An Investigation Into Academic Indiscipline And Failure Among Secondary School Students In Economics

Project and Seminar Material for Economics Education

An Investigation Into Academic Indiscipline And Failure Among Secondary School Students In Economics


This study investigated Academic Indiscipline and Failure among Secondary School Students in Economics. (A case study of some selected schools in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State). The general purpose of this study was to investigate the Academic Indiscipline and Failure among Secondary School Students in Economics. The research method adopted in this study was a descriptive survey method and data were collected from both primary and secondary source. The accessible population of the study was 800 individuals (both male and female including staff, students and parents) of the selected school in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. A well structured questionnaire was used as the main instrument of data gathering. However, eight secondary schools were selected for the purpose of this study while a convenient sampling technique was applied. The total number of questionnaires distributed was 800 in all the eight schools and 500 were returned to the researcher which was the sample size. The data was summarized and interpreted using simple percentage. The responses from the questionnaires were measured with likert scale. Based on the data collected, the following findings were made with regards to types of academic indiscipline and how it linked to failure. These types include: defiance of school authority, class disruptions, truancy, fighting, use of profanity, theft, examination malpractice, leaving campus without permission and so many others. These acts of indiscipline can lead to failure, thus: repetition of class, bad result, drop out, engage more in risky behaviours, looking older than class mates etc. The researcher recommended that there should be adequate facilities for teaching and learning; parents and teachers should show good examples to students; Moral punishment, rewards, praise and blame create room for reinforcement of positive performance; schools should abolish harsh rules and regulations, Parents should give their children the necessary home training; All secondary schools have guidance and counselors.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
  • 4.5 Interpretation of Result

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Indiscipline may be said to be as old as the time when men started to organize him 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 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 American Heritage (R) Dictionary, failure is lack of discipline or restraint (control) while failure to fulfill promise is called indiscipline. We have heard of people engaging in indiscipline behaviour 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 adult and youths, the rate of indiscipline tends to be on the increase in the modern world. Africa is not an exception of 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 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 raging from the violation of parental regulations to truancy, stealing, assault, robbery and other socially undesirable behaviours. Available information shows that our students are most frequently implicated in the acts of indiscipline that in every five caught for a criminal offence; there are usually young stars. These offence 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 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 effort of our youth are still very much indiscipline. The Nigeria youth is yet to embrace the principles behind the war against indiscipline and corruption programme even when he is supposed to have great roles to play in the success of the programme. 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 Nigeria society. He pointed accusing fingers to 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 facts of the society. Crimes of violence in which our young stars are involved in 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 canker worm that is eaten deeper and deeper in to 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 time if the child is a female, it may be that she posses indulgent illiant 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 calendar 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 endeavour,. This is because the fate of any nation depends on the youths she breeds, as they are the leaders of tomorrow.

1.2 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.

1.3 Objective 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.

1.4 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?

1.5 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.

1.6 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

1.7 Limitation of the Study

This research work is specifically on the Investigation Into Academic Indiscipline And Failure Among Secondary School Students In Economics. In the limitation on research work of this magnitude or nature can be carried out without limitation. Hence, during the course, certain constraints were encountered.


The cost of thorough research is not what can be afforded by a student. The prices of materials needed for this work has gone up and transport fee has also gone up.


The time was one of the limitations in the process of carrying out this research work.

Scarcity of Literature:

The research encountered some problems in collection of literature especially on the bank History and operations. This are hindered the smooth running of this work.

1.8 Definition of Terms

The following definition is important for the successful completion of this project.


Act or habit of staying away from school without permission.

School administration

Is a formularized syustem which plans and co-ordinate organs of school (stating reporting and evaluating of all matter of the entire school affairs).


In this context of this study, it means the absence of discipline in the form of disobedience, absenteeism, non-challant attitude, lateness to school, negligence of duty etc.


As it relate to this study is the adherence to rules and regulations governing the schools.

1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study.

The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.

Chapter Five

Recommendations, Conclusions and Summary of the Study

5.1 Summary of Findings

Summarily through the observation made, it is obvious that the there are many causes of indiscipline in Enugu East and as a result lead to failure. Grade repetitions which have become distinctive characteristics of some secondary schools, dropout, falling into trouble of which the researcher highlighted many ways in which the indiscipline can be curbed.

5.2 Conclusion Finding

The result of the study revealed that the common types of indiscipline in Enugu East secondary schools as cases of insubordination to school authority such as assault and insult on teachers and non-teachers and assault on school prefects. The most common cases of indiscipline relating to the collective misbehaviour of students such as the vandalization of school properties and mass protest, while the common cases of indiscipline relating to poor habits of students are speaking of pidgin English, chewing gum in class, fighting, wearing dirty and wrong clothing contrary to the official school uniforms and examination malpractice.

As regards the students based causes of indiscipline, the result of the study showed that constant negative labels on students, abuse of seniority by school prefects, students poor study habits and students restlessness and inattention in class were the major factors. The excess energy accumulated by children kept passive and inactive for long tends to make them inattentive in class and restless. In addition, students may become restless and inattentive when lessons are boring due to acute shortage of instructional facilities and problems of curriculum. The use of constant negative labels on students by the teachers can make them to begin to build low self-concept by developing a negative frame of mind. Such student may begin to see himself as one who cannot perform well whenever the teacher is in the class, become deliberately rude to the teacher and may be withdrawn from activities. The school based causes of indiscipline revealed by this study are teachers’ lateness and absenteeism in class, overcrowded classrooms, unconducive school environment, unenforceable school rules and regulations, poor teaching and poor leadership by school administrators

The results further revealed the society based causes of indiscipline as parental overprotection of children, poor value system, and injustice in the society indicated by the practice of favouritism, nepotism and corruption, unwholesome mass media and unsatisfactory home condition. The poor value system in the society which no longer honour the hard work and meritorious services are responsible for the breakdown of law and order in schools. Hard work is jettisoned while favouritism and nepotism become the order of the day. Unsatisfactory home condition breeds in children, a feeling of insecurity and frustration and thus contributing to the formation of deviant behaviour which they manifest at school. Some parents are too busy to keep their eyes on their children. Their children go out at will and return home any time they like. They do not even bother about the type of friends their children keep. Their children become morally loose. In school, such children have no respect for school rules and regulations and even they exhibit absolute disrespect for school authority.

The findings on the possible solutions to indiscipline revealed provision of moral leadership and moral training, value re-orientation, provision of adequate facilities for teaching games and sports, establishment of effective and functional Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), reduction in class size, schools emphasizing extracurricular activities, involving students in making rules policies that affect them, positive teacher-students relationships, provision of ICTs and internet connectivity, high parental and school supervision and counseling and enforceable school rules and regulations. School administrators should devise means of involving students in formulating rules and policies that affect them. Involvement of students in evaluation and improvement of instruction programme, involvement in the planning and implementation of co-curricular programmes, involvement in the control of students’ behaviour and in deciding the consequences of flaunting the school rules will help to curb indiscipline among students. Positive teacher-students relationship is attainable when teachers take cognizance of the child socially, psychologically and physically. Teachers must appreciate, understand and accept today’s students. As a result, the social distance between the students and teachers should be reduced. In addition, with the provision of ICTs and internet connectivity in schools, students will spend most of their extra time searching for information and expanding knowledge rather than loitering about during such free periods.

5.3 Recommendations

It is imperative to ensure that the good behaviour and conditions are inculcated, established and maintained for effective learning in schools.

Consequently this study proffers the following recommendations:

  1. The government, policy makers, education reformers and school administrators should ensure that schools are provided with adequate facilities for teaching and learning, sports and games as well as information communication technologies and internet connectivity.
  2. Concerted efforts of stakeholders such as parents, teachers’ non-governmental organizations, educational authorities, corporate bodies, past students and government should be made to find a lasting solution to the social menace.
  3. School administrators, parents and teachers must show good examples to students since they imitate and copy their behaviour.
  4. School administrators, teachers and parents should reduce indiscipline through increased supervision. Support staff can be used to assist teachers in classroom supervision especially in large classrooms.
  5. In cases of serious misconducts, parents of children should be invited to the school by the administrators.

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