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The purpose of this study was to explore the causes and effects of students’
indiscipline in Gumani Junior High School. The study was a descriptive survey and
the sampled size consisted of ten (10) teachers and sixty (60) students. The
information was elicited by the use of questionnaires. Data was analyzed by the use of
descriptive statistic. In order to identify the most common indiscipline acts as well as
the effects and possible ways of curbing such acts, comparison was made with the
various acts of indiscipline, cause and effects. The study established that, the use of
vernacular and fighting among students were the most common disciplinary acts
common among student, followed by absenteeism or truancy, disobedience to
teachers or prefects, examination malpractices, class destruction and physical assault.
According to the findings the causes of indiscipline included parents or guardians,
peer influence, unhealthy relationship between teachers and students, school size and
students exposure to the media. The findings reveal that, indiscipline affect teaching
and learning as most teachers spend instructional hours in controlling indiscipline
students’ behaviors’. It also revealed that, indiscipline result in poor academic
performance especially in Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) as most
teachers are unable to complete syllabus due to the various acts of indiscipline
perpetuated by students in class. Finally, the findings revealed guidance and
counseling as a major strategy for curbing indiscipline among students. The study
recommended concerned parties to play their role effectively and the need to establish
a guidance and counseling unit in the school.
1.1 Background to the Study
Students’ discipline is very important for the success of any institution. Bafoua (1983)
as cited by Joseph (2003) describes how discipline was an important element in the
education of the ancient Greece. According to Bafoua;
The whole life of an individual, all his activity, even his family and conjugal relations
were submitted to the state and carefully regulated by it. Everything aims at the
selection of the race, at the hardening of the individual, at the preparation of the
steady, sober, crafty soldiers, ready for all hardships and scarifies, animated by
absolute discipline. Men and women remained submitted to the old who were the
authorities of the city.
He explains that, discipline was of paramount importance in the Greek society and it
is that discipline that made Sparta strong, respectful and glorious city in the world. He
further pointed out the fact that, in our present society, discipline is needed and
without it we cannot achieve many successes, progress or even prosper. According to
him, that is why there are established laws in each country and even in our schools
with rules and regulations yet indiscipline cases are high.
Students’ indiscipline is global phenomenon. It permeates all educational set- ups.
Statistics of student indiscipline is abound across all educational institutions globally.
For instance, in the United States as reported by Larson (2008), the National Center
for Educational Statistics reveals that in 2006, thirty six (36) percent of students in
grade 9-12 reported that they had been in a physical fight within the last year. The
reports add that, four percent (4%) of inner city teachers and three percent (3%) of
suburban and rural school teachers were physically assaulted by students. According
to Kuntz (2000), day after day primary and secondary school teachers both private
and state school are confronted with examples of bad behaviors- destruction of school
equipment and furniture, pupils lack of respect for each other or for adults which
impede normal school routine.
In Ghana, Danso (2010), lamented over the high rate of indiscipline and lawlessness
in educational institutions. He observed that not a day passes without a report of an
act of indiscipline perpetrated by teenager of primary and secondary schools. He
lamented over the causes of drug abuse, rape, armed robbery, and even murder in the
educational institutions. According to him, meaningful teaching and learning geared
towards the attainment of school goals is unattainable if teachers and students are not
discipline (
The phenomenon of indiscipline in Ghana has been a cause of concern to the Ghana
Education Service, Ministry of Education and other stakeholders in the education
sector for decades. For instance, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana
Education Service has bemoanedover the high level of indiscipline among second
cycle institutions in the region. According to him, student indiscipline and unrest in
schools have reached a level that is not only disturbing but threatening the existence
of society. He cited an instance were some students from two secondary schools in the
region were arrested by the police for their alleged involvement in armed robbery
(, February 10, 2014).
The case is not different in the Northern region, according to Edmond reporting for
the chronicle, students of three Senior High Schools: Nalerigu, T.I Hamadiaya and
Karaga went rampage destroying properties worth thousands of Ghana cedis. As a
result, students in the three schools numbering closely to 3,000 were dismissed by the
regional Education Service (GES). According to him, these students can only be
readmitted if only they have re-applied, signed a bond to be of good behavior and also
paid for properties destroyed. Similarly, a worse story broke from the Northern school
of Business Senior High (NOBISCO) in Tamale where 979 students had been
expelled for various acts of indiscipline which includes the scaling of school wall,
possessing unauthorized materials such as mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras,
muftis. The head master of the school Mr. Wilberforce Sheibu Adams said these acts
havesparked several act of looting and insubordination in the school
The Northern Regional Director of the Education Service Alhaji Mohammed Haroon
Cambodia has attributed the gross indiscipline, disrespect for authorities and frequent
bad conduct among students in the region to the use of drugs such as Indian hemp,
alcohol and cigarette (the chronicle). He blames the increasing level of indiscipline in
the region on improper parental training stressing on the fact that charity begins at
home. (www.
Despite the efforts by stakeholders to curb the situation, recent trends depict rising
rate of incidence of violence and deviate behavior among a section of students in
public school, thereby creating a feeling of insecurity among teachers and students
alike. The declining rate of discipline in many schools has contributed to the erosion
of high academic attainments, demoralized teaching staff and has brought sorrow and
disappointment to many parents(Frimpong 2003).
1.2 Problem Statement
Indiscipline in schools has been experienced for time in memorial, but the magnitude
in which it is manifesting itself in today’s schools is alarming creating great concern
among education administrators, teachers and stakeholders. It is important to note
that, indiscipline affect the learner than anybody else. This situation has been a major
concern to parents and those in the school community who suggest that disciplinary
strategies be applied by teachers and the rapport be created between students and
teachers as a systematic way to solving the problem. The examinations of the factors
that contribute to students’ indiscipline and how it affects their academic performance
can enable stakeholders achieve the best educational outcomes for students in schools.
Many stakeholders including parents, teachers, and circuit supervisors are
complaining about the poor academic performance of pupils as a result of their
indiscipline acts. This has prompted research into finding the causes and effects and
possible solutions to curb this problem. In Gumani Junior High School in Tamale
Metropolis, for instance, the problem of indiscipline has featured prominently in
stakeholder meetings. Suggestions have been put forward on how to tackle the
problem in the forums, but the teachers and parents have not been able to control this
menace. It is in light of this reality that it was necessary to conduct a study on the
causes and effects of students’ indiscipline that teachers’ face so that they can be
identified and solutions sought. This problem is typical in Gumani Junior High School
hence the need to conduct research in the area (The chronicle).
Against this background, the study seeks to find out the causes of students indiscipline
and how this affect their academic performance and the various ways by which it can
be dealt with using Gumani Junior High School in Tamale as a case.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was toexplore the causes of students’ indiscipline at Gumani
Junior High School and how this affects their academic performance as well as the
possible ways to addressing this problem.
1.4 Research Objectives
The study sought to;
Identify the causes of student indiscipline in Gumani Junior High School.
Examine the effects of students’ indiscipline on academic performance in Gumani
Junior High School; and
To identify possible ways indiscipline acts can be reduced or eradicated in Gumani
Junior High Schools.
1.5 Research Questions
The following researchquestions were formulated to guide the study.
1. What are the causes of students’ indiscipline at Gumani Junior High School in
2. How does students’ indiscipline affect their academic performance?
3. What are the possible ways of reducing or eradicating student indiscipline at
Gumani Junior High School in Tamale?
1.6 Significance of the Study
Conducting research into the effects of indiscipline is an important exercise for both
academicians and policy makers. Learning cannot take place in an environment of
chaos. The findings of the study will assist academicians, policy maker,
administrators and teachers to know the causes of student indiscipline and therefore
be in a better place to create conducive environment devoid of high level of student
indiscipline. The finding will also assist teachers to indentify the weaknesses of the
existing strategies and also lead to the development of new strategies for addressing
indiscipline in school. Also, the study will enlighten parents on the need to train their
wards at home so that they can be good mannered and behave well at school, the
community and the society as a whole.It will result in the community producing
acceptable members of the society who aren’t threats to social stability and peace.
That why the saying goes,’ charity begins at home’.
The study will also contribute to existing literature and stimulate further research on
the topic and guide further research work.
1.7 Delimitation of the study
As noted earlier, indiscipline problems persist in all schools across Ghana, this study
is limited to Gumani Junior High School in Tamale. It is one of the Junior High
Schools within the Sagnarigu District of Education Service. The school is in two
streams thus A and B. The study was limited to teachers and students. The teachers
and students included in the sample were those in session as at the time of the study.
The study focused on the causes and effects of students’ indiscipline in Gumani
Junior High School and how this affects their academic performance.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The study covers only one basic school hence the findings of this study would not be
generalized to all junior high schools in the country. Interview was not use to collect
gather because of the sample size involves and the availability of time.
Anotherlimitation was that the respondents’ just responded to the questionnaire
without expressing their views in details. Also, most of the teachers were not at post
as at the time the questionnaires were administered and a few of them did not return
their questionnaires at the time of the collection of the questionnaires and this reduced
the return rate. Out of the fifteen questionnaires administered to the teachers, ten were
received in return, instead of the fifteen administered.
1.9 Definition of Key Terms
The following definitions are important for the successful completion of the project.
The key words as defined below are within the context of the study.
Truancy – act or habit of staying away from school without permission.
School administration- is a formalized system which plans and co-ordinates organ of
school (Stating, reporting and evaluating all matters of the entire school affairs).
Academic performance or achievement – refers to successful accomplishment or
performance in a particular subject area. It is indicated by grades, marks and scores of
descriptive commentaries. It includes how pupils deal with their studies and how they
cope or accomplish different task given to them by their teachers in a fixed time or
academic year ( Hawis & Hewes, 1982 as cited in Dimbisso 2009).
1.10 Organization of the Study
This thesis is organized into five chapters. It started with chapter one which presented
the introduction and provided the background to the study and discussed key research
issues such as statement of problem, research objectives, research questions,
significance of the study, definitions of key terms as well as organization of the study
Chapter two is literature review. Literature is provided on the causes of students’
indiscipline, the effects of student indiscipline on academic performance and the
various ways of dealing with student indiscipline. It included conceptual and
theoretical framework. Chapter three is made up of research methods which include
research design, sampling technique and procedure, population definition and
instrumentation. It also described data sources and methods of data collection and
ethnical concern.
Chapter four presented data analysis and discussions of research findings and the final
chapter which is chapter five presents summary of findings, conclusions and


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