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Discipline is an important component of human behaviour. It helps not only to regulate people’s reactions to various situations but also regulates human conduct and relations with others. It is centered on the success of a school and hence members of school community are expected to adhere to various standards or codes of behaviour (Okumbe, 2001). According to Ireri (1992), in the traditional society, the question of children’s discipline was a joint effort of all members of the society. Every adult member of the society reprimanded any erring child for any act of misbehaviour. Today, the society seems to have however changed. The responsibility of inculcating the required disciplinary behaviour has shifted to the schools. This may be because most children go to school from the house at very early age. Therefore the children are left in the care of the teacher during the greater part of the day. As a result, the teachers are expected to ensure that those who go through school through their guardian come out as disciplined members of the society.
One of the aims of education is to inculcate desirable virtues and morality in the learner. To achieve this, every school administrator applies disciplinary measures this may help them to succeed as future leaders. Discipline in schools help students who would be willing to learn and keep to the norms and rules of the school. Discipline is indeed a “sin qua non,” for meaningful scholarship and learning.
A school that is constantly characterized by frequent students’ violence, demonstrations, examinations malpractice and cult activities will hardly achieve the objectives for which it was established. Discipline is needed to produce a breed of well-cultivated members of the society; who will develop not only respect for themselves but also for others in the school and the society at large.
Discipline seems to have been observed to help both students and teachers to find themselves not because they are afraid of punishments, but because of their sense of commitment to fellowship and the ideals of the school, society or the community where they find themselves. A well disciplined school is one in which the students and teachers have gotten enormous records of peace and encouraging performances in academic, sports and other areas of human endeavours. In Nigeria today, the acts of delinquency and violence among senior secondary school students, particularly in the public schools have become a major problem. This seems to imply that students are not focused. These problems manifest themselves in form of distraction, lack of comportment in class, noise, rudeness, cheating in examinations, alcoholism, drug abuse and addiction, sexual offences, stealing, truancy, fighting, bullying, verbal abuse and disobedience to constituted authorities.
Arising from the foregoing, a number of disciplinary measures seem to have been put in place by the various school heads and some of the schools seem to adopted from those appealed prescribed by the state Ministry of Education. In many schools, some of measures are flogging, kneeling down, cutting grass, sitting on the wall, standing in class, rebuking, warning, sending a student off, inviting parents and guardians, picking litters, copying of passages, detaining a student in class or after hours, out-of-class suspension, out-of-school suspension and expulsion.
Disciplinary measures often seem to have used by the schools, approved disciplinary measures by the Ministry of Education are flogging. Kneeling down, cutting of grass, setting on the wall, standing in class, rebuking, warning, but against this measures seems not to have yielded the desirable result expected in the schools.
However, disciplinary measures approved by the Ministry of Education seem to be ineffective in dealing with the issue of learner indiscipline in schools. In apparent reference to corporal punishment, Glenn (1981) observes a problem resulting from the use of punitive disciplinary measures such as; failure to reform the bearer’s conscience, failure to achieve voluntary, cheerful self-control, failure to make the offender love to do well, capitalizing on making learners obey out of fear, increasing negative behaviours of anger, hatred and malice and obstinacy, making offenders more hardened.
In Nigeria, principals as chief disciplinarians in their schools encounter various challenges while enforcing student disciplinary measures (Rono and Gichana, 2006). In the same vein, the principals may have to deal with some of the teachers who may be bad role models to the students. It has been noted in a report by the National Commission of Education (1978),that threats from parents especially those who hold high positions in the society are challenges principals face in efforts to enforce students’ discipline in the schools. Influential parents tried and often manage to erode the authority of the school principals.
Effective disciplinary measures are needed to curb the negative conducts of students in the senior secondary schools. As stated earlier, a number of disciplinary measures are being enforced in the schools. The effectiveness of any given disciplinary measure could, therefore, be assessed by the extent to which it enhances the fulfillment of the following objectives: ability to deter offenders, ability to enhance responsible behaviour, teaching self-discipline (Gershoff, 2002). It also includes the effectiveness of the disciplinary measures to teach conflict handling, ability to help the offender understand the offence committed, enhance responsible behaviour, educate to teach the offenders to consider rights and feelings of others. An effective disciplinary measure should also have the ability to involve students in its formulation and implementation.
Achievement of educational goals to a large extent depends on student discipline. Hence Principals play a key role in the maintenance of student discipline in the secondary schools. Principals’ good disciplinary measures seem not to have been yielding desirable result in schools. It includes establishing communication high expectations for students’ behaviour, developing clear behavioural rules and procedures and making these known to all stakeholders, engaging school and community to the establishment and maintenance of appropriate students’ behaviour in school and at school sponsored events, encouraging teachers to handle all classroom disciplinary measures they can, increasing visibility and informal involvement in the everyday life of the school, increasing personal interactions with students by taking interest in their plan and activities and arranging for appropriate staff development activities. (Mpaata, 2008). An increasing number of secondary school head teachers and teachers are reporting a Wide range of potentially disruptive behaviours in the classrooms and around the schools. Many students are seen loitering in town streets, villages, cinema halls and other places in their uniforms but during class time, an indication of disrespect to school rules and regulations as well as poor time management. This has therefore created a big concern from teachers, head teachers and stakeholders about the lack of opportunity for learners to concentrate on their academic work
For attainment in the tests, internal exams and national level examinations as well as the nature of future citizens. In spite of the application of these measures, indiscipline seems to be on the increase. Students still bully, steal, riot, collect items from junior ones, absent themselves from classes, insult and mock teachers, make noise, destroy school property, involved in corrupt practices, drug abuse, cultism, examination malpractice, truancy, immoral acts, as well as other disruptive behaviours. Students’ indiscipline has plagued schools and led to series of unrest; and students have been observed to resort to unconstitutional measures in channeling their grievances (McGregory, (2006). Visits to some of the schools reveal wide spread truancy, sexual immorality, cultism, fighting, examination malpractices and insubordination. Although it is not unusual that schools have been blamed for the awkward and uncivilized behavior demonstrated by students, this situation has been a major concern to parents and those in the school community who suggest that disciplinary measures be applied by teachers and that rapport be created between students and teachers as a systematic way of solving the problems. Principals in senior secondary schools in Edo South Senatorial District are required to use the same disciplinary measures in enhancing students discipline as their counterparts in other parts of the country. Where as, the enforcement of school rules and regulations have yielded good result in some of the secondary schools in Nigeria, the same seem ineffective in Edo South Senatorial District. The use of Punitive and preventive measures of enhancing student in-discipline appears inadequate to deal with some of the disciplinary cases. As, a result, some have resorted to forms of corporal punishment in the Senior Secondary Schools as disciplinary measures. Yet, the desirable results seem not to have being achieved. Even the efforts of the families, the government and stakeholders in the education industry towards controlling the negative and anti-social acts of senior secondary school students seem not to have yielded positive result.
The situation seems to have self evident in the behaviour of the students and products of the senior secondary schools. Indiscipline seem to have appears failure all the measures approved the Ministry of Education.
The major question which arises is; how effective are the disciplinary measures put in place in the schools? Certainly, the measures may not have equal degree or level of desirable impacts on the students.
To guide this study, the following research questions were raised:
Purpose of the Study
This study examined the effectiveness of disciplinary measures on students’ behaviour in Secondary Schools in Edo South Senatorial District of Nigeria.
Specifically, the study sought to:
The expected findings would be of relevance to the stakeholders in the Ministry of Education, teachers, parents, students, school principals and proprietors.
The findings of this work would guide the Ministry of Education when formulating and reviewing educational policies; especially in the quality and standard of schools by educational planners and curriculum developers in addressing the challenges faced in enhancing school discipline. The study would also enable policy makers to implement the rules and regulations that will strengthen the identified effective disciplinary measures in secondary schools and do away with the measures that are regarded as not effective. This work would help Parents and Guardians who may find useful the behavioural strategies of punishment and reward highlighted in the study to inculcate into their children or wards the permanent behaviour of discipline. The findings of this study would be of help to teachers in their application of the disciplinary measures that have been identified by students as effective so as to deter students from manifesting unwholesome behaviour. It would also create in the teachers the need to avoid gender bias in meting out deserved punishment for same gravity of offence on students. Principals would be reminded from the findings of this work the various strategies they can use in curbing disciplinary problems and how they can improve on them continually.
Future researchers in educational management, administration and planning would be equipped and assisted with the findings of this study as they would serve as a reference point when they are carrying out researches on the subject of disciplinary measures amongst students.
The study focused on public secondary schools in Edo South Senatorial District. The Senatorial District comprise of Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo, Orhionmwon, Ovia North East, Ovia South West and Uhunwonde Local Governments Area of Edo State. Only students in public secondary schools were used for the study. The study is limited to only public senior secondary schools in Edo South Senatorial District. The senior school Ability to deter offenders, ability to teach responsible behaviour, teaching self discipline, teaching behaviour accountability, conflict handling, ability to help the offender understand the offence committed, teach responsible behaviour, help to teach the offenders to consider rights and feelings of others, involve relevant of students in its formulation. Also, the study does not include disciplinary measures used by teachers at the classroom level.
put into use. It includes: (3. 1 – 4) Very High (2. 1 – 3) High (1. 1 – 2) Low (0.1 – 1) Very Low
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