Pupil indiscipline in the ‘no corporal punishment era’ in Zambia: trends and implications for management in schools
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The article highlights contemporary issues in pupil indiscipline, trends and implications on management in Zambian schools under the no-corporal punishment policy. Using a mixed methods approach, a sample of a hundred and ten respondents was purposively and randomly sampled and differentiated into school administrators, teachers, pupils and parents. Data collected through interviews and questionnaires was analysed by descriptive statistics and themes. The study revealed that pupil indiscipline had evolved into a myriad of new forms since the introduction of the ‘no corporal punishment’ policy in Zambian schools. The major pupil indiscipline issues manifested in increased aggressive behaviour amongst the pupils and within teacher-pupil relationship, emergence of pupil (thuggery) gang and vandalism to school and private property. The main drivers for the upswing in indiscipline were negative peer pressure, drug, alcohol and substance abuse, lapse in parental oversight, negative influence of technology and the media, ineffective management of school discipline, strict or undemocratic school rules, and the misuse of human rights and abuse of ‘no corporal’ punishment. There is sufficient evidence suggesting that owing to the rise in proportion, multiplicity and sometimes novelty of the forms of disciplinary issues, there are huge challenges in school based discipline managements. It is recommended that school management be trained and equipped with modern and alternative positive strategies of dealing with indiscipline which include guidance and counselling, ‘reward and punish’ strategy and strong school-community and other stakeholders-partnerships. Key words: Corporal punishment, Educators, Pupil indiscipline, Management, trends.
Zambian Journal of Educational Management, Administration and Leadership