CAUSES OF INDISCIPLINE AMONG PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Indiscipline in public secondary schools has become an alarming issue in the Nigerian society. Public secondary schools are expected to be developed with the required facilities and staff in order to cater for the high demands for quality education. Also there are policies that have been proposed by the government to improve educational standards in the country. However in spite of the policies and the various bodies created to oversee the issues of public secondary schools in Nigeria to ensure quality education, learning institutions in the Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have been plagued with cases of students’ unrest and indiscipline which in many ways undermines quality education
Indiscipline is a behavioural disorder that is classified as an act of delinquency. Just like, lying, stealing and playing truant or running away from home. It is often the cause of a lot of mental, emotional and also physical damage, such as damage to property in homes as well as in schools. An undisciplined child is an uncontrollable child and can do just about any damage when he or she does not get whatever he or she wants
Also the nature of indiscipline is generally classified. According to Nwana (1971) the major offences committed by students in some schools in the Western region include stealing, lying, bulling, lateness to school, rioting, cruelty, absence and truancy. For Ozula (1986) Some of the act of indiscipline include; disobedience, vandalisation, quarrelling, fighting, rioting, wickedness, absenteeism, violence, dishonesty, arson, idleness, disorderliness, laziness, smuggling, jealousy, gossip, drunkenness, greed, selfishness, discrimination, corruption, bribery, drug abuse, sex, and raping. Others are lawlessness, kidnapping, murder, oppression, misappropriation of fund and mismanagement. For public schools in Uyo local Government area of Akwa Ibom State some major attributes of indiscipline include fighting, stealing, assault, absenteeism, rudeness, truancy, lateness, exam malpractice.
Public schools are schools sponsored by the government and are usually limited to state jurisdiction, it is usually free or less tuition fee, depending on the state government. Akwa Ibom State is one of the states blessed with the policy of free education and the public schools in Uyo Local Government Area of the state are beneficiaries of this policy. Although it has been noticed that not much has been invested in public schools as most public schools are left with dilapidated structures, damaged or non infrastructures, unprofessional teachers or less considerations for effective teachers thereby diminishing their motivation.
The principals’ conference held in (1977) identified some factors that contribute to the causes of indiscipline in schools. These factors include facilities and equipment, authoritarian method of administration, insufficient moral and religious institutions, inadequate proper communication among principals, staff and students, lack of security, poor devotion to study and poor attitude to learning.
The problem of indiscipline in schools, according to some authors should be guided by the schools’ administrators who must in a way formulate a set of rules to guide the students, in what they are expected to do and not to do. Also to make the enforcement of school rules easy by explaining the reasons for making a rule particularly, if it is one that students do not like. If students were made to understand the reason behind the set rules, they are more likely to co-operate in obeying it. These and many more will be discussed in subsequent chapters as regards measures and policies set to curb indiscipline in public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The issue of indiscipline has effect on different aspect of the state which has caused continuous loss in terms of human resources and property due to indiscipline in schools. Quality education is also undermined, as invaluable learning time is lost. Another consequence is that the goals for industrialisation and economic recovery for the state may not be achieved if the human and other resources are wasted during the unrest that comes as a result of indiscipline.
Indiscipline cuts across all aspect of human environment and has caused a lot of setbacks in schools and the society at large. Indiscipline is like a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society. It breeds lawlessness and lawlessness breeds crime, and consequently self-destruction. Indiscipline in schools contributes to lack of success in one’s life, if allowed to linger on for a long time.
Edem (1982) states that indiscipline is the violation of school rules and regulations which is capable of obstructing the smooth and orderly functioning of the school system and should be consequently avoided through perfect orientation of students and imposition of positive sanction in case of obvious violation of the order. Indiscipline is the inability of students and/or teachers to respect authority, to also observe and obey school rules and regulations. It is also a social disorder which hampers a high standard of behaviour conducive to maintenance of teaching – learning process.
According to Adeyemo (1985) rules and regulations in most cases affect students more than any other factor because they are made by the school authorities in order to guide and protect the students while in school. The principal’s conference (1999) suggested some rules and regulations that govern student discipline in Nigeria schools. It stipulates methods and procedure for minor and severe disciplinary measures such as corporal punishment, suspension and student expulsion. Rules and regulations are drawn for the orderly conduct of the school affairs. Some of them are written and others are implied and they are recognised by law.
This work examines the nature and causes of indiscipline in schools, with a view to suggesting strategies for curbing the problem in Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom State.