«THE INFLUENCE OF DISCIPLINE MANAGEMENT BY HEAD TEACHERS ON STUDENTS’ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SELECTED PRIVATE SECONDARYSCHOOLS OF BUSIRO COUNTY IN ...»
1.1.1. Historical perceptive Education aims at character building and training for the society. Education in itself is a cultural process where a newborn individual is transformed into a full member of a given society (Cotton, 2000). Before the introduction of formal education in Uganda, people were trained and educated.
The colonialists described this type of education and training as informal. Much as it lacked defined institutions of learning, teachers, blackboards, pencils and books, it was however designed to create an ideal individual who would fully fit into and be accepted by the society.
Therefore discipline and respect were emphasized.
According to Ezewu (1986), instruction in the informal education type used to take place at around the fireplace after the evening meal, which was an indication of good time management consideration or whenever a child committed an offence. Through stories, tales and riddles, the mother or grand mother would alert the children to what society expected of them as they grew up. Some societies used capital punishments to alert the young generations to the gravity of particular cases of indiscipline and immorality (Okumbe, 1998). Punishments therefore varied according to the weight of the offence as it was viewed by a given society. This education was all round process, which catered for all facets of the individual. All that was taught was geared towards the creation of an ideal individual who would ably fit into the society in which he/she was born and lived. The young were therefore taught the dos and don‟ts (rules and regulations) of society.
The whole system of traditional training and educating of the young generation was discouraged by the introduction of colonial formal type of education in Uganda by the missionaries.
According to Nsereko (1994), the Christian missionaries arrived in the country in 1877 (the CMS), 1879 (the White Fathers), 1896 (the Mill Hill Fathers) and 1910 (the Verona Fathers).
These missionaries established schools whereby the education system was changed which mainly emphasized reading, writing and religion (Nsereko, 1997). Later the liberal arts were also emphasized along with strong emphasis on discipline that embraced school rules and regulations as well as punishments to offenders as a measure of guiding students‟ behavior in schools (Mafabi, Higwira, Osire, Agwi, 1993).
According to the Ministry of Education and Sports Report (2005), the number of school going students was recorded increasing from 1986 as a result of the good governance, new education policies and political stability in the country. The education system had a double shift mode of studying where Senior One, Senior Two and Senior Five students used to study during the afternoon while the Senior Three, Senior Four and Senior Six students studied in the morning.
This assisted to create a balance between students to teacher ratio of 1:45, as required by the Ministry of Education and Sports. The level of discipline in classes and schools at large could easily be managed then and the level of indiscipline though existed, was not so strange (Ministry of Education and Sports, 2005). The only existing schools by then were government funded schools where admissions were centralized and thus dismissed students could not easily access other schools without recommendations from previous schools. Students therefore had to maintain discipline for fear of not easily accessing new schools. Most of these schools were day schools where parents could also participate in keeping a watch over their children‟s behaviors at home. Many Ugandans have been going through this education system for a number of decades.
Uganda as a partner of the Education for all (EFA) coalition launched Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1997. This resulted into increased enrollment figures from 2.7 million pupils to 5.3 millions in 1997 and to 7.1million in 2005 (Ministry of Education and Sports, 2005). This also increased capacity for secondary schools enrollment. Even though this was followed by a drastic increase in the number of teachers and classrooms, the current official average pupil-toteacher ratio is 51:1. According to Nakabugo et al., (2007), the reality is that in many classrooms in various schools across the country, there are over 70 pupils in one class. This creates more challenges to teachers for effective teaching and learning that involves enforcing discipline.
Research carried out over the years has done much to bring in focus the reasons why smaller classes may lead to improved students‟ outcome than large classes. Reasons include easier and regular discussions with students, timely and frequent feedback to students and active problem solving (Bennett, 1996; Billington, 1997, Davies, 2000; Gibbs et al., 1997; Race, 1998). With the ever increasing number of students in schools, the student to teacher ratio has increased making it hard for teachers to effectively and efficiently manage students‟ discipline and thus the increasing number of students‟ aggressive behaviors, loitering of students during class time, an indication of violation of school rules and regulations. Dismissed students from one school can easily be admitted in another school no matter whether he/she has a recommendation from the previous school or not. This does not necessitate students to maintain discipline while at school.
Some schools have changed to boarding section as a way of coping up with the increasing stiff competition among students and schools as well as for national level exams. This has also resulted into students spending more time in schools than with parents where they are suspected to get adapted to all various kinds of behaviors such as homosexuality, smoking, abuse of substances, and use of nasty words among other things. There is also concern that indiscipline has taken new forms with increased violence, sale and consumption of drugs, theft, disrespect of school rules and regulations which has resulted into wide spread corporal punishments, students‟ expulsion and suspension from schools, cases of arsons are on the increase in schools, problems which go beyond educational institutions. This has attracted serious attention from scholars and administrators as well as education stakeholders about the academic performance from such undisciplined students and therefore created a need, which called for this study.
1.1.2. Conceptual perspective According to Okumbe (1998), discipline is the action by management to enforce organizational standards. Bahemuka (1998), defines discipline as a means to bring control, train to obedience and order or drill. Cotton (2000), defines school discipline as a form of discipline appropriate to the regulation of children and the maintenance of order in the school. However in this study, discipline was conceptualized as the observance of school rules and regulations, time management and the administration of punishments.
Academic performance in this study was perceived as the degree of achievement by students in their class assessment tests, beginning of term exams, mid-term exams, terminal and national examinations. Page, Thomas and Marshall (1999), described performance as action of a person or a group when given a learning task. In education, performance is often presented as synonymous with academic achievement or attainment, in carrying out of a task, course or assignment. Derek (1981), argued that academic performance is the measured ability and achievement level of a learner in a school, subject or particular skills. Therefore academic performance has to do with a learner‟s scholastic ability and attainment, as regards his or her work and this is often measured through tests, exams, course works and assignments.
Hawes (1982), shared the same idea with Derek (1981), and defined achievement as successful accomplishment of performance in a particular subject, area and course usually by reasons of skill, hard work and interest typically realized in various types of grades and marks. According to Rosen (1997) and Slee (1995), discipline includes a branch of knowledge, training that develops self-control, character, orderliness or efficiency, strict control to enforce obedience and treatment that controls or punishes and a system of rules and regulations. Good discipline is considered to be one of the major attributes of effective schools and many failing schools have been blamed for lack of discipline (Rosen, 1997).
Punishment is defined as inflicting retribution on or for an offence (Okumbe, 1998).
Punishments are necessary if rules and regulations are to be enforced. This may be through inflicting blows on an opponent, abuse or treat severely or improperly. Horny (1993), defined punishment as penalty inflicted on some body that has done wrong. This can be done through inflicting harm or any physical pain or psychological. Also to harm a person means to deprive the person of what he/she other wise has a right to have, do or enjoy.
1.1.3. Theoretical perspective This study on school discipline and academic performance was guided by theory X and Y advanced by McGregor. Theory X postulates that workers or employees are lazy and will always avoid responsibility. To achieve high performance, there is a need to coerce, control and even threaten them (Okumbe, 1998). Theory Y postulates that employees are human beings and therefore the role of a manager is to provide an enabling environment that enable employees to realize the potential they are endowed with. McGregor‟s theory was adopted for this study because there are cases where teachers and students just do not want to follow a set code of behavior in an educational organization despite the application of various leadership skills like using set rules and regulations as well as punishments to both deter and retribute the offenders
1.1.4. Contextual perspective Ideally, a school must lead the rest of the society in knowledge and understanding of the process of human growth and development and socialization of children (Mafabi, Higwira, Osire, 1993).
This means that a school has a unique position in the society as a socializing agent, inculcating conformity, self-control and obedience in the child. However in Uganda of the 21 st century, there is a general out cry in the whole country raising concern from the public about the increasing cases of indiscipline among students in secondary schools. Several reports have been published in the electronic and print media indicating the extent of the problem. The table below shows a summary of burnt schools in Uganda.
Table 1.1 shows summaries of indiscipline acts in secondary schools (the history of arson cases in Uganda‟s Schools)
Source; Mpaata, 2008.
Table 1 shows cases of arson in schools and mostly are secondary schools indicating the increasing indiscipline among students. For example between 2000 and 2002, there were 12 arson cases in schools. Also between 2003 and 2005, there were 10 similar cases. Between 2006 and 2008, 4 secondary schools had arson cases. The highest number of arson cases in schools happened in 2002, with 7 reported cases.
Drug abuse among students has also been stated as one of the causes of indiscipline in schools within the country. The pressure to excel was cited as one of the foremost reasons why students have turned to drugs (Kabandize, 2004). It was also noted that some methods of punishments are degrading and crush self-esteem and the creativity of children (Mpiso, 2004). With such wide spread fires, the academic performance of students is likely to be affected and this called for the need of this study. Therefore a critical analysis of these reported cases, demonstrates that discipline problems are becoming a constant concern for educators. A lot of time is lost trying to attend to misbehavior rather than attend to the learning aspect of the lessons. The consequence is the suspected serious disruption of lessons, time is wasted in observing detentions and a lot more, all of which tends to have an effect on students‟ academic performance and thus relevance
1.2. Statement of the problem Schools play an important role in the socialization process of the young people from where they learn to regulate their own conduct, respect towards others, manage their time responsibly and thus becoming responsible citizens (Tait, 2003). However the current situation in Uganda‟s education system has been hit by a wave of indiscipline among students which is escalating rapidly with notable strikes, bullying, arson cases in schools, vandalism of school property, general refusal to follow school rules and regulations as well as increasing alcoholism (Mpaata, 2008). An increasing number of secondary school head teachers and teachers are reporting a wide range of potentially disruptive behaviors in the classrooms and around the schools. Many students are seen loitering in town streets, villages, cinema halls and other places in their uniforms but during class time, an indication of disrespect to school rules and regulations as well as poor time management. This has therefore created a big concern from teachers, head teachers and stakeholders about the lack of opportunity for learners to concentrate on their academic work for attainment in the tests, internal exams and national level examinations as well as the nature of future citizens. The effect of this increasing trend of indiscipline on students‟ academic performance countrywide therefore remains unknown, and thus a need for this study.
1.3. Purpose of the study The purpose of the study was to establish the influence of discipline management by head teachers on students‟ academic performance of private secondary schools in Busiro County of Wakiso District.
1.4. Objectives of the study The study was guided by the following objectives;
1) To establish how the administration of school rules and regulations by head teachers
1.7. Scope of the study This study was concerned with how time management, the administration of punishment and the administration of school rules and regulations affect students‟ academic performance. It was conducted in selected private secondary schools in Busiro County of Wakiso District. This area is located 7km along Kampala-Masaka road.