The indiscipline problem in schools is ranked as a major problem among students of primary and secondary schools in Malaysia. Disruptive behavior is a concern to schools and parents and to fellow pupils, whose education may be adversely affected.
Objective: The objectives of this study were to identify the level of students discipline problems and dominant factors attributing to the students discipline problems among the students in SMK St. Thomas.
Material and Methods: The study was carried out to 50 students from several classes from Form 6 using questionnaires. The data collected were analyzed by Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS) in forms of frequency, percentage and mean value. The findings showed that the level of discipline problems among students was quite high especially for absenteeism problem.
Results and Discussion: The results also showed that the students with family problems, always hung out with friends and others faced high level of discipline problems compared to students with no such problems. Some of the students with records in discipline problems showed that they did not faced any difficulties in learning as they passed in their examinations and the discipline problems did not depend on parents’ education background because it was not necessary for the students to have discipline
Conclusions: Lastly, some recommendations also had been put forward as guidance to the research organization and future researches.
Discipline is a rudimentary ingredient that plays a crucial role in school system, which insists on upholding the moral values of students. It comprises a wide spectrum of meaning, well from the negative or positive perspective. However, it is humans immune to always focus on the negative smell and that would be considered a popular issue if it involves an individual or a group that claims an intimate relationship within a society. Schon, D. (1983) aptly states that every child has a need to attend school. Schools are seen as providers of education as education is an important process that each individual has to undergo in life today. This is even so in this digital age as the world is more globalized and information communication technology takes root in every aspect of our life. Thus, education is seen as the key to unlock the treasure trove of knowledge. Students’ misbehavior is a prevailing problem affecting schools not only in Malaysia but also across the many nations around the world. Students’ misconduct in the classroom interferes with teaching and learning and is thought to be precursor to later school dropout and similar negative social outcomes. Student’s behavioral problems are also thought to be a leading contributor to teachers’ stress and attrition. Serious breaches of school discipline policy can have profound negative effects on teachers. Teachers subjected to abuse or intimidation report experiencing fears for their safety, lack of sense of dignity at work, intense feelings of anger, humiliation or shame, isolation and depression. Some teenagers may never reveal the nature of the incident or its impact on them. In such cases, the confidence of the teacher has been undermined; his/her sense of personal safety violated and the perpetrator has not been sanctioned. Slavin, R.E. (2003). One of the most widespread reasons for bad discipline however is usually a student’s inability to cope with the tasks. The noisiest students will demonstrate their frustration by loud outbursts, disruptive behavior, while the rest of the class may remain passive (Sternberg, R.J. & Williams, W.W.(2002). Basically, discipline problems occur when a student refuses to obey rules of the classroom or school. Rules that deal with human actions will eventually be broken and require some sort of punishment. The concept of matching the punishment with the rule violation requires that the rules be presented in written format and that the punishment for violations be specified. Rules must also relate to the stated function of education or the school process and, again, common sense must prevail in establishing disciplinary action for breaking a rule. Teachers, in making rules for individual classroom behavior, should constantly be reminded of this principle. Furthermore, all students must be aware and prudent of the rules before disciplinary action can be administered. Franken, R.E. (1998). Parents and schools share the responsibility of promoting values and standards which we hope will help younger people to establish sound behavioral codes for their lives. It is important that parents work in-cooperate with their child’s school, and not just leave the school alone in the dark. Discipline problems can be dealt with much more effectively if both parties could share the similar and ideal vision which, leads to prolific missions. We are all part of the society and our behavior will reflect current values and mores. Young students are particularly impressionable and vulnerable if much of their behavior is learned and they will copy and act out what they observe to be fashionable and attractive (Feldman, RF.S., 1996). In schools where the head teacher’s emphasized punishments rather more than rewards, pupil’s progress tends to be inhibited; the greater the number of punishments listed, the more negative were the effects. In contrast, whenever the number of rewards exceeded the number of punishments, progress was greater (Duke & Canady, 1991); successful schools have high expectations of discipline, and promote good relationships between children and staff. They know that it is not just about how children behave currently in schools but it is about sound preparation for the later life.
Background of Study
The indiscipline problem in schools is ranked as a major problem among students of primary and secondary schools in Malaysia. Disruptive behavior is a concern to schools and parents and to fellow pupils, whose education may be adversely affected. So it can’t be ignored, and schools must tailor a well understood sound behavior and discipline policy. Some of the breaking news highlighted in the mass media has portrayed the school with students of misbehaving characters. Some even goes to the extent of considering the case of misbehaviors as criminal problem. Lim Kit Siang, the opposition leader in parliament quoted in New Straits Times on April 04, 2004 as “Truancy is a school and not criminal problem- Hishamuddin should not pass the buck to police on what is basically a test of the success of education system.” Furthermore, according to a report by New Straits Times on August 2005, an average of seven school children are arrested everyday and three of them on average of between 13 and 15 years. This numbers are almost to the level of juvenile delinquents who are school dropouts. Based on the report school children constituted almost half of all under 18 who were arrested for crimes since 2003 and were involved in almost one per-cent of all criminal cases in 2002 and 2003 (NUTP,2005). Lok Yim Pheng, secretary-general of the National Union of Teaching Profession who attended the seminar on Malaysian teachers whip school girls to boost classroom discipline published in NST on 28 Nov 2007, said sometimes the girls are even more daring than the boys. It’s high time to put these girls in order by caning them. Serious breaches of school discipline policy include assault by students on teachers and other students, verbal abuse, offensive language against teachers and other students, sexual and other forms of harassment, threat and intimidation of teachers and other students, possessing offensive weapons, supplying or using illegal drugs, intrusions into the school or classrooms by adults with the intention of confronting teachers have become a case of study that needed immediate attention. As the problem now is rather alarming and jeopardizing the administration of the secondary schools especially, I believe the findings of the study will emit some powerful rays of light to rectify the situation.
Statement of Problem
The purpose of this study is to identify the students discipline problems such as truancy, absenteeism, stealing and fighting among the students in SMK St. Thomas based on the perception of the Form 6 students .
Indiscipline in school is certainly a matter of immediate concern to the teaching profession. Ensuring discipline in schools should be the concern of everyone. It is important for the people to accept the fact that ensuring discipline is not the sole responsibility of teachers alone. Discipline problems in schools have been serious breaches of school discipline policy that had profound negative effects on the schools. One of the salient factors that attributes to the problem is peer group influences. Negative attitude of their friends such as responsibilities, cooperation, time management, respecting adults, disobeying rules and regulations are some of the contributing factors from the peer-group for the prevailing problems. Management problems in schools like dissatisfaction among teachers, pressure from the school PIBG and high expectation of the parents shouldn’t reflect to poor education. It is very important that the school management should play a dominant role to ensure all the students perform well not only in academic but also in good behavior to avoid any negative impact.