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PUPILS PERCEPTION ON PUNISHMENT IN ENHANCING DISCIPLINE IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
1.1 Background to the Study
Punishment and other forms of cruel and degrading punishment have been widely favored methods of managing discipline both at home and school. Kubeka (2004) study on disciplinary measures in a primary school in South Africa found that without corporal punishment, teachers opined that discipline cannot be maintained and that children would be disrespectful to the teacher and fail to develop the discipline to work hard. The study also found that the teachers favored the use of corporal punishment in managing discipline in school since it was quick and easy to administer compared to other discipline management methods which in their view require time, patience and skill which educators often lack.
Discipline is concerned with preventing misconduct or with punishing it. According to the American Heritage Dictionary (2015) of the English Language, discipline refers to both prevention and remediation. It can be "training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern of behavior" or "controlled behavior resulting from such training"; but it can also be "punishment intended to correct or train." Educational researchers have examined both the prevention and the remediation aspects of school and classroom discipline, which will be discussed in the background.
Discipline is the assertion of mere base desires, and is usually understood to be synonymous with self-control. Self-discipline is to some extent a substitute for motivation, except that it is not. When one uses reason to determine the best course of action that opposes one's desires, which is the opposite of fun. Virtuous behavior can be described as when one's behaviors are aligned with one's aims: to do what one knows is best and to do it gladly. Continent behavior, on the other hand, is when one does what one knows is best, but must do it by opposing one's motivations (Fowers, & Blaine, 2008). Educational researchers have examined both the prevention and the remediation aspects of school and classroom discipline, and thus findings about both are critical to the background.
It is widely believed that discipline is required for students in order for them to be successful in education, especially during the compulsory 2 education period. Eggleton (2001) defines discipline as a training, which corrects, molds or perfects the mental faculties, or moral characters, obedience to authority or rules, punishment to correct poor behaviors. Generally, school discipline is defined as school policies and actions taken by school personnel to prevent students from unwanted behaviors, primarily focusing on school conduct codes and security methods, suspension from school, corporal punishment, and teachers‟ methods of managing students‟ actions in class (Cameron, 2006). The main aspects of discipline in schools are respect to each other, punctuality; honest that gives no room for cheating in academics, trust and many others.
The type of punishment depends largely on the socio-cultural environment surrounding the child. In a school setting, punishment can range from slapping, beating or kicking, kneeling down or standing for a long time, scolding and verbal assault, cutting grasses, fetching water, knock on the head, pulling of ears, sweeping and tidying of the school environment, sending a pupil out of the class, seizure and denial of a pupil's belongings, among others. Use of corporal punishment, according to Tan & Yuanshan (1999) has been banned in some countries such as United States, Canada, Australia and lately in Hong Kong, and also in South African schools (Cicognani 2004). In Zambia, corporal punishment in schools is unlawful. Meanwhile corporal punishment is still lawful in Nigerian homes and schools in the penal system both as a sentence for crime and as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions (Newell 2007). Use of punishment especially corporal punishment has been argued as a means of correcting children. Some researchers (Straus 2003; Hyman 1990) are against the use of corporal punishment as it is a maltreatment and psychological abuse of the child. They further condemned it pointing out its harmful effect such as somatic complaints, increase anxiety, changes in personality and depression. Gershoff (2002) stated that corporal punishment increases aggression, and lowers the level of moral internalization and mental health. Robinson et al. (2005) noted that running away, fear of teacher, feelings of helplessness, humiliation, aggression, and destruction at home and at school, abuse and criminal activities are the side effects of corporal punishment. Corporal punishment to Nigerian children results to ocular injuries (Oluwakemi & Kayode 2007). Other researchers like Baumrind (1996), and Larzelere (1996) supported the use of corporal punishment emphasizing that it is a valid means of discipline.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of indiscipline in schools has persisted over the years. These acts have either been carried out individually by the students or as a group which result to rioting or revolts. There is no doubt that students indiscipline generally militates against effective teaching and learning and production of useful acceptable members of the society. It is therefore, observed that some parents appear to have denied their parental roles or responsibilities towards their children. If the teachers are frustrated and lack motivation in themselves, they are not likely to motivate other to learn or occupy their time in productive education. The Government contributes to indiscipline by not providing adequate facilities/equipment in the school. Researcher have observed that teachers no longer punish their students like before most especially in nowadays private schools and this is influencing indiscipline among the students, even though there are other ways of making students discipline but the role of punishment cannot be removed, this however prompted the researcher to embark on this research on the perception of students on using punishment in enhancing discipline among primary school pupils.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to find out the perception of primary school pupils on using punishment in enhancing discipline in primary school, specifically the study intends to;
1. Find out the factors that enhance discipline among primary school pupils
2. Analyze the effect of punishment on primary school pupils discipline
3. Find out the perception of primary school pupils on punishment in enhancing discipline among primary school pupils
4. Find out the challenges faced by teachers in disciplining their wards.
1.4 Research Question
1. What are the factors that enhance discipline among primary school pupils?
2. Is there any significant effect of punishment on primary school pupil’s discipline?
3. What is the perception of primary school pupils on punishment in enhancing discipline among primary school pupils?
4. What are the challenges faced by teachers in disciplining their wards?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: there is no significant effect of punishment on primary school pupil’s discipline
Hi: there is significant effect of punishment on primary school pupil’s discipline
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be useful for policy and decision makers in establishing training needed for teachers on the effects of corporal punishment in enhancing discipline in primary schools. Decision makers and policy makers at large can use the findings of this study to improve the strategies of dealing with corporal punishment issues in primary schools. The study also is useful to pupils as the use or not use of CP may help them to perform well academically. Furthermore, the study can be used by researchers in identifying the gaps that warrant for research investigation on educational issues.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.
However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.