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PERCEPTION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ON SCHOOL RULES AND REGULATION IN PROMOTING ACCEPTABLE BAHAVIOR
1.1 Background to the Study
Students are key stakeholders and the most essential resources in education. It is absolutely necessary to direct students to exhibit acceptable attitude and behavior within and outside the school. In an attempt to achieve an organized and peaceful school environment and maintain law and order, school management specifies rules and regulations to guide the activities of members of the educational institution. Student’s discipline is a prerequisite to almost everything a school has to offer students (McGregory, 2006).
Seifert and Vornberg further link discipline with both the culture and climate of the school thus according to them in order for a satisfactory climate to exist within a school, a certain level of discipline must exist. In schools where discipline is a serious problem, for example, where students bully others, parents can transfer their children to „better‟ schools. Since the well behaved students usually perform well their transfer can affect the overall performance of that school. However punishment can aggravate behavior instead of curbing it (Rigby, 2000). The problem of indiscipline in schools is a global issue of great concern, traversing political, economic, geographical, racial and even gender boundaries (Kajubi, 2007). There is a growing concern regarding indiscipline in schools within the United Arab Emirates where teaching methods were blamed for the children’s indiscipline (Mukharjee, 2005). The parents were getting anxious and frustrated as they complained of the rising incidents of indiscipline and violence in schools. The concern was not only on the risk of destruction of property and injury to persons but also the poor academic performance associated with the growing trend of indiscipline.
Along with academic performance, school discipline ranks as one of the major concerns voiced by the public about schools and the school system in countries worldwide. These concerns are echoed in frequent and often dramatic media reports of disruptive students, student riots, bullying and violence in classrooms and playgrounds. There is a continuing and growing perception that behaviour problems are endemic in schools, that teachers are struggling to maintain order, and that school authorities are unable to guarantee the safety of students (Mutua, 2004).
A study by MANTEP, (1995) describes school rules as principles or orders which monitor and guide behavior in a particular school institution. School regulations are official orders that a particular school adopts to ensure proper students’ behavior. Mosha, (2006) established that school rules and regulations have specific functions including: to prepare pupils as good citizens who become better people in adult life; to make students realize that offenders are punished which will encourage them to obey the laws of the country and to conform to accepted norms and rules of conduct; and to encourage cooperation and harmony in the society.
Some of the school regulations are part and parcel of school rules. School rules are principles or orders which guide behavior in schools. Some of the rules include being punctual, maintaining neatness and cleanness, living in peace and order, being obedient to teachers, parents and the community, taking care of school materials, equipment and buildings. In principle school rules and regulations function together to ensure that school rules are maintained for the smooth running of the education institution. Teachers believe that when students are properly disciplined and controlled, there is order, peace and harmony in the school (MANTEP, 1995). According to Schimmel (1997, 2003), school rules and rule making can be related to citizenship education. A vital part of education for school rules is an enlightened process for teaching students the norms of citizenship. As Schimmel, (1997) observes, “School rules are, after all, a form of law that applies to student‟ (p. 70). Schimmel (2003) however, argues that instead of encouraging active and democratic citizenship, school rules as hidden curriculum of citizenship education in many or most schools undermines the goals of citizenship education when students have no voice in developing or revising them‟ (Schimmel, 2003: 18).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Schools play an important role in the socialization process of the young people from where they learn to regulate their own conduct, respect towards others, manage their time responsibly and thus becoming responsible citizens (Tait, 2003). Despite the fact that school rules and regulations are clearly made and stipulated in almost all secondary schools, still there are reports of some serious misbehavior among secondary school students (Izahak, 2006; HAKI ELIMU, 2007, Mbepera, 2008; Meena & Kuleana, 2009). Since it is the government and school administration that set these rules, little is known about students’ perceptions on school rules and regulations in promoting self- discipline; making them realize that offenders are punished and encouraging to obey laws of the country; conforming to social norms and rules of conduct; encouraging co-operation and harmony in the community, it is therefore at best to find out the perception of students on school rules and regulation in promoting acceptable behavior.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of this study is to find out the perception of students on school rules and regulation in promoting acceptable behavior, specifically the study intends to:
1. Find out the if the students are involved in the formulation of school rules and regulations
2. Examine way the school rules and regulations implemented enhance discipline
3. Find out the perceptions of secondary school students on school regulations and rules in making them good citizens
4. Find out the attitude of students towards rules and regulations in secondary schools
1.4 Research Questions
1. Are the students involve in the formulation of school rules and regulations?
2. In what way is the school rules and regulations implemented enhance discipline?
3. What is the perceptions of secondary school students on school regulations and rules in making them good citizens?
4. What is the attitude of students towards rules and regulations in secondary schools?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: school rules has no influence on students in making them discipline