The relationship between Involvement in extra-curricula activities and pupils displine in high schools in Livingstone
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between extra-curricular activities and pupil discipline in High Schools. The objectives were: (i) to find out common offences committed by pupils, (ii) types of extra-curricular activities in high schools, (iii) relationship between involvement in extra-curricular activities and pupil discipline, and (iv) strategies that can be used to reduce indiscipline among High School pupils. The study used a descriptive survey design. A total of 178 pupils and 13 teachers took part in the study. The respondents were drawn from 4 high schools: a Boys’ Mission School, Girls’ Mission School, Co-Education Day School and a Co-Education Boarding School. Data were collected using questionnaires, semi-structured interview guides and school disciplinary records. Data were analysed quantitatively using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and qualitatively using the thematic approach. The study found that the most committed offences by pupils were reporting late for class, dodging class, absenteeism and insulting. Pupils mostly participated in sports, Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS) club, Anti-Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (anti-AIDS) club and debating club. The study further revealed that pupils who generally participated in extra-curricular activities were less likely to commit offences such as, insulting, drinking alcohol, fighting, dodging class, rudeness to teachers, absenteeism, vandalism and bullying. The results also revealed that sporting activities had a greater impact on reducing the likelihood of pupils committing offences compared to non-sporting activities. There were five extra-curricular activities, namely: sports, anti-AIDS, anti-drugs, JETS and Scripture Union that reduced the likelihood of pupils committing offences. It was further revealed that most of the five extra-curricular activities, with the exception of Scripture Union, reduced the chances of dodging class. Scripture Union reduced the chances of pupils cheating in examinations. The study also found that there were more male pupils than female pupils who dodged class, whereas grade 11 pupils were mostly absent from school compared to grade 10 and 12 pupils. The study recommended that: the High School curriculum should incorporate some extra-curricular activities on the academic time table to ensure that all pupils participated. Extra-curricular activities should be supervised by teachers who have adequate knowledge in specific extra-curricular activities as this would make the activities more meaningful and encourage pupils to participate. It was also recommended that, guidance and counselling units in schools should be run by full-time professional guidance and counselling personnel in order to assist pupils with psychosocial problems, especially that pupils in high schools were mostly in their adolescence. It was further recommended that a multi-modal approach was needed to enhance discipline among pupils as there were different causes of pupil discipline.