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An Evaluation into Utilization of Guidance and Counseling Services by Students in Public Universities in South Sudan. A Study Carried Out In University of Juba and Upper Nile University

Author: 
Lydiah Ngira Rintaugu
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This paper explores level of uptake of guidance and counseling services in public universities in the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS). The study was hinged on the premise that G&C is recommended in education programmes in the South Sudan Curriculum Framework in RoSS. However, the few studied done in this area indicates low response to G&C in terms of availability of quality G&C programme, inadequate preparation of counselors in education settings and poor funding towards establishing, running and evaluating the programme. This study was identified a total of 53 respondents through use of purposive and probability sampling. Students were 50 but a total of 40 responded, giving a response rate of 81.13%. The 3 purposively sampled respondents were Deans of Students Affairs and one Deputy Dean who is also the students’ counselor. The study used semi-structured questionnaire which was issued and collected later in order to minimize contact with the respondents due to the risk of contracting Covid 19 sickness. All other Covid 19 prevention protocols were observed like social distancing when issuing and collecting the questionnaires, extensive use of masks and sanitizers, covering face when sneezing or coughing etc. Findings of this study indicate that despite the emphasis on G&C in schools by the South Sudan curriculum framework, the service has very low uptake owing to the fact that students have very scanty knowledge about the importance of G&C service. Some students know about G&C but do not trust the counselor in keeping their secrets. This is an ethical issue that indicates that university counselors are not trained to be ethical in handling school G&C. The main implications of the study are the need for more awareness raising about G&C in the university through forums like orientation programmes, establishing of mental health programme in the university, increased budget to finance G&C activities in the university, expanding the service to cover students, academic and non-academic staff and engage in exchange programme with universities in the region who have effective G&C. This research suggests that further studies can be carried out in the area of G&C but consider other variables like private universities, role of G&C in enhancing students’ healthy interaction in the university and how G&C and its role in improved mental health for better performance.

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