellors. :*e peer counsellors were also as8ed to assess t*e attitude students *ad towards t*e. :*e responded as follows6 '3H indicated er good% 1H indicated good% 3H indicated poor w*ile anot*er 3H indicated er poor. Suc* responses s*owed t*at students *ad a positie attitude towards peer counsellors. 0esponses fro t*e *eads of departent of guidance of counselling on students attitudes towards peer counsellors indicated a positie response as follows6 2H indicated t*at it was er friendl% 7H indicated t*at it was friendl% w*ile 1&H indicated t*at it was not friendl. Dro t*e responses% it was concluded t*at students related well wit* peer counsellors. :*e students were also as8ed to ealuate t*eir attitude towards peer counsellors. :*eir responses were presented in :ale 1. :ale 16 Students 0esponse on ttitudes toward Peer 4ounsellors (n3&& %re&uencies and Percentaes Statement SA A ( D SD Peer counsellors actiities s*ould e organi?ed ore fre>uentl 22'(7'.H &(2&H 2(&.H 2(&.H 12('H Students wis* to *ae ore longer sessions wit* peer counsellors 11!(3@.33H 1'('!.7H 21(7H 7(2.3H !(2.7H /ost students do not understand t*e role of  peer counsellors 5'(1!H 1&2(3'H 3&(1&H &(2&H 5'(1!H Peer counsellors s*ould e ore confidential wit* students 217(72.H (22H (2H 2(&.H 11.@(2.7H Peer counsellors s*ould e trained etter 2'!(2.7H 3!(12.7H !(2.7H 3(1H 3(1H  Nuer of peer counsellors s*ould e increased 5&(1.7H '7(15.7H 11(3.7H @2(3&.33H 1&1(33.7H Peer counsellors are *ast and ipatient '@(1.33H 2(2&.7H '&(13.33H 5'(1!H @5(31.7H Peer counsellors are iased '7(15.7H 1(2&.33H '&(13.33H 52(17.33H 1&&(33.33H Peer counsellors *ae *elped iproe student discipline in  sc*ool 112(37.33H 11(3!.7H 17(5.7H 2@(@.7H 2(!.7H Dro :ale 1% t*e students epressed t*eir attitudes and gae suggestions on *ow peer counsellors could  Journal of Education and Practice   ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!! (#nline   $ol.5% No.22% 2&1' @ organi?e t*eir actiities to a8e t*e ore effectie. Dor instance% 3@.33H strongl agreed and anot*er '!.7H agreed t*at peer counsellors s*ould organi?e t*eir actiities ore fre>uentl and wit* longer sessions. :*is could  e due to t*e fact t*at in seen out of ten sc*ools t*e peer counselling sessions fell at a tie w*en ot*er clus also *ad t*eir eetings. :*erefore t*e students *ad liited tie to oe fro t*e ot*er clus and attend t*e counselling sessions. :*e also responded t*at t*e nuer of peer counsellors s*ould e increased and t*e s*ould also e trained furt*er. not*er @5.33H of students noted t*at peer counsellors s*ould osere confidentialit. Dro t*e response% it was apparent t*at students alued t*e leel to w*ic* t*eir issues are treated wit* confidentialit. :*is could *ae een due to t*eir stage of deelopent% adolescence. In t*is stage% t*e adolescents are er particular aout t*eir self iage w*ic* ipacts greatl on t*eir self estee. s noted  /uteei (2&&% ost of t*e students alued confidentialit due to t*e fact t*at t*e did not wis* to e seen to e *aing issues or proles to sort out. :*is ade t*e see incapale of soling t*eir own proles or not in full control of t*eir situations. F*ile 5&.7H of students appreciated t*at t*e peer counsellors were not iased in *andling cases anot*er 3H osered t*at t*e were iased. :*e response on ias counicated  ore t*an a t*ird of t*e students cannot  e oerloo8ed. It was proale t*at liited tie aailale for counselling sessions ade soe students feel not well attended to. It was also possile t*at t*e students w*o *ad not *ad group 4ounselling sessions onl felt t*at t*ose w*o *ad indiidual counselling got preferential treatent. It was also noted in t*e stud t*at 7'H of peer counsellors reported unresoled cases to prefects and *eads of departent of guidance and counselling. It was apparent t*at in suc* a case soe of t*e peer counsellors gae t*eir reports *ardl protecting t*e identit of t*eir clients. ,uring t*e stud% it eerged t*at 31 peer counsellors *ad not receied an foral training and out of t*e 7@ t*at are trained% 11 were trained  t*eir colleagues. It is  possile lac8 of uniforit in t*e training process accounted lac8 of confidentialit of t*e students and poor *andling and client structuring of referrals to *eads of departents of guidance counselling in t*eir sc*ools. not*er 37H of students also noted t*at peer counsellors were *ast and ipatient. 4ounselling process deands ade>uate tie to e ale to understand t*e proles of t*e counselee% t*at *astiness can cause *ar to t*e process. ;oweer% lac8 of ade>uate tie could *ae coe fro t*e fact t*at t*ere was onl a general tie clearl assigned to peer counsellors to do counselling for all t*ose w*o needed t*eir *elp. :*is eant t*at peer counsellors *ad to fit t*eir indiidual counselling sessions wit*in t*e s*ort tie proided for in t*e sc*ool  progra to conduct counselling for t*e w*ole student counit. :*is would *ae ade students feel t*at t*e *ad een *urriedl attended to. ;oweer% on t*e w*ole% a good nuer t*at is 7H indicated t*at peer counsellors *ad *elped to iproe student discipline in secondar sc*ools. )   Discussion 0esponses fro teac*ers and students s*owed t*at students *ad good relations*ip wit* t*e peer counsellors% *ence a positie attitude. :*is relations*ip could e eplained  t*e fact t*at students saw peer counsellors as t*eir conteporar *ence t*e *ad t*e ailit to relate wit* t*e well% a finding t*at was also supported  #nango (2&&' in *is stud. It was also indicatie of t*e fact t*at peer counsellors ade an effort to wor8 wit* students  deeloping a dependale relations*ip of counsellor-counselee well *ence a friendl relations*ip. :*e responses fro t*e students confired t*e opinion of ost peer counsellors during t*e stud t*at t*e related well wit* students. :*e findings of t*e stud were confired  t*e t*eor eploed in t*is stud t*at adolescents find it easier to confide and s*are t*eir issues wit* peers ecause t*e see8 to identif wit* peers t*an ot*er people in t*eir social circle. :*e response  ost students t*at t*e would see a peer counsellor first if t*e *ad an issue in itself s*owed *ow t*e students *eld t*eir peer counsellors in *ig* estee and regarded t*e *ig*l. Dollowing t*e t*eoretical asis of t*e stud% it eerges t*at t*e idea of role identit wit* peers  plaed a ital role in influencing students attitude on peer counsellors. ;oweer% according to t*e findings of t*e stud% it was clear t*at in case peer counsellors were offered ore training opportunities t*en students would *ae ore fait* in t*e *ence iproe discipline. :*e few identified issues t*at could *ae led to isgiings on students part suc* confidentialit could easil e soled  suc* training. *   Conclusion and $ecommendations Students alued peer counsellors% appreciated t*eir actiities. :*is is s*own  t*e fact t*at ost students consulted peer counsellors w*en in need of *elp students also felt t*at peer counsellors s*ould e encouraged and trained to perfor etter. :*e /inistr of Education s*ould deelop and proide releant ipleentation docuent and tools to enale sc*ools create a unifor guide *ence efficient counselling serice delier t*roug*  peer counsellors. $eferences Draen8el% 0.J.  Fallen% E.N. (2&&&.  How to Design and Evalaute Research in Education.  (' t*  ed.. )oston6
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