Trends and management strategies of pupil indiscipline in selected secondary schools in Luanshya district post the abolishment of corporal punishment in Zambia.

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Hamomba, Ian
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to examine trends and management strategies of pupil indiscipline post the abolishment of corporal punishment in Zambia in selected secondary schools in Luanshya district. To achieve this aim, the objectives that guided the study were; to identify pupil disciplinary issues experienced in secondary schools post the abolishment of corporal punishment in government secondary schools, assess factors attributed to pupil indiscipline and establish disciplinary management strategies schools employ to manage pupil indiscipline. The study used mixed methods approach particularly concurrent mixed research design which involved both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The data was collected from a sample of 65 respondents using interviews on 5 Deputy Head teachers and 5 parents (Parent Teachers Association (PTA) representatives who were purposively sampled as these categories had homogeneous characteristics. Questionnaires were administered on 30 Teachers (5 Guidance and Counselling Teachers and 25 Teachers) and Focus group discussions on 25 Pupils who were both selected using simple random. Qualitative data was analysed according to emerging themes while quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics using Excel to generate percentages, frequencies, tables, pie charts and graphs. The study revealed that pupil indiscipline has evolved and continued growing with emerging unruly and disruptive behavioral patterns such as; indecent dressing, impoliteness, pupil gangs, cheating in examinations, use of mobile phones in class, and watching pornography on phones during classes among secondary schools pupils. This is alongside the common discipline problems such as; absenteeism, bullying, rudeness to teachers, fighting and Alcoholism and drug abuse. Factors attributed to attributed to escalating pupil indiscipline were identified as; peer pressure, lack of parental involvement, influence of technology/media, abuse of human rights, awareness of the abolition of corporal punishment, drug and alcohol abuse, ineffective disciplinary management in schools and bad teacher behavior and teacher incompetence. The findings further revealed that, in light of the abolishment of corporal punishment schools were employing discipline management strategies such as; counseling sessions, parental involvement, forced transfers, suspension, rewards, motivational talks and enforcement of school rules at the beginning of each term during school assembly gatherings. However, the application of these strategies varies from school to school and depends on the nature of the offence committed. The study recommends that educators should be trained in modern counselling skills and techniques to enable them effectively deal with changes in pupil indiscipline behaviours in schools. Ministry of General Education (MoGE) should strengthen partnerships with NGOs and other stakeholders to help create a strong collaboration between educators and parents in managing pupil indiscipline in a multi-sectoral approach. Educators should promote proactive in-school strategies to discipline management through Continuous Professional Development (CPD) meetings, workshops in conflict management among others. Schools should also establish and strengthen human rights clubs, and religious activities in schools to educate pupils on their rights, obligations and good morals. Key words: Trends, pupil indiscipline, strategies, management, corporal punishment, educators
Teacher-student relationships. , School discipline , Corporal punishment