Management of pupils’ indiscipline in schools of Kitwe district in post-corporal punishment era: female headteachers’ perspectives.

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Chansa, K Beatrice
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The University of Zambia
This study explored the perceptions of female school headteachers regarding the management of pupils’ indiscipline in schools of Kitwe District in the post- corporal punishment era. The study employed a mixed research design which was supported by both qualitative and quantitative approaches. This study was guided by three objectives and these were: to identify factors leading to the prevalence of indiscipline among the pupils in schools; to establish how headteachers are managing pupils’ indiscipline in schools in post- corporal punishment era, and; to determine the strategies that would assist headteachers to effectively deal with the challenges of indiscipline in schools. The findings of the study established that there were several factors that led to the prevalence of indiscipline among pupils in schools. These challenges were associated with substance abuse, theft, verbal confrontations, physical confrontations, and other behavioral challenges. Also, these challenges were necessitated by both internal and external factors linked to the school environment, parents, government influence, and peer pressure. Also, headteachers were employing a number of strategies in attempting to avert pupils’ indiscipline in schools. These included suspension from school, forced transfers, manual works, summoning of parents, and cautioning perpetrators of indiscipline and other possible culprits. However, it was observed that manual punishment was still used in some schools to deal with undisciplined pupils and against the abolishment of corporal punishment. In terms of determining strategies to assist headteachers to effectively deal with challenges of indiscipline, it was stated that there was need empower headteachers with more authority, promoting team work so as to foster strategies like suspension, manual work, cautioning of culprits. The study recommended that there is need for headteachers to avoid strategies that were bordered on promoting corporal punishment, schools should have clear guidelines on how to deal with indiscipline, headteachers should go for training on how to deal with indiscipline, and working with parents and other relevant stakeholders to address some challenges affecting pupils’ behaviour was cardinal. Also, there is need to develop clear policies on managing indiscipline in post- corporal punishment era.
Women school administrators--Zambia.