The relationship between school environment and indiscipline among pupils in selected Government High Schools in Kitwe district

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Banja, Madalitso Khulupirika
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There have been many acts of serious indiscipline among pupils in high schools during both the pre and post independence eras in Zambia. A number of factors may contribute to indiscipline among pupils in schools. The purpose of this study was to find out whether there was a relationship between school environment and indiscipline among pupils in selected Government High Schools in Kitwe District. Specifically the study sought to: a) find out whether there was a relationship between the behaviour of teachers and pupil indiscipline. b) determine whether pupil indiscipline was caused by administrative practices and operational procedures. c) investigate the nature of indiscipline among pupils. The sample comprised four schools from which were drawn 128 Grade Eleven and Twelve pupils, four headteachers and their deputies and twelve members of the disciplinary committees. Data was collected through questionnaires, focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews and document analysis, and was analysed qualitatively to establish categories, themes and sub themes in the data. Descriptive statistics were used to come up with percentages and frequency tables. The findings of this study show that there was a significant relationship between pupils' indiscipline and the school environment. Specifically, the study showed that teachers' behaviour such as absenteeism from work, reporting late for class, failure to attend to pupils' personal problems, teachers' threats and use of sarcastic and abusive language towards pupils, having affairs with schoolgirls among many others, all contributed to pupils' indiscipline. It was also found that school administrations' practices and operational procedures which included use of abusive language towards pupils, bureaucratic tendencies and a laissez-faire attitude to work all contributed to pupils' indiscipline. The nature of pupil discipline problems that occurred most often as a result of the above teacher behaviour and headteachers' administrative practices and operational procedures were found to be rudeness to teachers and headteachers, absenteeism from school, dodging and noise making. In line with its findings, this study gives recommendations to policy makers on ways and means that can be employed to tackle the problem of indiscipline among pupils in Government high schools. Such measures should include the formulation of relevant and clear guidelines for teacher and headteacher behaviour.
School discipline -- Teachers -- Pupils -- Kitwe , School environment -- pupils -- Teachers -- Kitwe