Problem of Indiscipline in Schools
By Shammah Peters
Indiscipline! The issue has become malignant. A deadly cancer eating up the youths
in our generation today.
It is expressed in various forms and measures among the children in institutions of
learning. Indiscipline has indeed risen to the point in which it poses a serious threat
that places the future of our children at stake.
Students treat their teachers disrespectfully, behave nonchalantly with their studies,
and keep unhealthy relationships among several other vices.
This has caused an exponential increase as seen and reported in the mass failures
recorded in external examinations. Even those with some vestige sense of propriety
are slowly, and sadly so, giving in.
The problem of indiscipline in schools therefore, requires urgent attention. We all
have our part to play in seeing that this problem is thoroughly abated.
Starting from individual families, it is sad that many parents in our country have
adopted the Western belief that discipline to a child is unnecessary. They even argue
that the ideology of correcting a child by inflicting some sense of pain, is abuse. In
fact, they propose that the best way to nurturing a child to good behaviours, is by
mere discussion and interaction.
Well, the substantial basis of this, is yet to be proven, at least, in our setting. I am not
however, suggesting that, as children, we cannot be discussed with. Where that
works, it is okay. But suggesting it as a general norm, caution needs to be applied.
The advocates of this ideology forget that the environment has always had an upper
hand in the battle for raising a child given that their young minds tend to easily
influenced by peer pressures all around them.
Being a young chap myself, the point I am stressing is that, raising a morally upright
child goes beyond dialogue and interaction. It is more about every parent, dutifully
employing strict measures of enforcing the right and laudable values –be it godly or
societal -into each child.
Still on the home front, it is of note that some parents who still hold child discipline in
a measure of reasonable esteem are still too busy with their jobs and businesses.
So, they are rarely available to give their children sufficient grooming as much as
could be required. Failure to achieve this feat is considered one of the major
bedrocks that foster indiscipline.
Next block to focus on is our schools. Things are so slack that nowadays, our
teachers, who are viewed as champions of discipline, are often not living up to
societal expectations. I mean no insults. It’s just that facts must be stated for the
purpose of these lapses being redressed.
Another issue, I think, is that lack of discipline from the homes makes the teachers
seem burdened with such an arduous task on their hands. In the current times,
teachers, in addition to multiple of tasks, also have to cope with diverse characters
and mannerisms and still stay sane enough to deliver as required of them.
As Napoleon Bonaparte once said “Great ambition is the passion of great character.
Those endowed with it may perform either good or bad acts, It all depends on the
principles which directs them”.
The effects of this quotation is that indiscipline is like a ‘disease’, which, left
untreated, gets widespread in every area of the lives of children. And as they grow
into youths, then later, adults, it will keep producing the same effects –unruly
I dare say that it is some of these effects we see exhibited by street urchins
and vagabonds that litter our societies.
What about the nauseating rise in teenage pregnancies? Do I need to mention the
scary increase in vices like cultism, fraud and rituals –all significant pointers to the
consequences of indiscipline?
Of course the society will not be spared as a major contribution to this growing mess.
We say it takes a community to raise a child. Yet, our values system in the society
have been watered down.
Need for good moral behaviour and respect for elders are no longer emphasized in
many of our social gatherings. Little surprising the gaping wound it has left in the
lives of our youths.
Combined efforts at salvaging this problem must be collective if we must find an
effective panacea to it. Every family unit up to the three tiers of governments and
schools must unite to instill discipline in children.
I strongly believe that with rigid measures enforced and executed both personally
and corporately, this deadly tumour will be a story for history.
*Shammah Peters is an upcoming writer in Lagos.