Factors that influence secondary school students' discipline in Borabu District, Kenya
Momanyi, Sammy B
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The purpose of this study was to establish the factors which influence secondary school students discipline in Borabu District, Kenya. It was guided by five objectives which included: the influence of the headteachers' leadership practices on secondary school students' discipline; to establish the influence of head teachers curriculum supervisory practices on student discipline; to determine the influence of community around the school on students discipline in secondary schools; to establish the influence of peer group pressure on students' discipline and to assess how parental factors influence students' discipline in secondary schools. The study is based on the needs - hierarchy theory developed by Abraham Maslow to explain the human motivation and why they behave in the way they do. The theory asserts that human needs are arranged in a hierarchical model, beginning with the lower ones to higher ones. Lower needs must be met before the next ones. In the school context when such needs are not met by students' discipline problems are likely to arise. The researcher applied descriptive survey research design. This is because the design is useful since it would collect data from members of the population in order to determine the current status without manipulating the variables. The target population consisted of all 20 public secondary schools in Borabu District, 20 head teachers, 160 teachers and 2700 students. The sample consisted of 20 head teachers and 78 class teachers purposively sampled as being the ideal sources of data. Two sets of questionnaires were developed as research instruments. One set of questionnaire was administered to head teachers while the other was for class teachers. Questionnaires were dropped by the researcher himself and picked after being filled by head teachers and class teachers later. As regards data analysis, the collected data was edited, coded, categorized and then fed into the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) from which percentages and frequencies were used to answer research questions. Tables and figures were used to present the data. Through data analysis the study findings revealed that male head teachers dominate leadership positions of secondary schools in Borabu District at 81 percent while female headteachers constituted 19 percent. The study also revealed that 25 percent of head teachers have diploma as the highest professional qualification while 13 percent have masters' degree. The findings further revealed that 47 percent of the schools experienced discipline problems especially boys boarding schools. Authoritarian headship leadership practices; inappropriate headship curriculum supervision practices; surrounding community influences; peer group influences and parental influences were found to contribute to student indiscipline in Borabu district schools. From the study recommendations were made including: headteachers of secondary schools be sensitized to embrace participatory leadership practices to include all stakeholders including students in the management of school affairs. The study recommended that guidance and counseling be intensified in schools. It further recommended that the surrounding community be sensitized on the importance of education and their support on matters related to development and students' discipline. The study further recommended that parents be involved in positive upbringing of their children especially on issues related to discipline. The following areas were suggested for further research: A research should be done to find out why there is gender imbalance in headship positions in secondary schools in Borabu District. There is also need for research to be done on the challenges facing the BOG in their role of maintaining discipline in schools. There is need to replicate the study using interview and checklists as research instruments with headteachers and wider samples of teachers and students.