Mark and Ali work in the same organization. They are both software engineers. Naturally, Mark is way more intelligent than Ali, but Ali always proves more proficient and effective at work as Mark sometimes finds himself frustrated and distressed when he is stuck with a problem. Ali, however always takes challenges as inevitable and tackles them with patience.

It’s time for a promotion at the Company. Ali gets promoted a step higher than Mark, again, Mark feels frustrated and begins to show a lot of rebellion towards the company. He begins to suffer from inferiority complex hence becomes bitter. His attitude becomes so intolerable that he was asked to resign. Mark couldn’t fathom why his life had turned upside down, he couldn’t bear it any longer, so he resorted to drinking.

You may ask, if Mark is more intelligent as acclaimed, why isn’t he more effective?

Flashback as Children

You see, as a child Mark was very intelligent, he always learnt what he was supposed to and had really good grades. No one ever felt the need to evaluate Mark based on his potential, talents or interests. Everyone thought he was okay since he was doing well academically. No one ever noticed that despite his academic achievements, he threw tantrums once in a while because he lacked self confidence.

Ali on the other hand, was above average at elementary level but couldn’t have been regarded as excellent. He was sometimes distracted during lessons. His mother always took her time to engage him and find out his passion and interests. When he told her about his passion to program the computer and solve many problems, she thought it was a good idea. She encouraged him to go for it.  

Now, back to our question…….

What made Ali turn out better?

Ali turned out better because he had the motivation and encouragement to explore his interests and pursue his passion. So, he is able to perform quite efficiently and tackle challenges firsthand. And that is the role of the Guidance Counselor in the lives of children.

Role of the Guidance Counselor

According to ASCA (American School Counselors Association), The role of the Guidance Counselor in the lives of Children includes among others, the following:

  • Help children understand why they are in school in the first place and help them pursue learning with motivation
  • Help them overcome all problems related to learning be they academic or social
  • Help them identify their talents, strengths and weaknesses
  • Help them overcome self-defeating behaviors, gain self-confidence and learn lifelong leadership skills;
  • Teach children emotional intelligence;”abilities which include self control, zeal and persistence and the ability to motivate oneself.” Daniel Goleman
  • Provide Career Guidance and invite professionals in the field to talk to the children and boost interests

Back to Mark

If Mark had had an adult in his life who equipped him with the right leadership skills and helped him develop emotional intelligence, with those he could have conquered any problems first hand just like Ali or even more. And that is why the need for effective and efficient Guidance Counselling in our school systems can never be overemphasized.

Every child who goes through effective Guidance Counselling will no doubt be equipped with all the skills necessary to excel in any field they choose to pursue and live their lives responsibly.

While Conant (former president, Harvard University), rightly said

“It would not be too much to say that in the success or failure of our guidance programme, hangs in all probability, the success or failure of our education system.”

Let’s take a stand and adopt and advocate for effective Guidance Counselling in all schools as it’s the right of every child.(UNCRC Article 29).

Do you also feel effective Guidance Counselling must be adopted in our schools? Share your thoughts below. We’ll be very glad if you do!