Onyango et al
Greener Journal of Educational Research Vol. 6(3), pp. 133-150, May 2016
Manuscript Number: 052316095
Influence of Mental Harassment Ban on Student Discipline in Secondary Schools in Kenya: A Case Study of Ugenya, Gem and Siaya Sub-Counties
David Otieno Onyango, Enose M.W. Simatwa, Julius O. Gogo
Department of Educational Management and Foundations, Maseno University
The Kenya government banned Mental Harassment in schools as stipulated in The Basic Education Act, 2013. This was as a result of the recommendations of the Task Force on Student Discipline and Unrests in Secondary Schools, which revealed that Mental Harassment was one of the major contributors to indiscipline among students. Despite the ban, the level of indiscipline in schools had remained a major concern in Ugenya, Gem and Siaya sub-counties, where cases of indiscipline for the years 2010 – 2015 were 514 (51%) higher than those experienced in Siaya County, 694 (44%) and national, 51,600 (42.7%) for the same period. It is important to note that mental harassment is one of the strategies still used in managing students despite the ban and the fact that it was found wanting and counterproductive at a time when discipline cases among students had hit the ceiling; in the early part of this 21st Century. The high level of indiscipline had been characterized by students’ threats against school authorities, arson, vandalism, physical attack on teachers, unrests, strikes, complaints of high-handedness, drug abuse, sexual harassment and terrorist threats. All these infractions were mainly targeted at teachers, school administrators and school prefects. Mental harassment as a strategy of managing student discipline involves: reprimanding, use of abusive and belittling language, sarcasm, sexual harassment, name calling, shouting, verbal warnings, insults, detention, withdrawal of privileges, scolding and unwarranted criticisms that inflict psychological pain or leads to psychological torture. Mental harassment is mainly used to curb infractions like absenteeism, truancy, failure to do homework, lateness, laziness, poor academic performance, insubordination, non-adherence to dress code, noisemaking, lack of participation in class work and disobedience. Mental harassment was outlawed through enactment of the Basic Education Act 2013, The Constitution of Kenya 2010 and The Children Act 2001 based on reports on school indiscipline that had identified mental harassment as one of the major causes of students’ indiscipline. The study established that there was a strong, positive and significant relationship between the level of mental harassment ban and students’ discipline. The level of mental harassment ban was 60%, while the level of students discipline was 40%. Mental harassment ban accounted for 68.5% of the variation in students’ level of discipline. Regression analysis revealed that the increase in mental harassment ban increased student discipline.
Key Words: Influence, Mental Harassment Ban, Student Discipline, public Secondary Schools, Ugenya, Gem Siaya Sub-Counties, Kenya.
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