A don from the Department of Educational Foundation Counselling, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Professor Rasaq Adenuga, has called for an all-inclusive counselling service in schools, from basic to tertiary level, saying ‘it is a sector where children and adolescents are baked to become responsible individuals in the society.’
Professor Adenuga, a specialist in counseling and personnel psychology, said issues like drug abuse, prostitution, irregular migration, cultism, kidnapping and the likes, which are prevalent among young people in the society today, could only be addressed by strategic administration of counselling services.
The don stated this, on Tuesday, while delivering a lecture during the 2019 annual conference of the Counselling Association of Nigeria (CASSON), Oyo State chapter, with the theme, “Transforming the Society through Counselling Efficiency.”
Speaking further, he said that Nigeria, as a nation, was in urgent need of transformation due to the challenges it is currently facing like rapid social change, need for skilled work force, and the needs and concerns of youths.
He challenged counselling professionals at the conference to reflect on the present state of the country, being the most populous black nation in the world, stating that effective counselling service is needed at all levels.
While calling the attention of counsellors to most of their well-known responsibilities as human managers and agents of transformation, he said “there is need to also be reminded that individual characteristics account for counselling outcomes,” some of which he listed as good personal quality and intellectual competence, spontaneity, acceptance and caring, understanding and empathy, congruence and transparency coupled with flexibility.
“For counselling to be efficacious as a tool of transformation in their society, counsellors need to revisit the code of conduct of Counselling Association of Nigeria, which was inaugurated in 1976. They are also expected to be academically and morally competent in order to be able to attend to issues affecting people in the society,” Adenuga highlighted.
The national president of the association, Professor Elizabeth Egbochukwu, who was represented by the national general secretary, Dr Emmanuel Awoyemi, in her goodwill message, informed the forum that efforts towards making CASSON become a professional body in Nigeria was already in top gear.
“The bill has passed through the Senate readings and to the House of Representatives for concurrent reading. I strongly believe that before May 29, President Muhammadu Buhari would have signed the bill, making counselling a professional body in Nigeria.
‘’In addition to that, we have received the copy of the national policy of counselling in Nigeria, as written by the Federal Ministry of Education. Counselling has come to stay; it is only professionals that will be manning the sector, “she said.
Speaking on the theme of the three-day conference, chairman of the Oyo State CASSON, Professor Stephen O. Ayankeye, said that the various challenges facing the society informed the need to involve counsellors in providing support and healing to many people.
He added that the whole world is filled with various kinds of crises, like divorce, domestic violence, child abuse, drug addiction, armed robbery, assassination, kidnapping, corruption, among others, hence the need for counsellors to provide help, comfort and support for troubled persons.
The chairman of the occasion, Lieutenant Colonel N.B Akinleye, described counselling as the bedrock of knowledge, without which it might be impossible to move forward in life.
Lieutenant Colonel Akinleye charged participants at the conference to be good ambassadors of counselling to itself and role models to their neighbours, family, children, students and friends.
He encouraged them to take advantage of the political terrain by providing efficient counselling to politicians who tend to derail from the norm, as well as sponsor members to go into politics.
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