Disciplinary Measures In Schools

Discipline can be defined as the training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produce moral and mental improvement. It can also be said to be a set of rules or methods as those regulating the activities of a group of persons. School discipline, therefore, is the system of rules, punishments and behavioral strategies appropriate to the regulation of students and the maintenance of law and order in schools. Its aim basically, is to control the activities of students in the various schools. To ensure effective and efficient disciplinary actions in schools, there are committees charged with the responsibility of ensuring discipline. These committees adjudicate cases brought before them and met out appropriate sanctions to culpable students. The committees use the Ghana Education Service, GES codes of conduct as the primary source of reference and so are expected to follow it. In most cases, the committees leave up to expectation. In relatively few instances, however, the punishments are simply outrageous. These isolated cases have led to students’ vandalism which resulted in massive destruction of school property and even in some instances led to loss of lives. The punishments meant to correct maladaptive behaviors are sometimes employed by some school authorities to settle personal scores. The case in which some students of Northern School of Business were reportedly asked to buy three bags of cement each and the implications thereof is a classic example. The most recent case involving students of Nkwanta Senior High School which was as a result of a disciplinary measure gone-bad affirms the need for tact and due diligence in using any measures at all in perpetuating and encouraging respect for law and Oder. It is therefore important for school authorities to use the codes of conduct provided by the GES in dealing with disciplinary issues in their schools. Students should also reckon that the best way of protesting unfair treatments is not the destruction of school property that are in deficit but rather channel their grievances using appropriate procedures. Let us all ensure that our actions and inactions promote teaching and learning and not mayhem. Let discipline prevail in our schools.
BY: PEREZ EWOENAM AKLASU- A TEACHER AND COUNSELOR AT DENU R.C BASIC SCHOOL, DENU.

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