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Education is a key instrument for the reformation of the person and society. Secondary education in Nigeria is focused at training the adolescent for meaningful life within society and preparing him/her for further education. For a person to be able to live a productive life in his community and contribute towards the social, economic and political growth of the country, the essential skills, values, attitudes, knowledge, and competences must be imparted. Recent times have seen considerable development in the incidences of indiscipline in Nigerian secondary schools. Indiscipline has been a serious and persistent administrative concern among secondary schools in developing nations. Denga (1999) listed indiscipline concerns such as theft, truancy, sexual crime, vandalism, and cheating as damaging activities.

In many urban and rural parts of Nigeria, the rate of adolescents who drop out of school is substantially greater. Such students develop and display abnormal conduct and may never reach their potential. They become liabilities to society. Nigerian instructors, administrators, and parents are worried about the growing prevalence of indiscipline in Nigerian secondary schools. This discovery should disturb the thoughts of every patriotic Nigerian since the children are the future leaders of the nation. As a consequence, any endeavor to manage or remove the occurrence of indiscipline in schools will be acceptable to the government, educators, parents, and school administrators. The objective of this research is to analyze indiscipline in secondary schools in Nigeria and identify the main forms, causes and potential remedies.

Several scholars have defined the word "discipline." According to Adesina (1980), discipline is to educate the learners to respect the school authorities, obey the school rules and regulations, and maintain an established level of conduct. From this view, the school has a responsibility to play in inculcating discipline in the students. Egwunyenga (1994) described discipline as the training that helps a person to achieve ordered behaviour and self-control, restraint, respect for self and respect for others. Discipline, according to Abubakar (2000), is the capacity and desire to accomplish what one ought to do without external control.

Hence, one might argue discipline is inwardly motivated inside the individual. It is voluntary and a person intentionally takes attempts to comply to an established code of behaviour. However, Aguba (2009), while highlighting Douglas McGregor’s theory X, argued that discipline is externally generated in persons who do not yield to established norms and regulations out of personal will but out of fear of penalty or consequence. Rosen (1997) sees discipline as an area of knowledge, training that promotes self-control, character, orderliness or efficiency, severe control to ensure compliance and treatment that regulates or punishes, and as a system of rules. According to Slee (1995), discipline comprises instruction and self-control. The United States Department of Education in Rosen (1997) recognises that sustaining a disciplined atmosphere favorable for learning involves an attitude of care that molds staff-student interactions.

Public accountability presume that schools are places that churn out productive and valuable school leavers. Agbenyega (2006) argued that excellent discipline is one of the primary qualities of functional schools, and many failed schools have been blamed on a lack of discipline. Indiscipline, on the contrary, is any conduct that deviates from society standards and ideals. It is a breach of school rules and regulations that is capable of inhibiting the smooth and orderly operation of the school system (Edem, 1982}.  An undisciplined adolescent is an unruly youngster who may cause any harm in school when he has not acquired what he wants. Every school administrator needs a decent level of discipline in his school.

Indiscipline is producing a nuisance in all regions of the globe in respect to children’s affairs. In certain places of the Nigeria, the rates of absenteeism, vandalism, and delinquency are above average. More disconcerting are reported occurrences of such a high frequency of drug and associated crimes that certain areas of Nigeria are classified as "no-go zones" (KenReid, 2000).  In Ghana, Danso (2010) highlighted the high rates of indiscipline and lawlessness in educational institutions. He discovered that hardly a single day passes without a complaint of an incident of indiscipline performed by teenagers at basic and secondary schools. He bemoaned about the causes of drug misuse, rape, armed robbery, abortion, and even murder at educational institutions. Meaningful teaching and learning focused towards the fulfillment of school objectives is unreachable if the teachers and students are not disciplined. Aguba (2009) highlighted that discipline is essential to build a breed of well-cultivated youngsters who would acquire respect for themselves but also for others in school and society.


Achievement of the aims of secondary school education primarily rely on the favorable attitude of students in their academic work and the instructional effectiveness of instructors. A fundamental difficulty for educational administrators is the continual presence of the problems of dropouts, aberrant conduct, examination malpractice, lateness, and low academic performance among students. The need has consequently emerged for school administrators, teachers, parents, and the general public to reduce indiscipline in schools. Nigerians cannot stay complacent when significant human and financial resources are squandered, indiscipline is pervasive, and a climate of insecurity, dissatisfaction, and instability is produced in schools, leading to poor learning.

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