Counselling is a field notable for its diversity and dynamism. It is influenced
by diverse political, economic and social forces within the society. As a
result, tremendous expansion has been witnessed in the field of counselling’s
vision, mission and values with reference to the promotion of good health,
family dynamics, career assessment, school adjustments, developmental tasks,
ethical standards and research training.
One of the major tasks
of school counsellor is to educate and assist students in their overall
development. In this 21st century,
the job of helping students to achieve success in school and become more
productive members of the society becomes challenging. According to Gysbers,
Lapan and Blair (1999), today’s youth must confront a rapidly changing work
world and labour force, violence in the home, school and community, divorce,
teenage suicide, substance abuse, and sexual experimentation. School
counsellors occupy an important position within the school system to assist
students cope with these crucial issues and the normal developmental tasks
adolescent face in life.
There is no doubt that
the degree of job satisfaction of a worker has significant effect on his/her
search for alternatives or otherwise. The counsellors expect to get their
salaries and other benefits as at when due, at least to satisfy their
physiological needs. This may influence their decisions to be committed to work
or not, and contribute towards the attainment of organizational goals. Hence,
non-recognition of counsellors for excellent work done, lack of opportunities
for advancement through promotion, irregular salaries and absence of in-service
training among others, tend to have significant influence on the degree of job
satisfaction and commitment of counsellors to schools/their clients.
The role of counsellors
in the school system cannot be overemphasized. They provide assistance to
students through the primary interventions of counselling large group guidance,
consultations and co-ordination (American School Counsellor Association (ASCA),
1999). Although each is a vital component of the comprehensive guidance
programme, research has shown that more effective programmes focus on providing
direct services to students in the form of individual or group counselling
(Borders & Drury, 1992).
The demand for school
counsellors would continue to be on the increase in the face of increasing
school enrolments in Nigeria, especially with the introduction of the Universal
Basic Education. It is in realization of this that the Federal Government of
Nigeria devoted much time to the planning and implementation of guidance and
counselling programme in secondary schools. The Federal Government of Nigeria
in her National Policy on Education (2004) indicates that in view of the
apparent ignorance of many young people about career prospects and personality
maladjustment among school children, career officers and counsellors shall be
appointed to post primary institutions. Since qualified personnel in this
category are scarce, government shall continue to make provision for the
training of interested teachers in guidance and counselling. The thrust of this
policy is that government believes that guidance and counselling is an
educational service that can enhance the personal growth and psychological
development of students in the school system.
For counsellors to be
able to provide this crucial educational service to the students, they have to
be interested and willing to contribute meaningfully to the students’ personal
growth and psychological development. Therefore, the study of job satisfaction
among counsellors is very crucial to the improvement of productivity among
school counsellors in a developing country like Nigeria. For members of an
organization to discharge their duties effectively, they must be satisfied with
their jobs that will bring about their commitment. Job satisfaction describes
how content an individual is with his or her job. It is a pleasurable emotional
state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job. There are a number of factors
that can influence a person’s level of job satisfaction, some of these factors
include the level of pay and benefits the perceived fairness of the promotion
in an organization, recognition, favourable working conditions and the job
itself. The need to cater for the working conditions of school counsellors and
ensure their job satisfaction in the school system becomes imperative if they
are to carry out their responsibilities to the admiration of all. If they are
unable to achieve their goal as counsellors, they experience feelings of
inadequacy and unhappiness that may make them vulnerable to stress and job
Today, one complex
problem facing the schools and school counsellors is the issue of school
violence as manifested in cultism in schools. Increasing incident of bullying
behaviour and emotional abuse of students. School violence has become so
alarming that many youths have either been killed or maimed for life. As school
administrators struggle with ways to prevent acts of violence from occurring
within their schools, they increasingly turn to school counsellors for
leadership and help with establishing policies regarding safety (Fryxwell &
Smith, 2000). Indeed, school counsellors are seen as agents of change and
prevention. So, as they strive for innovative ways to help curb school
violence, they may become frustrated as additional responsibilities are placed
upon them. When counsellors are expected to perform roles and functions without
feeling they have necessary skills, serve too many students, or be involved in
other ancillary duties that detract from their primary duties, job
dissatisfaction may result (DeMato, 2001). Job dissatisfaction is caused by
deficit in the extrinsic ‘hygiene’ dimensions of a job, such as salary, job
security and working conditions. Job dissatisfaction promotes stress, fatigue
and frustration in an organization that result in low productivity. It is
against this background that this study of job satisfaction among counsellors
in the school system is undertaken as counsellors have always been agents of
change that are called upon to help students deal with a plethora of problems
and issues that are vital to the mission and vision of educational enterprise.
Thus, frustration and dissatisfaction may result when counsellors are blocked
from implementing new school counselling programmes or carrying out what they
were trained to do.
Statement of the Problem
A number of factors contribute to the job satisfaction of workers in any
organisation. These include the nature of job and achievement, recognition,
responsibility and advancement, status and security. These factors are also
applicable to the counsellors in the school system. The level of job
satisfaction contributes to how effective an individual performs his or her
job. (Bacharach, Bamberger & Mitchel, 1990; Spector 1997). Researches
(i.e. Coll & Freeman, 1997; Cucharme & Martin, 2000) has also indicated
that job satisfaction influence the emotional and physical well-being of an
individual. Conversely, job dissatisfaction is associated with stress and
burnout (Kesler, 1990; Burke & Greenglass, 1991; Martin & Schinke,
Today, the world is in dire need of development in science and technology
through education. Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the scheme of
things in which secondary education will play a key role. The counsellors in
the school system need to be satisfied if they are to play their expected role.
Therefore, the implication is that without improving the working conditions of
counsellors and making them satisfied, the probable result is that very few of
the educational aims can be properly achieved.
The role of school counsellors in the educational process has been a matter of
public interest. It is in recognition of this vital service in the educational
enterprise that the government has embarked on the training and retraining of
school counsellors through seminars, conferences, workshop and in-service
courses. School counsellors serve dual purposes by engaging in other ancillary
functions, including teaching of different subjects in addition to their
primary functions of counselling students. At times, there are cases of
counsellors being assigned as full-time teachers to the classroom thereby
relegating to the background their professional responsibilities. The
implication is that the demands of the office of a school counsellor within the
educational structure create strain and stress, which have given rise to the
question as to whether secondary school counsellors experience job satisfaction.
A number of problems face Nigeria’s educational system, which tend to have
negative effects on the degree of counsellors job satisfaction. These include:
current pressure from working with more challenging students and needs,
increased administrative and managerial tasks, time constraint, shortage of
funds, increased counsellor-student ratios, and inadequate facilities. But the
impact of all these on the counsellors’ job satisfaction has not been
systematically investigated in Nigeria.
The study of job satisfaction among teachers has been widely researched (e.g.
Nwagwu, 1981; Arubayi; 1981, Okoro, 1988), the studies have indicated that
majority of teachers are satisfied with their jobs. However, little is known
about job satisfaction of school counsellors (e.g. Eddy 1960; Miler &
Muthard 1965; Alao, Olaniyi & Kobiowu, 1989 and Demato, 2001; Demato and
Curcco, 2004). To this extent, it becomes imperative to investigate job
satisfaction among school counsellors in secondary schools in Edo and Delta
States of Nigeria.
In an effort to address the problem of study, the following research questions
is the level of job satisfaction expressed by secondary school counsellors in
Edo and Delta States?
of the following dimensions of the counselor’s job: (promotion, job tenure,
salary, social support and supervision contribute to job satisfaction of school
there any difference in job satisfaction between male and female counsellors?
there any difference in job satisfaction among old, average and young
there any difference in job satisfaction between married and single
there any difference in job satisfaction between experienced and inexperienced
The following hypotheses were raised to guide the study.
is no significant difference between male and female counsellors in their
levels of job satisfaction.
is no significant difference among old, average and young counsellors in their
levels of job satisfaction.
is no significant difference between married and single counsellors in their
levels of job satisfaction.
(iv)There is no significant difference between
experienced and inexperienced counsellors in their levels of job satisfaction.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of job satisfaction
among school counsellors in secondary schools in Edo and Delta States of
Nigeria. The level of job satisfaction plays a vital role in the way and manner
an individual performs his or her job in an organization. Job satisfaction is
necessary to ensure continuous and high quality services to school children and
the adults who work with them.
Specifically, the study assessed the dimensions of job satisfaction, that is,
promotion, job tenure, salary, social support and supervision with a view to
determining which of them significantly contribute to job satisfaction of
This study also examined some demographic variables that could affect job
satisfaction among school counsellors. These include sex, age, marital status
and years of counselling experience.
Significance of the
The finding of this study will contribute to the body of knowledge and increase
information in the area of job satisfaction of school counsellors. Therefore,
it will be of immense importance to the educational sector in general and the
counselling profession in particular.
It would highlight to the educational planners and administrators the need to
have qualified counsellors who are satisfied with their jobs in view of the
fact that counsellors who are satisfied with their jobs will be more prone to
exhibit the kind of behaviour needed to promote the personal growth and
development of the students which is their primary responsibility.
The study would also assist various levels of government-federal, states and
local in the areas of planning, policy formulation and programme implementation
pertaining to secondary school counsellors’ job satisfaction since a satisfied
counsellor is believed to be a productive and dedicated worker.
Counsellor educators will be provoked by the findings of the study to engage in
more research work on job satisfaction among school counsellors. This will help
to produce more empirical studies in the field of professional school
The study would be of great assistance to post-primary school board, school principals
and counsellors themselves in having a clearer perception of the variables
affecting job satisfaction and evaluating the secondary school counselling
programme with a view to ensuring that counsellors are regularly supervised and
adequately catered for in the school system.
Scope of the Study
This study was essentially designed to investigate the level of job
satisfaction among secondary school counsellors in Edo and Delta States of
Nigeria. To this end, this study was limited to the professional school
counsellors in public secondary schools in Edo and delta states. The aspects of
job satisfaction investigated included promotion, job tenure, salary, workers’
social support and supervision.
This study did not cover other aspects of job satisfaction i.e. achievement,
recognition administrative atmosphere and organizational practices. Also, the
study did not include private secondary schools because they are different from
public secondary schools in terms of conditions of service of counsellors and
Definition of Terms
For ease of understanding, the following terms are defined in the context in
which they are used in this study:
Job Satisfaction: The degree to
which a counsellor is pleased by the work content and conditions of service in
terms of salaries, fringe benefits and allowances.
Conditions of Service: The
conditions provided in the service for the purpose of regulating appointment,
promotion and discipline of counselling staff by the Ministry of Education.
Inexperienced Counsellor: A
counsellor with less than ten years of working experience in the field.
Experienced Counsellor: A
counsellor that has ten years or more working experienced in the field.
Old counsellor: Counsellor
above the age of 44 years
Average counsellor: A
counsellor who is 25-44 years of age
Young counsellor: A counsellor
who is less than 25 years of age
Public School: A school built
and owned by the government.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY
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