The issue of indiscipline has been one of the endemic issue of concern not only to academicians but, to policy makers and right thinking people of the society. It is powerful enough to induce violence or misconception among peers as well as within teachers and students. However, before we swing on into action about this societal issue, let us begin with certain questions: what is indiscipline? What are the causes of indiscipline in our university? And what are the remedies of this nasty problem of indiscipline in our university?
To begin with the question of indiscipline which is a direct opposite of discipline, is the act of delinquency, also, the lack of discipline, lack of control, lack of proper training, behavioral disorder, gross misconduct as oppose to the concept of discipline which emphasizes on the training of mind and character to manifest self-control and manner of obedience.
According to Twentieth Century Dictionary of English, discipline is “a training or mode of life in accordance with rules subjection to control order.” Because of its essential position in learning industry, there must be a code of conduct that both students and lecturers agree to work upon so that, peace and harmony will engulf our learning environment and for peace to emanate between students, lecturers and administrators, there must to be a good conducive learning environment.
University as a home of learning, a home of training, a home of leadership, a home of social and cultural background, a home for leaders of tomorrow and a home of diversity- because of its heterogeneous character. It is a home of discipline and a center of indiscipline. A home of discipline because of the disciplinary courses that are thought there and center of indiscipline due to the engagement of students in social vices such as sexual harassment, drug abuse, unhealthy rivalry, stealing among others which are key variables for leading into mental, emotional as well as physical damages.
However, apart from the issues mentioned above, there is existence of lack of respect in our universities, lack of respect between lecturers and their students, lack of respect within peers, absence of respect between senior and junior students which are ubiquitous in today`s learning environment.
The factors that gingered the dilemma of indiscipline in our university are many and varied, the main factors among them that contribute immensely to the growth of indiscipline in our society, particularly universities, include but not limited to the following: bad home influence, lack of proper university administration, societal influence, communication gap to mention but a few.
As its quoted in the old adage “charity begins at home” in this modern era, many parents have little or no time to train their children, to tell them what it takes to be a good representative of tomorrow, to punish them if possible, when they take a wrong or indisciplinary direction or path, to distinguish to them the right and wrong and above all what society expect from them in the near future. In other case, some parents may have little or no interest in education of their children and this incites their children to assume a same attitude provoking rebellious behavior. Therefore such kind of students that lack home or parental training may find it sometime very difficult to behave in disciplinary manner.
The university management and lecturers also contribute to the growth of indiscipline in the universities. Lecturers serve as captains of ships who can shape their students to be good ambassadors. This can only be achieved when the lecturers armed themselves with good characters. However, the questions rises in here are: how can you expect discipline in a university where some of the lecturers are not well equipped in their area of specialization? How can you expect discipline in a university where some of the lecturers engage in negative relations with their students? How can you expect discipline in a university where some lecturers do not prepare lesson in advance? In the case of lecturers who are habitual late comer or are not attending their classes regularly or favor some student in their teaching and classroom management. Do you think such lecturers can command the respect of their students and inculcate discipline in them? In the case of university management who failed to provide students with social amenities, embezzling the money meant for tuition fees of the students or cooperates secretly with certain unions to cheat the students. Are they not inviting trouble with their mischievous acts?
In the case of our society which is indeed sick. Some people believe that, the environment a child finds himself determine the way he behaves. Looking at our Nigerian societies which are full of bribery and corruption, mismanagement of resources and responsibilities, shortage of political, religious and traditional leaders who are supposed to give exemplary leadership and live up to the expectation of their people, nasty social vices, make many people act lawlessly and in an indisciplinary manner.
Apart from the above mentioned factors which contribute immensely to the growth of indiscipline in our universities, there are others factors which include: communication gap between students and their parents, students and their lecturers and students and rules and regulations of their respective universities. There is also the issue of motivation. If the parents and lecturers tend not to motivate their children and students respectively, then they will aggressively work in an indisciplinary manner. The issue of over population in our universities specifically public universities cannot be neglected. Teaching is a tough profession and in a situation where there is exorbitant number of students in a class, they will become stubborn and difficult to control and at the same time the class itself will be mundane and boring.
Therefore, tackling the problem of indiscipline in the universities is not one man or single institution responsibility. Thus, universities management, parent associations, government and student unions need to work collectively to shove this matter into its grave.
The parents can contribute by spending quality of time with their children, taking a deeper interest in their school affairs and if possible liaise with their lecturers to make their children`s schooling more productive and satisfying. The lecturers also need to be fatherly/motherly, kind and firm with their students. They should be ethically sound and morally upright so that they may be worthy and shining example to their students. The government in its part must ensure that lecturers are well paid and equip with modern facilities for them to be in a better position to engrave and maintain discipline in their various universities.
Student also must be accorded to their due rights and obligations. There should be no communication gap between the lecturers and their students and there is a need for lecturers-students association-where the students and lecturers are bought together to deliberate on the welfare of their respective universities. Such association enhances the image of education in a long way and helps to promote discipline. The political, religious and traditional rulers are the mirrors of the society. Therefore, they must live an exemplary life.
At this juncture, it should be noted that, students are not born with indiscipline behavior, neither could it be hereditary and “it is the duty of the youth to war against indiscipline and corruption because they are the leaders of tomorrow” – Ifeanyi Enoch Onuaha.
Abdullahi Abba Danjuma SMS/12/MAC/00201, level 400 student of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano.
He can be reach on this Email: [email protected] and Phone numbers: 08030753315 08099303533