An Investigation Into Academic Indiscipline And Failure Among Secondary School Students

An Investigation Into Academic Indiscipline And Failure Among Secondary School Students 


This study investigated academic Indiscipline and failure among high school students. (A case study of selected schools in Enugu Local Government Area east of Enugu State). The overall goal of this study was to study academic Indiscipline and failure among high school students. The research method adopted in this study was a descriptive survey method and the data were collected from primary and secondary sources. The study's accessible population was 800 people (male and female, including staff, students and parents) from the selected school in Enugu Local Government Area east of Enugu State. A well-structured questionnaire was used as the main data collection tool. However, eight secondary schools were selected for this study, while a practical sampling technique was applied. The total number of questionnaires distributed was 800 in the eight schools and 500 were returned to the researcher, which corresponds to the size of the sample. The data were summarized and interpreted using a simple percentage. Questionnaire responses were measured using the likert scale. Based on the data collected, the following findings were made with respect to the types of academic indiscipline and its link to failure. These types include: contempt for school authority, class disruptions, truancy, fights, the use of profanity, theft, malpractice on the exam, leaving campus without permission and so many others. These acts of indiscipline can lead to failure, therefore: class repetition, poor result, abandonment, engage more in risky behaviors, look older than classmates, etc. the researcher recommended that there be adequate facilities for teaching and learning; parents and teachers should show good examples to students; moral punishment, rewards, praise and blame create a place to strengthen positive performance; schools should abolish harsh rules and regulations, Parents should give their children the necessary home training; all secondary schools have advice and counselors.




Background to the study

It can be said that Indiscipline is as old as the time when men began to organize it in society and, therefore, made laws to order the affairs of men in a social configuration. In Holy Scripture, Cain showed some indiscipline when he murdered his brother Abel in their abode out of envy. According to Oxford Advanced learners Dictionary (7th editions) failure is the lack of success in doing or achieving something. It is relevant (relevant) to know that everyone in all areas of life is afraid of failure. According to American Heritage (R) Dictionary, failure is a lack of discipline or restraint (control) while failure to fulfill the promise is called indiscipline. We have heard of people engaging in indiscipline behaviors on a daily basis. Many of our students today, especially those in our high school, exhibit various forms of indiscipline in the form of juvenile delinquency. It could be in the form of arson, murder and theft, etc. these acts involve both adults and young people, the rate of indiscipline tends to increase in the modern world. Africa is no exception to this general increase in young stars, a negative attitude towards constituted authority.

This rate of indiscipline tends to increase despite the various steps taken by successive governments, especially Nigeria, to curb the threat among our students in order to create a socially stable society. We read our newspapers and hear in the electronic media of students in the country who commit all forms of crimes, from violation of parental regulations to truancy, theft, assault, theft and other socially undesirable behavior. Available information shows that our students are more often involved in acts of indiscipline than in every five caught for a criminal offense; there are usually young stars. These offences range from drugs to theft. During the military regime, several measures were put in place to curb trends, since its accession to power on December 31, 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 former head of States, General Sani Abacha (Lt) at the assumption I office (1993) launched the war against indiscipline and corruption (WAIC). President Olusegun Obasanjo also launched the Independent Commission on corruption practices (ICPC) and the commission on economic and financial crime (EFCC). This was to verify the various corrupt practices in our society. Despite all these commendable efforts of our young people are still a lot of indiscipline. The young Nigerian has not yet adopted the principles of the war against indiscipline and corruption program, although he is supposed to have big roles to play in the success of the program. It is often said that our young people are the leaders of tomorrow, but from what happens on a daily basis, we are forced to ask ourselves whether young people are really the future leaders of tomorrow, whether they could actually be entrusted with the leadership roles of the future, people from various works of life have expressed their concern. Olusegun Obasanjo official President and head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria lamented the rate of indiscipline in Nigerian society. He pointed the finger at most young people and adults, pointing out that they were suffering from what he called social, moral, political and economic indiscipline. The head of State, General Ibrahim Babaginda, also confirmed the obvious fact that the rate of indiscipline and crime among young people is rising rapidly. He said moral decay threatens the nation, as evidenced by the get rich quick syndrome that has invaded all the facts of society. Crimes of violence in which our young stars are involved in indicating the malaise that affects most of our communities. (Daily Times 26 December 1985. pp 1). The problem of indiscipline among students is becoming a canker worm that devours itself deeper and deeper into the fabric of our society and thus poses a greater threat to the stability of the nation.

Indiscipline of various types has deeply gnawed the fabric of the social system, this is a problem that is growing at a rapid pace and requires timely attention. We have come to notice that virtually no family exists without a child with one trait of indiscipline or the other. This is either the child steals, is rude, not well-mannered, runs away from classes, and or in time if the child is female, it may be that she possesses indulgent illiant sexual acts that can create great concerns for parents. It is also possible that the child is in one way or another drug addict. In any way that it is considered that the child has one of these or many other characteristics, which are socially undesirable, such a child is certainly a problem for the family and society as a whole. It is also sad, to note that the indiscipline of students has had a lot of negative effects on the school system and learning, many school calendars are disrupted as a result of this indiscipline many students are now forming into gangs, they threaten the lives of classmates and even teachers.

It is as a result of this indiscipline that we have now secreted societies or secreting cults even in our primary and secondary schools is necessary for the nation to pay attention to the indiscipline common among our students, if it wants to achieve glory and progress in all areas of human enterprise,. This is because the fate of any nation depends on the young people it raises, because 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/class mates, alcohol consumption, confronting and stabbing teachers in schools, vandalism, lateness to school, cultism, drug abuse, insulting/assaulting, stealing, absenteeism, fighting and other example of indiscipline in the classroom which do not appear or are 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’s 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.

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 breath taking. Many measures have been applied in 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 school’s administrator, teacher and student indiscipline. Indiscipline in schools can manifest itself in students’ violent behaviour, 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 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 into 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 into 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 the 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 relate  to their failure in examination  It will also want to find out 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 student 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 schools 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 get enough periods on the time.

The out come 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 at a good position to find out the best remedy in handling in 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 good 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 policy makers in formulating policies that will ensure a disciplined and patriotic behaviour 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 management of discipline in secondary schools while the Teacher Service Commission may use the findings to influence deployment of head teachers in the country.

This will help in wiping out of indiscipline among out students so that teaching learning atmosphere will be conducive and free dangers. In such an environment, there will be 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 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. These school incudes:

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

Research Question

The following research question has been drafted out to guide the researcher carry out a fruitful research thus:

1.     Critically analyze indiscipline and failure among the secondary schools economics students

2.     What are the frequent and regular types of indiscipline in Enugu East secondary schools?

3.     What are the factors that causes of 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?



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