History of Guidance and Counselling in Zambia
1)Counselling was formally offered in the Ministry of Health to patients, especially In mental disorders, psychiatric and psychological services. However, educationally, it was until the 1992 ‘Focus on Learning’ educational policies that guidance and counselling began to be recognized in the Zambian education system.
2)Guidance programmes for secondary and primary school students are designed to address the physical, emotional, social, vocational and academic difficulties of adolescent students. This is to complement learning in the classroom and also enhance the academic achievements of students.
3) Counselling in Zambia in different forms and with different interpretations, has existed in societies for a long time before the colonial era.
4) In Zambia people in all traditional societies, and at all times, have experienced emotional or psychological distress and behavioural problems. Young people needed to be guided into the occupations of traditional societies that met the expected needs and goals of society.
5)From the scholarly work of Snelson (1978), guidance and counselling were traditionally provided to young people during social and moral orientation, apprenticeship training and initiation ceremonies in Zambia.
6)Since the establishment of the NAGCAZ, guidance and counselling have been developed into a profession in Zambia in which vocational programmes have been introduced in tertiary institutions to train professional counsellors.
7)Zambia has made tremendous advances in the last two decades. There is still room for the development of the profession. In particular, the performance, progression and career choices for learners with special educational needs (LSEN) still seem to leave much to be desired.
Key points to be noted
1)One of the studies concluded that the status of guidance and counselling in primary schools in Lilanda Zone was generally low going on the limited support it received from stakeholders and the challenges faced by teachers providing it.
2)The study recommended that school authorities should provide appropriate and adequate infrastructure and materials for use by guidance and counselling teachers.
3) Ministry of General Education should deploy trained full-time guidance and counselling teachers in all primary schools.
4)The Ministry of General Education should ensure that all teachers not trained in guidance and counselling but performing these functions are appropriately trained.
5)The Ministry should come up with a policy that would ensure that guidance and counselling services are provided in all primary schools in the country.