Abstract The main aim of this study was to explore the importance of guidance and counselling in Malawian Secondary Schools. Given the nature of education and the psycho-social dilemmas in which the students find themselves is guidance and counselling optional or a must? Two public secondary schools in Central West Division were identified for the study. Questions that guided the study were: How prominent is guidance and counselling in Malawian secondary schools? How equipped are teachers for the role of guiding and counselling students and how do they perceive it? What has the Ministry of Education done so far about guidance and counselling students and what it intends to do?A qualitative research design was used to collect data. People were interviewed orally using some questions to guide the interview. An interview schedule was prepared with a list or set of questions or issues which were to be explored during the interviews. The following people were interviewed (1) two Ministry of Education officials, (2) one official from the Guidance, Counselling and Youth Development Centre for Africa, (3) one counsellor from each of the two schools, (4) two students from each school- one representing the junior section and another the senior section, (5) two head-teachers, each representing the schools studied, (6) two teachers, one from each school and (7) two school-dropouts, a boy and a girl. In addition, observation method was also used. The researcher observed some group counselling sessions in one of the schools to appreciate and gain some insights into how counselling is done. Further, secondary materials such as books, magazines, periodicals, news papers, published and unpublished Ministry of Education documents and reports were read. Thus, the information collected from both the primary and secondary sources was analyzed.The results showed that learners had unique needs and concerns that called for the provision of guidance and counselling in schools. It was also found out that while teachers acknowledged the urgency for the provision of guidance and counselling in secondary schools, being a counsellor was perceived as an additional role to teaching. This attitude was due to lack of exposure to guidance and counselling courses in the initial-teacher training and the failure of the top-down mode of in-service trainings. In addition, a good number of teachers are burnt-out, stressed and frustrated. Yet, this is a crucial human resource for the implementation and provision of guidance and counselling in schools.On the other hand, it was found out that when guidance and counselling were provided retention of students in school was improved (reduced dropout rate), academic achievement improved, misbehaviour was minimised, interrelationships improved, pupil s self esteem and self-worth improved, learners got a focus and direction on their future careers, learners made informed choices. On the other hand lack guidance and counselling led to school dropout, educational wastage, underachievement, poor self image and low self esteem, poor interrelationships, lack of focus and direction on future careers, poor choices. Hence, guidance and counselling cannot be left to chance. Another finding was that the aspect of power disparity was evident among pupils, between pupils and counsellors, between teachers and the administration and amongst the teachers themselves.