Guidance, a fundamental element of education, begins from the moment a child is born and continues throughout their life, aiming to assist the individual’s adaptation to their environment. It serves as a mechanism to help individuals attain full maturity, fulfil their potential, and contribute positively to society. Consequently, it can be seen as an instrumental tool in achieving the broader goal of education.
Following are some of the characteristics of guidance:
1. Integrated Process: Guidance isn’t a standalone process; rather, it is inherently connected to the growth and development of an individual. It aims to aid in personal development, focusing on the social needs of the individual.
2. Perpetual Progression: Guidance is a continuous, dynamic process that doesn’t cease. It facilitates the self-understanding of an individual, enabling them to harness their full capacity, interests, and other abilities. As such, it contributes to decision-making skills and helps individuals adapt to various circumstances, reinforcing its ongoing nature.
3. Life-centric: The process of guidance has strong ties to life experiences. It can be delivered formally, through organized school guidance services, or informally through friends and relatives. This flexibility allows it to be relevant to all aspects of life.
4. Capacity Building: Guidance aids in the maximal development of an individual’s capacities from multiple perspectives. By assisting an individual in understanding their true potential, it paves the way for self-realization.
5. Personalized Assistance: Guidance is personalized, providing a direction for an individual’s personal development rather than serving a group. As such, it is a process of customized aid.
6. Experts’ Undertaking: The task of providing guidance requires a specific skill set and understanding, necessitating the involvement of trained individuals such as psychologists and counsellors.
7. Expansive Scope: The scope of guidance is extensive. It can be offered to anyone in need, irrespective of their age, interests, characteristics, or personality. There are no boundaries to its applicability.
8. Promotes Adaptability: Guidance assists individuals in adjusting to diverse situations, empowering them to deal with a wide array of problems. It revitalizes individuals in challenging situations by helping them adapt and find solutions.
9. Fosters Self-Guidance: An essential feature of guidance is its ability to nurture self-guidance in individuals. It enables individuals to gain self-reliance by finding solutions to life’s challenges.
10. Respects Individual Autonomy: Guidance respects personal autonomy, refraining from imposing viewpoints on individuals. It offers the individual the liberty to accept or reject the advice given, ensuring it does not become a process of imposition.
11. Prepares for the Future: Guidance equips individuals for future challenges and endeavours, assisting them in preparing for upcoming activities. As such, it acts as a mentor for an individual’s future.