By Divramredje Lawrence Efeturi KSJI
In recent years, there has been a disturbing trend of increasing indiscipline in secondary schools across Nigeria. It is disheartening to witness the growing number of students who now target their own teachers. This alarming behaviour raises concerns about the overall state of education and the future of our youth. Gone are the days when teachers commanded respect and admiration from their students. Nowadays, it seems that some students view their teachers as adversaries rather than mentors. The hierarchical relationship that used to exist has been eroded, leaving a void filled with disrespect and hostility.
Teachers, who once entered the profession with a passion for imparting knowledge, now find themselves constantly on guard, navigating through a sea of apathy and defiance. They are no longer seen as authority figures, but rather as obstacles to be challenged and undermined.
This rise in indiscipline can be attributed to several factors. The advent of social media and the widespread use of smartphones have contributed to a decline in respect for authority. Students are exposed to a constant barrage of inappropriate content, unfiltered opinions, and negative influences, which can skew their perception of acceptable behaviour.
Furthermore, the breakdown of family structures and societal values has manifested itself in the form of unruly behaviour in schools. Many students lack proper guidance and discipline at home, leading them to seek power and control in the school environment. They view their teachers as easy targets for manipulation, defiance, and even physical violence.
In addition, the high student-to-teacher ratio in Nigerian schools contributes to the problem. Teachers struggle to effectively manage large classes and provide individual attention to students, which can lead to a lack of discipline within the classroom.
Another challenge is the inadequacy of disciplinary measures within schools. Many schools lack proper systems and structures to effectively address disciplinary issues. Punishments are often overly lenient or inconsistently enforced, leading to a lack of consequences for students’ misbehaviour.
It is vital that we address this issue urgently. The future of our education system and the well-being of our teachers and students are at stake. We must invest in comprehensive programmes that promote discipline, respect, and empathy in schools. These programmes should focus not only on punishment but also on prevention and rehabilitation.
Educating students about the importance of respect and empathy for their teachers is crucial. We should instill in them the understanding that a harmonious teacher-student relationship is the foundation for a successful educational journey. By fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding, we can deter the negative behaviour that plagues our schools.
Additionally, we must provide support and resources for teachers who are dealing with indiscipline in the classroom. They should be equipped with effective strategies to manage disruptive behaviour and receive the necessary training to handle challenging situations.
Ultimately, addressing the high rate of indiscipline among students in Nigerian secondary schools requires a multi-faceted approach involving parents, schools, teachers, and the government.
It is a pressing issue that demands our immediate and collective attention. By acknowledging the root causes and implementing comprehensive solutions, we can restore order and create a conducive learning environment for our students. Let us work together to pave the way for a brighter and disciplined future in education.