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School adjustment is the process of coping in a new school environment in order to attain the individual and schoolâ€™s set goals and aspirations. The government, education managers and parents have expressed the need to strengthen school Guidance and Counselling services in order to enhance studentsâ€™ adjustment to school environment. Public boarding secondary schools are expected to implement Guidance and Counselling policy of the Ministry of Education and help students adjust to secondary school environment. This study investigated the effectiveness of Guidance and Counselling services in enhancing studentsâ€™ adjustment to school academic environment in public boarding secondary schools in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive research survey design. The study target population was 36,671 comprising of 35,659 Form 3 students, 506 Form 3 class teachers and 506 teachers in charge of Guidance and Counselling from boarding secondary schools in Kitui, Nyeri and Nairobi counties in Kenya. Purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used to select 756 respondents comprising of 720 Form 3 students, 18 Form 3 class teachers and 18 teachers in charge of Guidance and Counselling from 18 secondary schools for the study. Questionnaires were used to collect data from Form 3 students and their class teachers while an interview schedule was used to collect data from teachers in charge of Guidance and Counseling. Pilot study involving 76 respondents was carried out in three public boarding secondary schools from Machakos, Kirinyaga and Thika counties. Using Spearman Brown Prophesy formula by split half technique reliability coefficient of 0.745, 0.746 and 0.736 were realized for students, class teachers and teachers In charge of Guidance and Counseling respectively. This was accepted because an alpha value of 0.7 and above is considered suitable for making group inferences that are accurate. The data was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 for windows and presented in frequency distribution tables, percentages and bar charts. The study also found out that Guidance and Counseling was effective in helping students adjust to school physical, social and academic environment. The findings of this study provide information to school administrators, policy makers, parents and other stakeholders on various issues that need to be addressed in Guidance and Counseling like strengthening individual counseling, training of peer counselors and gender balance in appointment of school counseling personnel to enhance students adjust to school environment. The study further suggests ways of improving Guidance and Counselling services in order to make it more effective in public boarding secondary schools.
KEY WORDS. Guidance and Counselling, student adjustment, school environment, school academic environment, academic adjustment
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