Counsellors’ Perception of Orientation Service as a Counselling Strategy for Enhancing Self-Esteem among Secondary School Students in Enugu State, Nigeria.

Ani, N.G.

Department of Guidance and Counselling Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT, Enugu Nigeria.


Secondary school students do  not  assert  themselves.  They  have  no  confidence  in themselves and they lack focus in whatever they do.  This  eventually  leads  to  low  self- esteem. By implication, the  victim  suffers  from  inferiority  complex  and  this  affects adversely his/her academic performance and interpersonal relationship  with his/her peers and significant others. The  problem  of  this  study  is  therefore,  put  in  a  question  form, “what are counsellors’ perceptions of orientation service as a strategy for enhancing self- esteem among secondary school students in Enugu State?”  One  research question  and  one null hypothesis guided the study and  was  tested  at.05  level  of  confidence.  Descriptive survey research design was adopted.  This  was  done  with  particular  reference  to  the location of the respondents. The population of the study was 105 Guidance Counsellors currently serving in  the  291  government owned secondary schools  in  Enugu State.  Out of 105 copies of questionnaire developed by the researcher and distributed, 96 copies were returned signifying 91.43%. The  96  copies  were  used  to  collect  the  data  for  the  study using self -structured questionnaire developed by the researcher  called  Counsellors Perception of Orientation Service Scale (CPO OSS).The instrument was face validated by experts.   Cronbach   Alpha   Reliability   estimate         was used to ascertain the internal consistency of the instrument.  Data  collected  for  this  study  was  analyzed  using  mean, grand  mean  and  standard  deviation,  to  answer  the  one  research   question.   The hypothesis  was  tested  using  t-test  statistic.   The   finding   showed   that   counsellors perceive orientation service as  a  strategy  for  enhancing  self-esteem  among  secondary school students in Enugu  State.  Thus,  no  significant  difference  was  found  between  the mean scores of male and female guidance counsellors’ perception on orientation service as a counselling  strategy  for  enhancing  self-esteem  among  secondary  school  students  in Enugu  State.  Based  on  the  findings,  a  recommendation  and  suggestions   for   further studies was made.

Keywords: Self-Esteem, Guidance Counsellors and Orientation Service


Orientation service is a service that  is used by a counsellor to make  provision for ne intakes in any set up. The students are given orientation on how to manage their affairs and excel in their new environment. Information of what to do and what not do are made available to them. Orientation service is given to students to enable them know school courses, rules, regulations, different facilities given to them by school [1]. On the same line school also keeps record of the students about their bio-data including identification, socio- economic background, capacities and abilities, interest for courses etc. These service gives scope to students to make them get familiar with the unfamiliar situation of the school. It is also meant to develop student’s abilities and scholarships, a sense of responsibility and integrity, abilities for citizenship, social and vocational skills etc. The service is such a service that develops relationship between school and students and vice versa and it is organized systematically in the beginning of the new sessions. The orientation service is  highly needed due to following reasons according to [2].

It assists new students to know the information’s about school, its  history and traditions, its rules and regulations, its strength and  weaknesses, facilities available for them etc. It helps students to adjust with school situations and enables students to develop academic standard, personal qualities, high moral values as well as ethical standards from  rich experiences of the school. It assists students to achieve success in academic life by learning to study carefully, developing interest in study, taking examinations and notes sincerely and utilizing time properly. It helps students to know the almost all useful information’s  regarding  physical plant, library, hostels, class-rooms, laboratories, workshops, gardens, play grounds, different teaching aids and other facilities. It assists students to provide remedial reading, language programme, projects and clubs and different financial help by schools.

Thus, orientation service is seen  as  a coping  strategy  utilized   through individual counselling or/and group counselling. It is grouped under the client-centered theory of Carl Rogers, (1967). The Student Counselling Services, (2013) stated that counselling services are provided in order to help students build their self-esteem and manage any difficulties they meet in the new environment they find themselves. For instance, if a client enters into  a relationship with a counsellor who sufficiently accepts the client to freely express his or her emotions and feelings. This will enable clients to perceive themselves as persons with the power and freedom to change.  Usually in the one to one counsellor’s relation, we stress  the issue of hard work and staying focused as well as desisting from evil association and a host of other vices while students seek support for a variety of situation, like anxiety, stress, sadness, depression and eating problems. [3], stated that guidance can be seen in three ways: as a tool, as an alternative or as an agent of change. Orientation service is one of the guidance services offered in schools. [3], held that orientation service is capable of,

  • acquainting secondary school students with the evil of low self-esteem upon arrival to school
  • creating awareness over the importance of higher self-esteem
  • getting  secondary school students to be willing to check stressful moments
  • encouraging students to eliminate fear in their lives
  • teaching students to crave for personal fulfillment in their academic
  • students’ rules and regulations concerning setting realistic goals should be made available to them on admission
  • organizing group  guidance periodically to enable counsellors identify secondary school students that are manifesting low self-esteem

A child’s self-esteem changes as he or she grows up, [4]. One of the signs of low self-esteem that parents, teachers and counsellors should look out for in secondary school students is withdrawal from others. This can become a source of anxiety for children with self-esteem problems. Such children are usually easily frustrated. They easily want to give up, make negative statements about themselves and could be pessimistic to an extent. They would not want to try out new things and are highly critical of themselves [4]. Some of these traits can easily be noticed by counsellors during orientation.

Resource persons are invited during orientation to take up career talks and teachings on other fields of interest. Such workshops engage students positively. The counsellors use questioning techniques to ensure student’s participation during counselling. The students’ mannerisms, verbal and non- verbal communications including their facial expressions are observed. Those who need special attention are also identified. The main talk for the day is expected to be delivered by a professional counsellor. Students who are in need of follow up are attended to at the end of the orientation activities. The duration of the follow up depends on the needs identified in such students. The study  sought  to look in-between these interactions to see how counsellors perceive orientation services for enhancing self-esteem among secondary school students in Enugu state. Apart from the above, the question begging for an answer is, “what then can be done to salvage these young  people and channel them towards the right direction in life? If truly children’s vulnerability  requires       adult’s intervention, protection and support and if one of those needs is the capacity to develop ‘self’; which group of adults can be entrusted with such responsibility? This topic however is simply directing the responsibility of guiding and counselling these young people out of the depleting state of vulnerability  they  find themselves to counsellors in schools as re-echoed in the Federal Government in her National Policy on Education. [5]. This exercise is restricted to secondary schools in Enugu State. The counsellors as it is, operate in schools which is the ‘gateway’, where almost every child is expected to pass through in order to become respectable citizens in the society. These schools are found in urban and rural environments. The counsellors in the schools are both males and females. By implication, the study is focused on counsellor gender. During orientation services which can be done either  in group or individual counselling) students would likely not want to go to their

opposite sex because of likely abuse ask questions make clients of  the  opposite sex not go to him/her for help. [6] observed that gender issues play a role in hindering delivery of the services to students to adjust in their academic endeavour with the hope of excelling. Their study found out that counsellors in schools handle more female than male clients. Possible explanations towards this have been offered: gender socialization processes where, from an early age, women are encouraged to seek help when they have problems while men are discouraged from it.

[7], opined that another possible  reason to this disparity has done with orientation services. A woman is likely to refer another woman to a counsellor during orientation service, but a man will not refer another man to a counsellor. [8], confirm that male students are more negative towards seeking for counselling than female ones. Most men think it is an indication of personal weakness if one seeks for psychological counselling. This does not mean however that male students experience fewer problems than females. Sometimes a female student may be afraid of having a session with a male counsellor because of rape or  fear  that the male counsellor she is coming to see is a serial rapist. Sometimes, a female counsellor can be a serial abuser too. In that case most students who  are supposed to go to her for a counselling session  avoids her. This is not helpful at all because of the consequences of their actions. Most of all those who perceive their professionals to be abusers may be wrong. The extent to which they must have dented the image of therapist can be very devastating just because of their negative perception about a person which is traceable to low self-esteem. It  is against this background that the researcher is propelled to ascertain counsellors’ perception of orientation service as a counselling strategy for enhancing self-esteem among secondary school students in Enugu State bearing in mind counsellors’ gender as a variable.

Discussion of the Findings

The research question sought to determine whether guidance counsellors’ perception of orientation service is a strategy for enhancing self-esteem among secondary school students in Enugu State. The result in Table 2 showed that orientation service is a counselling strategy for enhancing self-esteem among secondary school students in Enugu State. The finding is consistent  with  the findings of [3] who found that orientation service is a strategy used in schools to acquaint new arrivals of the evil of low self-esteem and the like. This findings agreed with those of [2] that found orientation service as a counselling strategy grouped under orientation theory which is a coping strategy. The findings is also not at variance with those from [4] whereby in guidance services, a guidance counsellor adopts orientation services as a strategy to help new students upon arrival. The foundation has discovered that adolescents’ self-esteem changes as he or she grows up.


Conclusively from the above analysis and interpretations done and the information from related literature, it implies that:

  1. Guidance Counsellors  perceive orientation service as a counselling strategy for enhancing self-esteem among secondary school students in Enugu
  2. There is no significant difference between the mean scores of female and male guidance counsellor’s perception on orientation service as a counselling strategy for enhancing self-esteem among secondary school students in Enugu State, Nigeria.

Educational Implication of the Findings

The findings of this study have far reaching implication for students because good orientation services enable students navigate through schools with the assurance of adding value to themselves through improvements in their academic performances. This will likely spur students up into becoming more focused. Being successful will become a priority resulting from a positive shift in students’ study habit. At the end of the day the findings could help place students on top of their circumstances by enhancing their self-esteem.


On the basis of the implication of the study, this recommendation was made:

  1. There should be general awareness exercise by the Ministry of Education


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Ani, N.G. (2023). Counsellors’ Perception of Orientation Service as a Counselling Strategy for Enhancing Self-Esteem among Secondary School Students in Enugu State, Nigeria. IDOSR JOURNAL OF BANKING, ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES 8(1): 1-8.