Education Project Topics

The Causes and Effects of Indiscipline Among Students in Public Secondary Schools

The Causes and Effects of Indiscipline Among Students in Public Secondary Schools

The Causes and Effects of Indiscipline Among Students in Public Secondary Schools

Chapter One


  1. This research is aimed at investigating the causes and effects of student’s indiscipline in our school system. This is due to the ever increasing rate of indiscipline in our school system nationwide. Some variables of this study includes peer group influence, parental influences/upbringing and socio-economic attainment of parents. There are many factors usually responsible for indiscipline of students in the society.
  2. This work is therefore aimed at determining the factors responsible for indiscipline in our secondary school.
  3. It will try to make suggestions to the possible solutions which may help to bring to an end the problem of indiscipline in our secondary school system.
  4. This work will go a long way to verify student indiscipline and its impact on their academic performance or better still as threat to their education.



A literature review is a summary of previous research on a topic.

The focus of this chapter is to review existing literature and scholarly contributions on the research topic carried out on the following sub headings.

  1. The concept of discipline/indiscipline
  2. The causes of indiscipline
  3. The effects of indiscipline
  4. The control measures.

The concept of Discipline/Indiscipline

Discipline is synonymous with punishment. According to this concept, discipline is used only where a child violates the rules and regulations set down by parents, teachers or adult in charge of the affairs of the community in which he lives. Used correctly discipline is dubious as said, a process of training and learning that fosters growth and development. It comes from the same world as discipline.

Bandura and Allinstimita (1969) Discipline is a state of order maintained by training and control of a particular system of regulation for conduct, instruction and exercise designed to train to proper conduct or action, systematic training inflicted by way of correction and training inflicted by way of correction and training inflicted by way of correction and training.

Akinboye (1980) Discipline is also the training of Moral character to produce self control and habit of obedience. It is essential in every organized community. Discipline has right to question authority of the teachers. He must obey and try to understand the object.

Adesina (1990) Discipline has been observed as the readiness or ability to respect authority and observe conventional or established laws of the society or any other organization. He later said that discipline implies self control, restrain, respect for self and respect for others.

Alexander (1945) said that discipline in heavens first “law” this is also the first law in any school. Life is a preparatory stage for the future well being and the much that is required that carries one through life. If one is ill-treated during his delicate stage, it will be realized that one ends up as a threat to community. This paper is concerned mainly with the meanings given above because discipline is very important feature by which the quality of a school is judged. When a school lacks discipline, many facets of school activities are adversely affected, in fact a school that has a poor discipline is likely also to have a poor public image, a poor fore, low morals among staff, frequent quarrels and anti-social acts among students, poor performance in sports and also affect their performances in examination.

According to Marland (1993), to say that children are disciplined is different from saying that they are controlled. Controlled children believe in the external value of the directions of the controller at least sufficiently to follow them. Disciplined children, on the other hand, observe the internal values of the activities to subscribe to. This explains the eagerness to substitute the term “discipline” with the term “control”. Mbiti (as cited in redempta 2010) defines discipline as a system of arranging condition for healthy learning and living. Since life is a continuous series of choices, the child must be trained to make choices reasonably and independently.

Bakhda (2004) Says that a good manager must have effective communication skills. A number of communication channels can be used to enhance interactions and discipline like culture in schools. These include making announcements at school, assemblies, staff meetings, daily announcement in classrooms and staff rooms, person to person communication, telephones, e-mails, postal systems, memos, notice boards, newsletters, personalized letters, intercom-telephony among others. Indiscipline can be alleviated in schools if available channels of communication are effectively employed. Students should be allowed to express their grievances to the school administration and teachers. Teachers and school managers should also use these channels to sensitize students on expected behaviour. Communication enhances attitudes towards teaching, learning and the whole educational process and systems. Charles (as cited in Asare & Adzrolo, 2013) encourages head teachers to have dialogue with their students both formally and informally. Dialogue could motivate learners to behave better because they feel that the head teacher is concerned about them.

On the same issue, Kolaci; (2014) says that without proper interactions and appropriate use of channels communication, an organization can only be a confused gathering of people and machines. The leader, the group and the situations influence one another. Conversely, a style of leadership that informs people what to do without seeking their opinions is considered autocratic and the outcome is chaos and anarchy.

The history traditions and culture of a school set the tone for student’s discipline. Wallace (as cited in Bakzer 1999) has formulated a model of the psychology of culture change that is considerably more complex.

The scholar argues that when the equilibrium of a socio-cultural system is disrupted by forces internal or external to it, it becomes unable to meet the needs of parts, including their needs for orderliness and predictability in their social life. They become dissollioned and discontented which leads to an increase in deviant behavior, mental disorder and crime, which are soon followed by institutionalized floating of conventions by groups of people seeking comfort in alcohol, violence, illicit sexual and economic practices, as social trust and security deteriorate further.

The culture of school contributes to student discipline the new members in a school adopt and fit into the culture of the school through various interactions and process. School members also determine the culture of their institution. It is the responsibility of the school administration, principal, teachers and students to determine the type of culture to exhibit. New staff members and students are also inducted into the existing culture. Duke (as cited in Akomolafe, 2012) says that highly performing schools are characterized by commitment to appropriate student behaviour and set clear behaviour expectations for students. In such schools, rules, sanctions and procedures are discussed, debated and frequently formalized into school discipline and classroom management plans (Ibid) the climate in such institutions reveals concern for students as individuals which manifest itself in a variety of ways, including efforts to involve students in school decision-making and de-emphasis on homogenous group.

Sullivian, Johnson, Owens and Conway (2014), Citing slee (1995), posit that suspension as a means to reforming student behaviour does not help the student because the school staff simply gets rid of the troublesome students rather than changing the school environment in such a way as to prevent or reduce discipline problems. Schools are places where it expected, students will learn to live in unity and harmony. The Teachers Service Commission (2002) posits that indiscipline arises where idleness is rampant and teachers show little interest in student’s academy welfare. Discipline as part of educational and life training must be carried out in the context of love, respect and acceptance.


According to the Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary 5th edition of current English, Indiscipline is defined as absence of discipline. Indiscipline can also be seen as any action considered to be wrong and not generally accepted as proper in a set up or society. This is direct opposite of discipline, which is a state of order obtained by training and control punishment inflicted by way of correcting training.

Indiscipline as defined by Akinboye (1980) is also misbehaviour. In other words, indiscipline is any act or behavior or an individual or group of people that is not in conformity with the general accepted pattern of standard, norms in the society of mind character in a person to produce self control or habits of obedience. It involves lack of obedience to constituted authority or law of a nation. It is also lack discipline or restrain.





Research design simply means the plan or blue-print on how to go about data collection and analysis all aimed at providing solution to the problem under investigation. Anikpu (1986) defined a design as a plan or structure of any aspect of the research procedure. Such a plan according to him will be realized in the selection of the most appropriate concepts, hypothesis, analytical paradigms, specific sampling techniques, instruments and tools of data collection, test for hypothesis and also the most effective format to present research project.

Thus in this, we shall adopt survey research According to Nworgu (2006) survey research is one in which group of people or items are studied by collective and analyzing data only from few persons or items considered to be representing the entire group. Therefore such representation is called a sample. Additionally, According to Okebaram (2014), a survey research is a method of gathering information about human population which involves contact with the unit of study. The study population comprised of the principal, teachers and all students in the community secondary school located at Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The sample for the study included the 450 teachers both in the Junior and Senior secondary levels and also the strength of the students were altogether (2, 250 students) in the school, which 50 students were selected randomly, also 150 teachers were selected out of the (450 teachers). The method of data collection was based on a stratified random sampling technique. The data collected were from the prospective of the teachers, as well as the students as they are both the respondents in the study.


The source of data for this study includes both primary and secondary source of data. The primary data was collected or gotten through well-structured and organized questionnaires in order to get the necessary data for this study. The questionnaires shall be structured and unstructured; that is, both close and open ended format shall be used to organize the questionnaires.

The secondary source of data was gotten through textbook, Journals, Online materials, news papers and other literatures relevant to the study.


The study of population comprised of all the students in Otuoke Community Secondary School with a population of (2, 250) One thousand, two hundred and fifty at both the junior and secondary level, of which the population of the total people in the local government area (Ogbia) Bayelsa State is 179, 606 (2006 census).

Source: National Population Commission of Nigeria (web).



The study is set out to analyze the causes of indiscipline among secondary school students in Otuoke, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State.

The distribution of respondents by sex




The foregoing shows the analysis of data collected for this study. As indicated in the findings, one important cause of indiscipline among secondary school students in secondary schools is the influence of peer pressure groups of peer groups. This shows that there has been no strict penalty imposed on certain groups of students involved in diverse criminal acts, many students continued to get involved in other immoral acts like examination malpractice, bullying, drug Abuse etc. It implies that since there is no strict punishments given to offenders to serve as a deterrent to others, indiscipline among students in schools remain uncurbed.

Another cause as perceived by the research findings gotten from the respondents was the parental influence towards their children in encouraging indiscipline. This implies that parent themselves contribute to one way or the other to instilling forms of indiscipline in their children. Parents do this by quarreling and fighting in the presence of their children thereby encouraging them to practice what they see not just only in the future but amongst their selves in school, there is this saying that charity begins at home and sociologically the family is the first phase of socialization. Having seen the act done by their parents, the children tend to practice quarreling and fighting in school.

Also some parents contribute to helping their children to have the spirit of examination malpractice and cheating in exams. They do so as far as going to the extent of arranging special centers for their children to sit and pass freely for external exams. Some also go to the extent of seeing teachers or lecturers on behalf of their children performance in school. All these above practices by some parents give students the room or morale to engage in all sorts of examination malpractices and start indulging in examination cheating during exams due to the fact that their parents in one way or the other has encouraged them into practicing it.

Again, Drug abuse was also found among the students lifestyle. Most of the students in secondary school have the habit of drinking alcohol, taking un-prescribed pills (Tramadol) etc. When with their peers most of them see drinking as a prerequisite for acceptance into a group where as inability to do what others are doing is often seen as a threat to the group.

All the findings discussed relating to this research shows that indiscipline is not carried out on self will but by the influence of parents, peer groups which is in one way or the other supports or promotes in-disciplinary act amongst students.


Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that teachers should be well trained and devoted, disciplined and hardworking in order to present appropriate model to students. Hence, there should be strict penalty given to a group of students involve in criminal acts so as to serve as a lesson to others. Concerted efforts should be made in enhancing discipline among students through the counseling services in school in other to prevent them from acts of indiscipline and the dangers or effects it will have on one’s future.

Student’s whistle blowers should be implemented in order to checkmate cultist activities, rape, theft etc. There should be increased effort by the principals of schools and examination boards in enhancing the effective supervision of students during examination in order to discourage exam malpractice. To control indiscipline in our secondary schools, the adults that the students look upon as pace-setters should desist from indiscipline, however it is the duty of parents, religions organizations to instill the fear of God into children with respect for elders and the societal norms.


Considering the findings of this study, it was concluded that student engagement in in-disciplinary act is not based on genetic but rather it was based on socialization. The children became immoral or undisciplined when they started socializing with their peer group. Homes and the environment of the school also contributed to influencing them.

The parents and the schools and the society in general have a role to play in curbing the in-disciplinary act among secondary school students. Their roles will go along way as serving as the effective measures needed to be taken in addressing the issue of indiscipline among secondary school students.


  • Akinboye (1980) a comparative study of principal’s Administrative effectiveness           in public and private secondary schools in Ekiti State Nigeria. Journal of                   educational and private.
  • Akomolafe C.o (2012) a comparative study of principal administrative                                     effectiveness in public and private secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria           Journal of education and practice 3 (13), 39-45.
  • Asare K.B.S Adzorolo B. (2013) lecturers’ students and Administrators’                        perception of Discipline in the faculty of educational, University of Cape              Cost, Ghana Sage open, April-June 1-8.
  • Bakhda S (2004) management and evaluation of school Nairobi Oxford University                  Press.
  • Internet sources:
  • Kalacif. (2014) the dimensions of internal communication and the engagement of          the employees in the decision making process in the Albamia education            Sector (Masters’s thesis) University of Vaasa.
  • Marland m. (1993) the craft of the classroom oxford: Heinaman.
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