14 June 2018

Nigeria: 'Counseling, Key to Achieving Optimal Performance, National Development'

A Professor of Counselling Psychology, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Olayinka Salami has identified counselling as necessary ingredient for human and national development.

Salami who stated this while delivering the 430th inaugural lecture of the of the faculty of education said given the socio-economic, political, emotional and vocational problems facing people in the country, Nigeria and frankly, counselling is key to individuals' optimal performance and national development.

In the lecture titled, "A counselling psychologist's reconstruction journey: The call for relevance," Prof Salami noted that in many countries of the world, various circumstances have led to the establishment of Guidance and Counselling in their educational system.

"For example, the fear that Russia was ahead in space science and technology prompted the establishment of guidance and counselling in the United States, while in Nigeria, in the 1981 National Policy on Education (NPE) the Federal Government noted that in view of the apparent ignorance of many young people about career prospects, as well as personality maladjustment among school children, career officers and counselors should be appointed in post-primary

Institutions, while guidance and counselling would also feature in teacher education programmes".

Prof. Samuel Salami argued that with the general unemployment situation in the country and its attendant problems, youths must be encouraged and counselled to go into entrepreneurial studies to enable them create jobs and demonstrate innovation and creativity.

The university teacher subsequently tasked policy makers to regard guidance and Counselling as an integral part of the educational system.

Besides, Prof Salami advocated the employment of qualified counselors on full-time basis to take up guidance and counselling duties while adequate budgetary provision should be made for them to cater for their needs and also attend relevant training programmes.

Prof. Salami also tasked the government and stakeholders in the sector to

develop more positive attitude towards counselling, instead of the present negative and lukewarm disposition.

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