The teachers have never been included in the task force to state accurately why students often become violent. The ministry of education office, TSC and parents association is very vocal giving false explanations on the same yet the key Stakeholders (teachers) are not involved. All the stakeholders have in the past and even presently blame the MOCK exams as the main cause for unrests. That’s lazy and far away from the truth. Below are the real causes of school unrests in secondary schools.
There are many factors known to contribute to students’ unrest and indiscipline. The causes of unrest include poor school administration, parents’ lack of concern of their children, bad company, influence of students into bad company within the school, strict school rules, poor diet and bad food in schools, poor teacher- student relationship, poor leadership, too much freedom students enjoy today among others. Communication is very important in any set up.
Lack of communication for example in a school setting some privilege may be withdrawn without notice and this can cause students’ Unrest. Peer influence to indulge in bad behavior such as drug abuse is a major cause of unrest in secondary schools. The relationships that students establish in and out of school are also a major factor in their school behavior when individual succumb to peer Pressure. They lose their self-image and self-respect and when they do not have Supportive systems to fall back to, they end up in engaging in inappropriate behavior.
Head teachers’ leadership
Addressing the problem of poor management in schools, the Kenya secondary school heads Association (KSSHA) came up with the idea of establishing a code of conduct for school head teachers to stem excesses in school. Laws of Kenya, gives the Board of managers power to manage secondary schools. The head teacher or a person acting in that capacity is the chief executive of the BOM. The head teacher who is also the school manager must combine his or her knowledge in management skills and dynamic leadership skills to effectively implement the schools programmes to ensure that the goals of the school have been achieved. For head teachers to succeed in their work, they should have proper managerial skills. Effective communication is important to school management for it is used to pass information and to control students’ behavior and motivate them by emphasizing the rules and regulations that can lead to good discipline. Lack of proper communication can lead to strikes.
Prefects’ leadership and unrest.
Prefects should ensure that there is a good working relation between students, teachers and head teachers and students on the other hand should accept that they are learners and they should therefore learn what is beneficial to them from their parents, teachers and peers. School prefects therefore are recognized as student leaders who perform important roles for the smooth running and the success of schools however in many schools that may not always be the case. Some prefects molest other students. This does not always auger well with the rest of the students. Many times it leads to hatred and as a result students’ unrests. The prefects system plays a very important role in administration of a school. A good prefect is the one who is self-disciplined, respectful, well balanced, and presentable, moderate, obedient, creative and mature and has leadership qualities. In some schools students are not involved in the selection of prefects but imposed on them by the school administration. Prefects are given special privileges such as uniforms, special diet and cubicles. This also angers the rest of the students.
Measures taken in dealing with students’ indiscipline in schools.
In order to successfully achieve the objectives of school, college or university, all members of the school arc required to strictly adhere to the various behaviour patterns necessary for maximum performance. Students should be well informed about the school rules and the consequences of breaking them. A useful and effective method of communicating the rules is the use of hand book. Some Schools use the suggestion box to collect views on issues that affect the students on a weekly basis. This helps the administration to address the issues before they become explosive. Most schools have ignored this channel of communication. The Prinicipal’s Kamukunji has been also ignored by most administartors. The Head of institution should be meeting students alone to represent the teaching fraternity atleast once a month. This is not the case in many schools.
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Punitive disciplinary measures
. The use of corporal punishment light and heavy manual work were the leading disciplinary measures used in the maintenance of students discipline in the schools. Other methods were suspension and expulsion. Preventive disciplinary measures for maintaining discipline like guidance and counseling and warning were insignificantly used. Today all those are abolished apartfrom counseling.
By: Robert Kerre
Writer and Educationist
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