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Mahler (1977) defines group guidance as: a class or educational experience, mainly involved with giving out information. In schools, it is usually oriented towards encouraging students to know what the adults think the participants should know. Although the same topics discussed in group guidance may also be discussed in group counselling, the major responsibility in guidance remains with the teacher. In group counselling the focus is upon each member, not the topic being discussed. Topics treated under group guidance include effective study habits, preparing for and taking examinations, and obtaining and using vocational information. The number of members here range between 20 to 30 persons and the setting is usually the classroom.
154 Group guidance activities are an integral part of an effective school programme. Within a well-articulated guidance programme, group guidance activities contribute directly to the goals of students and the school implementing and supplementing the counselling and consulting roles of the school counselor. The school guidance programme that contributes to each pupil’s positive use of the school facilities. The programme is also directed towards helping teachers and pupils to create a fertile environment in which children may feel and employ their development of those skills, knowledge and attitudes that are the pivot of well-adjusted personality. Within the context of the school guidance programme, group counselling captures the main essence of the guidance and portends an active in future in primary school education. Its success depends on the humility and caution with which the counselor adapts it to the needs of school children. 3.2 GROUP COUNSELLINGGroup counselling is a process by which one counsellor is engaged in a relationship with a number of counsellees. Most authorities cite six as the optimum number, with a range from foul to twelve. Group counselling is usually concerned with developmental problems and situational concerns of members. The focus is on attitudes and emotions, the choices and values involved in interpersonal relationships. Members, by interacting with each other, establish helping relationships that enables them to develop understanding, insight and the awareness of self as a first step to effective functioning. According to Sherterz and Stone (1981), the vehicle for achieving this goal in a group is that members discuss their personal emotional concerns and other members provide feedback about their perceptions of these experiences. Group counselling can be conducted for remedial, developmental and preventive purposes.
155 Group counseling simply defined, is an interpersonal interaction among individual with similar concerns in the presence of a facilitator who provides a suitable atmosphere for these individuals to explore with each other their feelings and attitudes about themselves or situations. In group counseling normal children talk about the problems that bother them and try to help each other learn to behave increasingly more effectively (Ohlsen, 1964). The inter-