Management of students' discipline problems in public secondary schools in Yatta District
Kamandi, Abednego Kyalo
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This study is a survey on management of students' discipline problems in public secondary schools' in Yatta District. Corporal punishment was outlawed in 200l. Recently , various stakeholders in education have expressed the opinion that students should not be expelled on indiscipline grounds. These two have made management of students' discipline problems complex over the years and posed a challenge to school management. The situation has called for new strategies in dealing with students' discipline problems. Of the 19th public secondary schools in Yatta District, 2 schools, 2 headteachers, 2 guidance and counseling (G& C) teachers, 2 Board of Governors (B.o.G) chairpersons and 7 students ( 3 boys and 4 girls) were used for piloting. A sample of 10 schools and 10 members from each category ( headteachers, G & C teachers and B.o.G chairpersons) of members and 470 students were randomly selected for the actual research, from the remaining members after piloting. However 2 schools , 2 headteachers,2 G & C teachers and 4 B.o.G chairpersons and 190 students did not submit their responses at all, due to unavoidable circumstances. Those who actually presented raw data for researcher's analysis, comprised of 8 headteachers , 8 guidance and counseling teachers, 6 board ofgovemors (B.o.G) chairpersons and 280(135 girl and 145 boys) students. The research design used was that of descriptive survey. The research was directed by six research questions( parts, a- f).Research question part (a), focused on students' discipline problems in public secondary schools in Yatta District. Research question part (b), sought to establish the most serious of students' discipline problems. Research question part (c), was on the difficulties experienced by the school managers in managing students' discipline problems in the schools. Research question part (d), sought information regarding modes of punishment that are used as disciplinary strategies and schools' agents responsible for students' punishment as a discipline strategy. Research question part (e), obtained information on preventive and corrective disciplinary strategies which could be put in place to manage students' discipline problems in the schools. Research question part (f), investigated respondents views regarding new preventive and corrective strategies which could be put in place to manage students' discipline problems in the schools. The research instruments included; headteachers' questionnaires, guidance and counseling teachers'. questionnaires and students' questionnaires. An interview schedule was used with B.o.G chairpersons. The data collected was coded and analyzed by use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) - version 12.0. From the findings, the most serious students' discipline problem was boy/girl relationships. School managers experienced students' discipline management difficulties such as lack of team work, shortage of guidance and counseling qualified teachers, lack of facilities and time, inefficient communication and lack of incentives to B.o.G members. The most commonly used form of punishment was manual work. To improve discipline in the schools, the researcher recommended abolition of mixed boys/ girls public secondary schools, active involvement of stakeholders in education, efficient communication, continued training and team work among school managers. New strategies in managing students' discipline problems such as creating 'families' and making life skills education compulsory and examinable in secondary schools' curriculum, were recommended.