A whole school approach to managing discipline among learners in selected secondary schools in the Mafikeng area
Afong, Constantine Njue
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Schools and other educational institutions are constantly faced with disruptive behaviours displayed by learners in all spheres of society. Maintaining discipline nowadays, is a difficult task. Indiscipline remains controversial in terms of the implementation of disciplinary action, leaving principals, educators and parents perplexed regarding a suitable strategy to use to curb acts of indiscipline in schools. In this study, discipline is considered as the function of all stakeholders in education, in partnership with principals and educators. Everybody thus, has the responsibility and capacity to make a positive contribution towards solving indiscipline. A quantitative research approach was adopted in this study to provide answers to the research questions. The aim of the study was to explore the nature of a whole school approach to managing discipline among learners in secondary schools, understand the nature of indiscipline in schools, the causes of indiscipline in secondary schools in general, the nature of the whole school approach to discipline, approaches used to deal with indiscipline in secondary schools and strategies to bring together role players to effectively manage discipline in schools. Data was collected through structured questionnaires administered to learners, educators, principals and parents. Participants were requested to ex press their views on how to manage discipline among learners in secondary schools. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics to generate frequencies, percentages and mean scores. Results obtained from principals, educators, learners and parents revealed the various acts of indiscipline in schools, classrooms, and the school as a whole. Among the prevalent acts of indiscipline reported, principals highlighted possess ion and use of drugs, learners found guilty in the court of law, and bullying as the most prevalent forms of indiscipline in schools. Teachers maintained that possession and use of drugs as well as bullying were the two most frequent acts of indiscipline while learners reported acts of indiscipline in classrooms (such as copying of homework among learners); an indication of their failure to follow a particular code of conduct such as not doing a particular activity (such as class activities). From the results, indiscipline in schools could be attributed to the influence of the media, overcrowded classrooms, lack of commitment by educators and failure by parents to set a standard for learners. From the results obtained, indiscipline is not rife in schools around Mafikeng Area. It is, therefore, recommended that all stakeholders come on board to refocus on new methods and strategies of disciplining learners in schools using the whole school approach in the selected secondary schools in Mafikeng Area Office, North West Province, South Africa. This method could be used as a benchmark to curb indiscipline in South African schools.
- Education