FUNCTIONS OF THE UNIT
Guidance and Counselling is a support service that is aimed at helping individuals discover and develop their educational, vocational and psychological potentials and thereby achieve an optimal level of personal happiness and social usefulness.
To achieve the above goal, the Unit performs the under listed functions within the Ghana Education Service:
- Planning, Coordinating and Supervising guidance services within the country.
- Training of school-based as well as Regional and District Guidance and Counselling Coordinators for effective guidance service delivery.
- Collaborating with relevant partners including parents to meet the psychosocial needs of pupils/students.
- Collaborating with Tertiary institutions with focus on psychology and education to prepare or develop tests and tools of assessment.
- Providing free consultancy to teachers, parents and general public on relevant psychological issues.
- Leading GES’ mandate to promoting safe, secure and supportive environment for learning under the “Safe School” Programme.
Ghana Education Service (GES) Policies Related to the Guidance and Counselling Unit (G&C)
The following are some GES policies related to the G&C Unit:
- Establishment of Guidance programme in second cycle institutions (see attachment section)
- Inclusion of guidance in 1981/82 Estimates (see attachments section)
- Introduction of Guidance into First Cycle Institutions of the GES (see attachments section)
- 2008 White paper on education reforms.
The Structure of the Guidance and Counselling Unit:
The Unit is headed by a Director II in the GES structure who reports to the Director-General through the Deputy Director-General, 10 Regional Coordinators, 216 District/Municipal/Metropolitan Coordinators as well as Coordinators for all Senior High and Basic Schools across the country.
Mission Statement of G and C Unit
The Mission of the Unit is to provide a comprehensive, preventive and developmental G&C programme which is vital in the achievement of excellence for all learners. Through guidance and counselling, all learners shall be provided the opportunity to develop their academic, social, personal and career competencies needed to prepare them for pre-tertiary and higher education, work and preparation as productive citizens and life-long learners.
Additional Mandate of the G&C Unit
Violence in schools such as corporal punishment, sexual harassment, verbal abuse and bullying has been implicated as major cause for some of the challenges related to enrolment, retention and
completion especially among girls and children with special needs. The cumulative effect is that interest in schooling and learning are negatively affected leading to negative consequence on intellectual abilities, self-discovery etc. In essence, the absence of a safe school environment is a disincentive on one hand for some parents to send their children to school and on the other hand for the children to attend school regularly and complete.
The Unit has therefore been charged with the responsibility of promoting a safe and non-threatening learning environment for all children in schools.
RECENT PROGRAMMES ORGANIZED
- National consultative meeting for the validation of Safe School Resource Pack
- Technical Working Group meeting on the development of an Implementation Plan for Safe School Resource Pack
- Consultation and Validation meeting on the developed Implementation Plan
- Monitoring the delivery of G&C services in selected districts of the Central Region
- The Unit was supported by UNICEF to develop Guidance and Counselling Policy Implementation Guidelines to provide structure and directions for the delivery of G&C services.
- Again, a handbook on Guidance and Counselling for Basic School Teachers has been developed with the objective of helping all basic school teachers acquire skill of integrating guidance philosophy and practices through curriculum offerings thereby adopting a proactive and preventive approach.
- Development of Positive Discipline Toolkit- Supported by UNICEF Ghana to provide Teachers with non-violent alternatives to correcting learners in schools.
- Development of a 5-year Strategy for the implementation of pre-tertiary G&C- Supported by Camfed Ghana. It will serve as a framework to guide the delivery of guidance and counselling in Ghanaian schools from 2018-2022.
- Development of Safe School Resource Package (Teachers’ Handbook, Training Manual and Peer-to-peer manual for children) – Supported By UNICEF Ghana. It seeks to prevent violence (e.g. corporal punishment, sexual abuse and bullying) in all schools.
- Developing Teacher Mentor Manual. The Teacher Mentor Training will serve as the main curriculum that guides the delivery of a holistic training for Guidance and Counselling Coordinators/Teacher Mentors on guidance and counselling services in pre-tertiary schools in Ghana.
- The Unit currently is working with COTVET to develop a Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) and Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) Career Guidance and Counselling Manual to provide valid, relevant and up-to-date information to students at the Basic level.