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This study examines the academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students in Economies, a case of study of Ika South Local Government in Delta State, The purpose of the study is aimed at investigating the causes and effect of academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students in economies, for the above purpose to be achieved, descriptive survey research design was adopted in order to make use of primary data using questionnaire as an instrument for data collection. The questionnaire were distributed to a sample size of 200 respondents and data collected were analyzed to determine the effect and causes of academic indiscipline and failure among secondary students in Economics. The result of the findings have shown that autocratic attitude of parents towards their children, poor family upbring  failing to wear correct school uniform, fail to do home assignment, and fail to stuck in their shut contribute to academic indiscipline and failure among secondary school students in Economics. Finally, the research suggest that parent should avoid confronting or fighting themselves in the presence of their children. They should  not go the school to challenge teachers for punishing children since this would encourage the children to some indiscipline act.



1.1    Background to the Study

            Education in any perspective finds its usefulness in the areas of moral, intellectual, social and spiritual development of the child. This development to a great extent is a function of the quality of the educational system, which is partly measured on the basis of students' discipline. Discipline constitutes one of the fundamental, critical and challenging functions of the teacher. Mostly, when viewed from the fact that students whom they manage their affairs are drawn from different home background, accommodates the influence of peer groups and thus, were bound to exhibit different patterns of  behaviour that may not conform with the instructional standard of the school.

            Discipline is an aspect of school function which if not well maintained can render the school system ineffective. School discipline as a matter of fact is seen as a vital element in the process by which students are enabled to function in the society. The general idea underlying this fact is that if the school is situated in the society and it is hoped that the products of these schools will be absorbed into the society, the students must therefore be made to develop rule-following and law, adding habits so that they conform to the general social expectations of the main culture absorbing its basic attitudes and beliefs, Sieber and wilder (1997:70) point out that a society without rules is inconceivable, and rules without attitude of disapproval towards them are inconceivable. In the English Elementary School, obedience was enforced mildly without any military goal in mind and in that discipline was seen essentially as a process of obedient training for society at large. On the other hand, thinking of discipline in terms of training for society, Docking (1990:4) says it may encourage  schooling for subordination where teachers use their disciplinary authority to satisfy some unfulfilled need within themselves so that they are to view children as a means rather than as ends.

            The promotion or maintenance of effective discipline is essential if organised group action is to be effective or productive whether the group is a club, society, a union, a company, a business or industrial concern or a nation. The word discipline connotes that the members or a group should reasonably conform to the rules and regulations, which is the code of  behaviour which have been formed for it or by it, so that every one may benefit by them. People's morale or industrial peace are definitely proper by maintenance of discipline if the members of a group do not abide by the rules of the organisation, it may collapse. Chaos, confusion, disobedience, disloyalty and antisocial or anti-organisational activities develop to the detriment of every one. In the word of Spriegel (1997:34) "discipline is the force that prompts an individual or a group to observe the rules, regulations which are seemed to be necessary to the attainment of an objective". It is a factor, which restrains an individual from doing certain things, which are deemed to be disruptive for the group objectives. It is also the exercise of restraint or the enforcement of penalties for the violation of group regulations. Thus, discipline can be said as an attitude of the mind, a product of culture and a particular environment which promotes an individual to willingly co-operate in the observance of the rules of the organizational to which he belongs.

            School discipline is often seen as an important ingredient in the process by which children are enabled to function in the society because living in the society entails living in association with certain agreed rules, which govern one's behaviour. Thus, keeping order in the school is a multi-faced problem associated with range of interacting factors, such as the child himself, home and neighbourhood influence, changing societal values and expectations, the school and its natural environment, and the individual teacher.

            The problem of indiscipline is more apparent among secondary school students all over the world. Indiscipline among them has attracted serious attention of scholars and administrators. These scholars and administrators attributes to their state of development. They opine that when students notice certain biological changes signalling maturity in the course of the growth and development, they tend to misbehave by faulting school rules and regulations ( Mukhargee 1995:17).

Indiscipline is a mode of life not in conformity with rules and non-subjected to control. By extension, the term connotes the violation of school rules and regulations capable of obstructing the smooth and orderly, functioning of the school system ( Adeyemo 1995:22). School rules and regulations in most cases affect students more than any other thing because they are made by the school authorities in order to guide and protect the students while in school.

            Indiscipline may be said to be as old as the time when men started to organize himself  into society and consequently made laws to order the affairs of men in a social set up. In the Holy Scripture Cain exhibited some form of indiscipline when he out of envy murdered his brother Abel in their abode. We have heard of people engaging in indiscipline behaviour on daily basis. Many of our students today especially those in our secondary school exhibit various forms of indiscipline in form of juvenile delinquency. This could be in the form of arson, murder and robbery etc. these acts involve both adult and youths, the rate of indiscipline tends to be on the increase in the modern world. Africa is not an exception of this general increase in the young stars, negative attitude to constituted authority. This rate of indiscipline tends to be on an increase despite the various measure taken by successive government most especially Nigeria, to curb the menace among our students so as to bring about a socially stable society.

          We read our newspapers and hear from the electronic media of students in the country committing all forms of crimes ranging from the violation of parental regulations to truancy, stealing, assault, robbery and other socially undesirable behaviours. Available information shows that our students are most frequently implicated in the acts of indiscipline that in every five caught for a criminal offence; there are usually young stars. These offence ranges from drugs and robbery. During the military rule, several measures were put in place to curb the trends, on its assumption to power on the 31st December 1983, the government of general Mohammuadu Buhari (Rtd) made it known that one of the causes of our problems in our country (Nigeria) was indiscipline and as such, the war against indiscipline (WAI) was introduced into all aspects of the life of the nation. Also our past head of states, General Sani Abacha (Lt) on assumption I office (1993) launched the war against indiscipline and corruption (WAIC), Presdient Olusegun Obasanjo also launched independent corrupt practices commission (ICPC) and economic financial crime commission (EFCC). This was aimed at checking the various corrupt practices in our society. Despite all these commendable effort of our youth are still very much indiscipline. The Nigeria youth is yet to embrace the principles behind the war against indiscipline and corruption programme even when he is supposed to have great roles to play in the success of the programme.

          There is often the saying that our youths are the leaders of tomorrow, but from what happens on a daily basis, one is forced to wonder if actually the youths are the future leader of tomorrow, if they could actually be entrusted with the leadership roles of the futures, people from various works of life have expressed concern. Olusegun Obasanjo formal president and head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria lamented over the rate of indiscipline in the Nigeria society. He pointed accusing fingers to most youths and adults noting that they suffering from what he called social, moral, political and economic indiscipline. Also formal head of state general Ibrahim Babaginda confirmed the obvious fact that the rate of indiscipline and crime among youths was growing fast. He said.

          “Moral decadence is threatening the nation as evidenced by the get rich quick syndrome that pervaded all facts of the society. Crimes of violence in which our young stars are involved in indication of the malaise which affects most of our communities”. (Daily Times 26th December, 1985. pp 1). The problems of indiscipline among students are fast becoming a canker worm that is eaten deeper and deeper in to the fabric of our society and thereby constituting a greater threaten to the stability of the nation. Indiscipline of various types has eaten deep into the fabric of the social system, it is a problem that is increasing at a fast rate and needs prompt attention. We have come to notice that hardly any family exists without a child possessing one trait of indiscipline or the other. It is either the child steals, is rude, not well mannered, runs away from classes, and or at time if the child is a female, it may be that she posses indulgent sexual acts which may create great concerns for the parents. It is also possible that the child is one way or the other drug addict. In whatever way it is viewed whether the child exhibits any of these features or many others, which are socially undesirable, such a child is certainly a problem to the family and the society at large.

It is also sad, to note that student’s indiscipline has had a lot of negative effects on the school system and learning, many academic calendar are being disrupted as a result of this indiscipline many students now form themselves into gangs, they threaten the life of fellow students and even teachers. It is as a result of this indiscipline that we now have secreted societies or secrete cults even in our primary and secondary schools. It is necessary for the nation to pay attention to the frequent indiscipline among our students, if she is to achieve fame and progress in all field of human endeavour,. This is because the fate of any nation depends on the youths she breeds, as they are the leaders of tomorrow.

1.2    Statement of the Problem 

          The problem of student’s indiscipline is to be well attended to by parents, teachers/school administrators and all these involved in the upbringing of the students in the country, if lasting solutions are to be found in it. To this end, we all stand to gain in no small measure If students refrain from indiscipline behaviours and become discipline. In the teaching and learning process certain identifiable problems of indiscipline militate against its success and achievements.That means for effective teaching and learning to take place there must be discipline in order to make reasonable achievements. This study is therefore interested in addressing the problems of indiscipline so that teaching and learning will improve in our schools.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

            The purpose of this study is centered on finding out whether:

a. family background contributes to student indiscipline and failure among secondary students in ika south local government area.

b. poor organizational structure contributes to indiscipline among secondary school students.

c. peer group contribute to indiscipline among secondary school students.

d. Poor teacher student relationship generate  to indiscipline among secondary school students.   

 1.4  Research Questions

          To guide this study, the following questions are necessary:

1.      How does family background cause indiscipline among secondary school student in the study area?

2.     How does poor organizational structure generate to indiscipline and failure among secondary school student?

3.       How does peer group cause indiscipline among secondary school students?

4     How does poor teachers students relationship caused indiscipline and failure among secondary school students.

   1.5 Significance of the Study

            It is expected that the result of this study would be useful to the following stakeholders;

a)      School administrators;  School administrators  in their effort to put an end to the problem of students indiscipline specifically the out-come of this work would assist  in monitoring the activities of their children through the results of this study, school heads, will discover what negative role they play and which in turn affect events that can lead to indiscipline in school. They will then adjust their administrative loopholes and forge ahead for a well-disciplined schools system.

b)      Teachers; Teachers are expected to know from this study how students indiscipline is being carried out around them and employ means of eradicating the trend.

c)       Government and Policy makers; The study would also be useful to the government and policy makers in formulating policies that will ensure a disciplined and patriotic behaviour on the part of the students.

The overall aim of this study is the complete wiping out of indiscipline among students so that teaching and learning atmosphere will be conducive and free dangers. In such an environment, there will be better enhancement of knowledge.

1.6   Scope and Limitation of the Study   

          The research work is geographical limited to Delta state. It include both human and material resources drawn from the local government, teachers from different school, students from different secondary schools and general public but for effective study due to the large population involved it is limited to Ika south  local government areas and problems that may be encountered in the process of covering the local government, the numbers of schools were reduced to five to enhance adequate coverage. These schools were selected randomly from the State. However, the major constraint of this study are attitudes of some respondent who deliberately and out of bias refuse to disclose some relevant information needed for successful completion of this study; there was insufficient fund to gather enough data and materials needed for this study due to non reliable sources of income of the researcher and time given to carry out this empirical study was very short and therefore inadequate comparing to the nature of this empirical study.Despite that the researcher endeavour to make effective use of the available resources at his disposal to ensure that this study became successful.

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