The Influence Of School Monitoring Strategies On The Level Of Discipline Of Students In Surulere Local Government Area Of Lagos State

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The Influence Of School Monitoring Strategies On The Level Of Discipline Of Students In Surulere Local Government Area Of Lagos State


Abstract


School principals play an important role in the socialization process of students from where they learn to regulate their own conduct, respect others, manage their time responsibly and thus become responsible citizens. However, the situation is different in Surulere Local Government Area with rising cases of students’ indiscipline. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the influence of school monitoring strategies on students’ discipline in public secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area, Lagos State, Nigeria. The study was guided by the open systems theory and assertive discipline theory. The study applied mixed methodology and thus adopted concurrent triangulation design. The study targeted 44 principals, 44 senior teachers and 620 student leaders from which 22 principals, 22 senior teachers and 243 student leaders were sampled. Student questionnaires and principals and senior teachers interview guides were used to collect data, whereas magnitude and frequency of indiscipline incidences were collated through document analysis. Content and construct validity of research instruments were ascertained through scrutiny by two university supervisors. Reliability of the instruments was determined using test retest technique. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically along the objectives and presented in narrative forms. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively using frequencies and percentages and inferentially using linear regression analysis with the aid of Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS 23). The study established that levels of indiscipline among students in public secondary schools were very high. In one of the schools, there were 22 incidences of students unrests/class boycotts in a span of two years. Most of unrests were linked to school food, rules and regulations, school routine and lack of dialogue. In most of the schools students were not involved in setting school routine, food menu and school rules. Additionally, most principals communicated by delivering harangues during morning assemblies and hardly initiated the recommended two way communication through open conversation. All the formulated null hypotheses were rejected signifying that all the independent variables had a significance influence on the students’ discipline. The study concluded that most public secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area were yet to embrace participatory leadership. The study findings may form basis for enhanced involvement of students in school management. The study recommends that principals should involve students more in decision-making, motivate and empower peer counsellors and manifest behavior patterns which help them reinforce a desirable behavior among students.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Introduction

In this chapter, the study covers the background to the study, the statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, the objectives, research questions and the significance of the study. Further, the study delineates the scope, delimitations, limitations, assumptions of the study. The chapter culminates with an explanation of theoretical and conceptual framework.


1.2 Background to the Study

Cases of indiscipline and measures to contain it have been an ongoing debate worldwide for many years. Tozer (2015) posit that the issue of learner indiscipline has been a serious and pervasive and most often affect the student learning negatively. This problem manifests itself in cases of arson, vandalism, drugs and alcohol abuse, truancy, disobedience, theft, riots and others (Marais & Meier, 2015). School principals form a very important component of secondary school management and influences the extent to which students manifest desirable behavior patterns. In keeping with this assertion, Leithwood and Jantzi (2015) assert that a large part of any secondary school principal’s job is to handle student behavior by adopting a multiplicity of measures and strategies. The authors assert that disciplinary management measures refer to a set of strategies and practices adopted by school principals to mitigate the impact of indiscipline among students.

These measures include, but not limited to, guidance and counseling, motivation of peer counsellors, communication, use of mentorship programmes, parental involvement, ensuring stricter adherence to rules and regulations and above all, manifesting behavior patterns which students can emulate. In India, for example, Kabandize (2016) posits that principal is the tutelar head of a school whose behavior is expected to shape how every staff and student ought to conduct themselves within and outside the school microsystem. However, the extent to which such disciplinary measures impact the behavior of students in a secondary school setting remains fully unexplored.

Students’ behavior refers to how students carry themselves against a set of laid down rules and regulations. Myrick (2017) avers that disciplinary problems are described as unacceptable attitudes or behaviours that run contrary to the laid down rules and regulations of the school which may be satisfying to the students at that point in time. In Sweden, Durrant (2017) asserts that students’ indiscipline manifests itself in theft, delinquency, murder, assault, truancy and others. In Australia, the situation is not different as Brister (2016) asserts that behaviour discipline problems in schools is on the increase. In summary, these viewpoints point to the fact that indiscipline among students in secondary school setting has been a subject of debate in many forums and disciplinary measures adopted by school principals in resolving them are critical.

In many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, levels of students’ indiscipline are very high (Bosire, Sang, Kiumi & Mungai, 2014). For example, in Nigeria, Borders and Drury (2017) report that there were reported cases where 13 schools in Nigeria were burnt by students. In KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa, Cicognani (2017) notes that cases of indiscipline amongst students in high school have skyrocketed to unprecedented proportions.

According to MOE (2001), Nigeria experienced some of worst wave of students’ unrests in late 1990s and at the beginning of 21st century that was characterized by wanton destruction of property and loss of life. These unrests were attributed to work overload, neglect by teachers and parents, use of drugs and autocratic leadership in schools. In reaction, teachers applied very punitive measures such as caning resulting to pupils loss of life and irreparable psychological damage. The government intervened by banning the use of corporal punishment through the legal notice 56/2001 (Republic of Nigeria, 2001a) and instead teachers were directed to use other corrective measures such as guidance and counselling and more students involvement in school management. The ban of corporal punishment was in line with United Nations Human Rights Universal Declaration (1948). The ban was further affirmed by Children’s Act (2001), Nigeria Constitution (2010) and Nigeria Education Act 2013, in which the rights of students or any other person against any form of torture and persecution are emphasized (Republic of Nigeria, 2001b, 2010, 2013).

Kosgei, Sirmah and Tuei (2017) observe that calls for involvement of students in school management structure culminated in formation of Nigeria secondary schools student council (KSSSC) in 2009. As contained in the Nigeria Basic Education Act, 2013, article 56(g), a student representative is mandated to consult and attend Board of Management (BOM) meeting as an ex officio member. Despite these laudable measures, a surge of recurrent students’ unrest has been witnessed often with very disastrous results such burning of dormitories and administration blocks. This begs the questions; are the schools implementing the government policies on discipline and inclusion of students in management structure or that the policies have just remained a rhetoric chimera? Apart from use of guidance and counselling by teachers to maintain students discipline, do the school principals use other viable methods such as students’ peer counselling, mentorship, and adoption of open door policy in which students can air their views to the principal without fear of reprisals or victimization?

In Surulere Local Government Area, cases of students’ indiscipline have become a commonplace in secondary schools. A report by Ministry of Education (2015) shows that public secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area have witnessed 19.7% increase in cases of indiscipline amongst students. To support this, Nyang’au (2016) carried out a study in Surulere Local Government Area which also revealed that, in public secondary schools have been on the rise up to 47.3%. Nyang’au (2016) revealed that Surulere Local Government Area has witnessed 37.1% cases of drug and substance abuse amongst students, 54.2% instances of teenage pregnancy, 48.7% cases of bullying and violence amongst students and 59.6% cases of students’ strikes in secondary schools. This points to an increasing trend of students’ indiscipline. Despite these statistics, few empirical studies have exhaustively interrogated the extent to which management practices adopted by school principals influence students’ behaviour in public secondary schools, hence the need for this study.


1.3 Statement of the Problem

Schools execute a cardinal role in the socialization process of students. In so doing, students benefit by learning to respect themselves and others, to regulate their own conduct, improve in time management, accommodate and appreciate diversity, and above all become worthy responsible citizens. Surulere Local Government Area’s public secondary schools had an upsurge of students’ indiscipline. Most of the schools were experiencing frequent strikes which often resulted in burning of shool buildings, vandalism of school property. In addition, bullying of students, use of drugs and alcohol, class boycotts and theft was rampant. This observation corroborated (Nyang’au 2016) finding that public secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area had witnessed 19.7% increase in indiscipline cases. Unfortunately, efforts to mitigate these challenges have not yielded much remarkable progress. A number of studies have investigated the various school monitoring strategies and students’ discipline (Ambayo & Ngumi, 2013; Katua, 2019; Kindiki, 2009). However, these studies relied mainly on teachers and students perceptions and thus neither quantified the variables nor established the link between the level of principles application of specific management practices and the level of indiscipline among students through robustic statistics. To this end, there was a need to establish the influence of school monitoring strategies such as involvement of students in management and use peer counsellors on the students’ discipline with a view of curb the surging cases of indiscipline.


1.4 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to assess the influence of school monitoring strategies on the level of discipline of students in Surulere local government area of Lagos state.


1.5 Objectives of the Study

The study was guided by the following objectives;

  1. To determine the influence of School’s involvement of student leadership on students’ discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area;
  2. To examine the influence of School’s motivation of peer counsellors on students’ discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area;
  3. To establish the influence of School’s use of mentorship programmes on students’ discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area;
  4. To assess the influence of School’s channels of communication on students’ discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area.

1.6 Research Hypotheses

According to Kothari (2005), hypothesis is an effort by the researcher to explain an observable fact or occurrence of interest and be of various forms guided on the questions being asked and the type of study being conducted. In this study, null hypotheses tested were;

  1. Ho1: There is no statistically significant influence of School’s involvement of student leadership on students’ discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area;
  2. Ho2: There is no statistically significant influence of School’s motivation of peer counsellors on students’ discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area;
  3. Ho3: There is no statistically significant influence of School’s use of mentorship programmes on students’ discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area;
  4. Ho4: There is no statistically significant influence of School’s channels of communication on students’ discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area.

1.7 Significance of the Study

According to Kothari (2005), justification of a study is the reason or rationale for which a study is undertaken whereas significance of a study is the importance of carrying out the study and benefits different stakeholders may derive from the conclusions of the study.

Principals, school Board of Management, teachers and parents may benefit from the study in that they acquire new information on alternative disciplinary methods to be used on students’ discipline in schools. The study may be significant on the practical, methodological and theoretical value of the concept of alternative disciplinary methods and could provide an insight on the best practices and choice of appropriate alternative disciplinary methods to be used on students’ discipline in schools. The study findings may form basis for enhanced involvement of students in governance by principals through open channels of communication and formulate participative governance strategies.

The study findings may add to the existing knowledge on effects of alternative disciplinary methods on students’ discipline in schools. The study may also form a basis for other researchers who may carry out further research.


1.8 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is the geographical area within which the study would be operating (Marylin & Goes, 2013). This study was carried out in public secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area only. Mixed methodology was applied which enabled the researcher to adopt concurrent triangulation research design. Questionnaires were used to collect quantitative data from student leaders whereas interviews were used to collect qualitative data from principals and senior teachers.


1.9 Delimitations of the Study

According to Meriam (2014), delimitations of a study are those characteristics that limit the scope and define the boundaries of a study and are under the control of the researcher. Data were only collected from principals, senior teachers and student leaders and thus any other respondent was not considered. The study focused on School’s involvement of student leadership in decision-making, motivation of peer counsellors, use of mentorship programmes and various channels of communication as the main management practices adopted by secondary school principals to influence students’ discipline in public secondary schools.


1.10 Limitations of the Study

Meriam (2014) defines study limitations as some features of the study that the researcher knows may undesirably affect the results, but over which the researcher may not have control over, but attempts to provide mitigations. In this study, the results of the study might not be generalized to other public secondary schools since there could be other dynamics which influence students’ discipline in public secondary schools other than school monitoring strategies. To mitigate on this challenge, the study recommended further studies on students’ discipline in public secondary schools based on other dynamics other than school monitoring strategies.

Some of the respondents, especially principals, were unwilling to volunteer factual information on the status of students’ discipline in their schools. In this case, the researcher explained to them that the research study aimed at complementing their efforts in improving students’ discipline.


1.11 Assumptions of the Study

Meriam (2014) notes that study assumptions are observations acknowledged to be true, but not actually confirmed. In this study, the researcher assumed that public secondary schools experience cases of students’ indiscipline, that there is a multiplicity of school monitoring strategies which influence students’ discipline in public secondary schools and that the respondents would be competent and cooperative to provide credible information.


Chapter Five


Discussions, Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the discussion of the findings as per research objectives, summary of the findings, and conclusions derived from the findings and discussion. The chapter closes with the recommendations as per the objectives and suggestions of areas of further study. The purpose of the study was to assess the influence of school monitoring strategies on students’ level of discipline in secondary schools in Surulere Local Government Area, Lagos State.


5.2 Summary of Main Findings

This section presents the summary of the study findings in accordance to the objectives of the study. The study found principals in Surulere Local government area hardly involve students in setting or revising school rules and regulations. Further, most of principals were not involving students in setting the school food menu, setting school routine and identifying school needs for budgeting process. Incidentally, most of the recurrent incidences of student indiscipline emanated mainly from undesired school routine, food issues, and school finance.

Although most principals regarded guidance and counselling as fundamental in maintaining students discipline in Surulere Local government area, they do very little to promote student peer counselling. Most of student peer counsellors were neither offered material nor monetary rewards. Further, they hardly attend seminars for professional development as well as visiting other peer counsellors for bench marking. This implies that their level of motivation and empowerment may not be adequate to enable them discharge their work effectively.

Most of the principals were supportive of students’ mentorship programmes by either getting involved or encouraging those who offer to facilitate. Principals mentor students on how to attain academic excellence, healthy living practices, observe school rules and regulations, and have self respect. However, principals were not keen on students mentorship in sexuality, goal setting in life and students healthy eating habits. Lack of effective mentoring on these issues could be attributed to surge in teenage pregnancies, life style diseases such as diabetes, and hopelessness resulting to suicidal tendencies among the students.

The study findings showed that principals in Surulere Local government area use different channels of communication. However, most of the principals communicated mainly during school assemblies and to a very small extent through the other channels. Since the information conveyed during the school assemblies is one way, the views from students were systematically suppressed and many issues came to the fore after students’ unrests.

The interviewed senior teachers indicated that lack of open conversation and suggestion boxes caused students to feel being cut of from any recourse of their grievances and thus vent their anger through riots and destruction of property.


5.3 Conclusions

From the study findings and discussions the following conclusions were made:

Although public secondary schools principals in Surulere Local government area involved student leaders in modelling behavior, management of peer pressure, resolving conflicts among students and dealing with students’ welfare, they hardly involved them in crucial issues that were the source of frequent students’ unrests.

In most schools, use of peer counselling as a viable way of linking the larger students body to the school administration was overlooked. Though they existed in all schools, their presence and actions were never noticed or felt. Nonetheless, students mentorship was often done by the principals, teachers and other invited personnel.

However, mentorship alone could not be effective in resolving students issues.

Finally, the study concludes that principals rampant use of one way communication, thwarted students’ attempt to put across their issues democratically, resulting to serious outbursts of violence and anarchy.


5.4 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made based on the findings and conclusions made.

  1. In order to cultivate students’ sense of ownership of school management systems such as school routine, food menu, rules and regulations, principals should involve them to a larger extent. By so doing, dialogue can be initiated when conflicts arise.
  2. Principals should prioritize use of peer counsellors as a strategy of maintaining discipline among secondary students. The guidance and counselling teachers are normally overwhelmed by the various issues that emerge from the large number of students. This can only be resolved through a well motivated body of student peer counsellors.  Thus, principals should budget for capacity building, bench marking and extrinsic motivation of student peer counsellors.
  3. In regard to students’ mentorship, a mentorship programme should always be drawn at the beginning of each year, and implemented with fidelity. Principals through the BOM can explore on ways of forming useful partnerships with various professionals such as doctors, psychologists, nutritionists and motivational speakers in a bid to ensure the students are kept abreast with the essential life skills and up to date information.
  4. The aftermath of communication breakdown in Surulere public secondary schools can be avoided through School’s effective use of various channels of communication. The constant communication through open conversation, suggestion boxes, class meeting and others where students can take part in a discussion, would serve as a safety valve to reduce sudden and serious students’ vent of frustrations and discontent.

5.5 Suggestions for Further Research

  1. A study should be carried out to assess the influence of School’s demographic characteristics on students’ discipline in secondary schools.
  2. A study could be conducted to examine the extent to which disciplinary measures influence students’ discipline in public secondary schools.
  3. A study could be carried out to determine the influence of School’s attitude on students’ discipline in public secondary schools.

The Influence Of School Monitoring Strategies On The Level Of Discipline Of Students In Surulere Local Government Area Of Lagos State


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