Influence of prefects on maintenance of students' discipline in public secondary schools in Gatundu North District, Kenya
Njue, Nixon K
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The main purpose of this study was to assess the influence of prefects in the maintenance of students discipline in public secondary schools in Gatundu North District. The research questions formulated to guide the study were how prefects are selected in public secondary schools for purposes of maintenance of students' discipline, the extent the prefects induction in order to have an influence on maintenance of students' discipline in public secondary schools, motivational level of prefects in their performance of duty in order to maintain students' discipline and the extent that prefects act as link between the students and the administration in the maintenance of discipline in public secondary schools. The study used descriptive survey design. The sample comprised of 14 principals, 56 teachers, 70 prefects and 378 students. Stratified sampling was used when classifying the sampled schools, purposive sampling technique was used where each school had a principal while purposive sampling technique was used in selecting prefects for the study. The research instrument used were the questionnaires, the validity of the instruments was obtained through piloting in two different schools that were not part of the sample. Reliability of the instrument was done by doing a test-retest method in order to estimate the degree to which the same results could be obtained with a repeated measure of accuracy of the same concept. The researcher administered the questionnaires and collected them in person. Findings on the mode of selection of prefects revealed that majority of the respondents in the category of principals reported their schools to have selected prefects from the students' body as opposed to appointing them directly. Majority of students reported the school administration also to have been the one responsible for induction. Findings on the prefects as a link between students and administration revealed that majority of the principals agreed that prefects assist the administration in implementing administrative instruction. It was also concluded that majority of prefects were being inducted by the school administration. The study also concluded that students were acting as a link between the school administration and students by implementing administrative instructions, participating in schools administrative activities, supervision and communication between administration and students. It was recommended that all public secondary schools should select prefects democratically from the students' body. The process should be free and fair. Schools should set aside enough time and resources to effectively and efficiently induct the prefects for them to be able to carry out their roles well. It was also suggested that a study on the role of parents and board of governors in management of schools and students discipline in particular should be conducted and lastly a study on the role of guidance and counseling in management of discipline in secondary schools should be conducted.