The role of school management in effecting learner discipline in public secondary schools in Chingola district, Copperbelt province of Zambia.
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The study explored the role of school management in effecting learner discipline in selected public secondary schools in Chingola district of the Copperbelt province in Zambia. It examined the prevailing disciplinary management practices to ascertain their suitability in the modern educational dispensation. The study used a Mixed Design Approach which involved a convergent or concurrent design where both quantitative and qualitative data were simultaneously collected; both datasets were analyzed, and then integrated in order to cross-validate or compare the findings (Creswell, 2015). It partially incorporated Community-based participatory research (CBPR)—also commonly referred to as community-based research (CBR), participatory action research (PAR), communitybased participatory action research (CBPAR), social action research, among other terms. The data were collected by the means of semi structured interviews; focus group discussions which included social mapping exercises with participants drawn from selected public secondary schools who include learners, teachers and head teachers. The respondents were chosen purposively and the study had 100 participants. The key findings of the study were that pupil discipline was vital for the shaping of learners to achieve their educational objectives and grow into useful and responsible citizens; however, the reality was the existence of growing learner indiscipline in schools. Indiscipline was evidenced by the underlying issues affecting pupil discipline which were: sex-related offences, offences related to pupil indulgence in psychoactive substances, offences related to hostility and violence within the school community, and those offences which affect the cognitive health of the learner. The second theme dealt with the role of school management in effective pupil discipline: here the roles were mainly facilitative: setting up contemporary discipline structures which espouse inclusive and participatory values; capacity building of those involved in school disciplinary management. Thirdly the findings were on the views of the head teachers, teachers and pupils on handling learner disciplinary matters. What came out here was that schools did not have adequate capacity to incorporate and manage cross-cutting issues such as human and child rights, and gender issues in the schools’ code of conduct; the structures were not participatory and inclusive; there were inadequate monitoring mechanisms for schools’ disciplinary practices; that values of social justice were lacking in the schools’ disciplinary practices. The recommendations were that: school administrations should put in place guidance and counseling services which are comprehensive and incorporate advisory services on child and human rights; that school administrations facilitate the capacity building of those involved with school disciplinary management; that school management put in place participatory and inclusive discipline management structures. That the schools establish and adopt a more comprehensive code of conduct that espouses human, child rights and gender. And that schools develop a culture of research on emerging issues and how they relate with schools’ disciplinary management.
The University of Zambia