This study investigated the problems of indiscipline on the academic performance of secondary school students in Kosofe local government area of Lagos state. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. 196 secondary school students formed the sample while simple random sampling technique was used to select secondary school students from four Senior Secondary schools in Kosofe Local Government in Lagos State. Thirty Senior Secondary school students were randomly sampled from each school. A self-developed questionnaire of 21 items was used to collect information from the students after its validity was determined. Four hypotheses were tested in the study while Inferential Statistics of Pearson product moment correlation statistical tool was used for hypothesis testing at 0.05 levels of significance. The study revealed the following results: there is no significant influence of truancy on students academic performance,  there is no significant influence of cheating in examinations on students academic performance, there is no significant influence of alcohol and substance abuse on students academic performance, there is no significant influence of sexual related problems on academic performance and there is a significant gender difference on students academic performance. It is recommended that; parents should be watchful of the types of friends kept by their adolescent children. The parent-child relationship should be cordial enough to permit adolescents to discuss their problems with their parents. The management of adolescents (secondary school students) should be the joint responsibility of parents, teachers, school administrators and the society at large. School counsellors should also provide usable and adequate information both to the students and their parents about forms of indiscipline in secondary schools and consequent punishment associated to each.


CHAPTER ONE Introduction

Background of the study

Statement of problem

Research question

The purpose of study

Significance of the study

Definition of terms

CHAPTER TWO         

Literature review

The concept of indiscipline

The causes of indiscipline and the effect on academic performance

The causes of indiscipline

Types of indiscipline

Measures for controlling indiscipline in secondary schools


Research Methodology

Population of the study

Sample and sampling

Techniques of data analysis

Validation of instrument


Data analysis


Findings, recommendations and conclusion



Recommendations of the findings





Background to the study

The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and children are always described as the pride and wealth of any nation. Due to these reasons, the future of any nation depends largely on the young ones who constitute the human and potential resources needed for the continued existence of the society. In order for any nation to achieve a sustainable development, the younger population must not only be preserved but also be disciplined. Over the last decade there has been an increasing concern among educators in Nigeria regarding students indiscipline and disrespect to school authorities. This Indiscipline has been over time an issue of concern for educators, Policy makers, public opinion and the society in general.

Research consistently documents that school indiscipline reduces teaching hours as more time is devoted to managing students misbehaviors rather than on teaching. School Indiscipline owing to outbreak of aggressiveness among peers, violence within teachers to students relationship  and vandalism, truancy bullying, alcohol and substance abuse, inability and unwillingness to do assigned class work or homework, refusal to take given orders, teasing of other learners, disrespecting educators, swearing at educators or other learners, carrying dangerous weapons to school, threatening other learners  with dangerous weapons, assaulting other learners,  thus leading to perpetual existence of problem of drop outs, deviant behaviours, examination malpractices, lateness and above all poor academic performance among students. Idu and Ojedapo (2011) and Tunor (2011).   

Discipline is probably one of the most difficult and unpleasant part of teaching profession because the teacher is faced with the challenges of educating, socializing, empowering and certifying students, but this is only possible with the help of good teaching atmosphere (Fafunwa, 2009; Farrant, 2004).

Indiscipline is a multifaceted phenomenon regarding its did plays and causes as well as its meanings and functions in the social, psychological and pedagogical fields. The problem of indiscipline permeates all facets of the life of man and has brought man down to the knees. According to the Bible (Christians holy book) it was the sin of Disobedience that sent the first man and woman Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. The sin of disobedience is actually a case of indiscipline to laid down rules and regulations by the constituted authority (God) in which he instructed them not to do something, which they later did and had to face the consequences.

School indiscipline according to Gaustard (2005) has two main objectives. The first is to ensure the safety of staff and students while the second is to create an environment conducive for learning. Acts of indiscipline occasioned by students misconduct involving violent and criminal behavior defeats the goals of education.

Acts of indiscipline if allowed to incubate under current favourable conditions by education providers and consumers could hatch a monster that will be difficult to exterminate. Idu and Ojedapo (2011) and Tunor (2011). Minor samples of the envisioned problems are being encountered in the nations economic front.  Many indeed believe that the current economic woes arising from corruption, robbery, assassination, kidnapping, smuggling and pipeline vandalisation are progenies of school indiscipline. Court injunctions and orders are indiscriminately flouted not only by those who make or interpret the law, but also by those who took the oath to defend the laws of the land. These acts of indiscipline in our national life most likely began as a mustard seed of disobedience in the school.

School indiscipline is a very important and crucial issue hindering the normal development of youths in the society especially students in post primary schools. Indiscipline as it concerns achievement of educational goals has received a lot of attention. According to Edem (1982), Indiscipline as the violation of school rules and regulations which is capable of obstructing the smooth and orderly functioning of the school system should be consequently avoided through perfect orientation of students and imposition of positive sanctions in the case of obvious violation of order.

Indiscipline is the ability of students to respect authority, observe and obey school rules and regulations which in turn affect their academic performance. When a student misses or skips classes continuously no doubt that will lead to poor performance in his academics. Same goes for truancy, absteenism, late coming to mention a few.

The purpose of this study is to explore the Problems of indiscipline and its influence on the Academic Performance of Senior Secondary Schools in Lagos State.

The problem of indiscipline affects all schools irrespective of gender and school type though the degree and magnitude vary from school to school. Cases of violence though common, occur more often outside than on the school premises. The measures taken to deal with indiscipline are barely adequate given the fact that there exist no administrative or legal guidelines which one could refer to in the case such issues or situation arises. Actions taken are often ad-hoc and uncoordinated both within and across schools of the same type. Teachers most predominately feel disempowered to deal with cases of indiscipline because of lack of support from relevant authorities, political interference and incapacitated school administration.

In this study, we would be looking at the term discipline, Indiscipline and its influence on academic performance.  Discipline globally views could be termed to mean training that enables an individual to develop an orderly conduct and self control as well as self direction Egwunyenga (2000). Therefore Discipline defines the limitations of an individual or group of people. It is the practice of restraint, which may be self- imposed. Relating it to our schools, Adeshina (1980) described it as a situation whereby students are taught to respect the school authorities, to observe the school laws and regulations and to maintain established standard of behavior. In other words, respect for self and others.

Boakye (2006) defines discipline as the obedience of rules and orders and a manifestation of an outward mark of respect in accordance with standing agreements. School discipline is an essential element in school administration. This is because discipline is a mode of life in accordance with laid down rules of the society to which all members  must conform and the violation of which are questionable . Indiscipline is seen as a process of training and learning that fosters growth and development. Imaguezor (1997). The aim of discipline is therefore to help the individual to be well adjusted, happy and useful in school and also in the society. The doctrine of school discipline according to Nolte (1980) and Barrell (1978) is based on the concept of loco parentis which allows school authority full responsibility for childrens upbringing, the right of discipline and control. In other words, teachers have the right to punish students who contravene school rules/laws.  This discipline refers to a systematic instruction given to a student. To discipline means to instruct a person to follow a particular code of conduct. According to Adesina (1990), discipline is the readiness or ability to respect authority and observe conventional or established laws of the society or of any other organization. Discipline implies self-control, restraint, and respect for oneself and others. In a nutshell, school discipline refers to regulation of children and maintenance of school rules or order. These rules may for example define the expected standards of clothing (school uniform), timekeeping, social behavior among classmates and general school ethics. Discipline therefore calls for sacrifice, perseverance, and tolerance in our schools in order to achieve academic excellence.

Indiscipline, on the other hand, is misbehaviour in any or all of the following areas: respect for school authority, obedience of rules, laws and regulation and maintenance of established standards of behaviour.

Adesina (1990), also argues that discipline is coined from a Latin word Discipulus meaning to learn. It therefore calls for the submission of one's impulses and powers to a regulation, which prevents chaos and brings efficiency without which there would otherwise be ineffectiveness and waste.

Indiscipline, on the other hand, is a breach of social order, good moral, behaviour, self-accepted and self-maintained social values of life.

Furthermore, indiscipline can be said to be problem facing the effectiveness of work in the public and private secondary schools today. This has led to nepotism, hooliganism, absenteeism, truancy, unwanted destruction of properties, cheating and examination mal-practice in the society.

Indiscipline can be said to be the absence of discipline. Therefore, anywhere indiscipline reigns, discipline is absent. The stability and continued existence of that society is in question because where discipline is not instilled, life and property become insecure and the continued existence of that society become precarious.

Edem (1982), states that indiscipline as a violation of school rules and regulations is capable of obstructing the smooth and orderly functioning of schools system and should be consequently avoided through perfect orientation of students and imposition of positive sanction incase of obvious violation of the order.

Dittiniya (1996), states that indiscipline could be regarded as any act that does not conform to societal values and norms. Indiscipline could take up many forms and shapes depending on how it is being carried out in its assorted forms. Indiscipline is also a distinctive and undeserving element to progress, training and mode of life in accordance with rules. Consequently, lack of discipline relates to misbehavior in any form. Indiscipline in this situation is any act that is inconsistent with the set down rules and regulations governing a learning situation.

It is important to state that indiscipline in our secondary schools is one of the major problems facing our society today. Indiscipline according to (Timothy, 2008: 110) is the direct opposite of discipline i.e. lack of discipline. He further quoted Dittinuiya (1995) who defined it as any act that does not conform to the societal value and norms.

 However, indiscipline is as old creation itself. That was what accounted for the ejection of the first male and female (Adam and Eve) from the garden of Eden, out of disobedience and extreme curiosity to be like their creator, they tasted the forbidden fruit and faced the consequences. Furthermore, for some time now, indiscipline in our school has attracted the attention of the media and the general public. Schools which are fundamentally expected to assist in building up people for good of the society are now regarded as by some as the breeding ground for indiscipline.

On the whole, these authors agree on one common thing about discipline and indiscipline. That is, whereas discipline means obedience to authority, respect for self and others, indiscipline means the opposite (i.e. disobedience to authority, lack of respect for self and others). This common view is undisputable because it underscores the fact that discipline is an indispensable aspect of school effectiveness. In this study indiscipline is conceptualized as behaviour from a student that breaches rules and regulations and undermines school effectiveness. Academic Performance is what you have shown you can do in a certain subject(s). Ability is what you can do given an ideal circumstance. You can think of it as being internal until you show what you can do with your performance. Performance is external and what people can see. For instance, someone freaks out when they have to take a test and is uncoordinated; this will or may lead to poor performance in that test. If that same person takes that same test without being nervous, he would have performed better.

There is much indiscipline in schools. There is also various school offence or indiscipline today and the major ones are listed below. E.g. assault and insult, drug abuse, charms, truancy, fighting, mass demonstration, dishonesty, wickedness, drug trafficking, keeping firearms, sexual harassment, rape, Robbery, in-decency etc.

1.                  Assault and insult: Student or youth speak rudely to their teachers and also fight with members of staff as well as members of non-teaching staff and beat up their younger ones.

2.                  Drug abuse: This is the habit of taking in destructive substances. They arch the habit of keeping and using drug for regular diseases, which are not prescribed by qualified doctors. They also indulge in drinking and smoking.

3.                   Charms: worse still act or things are supposed to have magic power to help or harm people. A lot of students use charms to pass their examination as to win the favour of the teacher and also to cause harm to fellow students and teacher who are against them.

4.                  Truancy: This is the act of habit staying away from school without permission. Most of the students leave their home every morning but do not get to school.

5.                  Fighting: Indiscipline arises from fighting. It brings about physical defeat of students in secondary school.

6.                  Mass demonstration: They engaged in demonstration or strikes over the quality of food, poor staffing.

7.                  Dishonesty: Lying cheating and stealing are dishonest acts of Behaviour. Some of them are guilty of fighting and cheating at examination.

8.                  Wickedness: They oppress the junior students and carryout the destructive of the school property. They engage in strikes and mass demonstration.

Statement of the Problem

There has been continued decline in the academic performance of students in our secondary schools and these are triggered by the escalation in the number of students who fail or perform woefully in continuous assessment test and promotional examination. This problems also surface in external examinations. That is the performance of students who write the Junior Secondary Certificate examinations (JSCE) and the Senior Secondary Examinations (SSCE), most of the students do not pass the mathematics and English language which is a compulsory prerequisite to be able to gain admission into any higher Institution.

Due to these problems, most of the students have had to repeat a class and as in the case of the external examinations, they have to seat at home to wait for another year in order to re-sit for another examination. It is also a concern because the external examinations fees have to be paid again before such the student can be allowed to sit for the exams. Many parents would actually search for jobs for their wards but in our society where even the graduates are still unemployed, what would become of their fate. When nothing seems to be coming forth in terms of employment, these children will have no other choice but to remain at home hoping that and believing  that they might be called up for a job some day. Remember the adage that says an An idle hand is the devils workshop. Its always during the time of waiting that they join bad gangs, engage in the abuse of drugs, drinking alcohol, partying, night crawling, even some others are used by evil politicians to realize their ambition of rigging and ballot box snatching by giving them cash in exchange for arms and ammunition to the detriment of their soul, thereby jeopardizing their future. Some others join armed robbery gangs, engage in prostitution and if they caught in the any of this dastardly act. They would be arrested and charged to court. If they convicted and found guilty, they risk the chance of going to jail. 

This issue has become a source of concern even to school administrators, parents, guardians, teachers, principals, district board of education, ministry of education, students themselves, stakeholders and the society in general. Therefore, this study sets to investigate the problems of indiscipline on the academic performance of secondary school students in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State. There is no doubt that teachers, parents, guardians, peer groups and the society itself have both individual and collective roles.                                                           

Purpose of the study

1.         To determine the influence of truancy on students' academic performance.

2.         To ascertain the influence of cheating on students' academic performance.

3.         To determine the influence of alcohol and substance abuse on academic performance.

4.         To ascertain the influence of sexual related problems on academic performance.

Research Questions

1.         Will truancy have influence academic performance of secondary school students in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state?

2.         Will cheating in examination have influence students' academic performance in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state?

3.         Will Alcohol and substance abuse have influence students' academic performance in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state?

4.         Will sexual related problems have influence on academic performance of students in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state?

5.         Will gender difference have influence academic performance of students in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state?

Research Hypotheses

1.         Truancy will not have significant influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state.

2.         Cheating in examinations will not have significant influence on academic performance of students in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state.

3.         Alcohol and substance abuse will not have significant influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state.

4.         Sexual related problems will not have significant influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state.

5.         Gender difference will not have significant influence on students academic performance in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state.

Significance of the Study

The finding of this study will equally be relevant to government through the ministry of education, policy makers, education reformers and school administrators in providing a lasting solution to the social menace. This study will be useful to educational administrators and teachers as well as parents as it will suggest other strategies that can be used to reduce indiscipline among pupils in schools. This study will also contribute to the existing body of knowledge and literature on ways of reducing indiscipline in schools.

Delimitation of the Study

This study is delimited to public secondary schools in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State. Also Principals and teachers in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state.

Limitation of the Study

One of the limitations was time factor; another was transportation and attitude of respondent which created problem to the researcher.

Operational Definition of Terms

Truancy: This is the act of habit staying away from school without permission. Most of the students leave their home every morning but do not get to school.

Discipline: refers to training, especially of the mind and character, to produce self-control habits of obedience, the results of which sets rules f r conduct and methods by which training may be given:

Indiscipline: refers to misbehaviour or deviance or any form of behaviour that displays disobedience to authority and failure to follow set rules of conduct.

Academic performance: is defined as the achievement of performance in the teacher made terminal examination for the senior secondary school students. Achievements in Mathematics were chosen because in practice, mathematics is among the subject in the comprehensive/core curriculum which must be taken by students at all level (National Policy on Education 2004).




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