Abolishment of corporal punishment in Zambia: evaluating alternative modes of discipline in selected government secondary schools in Lusaka district

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Mtonga, Dingase.E
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University of Zambia
The study aimed at evaluating alternative modes of discipline educators use to instil discipline in pupils after the abolishment of corporal punishment in 2003 in Zambian schools. The objectives of this study were: to verify the alternative modes of discipline to corporal punishment educators use to instil discipline in pupils in Government Secondary Schools; ascertain their suitability; explore challenges educators encounter in using the alternative modes to instil pupils‟ discipline, and; solicit proposals to mitigate the challenges. The study implored qualitative approach and a descriptive survey design. Data was collected from the documents reviewed; and through individual interviews, focus group discussions from a sample of 51 participants which comprised 21 teachers, 21 pupils, 3 school administrators, 3 Parent Teachers Association (PTA) representatives, from three Government Secondary Schools, and 3 policy-makers from the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) and Human Rights Commission (HRC) offices. Purposive sampling was used to sample policy makers, school administrators and PTA representatives. Typical and homogeneous sampling was used to sample teachers and pupils. Data was analysed according to emerging themes, and presented on tables and graphs. The findings were that educators use dialogue, suspension, counselling, and manual to instil discipline in pupils. With regards to suitability, the findings were that alternative modes are suitable to use on pupils discipline as they are non-corporal, create a sense of responsibility in pupils, instil discipline and are lawful. The established challenges were that the modes consume time, are not effective to instil discipline, non-compliance by parents and pupils, lack of knowledge by teachers and pupils. The findings on mitigation of challenges were: the MoGE to prescribe alternative modes as a guide for educators and provide them with knowledge and skills to enhance the administration of discipline, teamwork by parents and teachers and insisting on pupils to adhere on school rules. In light of the findings, the study recommended that schools should have guidance and counselling departments with qualified counsellors to help in pupil discipline, educators to explore better contemporary trends on positive discipline, all schools to establish and strengthen child rights clubs and train peer educators on the importance of good discipline. Finally, more research to be conducted on ways of improving discipline in Government Secondary Schools.
School discipline-Lusaka,Zambia , Reward and punishment in education-Zambia