Training needs in relation to management of students' discipline in public secondary schools in Meru central district, Kenya
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The purpose of the study has been to examme training needs in relation to management of students' discipline in public secondary schools in Meru Central District. Six research questions were formulated to guide in the study. The study sought to establish the various types of indiscipline manifested in secondary schools. It also aimed at establishing how indiscipline cases are dealt with, finding out the level of training needed by headteachers to effectively manage discipline. In addition the study aimed at finding out the level of training required for effective guidance and counselling of students. It also sought the role of the student leadership in schools and also finding out the ways of improving discipline in public secondary schools. The instruments used for the study were questionnaires. Three questionnaires were used, one for the head teachers, one for teacher-consellors and another for the prefects. Each questionnaire had two parts. Part one was for gathering demographic information of the respondents while part two was for gathering information for the research questions. The population for the study was Meru Central District. The District had total of 120 public secondary schools. A sample of forty four headteachers, forty four teacher-counselors and 56 prefects was selected. Only head prefects were selected in every school sampled. In mixed schools the head girl and the head boy were selected to represent other prefects. The following were the major findings of the study: • That .schools in Meru Central District experienced students' indiscipline taking various forms such as truancy, drug and substance abuse, disrespect, lateness, stealing, bullying and fighting. • That indiscipline cases were dealt with using various methods which included guidance and counseling, expulsion, suspension among others. • That headteachers, teacher-counselors needed further and continuous training in order to make them effective in managing discipline. • That student leadership played an important role in the management of discipline in the schools. • That all the respondents were in agreement that guidance and counseling was crucial in dealing with indiscipline. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that training plays an important role in the management of schools in general and management of discipline in particular. Therefore there is need for further training for headteachers, teacher-counselors and prefects for effective management of schools. Major recommendations I. That all those charged with responsibility of managing schools should undergo training on management before they are assigned that duty. 11. That there should be professionally trained teacher-counselor in all schools. Counselling has been found to be most effective in guiding the growing young people. 111. That there is need for involvement of students leadership in the running of schools as they are the link between the student body and the school authority.