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The Project File Details
Background to the Study
Every society formulates and adopts rules and regulations which direct and protect the operations of its entire systems and its internal organizations. The teaching profession is no exception to this rule. In 2004, the National Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria issued its first code of conduct for teachers. The issuance of such a document presupposes that some teachers could deviate from the norms of the profession. Discipline involves self control, restraint, self respect and respect for others. A disciplined person is guided in his behaviour, moral and social principles and does what is right and good.
The teachers code of conduct (2007) includes some of the acts of indiscipline listed as follows: Abuse of office, Sexual misconduct, leaking of confidential information (like examination questions), examination malpractice, requesting and receiving gratification from students for various reasons, the use of the position as a teacher to disseminate political and religious information and ideology among students. Any act or behaviour or performance by individuals or group of persons contrary to approved rules and regulations, that is repeated over and again, is regarded as an act of indiscipline. Among teachers, indiscipline refers to acts or behaviours that affect effective teaching, effective learning and effective administration of the school. It is also reflected in the Teachers Registration Council manual which states “…teachers should be dedicated and faithful in all professional undertakings being punctual, thorough, conscienscious and dependable.”
The issue of indiscipline among secondary school teachers has recently become one of a great concern in the Educational Sector in Nigeria. One incident that recently aroused interest was the unscheduled visit of the Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomole to schools in Edo State in 2012. His observations only corroborated existing opinions about teachers’ attitudes to work and the resultant effects. Absenteeism, lateness to work, false entries of time into the school time book, poor record keeping and even impersonations of non-existent teachers were allegedly found out. The key factor responsible for indiscipline is non- commitment to one’s duty and responsibilities. This in turn reflects itself in several misconducts of the teachers in schools. The conduct of teachers has become the most debated aspect of administration in schools today. Many researchers have focused on indiscipline among secondary school students and paying little or no attention to the teachers whose impact on the students cannot be underestimated.
Other acts that constitute indiscipline of teachers include: truancy (unauthorized exit from school and from classes), absenteeism from school and lesson periods, illegal extortion of money from parents and students lateness to work and classes, unapproved study leave with or without pay, drug taking, colluding with students to cheat in examination, gossiping, inability to keep or maintain appropriate school records like diaries, registers, students results, trading during school period, supporting students against constituted authority, sending students on errands inappropriately, involvement in secret cult activities, smoking during school hours, alcohol consumptions during school hours, immoral relationship with students, refusing to teach students and insubordination to constituted authority among others.
While all the acts of indiscipline listed above seem to have negative effects on the teacher’s effectiveness on the job, they can yet be classified in terms of their impact on students, school administration and school atmosphere. This is because failing to meet with expectations in one or more aspects of the teacher’s responsibilities may not prevent effectiveness in another area. Thus, while there are conducts that hamper teaching and learning processes, there are those that affect the students by direct involvement. Some teachers’ conducts threaten the smooth running of the school and yet some others are criminal in nature. Acts or conducts like smoking, indecent dressing and drinking may be seen as setting bad or unacceptable pattern of behaviour for the students to copy without necessarily interfering with the proper discharge of the teachers’ duties. This kind of indiscipline differs from those directly involving the students like having immoral relationship, sending students on errand within and or outside the school during lesson hours, cultism, the extortion of money from the students and examination malpractice. These later types require the direct participation of students who become eventual victims. Even these acts may not prevent a teacher from teaching effectively, preparing and completing school records as and when necessary.
Conducts like absenteeism from school and class, poor records keeping, trading during school hours and refusing to teach student have direct bearing on the teaching and learning process. Cultism, inciting and supporting students and staff against the school head, extortion of money from students, examination malpractice and organizing students for violent protests, bother on crime. Acts of indiscipline like smoking, drinking, rough and indecent dressing create wrong patterns of behaviour for students to copy. In order to study the prevalence of the acts of indiscipline, the following variables were selected to assist the researcher: sex, marital status and age of the teacher.
These categories of teachers were chosen because every teacher falls within one group of the variables or the other. The sex of the teacher, for example, plays a vital role in terms of domestic responsibilities, family welfare and health attendance needs. These in turn affect the responsiveness of the teacher to duty. It can also be perceived that the age of the teacher can affect the degree or level of commitment to duties. It is presupposed that these variables have varying degrees of appeal or influence on the perceptions of both the students and the general public.
Statement of the Problem
There has been a general outcry about what is perceived as a fall in the standard of education and general indiscipline of students. It has been observe that the problem of indiscipline in Nigerian schools is a canker worm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society. From personal observation, the unscheduled visits to (secondary) schools in Edo state by the Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomole, in 2012 was more of a response to the hue and cry over alleged issues of indiscipline among teachers, which is perceived to be a contributing factor, if not the sole cause of student indiscipline and the alleged fall in the standard of education. In addition, the quality of the personality and the degree of productivity of teachers can be measured by the teachers’ conduct as perceived by the society and, the general performance of the students that pass through them. There is therefore a need for the review of the quality of persons and the performance of teachers. The National Policy on Education states that to ensure good control in the schools, it is necessary to have good teachers and supervisors. Onoyase (2007) also states the need to help teachers improve on the job and facilitate effective instructions in schools.
This concern of the public raises certain questions: are the teachers actually doing their jobs? Are the teachers regular and punctual at their duties? What aspects of the teachers’ negative attitude to work are most common? What status of teachers are more involved in negative attitudes that affect the general school administration and the teaching and learning situation? And what are the varying degrees of prevalence among the variables. Therefore, this study is to determine the types, and examine the prevalence, of indiscipline among secondary school teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District.
To guide the study, the following questions were raised:
The following hypotheses were formulated for the study:
(1) There is no significant difference in the rate of indiscipline between male and female teachers in secondary schools in Edo Central Senatorial District.
(2) There is no significant difference in the rate of indiscipline between married and unmarried secondary school teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District.
(3) The rate of indiscipline between old and young secondary school teachers is not significantly different in Edo Central Senatorial District.
The major purpose of the study is to investigate the types and prevalence of indiscipline among secondary school teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District of Nigeria. Specifically, the study intends to:
Significance of the Study
This study will be of importance to government and her relevant agencies, as well as to non governmental agencies concerned with education. It will also be of help to teachers on the job, to those in training, proprietors of schools and school heads. It will also be of relevance to researchers in education as well as contribute to the general body of knowledge.
Through this work, government and her education agencies and non-governmental agencies that are interest in tackling indiscipline in education will be able to identify types of indiscipline that are common among secondary school teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District. Teacher’s on–the-job and those in training constitute the current teaching work force and the prospective ones. They will find this work relevant in terms of identifying their possible areas of weakness. This can ginger them into taking corrective steps rather than wait for punitive measures from school heads.
Proprietors and school heads will find this work relevant in identifying acts of indiscipline among their teachers. This will help them put up measures to curtail or eliminate them. Researchers in education will find the statistical data and the findings of this study relevant to their work. The empirical review and the recommendation will be of relevance to them. Acts of indiscipline should be checked and stamped out in order to prevent such acts from becoming prevalent.
Specifically, this study will assist government and her agencies in identifying acts of indiscipline and proffering solutions that will minimize these acts. It will assist non governmental agencies in identifying and focusing on related areas requiring attention.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The research focuses on Types and Prevalence of Indiscipline among Junior Secondary School Teachers in Edo Central Senatorial District. The variables covered in this study include: the sex of the teacher, the age of the teacher and, the marital status of the teacher.
The types of indiscipline covered in this study are lateness, examination malpractice, truancy and absenteeism. This work does not cover the prevalence of other types of indiscipline which are however listed in the background of this study.
Operational Definition of Terms
The under listed terms are contextually defined by the researcher.
Indiscipline – deviation from a code of behaviour.
Lateness – arrival at school after 7.30am.
Examination malpractice – any acts aimed at giving students assistance against conventional examination rules.
Truancy – sneaking away from school and class.
Absenteeism – frequent absence from school
Young teachers – a teacher that is below forty years.
Old teacher – a teacher that is forty years above.