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Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 1 (2009) 17491752

World Conference on Educational Sciences 2009

Applying information and communication technology in counselling


practice
Ngozi M. Oraegbunam*
Department of guidance and counselling, faculty of education, nnamdi azikiwe university, awka. Anambra state, nigeria.
Received October 25, 2008; revised December 17, 2008; accepted January 4, 2009

Abstract
The study has empirically established that Information and Communication Technology {ICT} as one of the new trends in
Educational Sciences could be applied in counselling practice in Anambra State of Nigeria. Results of the study revealed that ICT
could be highly applied in the counselling practice. No significant difference was observed in the mean scores of urban and rural
based counsellors. In view of the findings, recommendations were proffered. These include a curricula review of computer
science courses, intensification of ICT training and skill acquisition to make both staff and students ICT compliants. It was also
recommended among others that all institutions of learning should be provided with facilities to enhance access to the internet.
2009 Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
Keywords; Information and Communication Technology {ICT}; counselling; educational sciences; practice.

1.

Introduction

Scientific discoveries have made the world including Nigeria a global village. Information and Communication
Technology {ICT} which is one of the new trends in educational sciences has become very popular in educational
settings. For effective educational science delivery, Maduabum {2004} and Okebukola {1997} reiterated that
information and communication technology among other things must be made available to teachers, counsellors and
students. Information and Communication Technology {ICT} according to Ivowi {2005} is the acquisition and
dissemination of information by a micro-electronic based combination of computing and telecommunication. The
modern advances in information technology have enhanced globalization of the world into a small village through
the use of its electronic gadgets such as computer, International Network {Internet} which provides access to the use
of electronic mail {e-mail}, Global system of mobile communication {GSM}, power point delivery and the world
wide web {www} sites among a host of others. ICT has actually made communication easy, relevant and efficient in
educational delivery and counselling practice {Nzotta, 2001}. Comprehensive information or events happening in

*Ngozi M. Oraegbunam
E-mail address: e-mail-drngooraegbunam@yahoo.com.
1877-0428 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2009.01.309

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Ngozi M. Oraegbunam / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 1 (2009) 17491752

any part of the world can be made available within minutes through ICT to all other parts and utilized effectively in
interactions among people {Okere, 2005}.
Guidance and couinselling as an educational support service provided in schools is designed to provide scientific
information to help students manage their psychosocial and learning problems {Onyehalu, 2005}.
Scientific information acquisition and dissemination is the major thrust of any meaningful guidance and counselling
practice. A counsellor is professionally prepared to disseminate such information based on counselling to the clients
{Overton 2004}. In their views, Paisley & Hayes {2003} asserted that counsellors are obliged to join the
globalization venture by applying the information and communication technology strategies in counselling practice.
In his study in Enugu State of Nigeria on utilizing ICT in counselling, Okere {2007} discovered that the counsellors
have knowledge of ICT but the problem was in its application. The internet can be used in a school setting for
electronic discussion forum, delivering counselling sessions, accessing information and depositing research data for
general access {Nwamara, 2005}. The computer driven age has facilitated the use of websites for job search,
delivering career information and other guidance services including inter personal counselling {Beesley, 2004}. The
advantages are endless- speed, accuracy, storage, security of information and above all turning the citizens into
science oriented individuals. No wonder, Iloputaife {2004} lamented that a nation with scientifically uneducated
citizenry cannot expect to make any reasonable headway in socio-economic and political decisions.
1.1 The Problem
Applying new trends in educational sciences is a welcome venture as they are aimed at producing individuals that
are educationally scientific. Information and Communication Technology {ICT} has been the mainstay of the new
trend that has been warmly embraced. The problem at stake is the availability of ICT gadgets and services. Where
these are available, do the educational stake holders have knowledge to put them in good and proper use. Can the
ICT services be applied in the counselling practice in our schools. It is on the basis of these answer searching
enquiries that the researcher was motivated to conduct this scientific study.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The basic purpose of the study was to empirically establish if Information and Communication Technology
strategies could be applied in counselling practice in Anambra State of Nigeria.
1.3 Research Question
The study is guided by one research question.
To what extent could Information and Communication Technology be applied in counselling practice
in Anambra State of Nigeria?
1.3 Research Hypothesis
The following hypothesis was formulated to guide the conduct of the study,
There is no significant difference between the mean scores of urban and rural based counsellors on
applying ICT in counselling practice.
2. Body
2.1 Method
The study was conducted on all the 134 {one hundred and thirty four} guidance counsellors in Government
Secondary Schools in Anambra State of Nigeria. There was no sampling because the population is not large. The
study was a survey design. The instrument for data collection was a structured questionnaire that was duly validated
by two experts, one from Information and Communication Technology Unit and the other from Guidance and
Counselling Department both from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria for content validation. The
reliability coefficient was established using Cronbach Alpha which yielded an alpha value of 0.76. The instrument

Ngozi M. Oraegbunam / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 1 (2009) 17491752

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which was designed for counsellors has 15 items on a four point scale on the extent of application of ICT strategies
in counselling practice. The response format was graduated as Very High Application {VHA}4, High Application
{HA}3, Low Application {LA}2, and Not Applicable {NA}1. The decision point was 2.50. The instrument was
directly administered on the counsellors with the help of five trained research assistants. This facilitated maximum
return of the distributed instrument. Data were analyzed using statistical means to answer the research question and
Z-test analysis of difference to test the hypothesis.
2.2 Results and Discussion
The results obtained from the research question and hypothesis are presented and discussed as follows:
Research Question
To what extent could Information and Communication Technology be applied in counselling practice?
Table 1: Mean analysis of counsellors responses on the application of ICT in Counselling practice.
The results in table 1 reveal a universal acceptance of the ICT items as being highly applicable in counselling
practice. This projected the awareness and knowledge of professional counsellors in Anambra State of Nigeria on
ICT services, indicating their willingliness and preparadness to use ICT. This finding is consistent with Okere
{2007} who discovered in his study in Enugu State of Nigeria that professional counsellors have knowledge of ICT
but lamented that the problem was its application.

Hypothesis
There is no significant difference between the mean scores of urban and rural based counsellors on ICT application
in counselling practice.
Table 2: Z-test analysis of difference between means of urban and rural based counsellors on ICT application


Variable
Mean SD
n
Urban based Counsellors 32.06 2.33 71

Z-cal

Z-Crit
1.82

Rural based counsellors

31.67

P.

Decision

1.96

.05 Accepted

2.18 63

Results in table 2 show that at five percent level of significance, the calculated Z-value {Z-Cal 1.82} is less than the
critical Z-value {Z-Crit 1.96}. the hypothesis is therefore accepted.
No significant difference was observed in the mean scores of urban and rural based counsellors pointing to the fact
that locality is not a significant factor in ICT application in counselling practice. ICT has globally made the world a
small village. This finding is in conformity with Nwamara {2005} that the internet can be used in any school setting
{urban or rural} for electronic discussion forum, accessing information, delivering counselling sessions on many
sites at the same time and depositing research information for general access.
2.3 Recommendations
In view of the findings, the following recommendations were proffered.
1. The Federal Government of Nigeria should provide the needed facilities in all schools to enhance access to
Information and Communication Technology Services. These will facilitate ICT application.
2. Curricula offerings for computer science courses should be adequately revisited to intensify ICT training
and skill acquisition required by both staff and students to thrive in todays computer and scientific age
environment.
3. Every citizen should be made ICT complaint through the organization and administration of workshops,
seminars and conferences by the Federal and State Governments as well as stake holders of education.
4. The Federal Government of Nigeria should mobilize technical support staff in all levels of educational
institutions to provide technical assistance on ICT application.

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3. Conclusion
It has been scientifically established that Information and Communication Technology {ICT} could be applied by
professional counsellors in counselling practice in Anambra State of Nigeria. It therefore poses challenge to
stakeholders of Education in Nigeria to provide the scientific wherewithals to enhance an effective ICT application
in counselling practice. Internet links, electronic gadgets and functional guidance and counselling resource centres
are all necessary new trends in our modern educational sciences delivery in Nigerian schools.
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