Managing learner behaviour in the school context in selected secondary schools of Kalomo district, Zambia.

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Nalubamba, Chooye Rex
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The University of Zambia
Discipline is among the necessary ingredients that play a crucial role in a school system. Disciplinary problems are bound to occur when a learner does not follow the laid down rules and regulations of a school. This study was aimed at establishing how disciplinary committees in schools manage learner behaviour within the school context. The objectives of the study were to: Establish how Disciplinary Committees dealt with acts of indiscipline: Explore the perceptions of head teachers, deputy head teachers, senior teachers, class teachers and learners on indiscipline: Identify strategies used by Disciplinary Committees in handling learner indiscipline in selected secondary schools of Kalomo district of Southern Province, Zambia. A purposive sampling procedure was used to select the head teachers, deputy head teachers, and class teachers, while a random sampling procedure was employed to select the learners who participated in the study. The findings of the study revealed that as regards to how Disciplinary Committees dealt with cases of indiscipline in schools, punishment in the form of manual work, suspension, and transfers were used. However, the penalty depended on the gravity of the offence committed by the learner. Concerning the perceptions of the learners on disciplinary committees, it was found that most learners knew where to report cases of indiscipline in schools. They also perceived these committees as effective enough in combating pupil indiscipline in schools. As regards to the strategies used by disciplinary committees to overcome indiscipline in schools, it was found that sensitisation of the learners proved to be the most effective way of improving pupil behaviour in schools. Furthermore, incorporating guidance and counselling services was yet another important method which the schools employed. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made: (i) The need for schools to clearly state boundaries of acceptable behaviour within schools, (ii) the need for schools to offer moral leadership and education, (iii) the need for schools to respond to cases of indiscipline promptly and firmly to learners who transgress boundaries of acceptable behaviour, (iv) the need for schools to strengthen guidance and counselling services to help learners that have issues of indiscipline, (v) the need for schools to increase sensitisation to learners on the importance to avoid being in indiscipline issues, (vi) the need for schools to regularly update the school rules and regulations and enforce them timely and (vii) the need to engage learners in the formulation of rules and regulations that govern the smooth running of schools.
School discipline. , Problem children. , Teacher-student relationships.