Indiscipline in schools worrying, let’s pull out all stops to tame it

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha with Joytown Primary School pupils when he visited the school in Thika, Kiambu county. [ Kamau Maichuhie, Standard]
Indiscipline is fast becoming a dangerous norm in schools exacerbated by social media trends and peer influence. Events of the past weeks, including a viral video clip of a 12-year-old pupil of a Nairobi school spewing vulgar words, are a disturbing cue of how delinquency in schools can be erratic.

Regrettably, it’s fast becoming fashionable for children to defy teachers and parents and get away with it. In fact, it has reached a point where teens have perfected the art of closing their ears to parental advice, ending up engaging in acts that only serve to destroy their lives. 

It should worry us that our society is raising rascals. Latest police statistics show that on average, students have been destroying property in at least two schools daily since July 1, 2019. Between last month and now, 42 cases have been reported, ranging from burning of dormitories, sneaking out and destroying property.

It will be remembered that last year, students of Ambira Boys High were captured on video insulting two Cabinet Secretaries. There have been cases of alcoholism and sex orgies that have left hundreds of teens sick, pregnant or disillusioned. We take this opportunity to urge parents to up their game in arresting this trend. They say charity begins at home.

Social psychologists link the trend to, first and foremost, failure by parents to play their rightful role in shaping up the psycho-social attributes of their children. When we fail to take interest in children’s personal development, thought and behaviour, we predispose them to inattentive external influence. Dialogue works better in dealing with the youth than force.

Teachers too have an enormous responsibility. They should prioritise guidance and counselling. Important too, parents and guardians should vet media information that youths consume to limit brainwashing and early exposure to pornography. Much as technology is an asset, its dangers lurk in living rooms every day. 

The root causes of indiscipline in schools should now be addressed in a holistic process that brings everyone on board. We shouldn’t leave school administrations to their own devices. Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and his team have work cut out for them. It’s better to take swift action now than to live with the negative consequences of our inaction.

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IndisciplineSocial media trendsPeer influenceDelinquency in schoolsEducation Cabinet Secretary George Magoha