(A Case Study Of Nigeria)


This studies an investigation into academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students (English language mathematics, Igbo, Agric, Economics. period 2005-2011 (a case study of Nigeria) the population of the study consists of five subjects in senior secondary school in Nigeria. A total of nine thousand seven hundred and fifteen (9,7,15) students and about 200 members of the staff were involved. Ten students from each class (JSS1-SSIII) were selected by proportionate stratified random sampling techniques to ensure that relevant features of the population were adequately represented for the second set of sample (staff) the same techniques was used to selected five staff from each school. The instrument used for the data collection was a structured questionnaire section ‘A’ contained personal data of the correspondent eg Name, sex, qualification etc while section ‘B’ contained the structured questionnaire items. The items were structured to reflect four point rating scale of strongly agree (SA), Agree (A) strongly Disagree (SD), and disagree and others like response category. The researchers personally administered the questionnaire. The response code and values are shown below, used in calculating the mean using the formula.


Background of the Study 

According to Oxford Advanced learners Dictionary (7th editions) failure is lack of success in doing or achieving something. It is pertinent (relevant) to know that everybody in every walks of life is afraid of failure. According to American Heritage (R) Dictionary, failure is lack of discipline or restraint (control) while failure to fulfill promise is called indiscipline. Indiscipline is a rudimentary ingredient that plays a crucial role in school system, which Insist on upholding the moral values of students. It comprises a wide spectrum of meaning, well from the negative or positive perspective i.e a particular attitude towards something i.e view point. However, it is human immune to always focus on the negative smell and that would be considered a popular issue if it involves an individual or a group that claims an intimate relationship (close relationship) within a society. Schon, D. (1993) aptly states that every child has a need to attend school. Schools are seen as provider of education as education is an important process that each individual has to undergo in life today. Thus, education is seen as the key to unlock the treasure prove of knowledge i.e valuable things that are found hidden or whose owner is unknown student’s misbehaviour is a prevailing problem affecting schools not only in Nigeria but also across the many countries around the Africa. Students misconduct in the classroom interferes with teaching and learning and is thought to be precursor to later school dropout and similar negative social out-comes. Student’s behaviour problems are also thought to be a leading contributor to teacher’s stress and attrition (Making somebody weaker). Teacher’s subjected to abuse report experiencing fears for their intense feeling of anger, humiliation or shame, Isolation and depression. Some teenagers may never reveal the nature of the incident or it’s impact on them in such cases, the confidence of the teachers has been undermined, his/her sense of personal safety related and the perpetration has not been conditioned. Salvin, R.E (2003). One of the most wide-spread reasons for bad discipline however is usually students inability to cope with the task. The noisiest students will demonstrate their frustration by loud outburst (a sudden strong expression of an emotion), disruptive behaviour (causing problems, noise), will the rest of the class may remain passive (Stermbery, R.J & Williams, W.W.(2002). Basically, discipline problems occurs when a students refuses to obey rules of the classroom or school. A close investigation on why our students fail in their Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) especially on English language, Mathematics, Igbo language, Economics and Biology will reveal the fact that most of the students, susceptible i.e influenced or harmed to failure are those who indulge in academic indiscipline such as truancy, lateness to school, fighting, vandalism (crime of destroying or damaging something) and others. Sometimes, some school principals and class teachers will dabble (to take part in an activating) into malpractice just to help the students. However, they do it so that the society will see them as committed and hardworking teachers in their schools. The knowledge that the teachers will offer them helping during examination leads to students to relax, instead of being serious with their studies. The researchers are not happy because academic indiscipline is rapidly putting down the wall of education in our country. It ponders in the mind of the researchers the type of doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants that will be produced in our nation in the next five-ten years. Onah, J. (2008). According to Dewey in philosophy of education he emphasized on learning, by doing’. The child has to do something”. He has to get involved in order for learning to be meaningful.

Moreover, rules that deal with human actions will eventually be broken and require some sort of punishment. Rules must also relate to the stated function of education or the school process and again, common sense must prevail in establishing disciplinary action for breaking a rule.Furthermore all students must be aware and prudent of the rules before disciplinary action can be administered. Franken, R.E (1998) parent and schools share the responsibility of promoting values and standards which we hope will help younger people to establish sound behavioural codes for their lives.

1.2 Statement of the Problem 

Education is the bedrock of development of any country. This is the reason why the integral part of our budget goes to education. The government is fighting very hard to shake off the under-development. How much was voted for education budgets. Academic excellence is everybody’s wish for himself and his relations. During the colonial days some people know the efficacy in education. It is with dismay (a worried, sad feeling) to observe the damaged academic indiscipline has done to our schools even our secondary schools which the preparatory stage of higher education. Teachers are not coping well with the implementation of the curriculum, hence the low achievement of the product of secondary schools illiteracy, innumeracy (unable to court or do simple mathematics) and basic skills.

The value system in the country has made everybody to be corrupt. Lack of adequate infrastructural facilities such as teaching aids, buildings, transport, water and power supplies etc have led to academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

It is ideal to investigate into academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students based on these objectives:-

a. To critically define indiscipline and failure in secondary schools.

b. To investigate into the causes of academic indiscipline and failure into our schools.

c. To recommend possible ways of cubing academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students.

1.4 Significant Of The Study

This study would be of immense help to the secondary school students as it would investigate clearly why our students are involved in academic indiscipline and why they fail woefully in their examination. It will also want to find out positive and lasting solution towards their being made better examination candidates especially in compulsory subjects like English language, Igbo language, Agric Science,, Economics and Mathematics.

The entire society also stand the chance to benefit immensely because the students in secondary schools will be equipped to take their Senior Secondary school Certificate Examination (SSCE) confidently which will in long them lead to sufficiency.

1.5 Research Questions 

1. Does frustration cause academic indiscipline?

2. Can failure cause the student to dropout from school.

3. Is the teacher a role model to the students?

4.Do some secondary school administration encourage examination malpractice?

5. Does broken home make a student to be aggressive

6. Have the child’s background have any contribution to his behaviour at school.

7. Can lack of confidence lead to failure.

8. Teaching the students with precepts (principles) and examples can it help to combat indiscipline?

9. How did the students perform in these subjects from 2005-2010?

10. Which one did they perform better or worse?

11. What are the possible reasons for their performances?

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study is delimited to five subject in senior secondary schools in Nigeria. These subjects are: 1. English language 2. Mathematics 3. Igbo language 4. Agriculture science  5. Economics

1.7 Definition of Terms 

Academic indiscipline involves all those undesirable attitudes exhibited by students in the schools. Examples; bullying, fighting, stealing, poor attitudes to schools activities, vandalism etc.

1. Truancy: According to NTI, NCE (2001) Education cycle 4, truancy is an act of staying away from school without good reason or permission and students who involve in this act is called truant. A times, they leave the school to stay in a hide out playing, gambling (the activity of playing games of chance for money and watching movies.

2. Bullying: A bully is someone who use his strength or power to hurt or frighten people. He enjoys oppressing others weaker then himself.

3. Vandalism: According to oxford Advanced learners Dictionary) it is the crime of destroying or damaging something, especially public property, deliberately and for no good reason.

4. Malpractice: The dishonest use of a position of trust for personal gain. It is an act of omission or commission which comprises the validity, reliability and integrity of any examination.

5. Failure: It is lack of success in doing achieving something.

6. Indiscipline: Failure to fulfill promise.

7. Rudimentary: Means basic clearing with only the most basic matters and ideas.