1.1 Background of the Study

Guidance and counselling are two closely interrelated concepts. According to Makinde (1984) and Patterson (1977) guidance refer to a broad area of all educational activities and services aimed at assisting individuals students to understand themselves and adjust to school life.

Mutie and Ndambuki (1999) defined it as a learning – oriented process which occurs in an interactive relationship with the aim of helping the clients to learn about themselves.

Guidance and counselling is therefore aimed at bringing about maximum development and self realization of human potential for the benefit of the individual and society. In schools, or any learning environment, the programme assists students in harmonizing their abilities understand values; also enable them to develop their full potential.

The development of guidance and counselling originated from Europe and the united states of America in 1900`s while in Africa it was in the commencement of modern guidance and counselling can be traced back to 1958 when catholic reverend sister in St. Theresa’s collage Ibadan, recognized the need to give adequate career or vacation guidance to the final year students, the Reverend sister was assisted by Mrs. Oruwarige specialist and the other interested and enlightened members, who made their marks to give career talks on their professions to the final year students. At the end of the exercise, the outcome was encouraging, this was how guidance and counselling started in Nigeria, and the movement continues to various institutions and schools etc.

Federal government appreciates the need for guidance and counselling services in our schools and reflected it on its National policy on Education (1981). This has helped to make all the state governments to establish guidance and counselling units in their ministries of Education, in addition to counselling units the university and other institution.

Suffice to say that although guidance and counselling is relatively new to the Nigerian Education scene. It is gradually making its impact and still involving.

It is also playing a great role in the implication of the ongoing 6-3-3-4 Education system. But, despite the implication of guidance and counselling in all the primary and post primary schools, it has been observed that the academic performance of our students, particularly in the public schools, seems to be declining, because of poor study habits among students. These necessitated the need to find out, if guidance and counselling can influence the academic performance of students in public secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria.

Verron, Adamson and Verron (1979), suggested that one of such variables that influence academic performance of students is their study habit. Usually students adopt various study habits but the strategic question is “how do these study habits relate to their academic performances”?
Effective study simply means the application of one’s mind to the acquisition of knowledge with in-depth and methodical thinking and reflection, attentive observation and careful detailed investigation.

Parents have the right to know how their children are doing in school. Truly one would expect their grades that can mean the difference between graduating and being left behind, between obtaining a well paid job and getting only a maximum wage. Again, many fresh entrants into the institutions of higher learning are posed with extensive reading tasks. While some may explore and acquire useful study techniques that would enable them cope appropriately with any given task, yet some others may device force and un-orthodox methods culminating in examination malpractices, to sorting etc, Therefore leaving the institution without acquiring any useful knowledge.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Poor academic performances among secondary school students, gives concern, this has a negative inflection on the various programmes. The main concern is the role of guidance and counselling in facilitating the academic performance of secondary school students. Little information is available on the extent to which guidance and counselling has been used to assist in raising the academic performance of secondary school students. The problem of this study therefore is to determine the influence of guidance and counselling on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of guidance and counselling on secondary school students in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, Specially, the objectives are to determine the influence of;

1. Guidance and counselling on students’ establishment and realistic academic goals.

2. Guidance and counselling on students’ study habits; and

3. Guidance and counselling on students’ academic performance in mathematics, English Language.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions were posed to guide on the study;

1. How does guidance and counselling influence students’ establishment of realistic academic goals?

2. To what extent does guidance and counselling influences students’ study habits?

3. How does guidance and counselling influence student’s academic performances in Mathematics, English studies and Basic science.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study:

1. H0: There is no significant influence of guidance and counselling on students’ study habit.

2. H0: There is no significant influence of guidance and counselling on Students establishments of realistic academic goals.

3. There is no significant influence on students’ academic performance based on the guidance and counselling

1.6 Significance of the Study

The finding of the study world shed light to educational stakeholders about the significance of guidance and counselling in upholding and promoting the academic performance of students. Some school Administrators in general would appreciate the importance of guidance performance among students and also encourage them to increase or put more effort for professionalism.

The students will also benefits from the study by improving on their academic performance that well justify the commitments of huge portion of the nation’s scare resources to secondary education and also have focus in life and achieve their aims and objectives in life. It will be also, useful to the classroom teachers and counsellors, to improve in his guidance and counselling services to the students.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study is delimited to investigate or determine the influence of guidance and counselling on the academic performance of student’s in public secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan, and also their study habits in Mathematics, English Studies and Basic Sciences. The study also delimited to the investigation of student’s utilization of guidances and counselling services, teacher consultation attitude etc.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

According to Best and Kahn (1998) limitation are conditions beyond the control of the research that may place restrictions on the conclusions of the study and their applications to other situations.The major limitation of the study was;

1. The study utilized responses from the students on how guidance and counselling influenced their academic performances, therefore, some of the students could have faked their responses.

1.9 Definition of Terms

1. Guidance and counselling: These terms are used in the study to refer to counselling activities in schools, organized by professional schools counsellors.

2. Establishment of Realistic Academic Goals: This is used in the study to refer to student’s ability to use the counselling services and plan academic programmes that would influence the student’s future aspirations.

3. Academic Performance: This is used in the study to refer the scores obtained by the student’s in achievement test on Mathematics, English Studies and basic Sciences.