History of Guidance and Counselling in Kenya

1)Formal guidance and Counselling in Kenyan schools was officially recognized in 1970. 

2)The Ministry of Education established a Guidance and Counselling unit, which was charged with the responsibility of dealing with educational and vocational guidance, and psychological counseling in schools. This initiative was, however, not well supported; hence, implementation did not occur as intended. Recommendations for guidance and counseling services in schools were later made in a government policy document.

3)The call for the establishment of guidance and counseling in Kenyan schools was renewed with more vigour in the 1980s and 1990s after the country witnessed the worst arson cases ever to be committed in the schools .Most notably, in 1999, 17 girls were killed and 70 others raped in a co-ed boarding school In March 2000, 26 girls were killed in an arson attack at the Bombolulu girls secondary school .In 2001, 67 boys were burnt to death in a boarding school by their colleagues as they were sleeping .These and many other incidents grabbed the attention of the government and all stakeholders in education. 

4) Following  the findings of the commission, Report of the Task Force on Student Discipline and Unrest in Secondary Schools, the government recommended that guidance and counseling programs be implemented in all schools (Republic of Kenya, 2001) Additionally, several other authors and organizations continued to make similar calls.

Report of the National Committee on Educational Objectives

a) The Report of the National Committee on Educational Objectives and Policies of 1976 (Republic of Kenya. 1976),  stated that guidance and Counselling be taught in subjects such as religious education and social education and ethics to promote the growth of self-discipline among students in schools. 

b)Despite these recommendations, guidance and Counselling services failed to meet the needs of students. Furthermore, the government did not show commitment in ensuring the policy was followed.

Significance of guidance and counselling in Kenya

1)In Kenya,the Ministry of Education recognizes guidance and counselling as an essential service that must be provided to every child in the school for personal, academic and career development.

2)In Kenya, the word ‘counselling’ is habitually used as a general term to refer to several activities in school conducted as guidance and counselling, including personal, academic and career development.

3) The expression ‘guidance and counselling’ or simply counselling is a term that has been used in common parlance, particularly in education and schools where the teacher or counsellor offers knowledge and information on careers, academic performance and therapy as well.