1.1 Background to the study


In the development of every nation, children are seen as future assets, since they serve as potential human resources to replace the old ones in the near generation. For this to come into realization, it is important to ensure that these young ones are not only preserved but disciplined so they can remain focused in life, sharpen their skills and enhance their talent.

In contrast to these expectations from the young ones, Prout & James (2003), in their study, observed growing acts of indiscipline among school children which has become a universal challenge facing many countries. Indeed, the acts of indiscipline could be traced to the early period when individuals became conscious of organizing themselves into groups. This act of moral decadence is evident from several studies, pointing to the fact that the level of indiscipline, especially in schools has escalated (Idu & Ojedapo, 2011; Maphosa & Shumba, 2010).


Indiscipline is a destructive behaviour which does not promote peace and co-existence in society. This behaviour is a canker to many nations in the world as it is a threat to the lives of these young ones. Many efforts have been made by several world leaders to curtail this growing notoriety especially among school children but it is regrettable to say that there is no single day the media will not report of incidence of indiscipline in newspapers, on the radio and television (Clinard & Meier, 2015).

According to Maphosa & Mammen (2011), basic schools of today are noted for disrespecting authorities, going to school late, fighting among themselves, refusing to do homework and dressing indecently. Some of the pupils go to the extent of vandalizing school property and assaulting teachers for taking disciplinary actions against them or a colleague. Pre-marital sex, armed robbery, drug abuse, drunkenness and smoking of marijuana popularly known as “wee” in Nigeria have been reported to be prevalent among basic schools in the country.


The causes of these acts of indiscipline among students as stated by teachers and parents were attributed to the psycho-social factors related to home and school environment, teacher related factors in addition to the other emerging phenomenon outside our Nigerian culture. Intolerance and indiscipline behaviour brings about disorder, destruction and anxiety among the pupils. Indiscipline behaviours therefore do not create conducive environment for learning but leads to poor academic work.

1.2 Statement of the Problem


While indiscipline has been reported at all levels of education and is a worldwide social phenomenon, scholars have not adequately explored the perceptions of teachers and students on what they consider to be the source of indiscipline and the effective strategies to eliminate indiscipline in their school. Amado and Freire (2009) for example, only described what indiscipline is, incidents of disruption that affect social interaction. Likewise, Shitanda (2000) and Nyaga (2009) described the disciplinary cases in secondary schools Kenya. None of these scholars have dwelt on people’s perceptions and strategies to mediate this problem.



This study aims to fill this gap in literature, based on the understanding that indiscipline in schools is a wide area of research; different studies can be conducted in its various components, such as the effects of indiscipline on students’ learning, on teaching, on students’ completion rate and on school effectiveness. However, in order to obtain a deep understanding, it is important to research school indiscipline from the perspective of people’s understanding.



Thus, research on how teachers and students conceive indiscipline in secondary school is needed to capture their understanding and suggestions for improvement (Shahzad, 2007; Gvaramadze, 2008). In this investigation, teachers and students are chosen because they are the ones who encounter the cases of indiscipline in their interactions in schools. Teaching as well as learning is interrupted with indiscipline on a daily basis.

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