ACADEMIC INDISCIPLINE AND FAILURE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
Background of the Study
Indiscipline may be said to be as old as the time when men started to organize them into society and consequently made laws to order the affairs of men in a social set up. In the Holy Scripture Cain exhibited some form of indiscipline when he out of envy murdered his brother Abel in their abode. According to Oxford Advanced learners Dictionary (7th editions) failure is a lack of success in doing or achieving something. It is pertinent (relevant) to know that everybody in every walk of life is afraid of failure. According to the American Heritage (R) Dictionary, failure is a lack of discipline or restraint (control) while failing to fulfill promises is called indiscipline. We have heard of people engaging in indiscipline behavior on daily basis. Many of our students today especially those in our secondary school exhibit various forms of indiscipline in form of juvenile delinquency. This could be in the form of arson, murder, and robbery, etc. these acts involve both adults and youths, the rate of indiscipline tends to be on the increase in the modern world. Africa is not an exception to this general increase in the young stars, negative attitude to constituted authority.
This rate of indiscipline tends to be on an increase despite the various measure taken by the successive government most especially Nigeria, to curb the menace among our students so as to bring about a socially stable society. We read our newspapers and hear from the electronic media of students in the country committing all forms of crimes ranging from the violation of parental regulations to truancy, stealing, assault, robbery, and other socially undesirable behaviors. Available information shows that our students are most frequently implicated in the acts of indiscipline that in every five caught for a criminal offense; there are usually young stars. This offense ranges from drugs and robbery. During the military rule, several measures were put in place to curb the trends, on its assumption to power on the 31st December 1983, the government of general Mohammuadu Buhari (Rtd) made it known that one of the causes of our problems in our country (Nigeria) was indiscipline and as such, the war against indiscipline (WAI) was introduced into all aspects of the life of the nation. Also our past head of states, General Sani Abacha (Lt) on assumption I office (1993) launched the war against indiscipline and corruption (WAIC). President Olusegun Obasanjo also launched the independent corrupt practices commission (ICPC) and economic-financial crime commission (EFCC). This was aimed at checking the various corrupt practices in our society. Despite all these commendable efforts of our youth are still very much indisciplined. The Nigeria youth is yet to embrace the principles behind the war against indiscipline and corruption program even when he is supposed to have great roles to play in the success of the program. There is often the saying that our youths are the leaders of tomorrow, but from what happens on a daily basis, one is forced to wonder if actually, the youths are the future leader of tomorrow, if they could actually be entrusted with the leadership roles of the futures, people from various works of life have expressed concern. Olusegun Obasanjo formal president and head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria lamented over the rate of indiscipline in the Nigerian society. He pointed accusing fingers at most youths and adults noting that they suffering from what he called social, moral, political, and economic indiscipline. Also formal head of state general Ibrahim Babaginda confirmed the obvious fact that the rate of indiscipline and crime among youths was growing fast. He said moral decadence is threatening the nation as evidenced by the get rich quick syndrome that pervaded all facets of the society. Crimes of violence in which our young stars are involved in an indication of the malaise which affects most of our communities. (Daily Times 26th December 1985. pp 1). The problem of indiscipline among students is fast becoming a cankerworm that is eaten deeper and deeper into the fabric of our society and thereby constituting a greater threatens to the stability of the nation.
Indiscipline of various types has eaten deep into the fabric of the social system, it is a problem that is increasing at a fast rate and needs prompt attention. We have come to notice that hardly any family exists without a child possessing one trait of indiscipline or the other. It is either the child steals, is rude, not well mannered, runs away from classes, and or at times if the child is a female, it may be that she posses indulgent Alliant sexual acts which may create great concerns for the parents. It is also possible that the child is one way or the other drug addict. In whatever way it is viewed whether the child exhibits any of these features or many others, which are socially undesirable, such a child is certainly a problem to the family and the society at large. It is also sad, to note that student indiscipline has had a lot of negative effects on the school system and learning, many academic calendars are being disrupted as a result of this indiscipline many students now form themselves into gangs, they threaten the life of fellow students and even teachers.
It is as a result of this indiscipline that we now have secreted societies or secrete cults even in our primary and secondary schools is necessary for the nation to pay attention to the frequent indiscipline among our students, if she is to achieve fame and progress in all field of human endeavor, This is because the fate of any nation depends on the youths she breeds, as they are the leaders of tomorrow.
Statement of the Problem
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.
Despite the efforts by the stakeholders to instill discipline in schools, such as strengthening of Board of Management to deal decisively with this problem and training of administers and teachers through workshops, indiscipline has persistently remained a big problem. There are many extreme cases of indiscipline that attract newspapers headlines, there are routine cases of truancy, boycotting of lessons, watching and practicing pornography, lies telling, violence, dishonesty, disobedient to teachers, prefects, and school administration, rapping school/classmates, alcohol consumption, confronting and stabbing teachers in schools, vandalism, lateness to school, cultism, drug abuse, insulting/assaulting, stealing, absenteeism, fighting and another example of indiscipline in the classroom which does not appear or is reported in the Newspapers. Parents blame teachers for the indiscipline among school children and teachers blame parents, government, and school administrators for the indiscipline in the society. Student misconduct in the Classroom interferes with teaching and learning and is thought to be a precursor to later school dropout and similar negative social outcomes.
A close investigation on why our students fail in their Senior Secondary especially on Economics 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.
The rate at which students are engaging in different vices is breathtaking. Many measures have been applied in the recent past by government and school administrators in the bid to check the occurrence of indiscipline. However, the worry is that despite all stern measures the rate of indiscipline among students is on the increase. Measures have not adequately addressed the situation. However, the researcher discovered in recent times that students’ poor academic performance is attributed to the school’s administrator, teacher, and student indiscipline. Indiscipline in schools can manifest itself in students’ violent behavior, poor disciplinary style, ineffectiveness and inefficiency of teacher, poor time management, and ineffective code of conduct, and so on. These acts of indiscipline engage by the schools disrupt learning and have a direct impact on students’ achievement. This has enabled the researcher to pose the question: have parents, school counselors, and religious organizations in schools abandoned or neglected their duties in nurturing their children of becoming acceptable citizens of the community and the future? With this nonchalant attitude, teachers find it difficult to motivate their learners to learn because they equally lack peace and motivation within the school.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study is aimed at Investigating Academic Indiscipline and Failure among Secondary School Students in Economics. (A case study of some selected schools n Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State). Specifically, the study seeks to:
1. Critically define indiscipline and failure in secondary schools in Enugu.
2. Identify the frequent and regular types of indiscipline in secondary schools in Enugu east local government.
3. Investigate the causes of academic indiscipline and failure in our schools.
4. Recommend possible ways of cubing academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students.
Significance of the Study
The study is significant to the students, teachers, principals, parents, and society at large. This study would be of immense help to the secondary schools as it would investigate clearly why our students are involved in academic indiscipline and how it relates to their failure in examination It will also want to find out a positive and lasting solution towards their being made better examination candidates especially in compulsory subjects like economics.
The study will enable the principal to be aware of the causes of indiscipline among secondary school students and this will help to find strategies which they will implement in the school in order to reduce the high rate of indiscipline in their various schools. The principals should make sure that they have enough teachers to teach the students. School heads will discover what negative role they play and which in turn affect events that can lead to indiscipline in school. They will then adjust their administrative loopholes and forge ahead for a well-disciplined school system. They should encourage their economics teachers to attend workshops organized for them. The principals in collaboration with the government and PTA will make sure that every material needed for teaching and learning of Economics is provided. The secondary schools should make sure that Economics gets enough periods on the time.
The outcome of this study will enrich the teachers’ arsenal of knowledge; in that it will enable the teacher to identify the various problems of students and the study will place the teachers in a good position to find out the best remedy in handling disciplined student in the school. This study will be of great benefit to teachers and students of economics because the information from this research work will review some important data such as advise the teachers to further their education and get more knowledge on the study of economics and find ways to make it interesting. The teachers in charge of guidance and counseling departments may find this research useful to manage their roles more effectively in modeling the student’s behavior.
With this study, parents should be aware that they should train their children at home so that they can be well mannered and behave well in school. Hence there is a saying that says that charity begins at home.
The study would also be useful to the government and policymakers in formulating policies that will ensure a disciplined and patriotic behavior on the part of the students. The findings would provide valuable information to the Ministry of Education as well as to the Teachers Service Commission. The Ministry of Education may use the findings to influence the management of discipline in secondary schools while the Teacher Service Commission may use the findings to influence the deployment of headteachers in the country.
This will help in wiping out indiscipline among our students so that the teaching-learning atmosphere will be conducive and free of dangers. In such an environment, there will be a better enhancement of knowledge. This study may also open doors for further research on the issues of indiscipline.
Scope of the Study
This study limits its scope to the investigation into academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students in economics. This study is a case study that was carried out in some selected schools in Enugu east local government area of Enugu state. This school includes:
1. Annunciation Secondary School Nike
2. Girls Secondary School Abakpa Nike
3. National Grammar School Enugu
4. St. Patrick’s College Emene
5. Transekulu Girl’s Secondary School Enugu
6. Umuchigbo High School Iji-Nike
7. Girls Secondary School, Emene
8. Community Secondary School Ugwuogo Nike
The following research, the question has been drafted out to guide the researcher to carry out fruitful research thus:
1. Critically analyze indiscipline and failure among the secondary school's economics students
2. What are the frequent and regular types of indiscipline in Enugu East secondary schools?
3. What are the factors that cause academic indiscipline and failure in these secondary schools especially among economics students?
4. What are the possible ways in which academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students in Enugu East can be cubed?.