Project Materials

The Impact of Corporal Punishment on Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

The Impact of Corporal Punishment on Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

DISCOUNT Sales!!! GET COMPLETE  PROJECT MATERIAL FROM US TODAY AT A DISCOUNT PRICE OF 50% WHICH IS  ₦1500 instead of ₦3000. Call/WhatsApp 08127963962


The purpose of this study was to establish the impact of corporal punishment on student’s academic performance in secondary schools in Mbarara Municipality.

The study was conducted under three research objectives. These were; to identify various impacts on corporal punishment on student’s academic performance in secondary schools in Mbarara Municipality, to identify the alternatives to corporal punishment of secondary school students and to analyze how the administration of punishments by head teachers affect students‟ academic performance.

The study employed survey research design particularly cross sectional survey design. Questionnaire was the main instrument of data collection in addition to interview guide and document review. Private secondary schools and government school were randomly selected in Mbarara Municipality of Mbarara District in which the study was conducted.

The major findings of the study were; all schools have written rules and regulations but which they don’t understand, some rules and regulations require modifications and others lack consistence in their implementation, which raises students‟ anger leading to violence, strikes and aggression.

Also time is poorly managed in school where the designed timetables are not respected. Punishments were found to be unfairly administered that causes dissatisfaction, anger and thus inducing acts of indiscipline such as strikes, vandalism of school property as well as violence among students.

The study came up with the following conclusions based on the study findings; much as school rules help in controlling students‟ behavior in the school, their awareness is lacking among students.

Also time being a scarce resource and need to be well planned for through a time schedule, this timetable lack respect and therefore not followed as expected causing indiscipline among students. Punishments were also found to be poorly administered to students, which create chaos in schools characterized with school property destruction, and thus affecting students‟ general academic performance.

The study also proposed some recommendations to deal with the wide spread and increasing levels of indiscipline among adolescent youths in secondary schools in Uganda.

These include, strengthening school rules and regulations, strengthening counseling and guidance in schools than expelling them, having a uniform discipline code, which will assist parents, students and other stakeholders to appreciate the role of punishments in schools. In addition a strong parent-teacher relationship need to be established so as to address the effects of indiscipline in schools, and also head teachers should be the role models of discipline if this struggle is to achieve its objectives

The Impact of Corporal Punishment on Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools



This chapter constitutes the background the study where the problem looked at a wider perspective, Statement of the problem, purpose of the study, Research questions and Significance of the study that states the benefits of the study


1.2 Background of the study

At a global level, more and more countries are introducing legislation to protect children from corporal punishment. Ugandan children are amongst the 42 percent of the world’s child population who are legally protected from corporal punishment at school. Our challenge is to ensure that all our children enjoy this protection in reality, rather than just on paper.

Education is a form of investment in human capital. It contributes to the economic development and raises the income of the poor. According to the session paper No.1 2005, the government’s vision for education is to have “quality education and training for development.”  This makes the purpose of the Uganda  education and training to focus on development of individual personality to enable one to fit in the society as a productive and civil individual (Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES 2008: 28).

 Corporal punishment is often meted out differently to boys and girls, and for different reasons. Data from various studies showed that, in general, boys experience more physical punishment than girls (Boyle et al. 2002; Alexandrecu et al. 2005). A young school boy in Zambia noted that he “was told to dig five pits for trying to help [someone] out who had missed the lesson the previous day, while his female classmate, who was chewing gum in class, was shouted at by a teacher for being ‘a foolish girl and stupid’” (Soneson 2005).

See also  Teachers Characteristics and Academic Performance of Preprimary School Pupils in Mathematics

A study conducted in Durban, South Africa showed that boys were expected to be able to tolerate the violence of corporal punishment as a badge of their masculinity (Kent 2004). The study found that corporal punishment, in effect, became a technique for grooming boys and teaching them to act like men by tolerating pain. Though boys may experience more corporal punishment, girls are not immune. Corporal punishment was the most frequently cited type of abuse by girls participating in a study in Malawi (CERT and DevTech 2008). Whether perpetrated against girls or boys, corporal punishment is a frequently used method of maintaining control of students in the educational setting.

In African , teachers who use corporal punishment argue that the power to control learners is taken away from parents and teachers and this has also contributed to the high failure rate as there is a link between discipline and learner achievement (Kilimci, 2009:249). It is also critical to note that the reluctance of some teachers to the acceptance of the ban of corporal punishment could be emanating from their resistance to change in as far as conflict resolution is concerned.  It may be that they are not prepared to change and learn new skills, and thus the frustration.

Kivulu and Wandai (2009:4) note that there is a growing concern that some teachers are preoccupied and even obsessed with corporal punishment as it is still persisting in homes but its effectiveness is still debatable.  It is also an open secret that teachers and parents are making illegal agreements, that is, some parents come to agreement with teachers that they may beat their children, and to show their defiance a number of schools speak frankly about their use of corporal punishment, though principals and teachers are aware that it is against the law (Radile, 2007).

Scholars (Christie, 2001:7; Nieuwenhuis, Beckmann, & Prinsloo, 2007:220; Khoza, 2005:75 & Maree, 2003:5) confirm this by reporting that some teachers claim that out of frustration and desperation to maintain discipline in schools, at times, with or without the support and consent of parents, they use corporal punishment, and they, at times, send a note home to the parent, asking the parent to administer corporal punishment on the child for something the child did at school.

 As Banda (2010:2) says, while the physical damage done to the body can be treated, the emotional and psychological effects can also affect the person deeply. Soneson and Smith (2005:5) note that compelling research (88 studies) on corporal punishment demonstrates strong associations between corporal punishment and various negative emotional and psychological outcomes.

The examples of the negative emotional and psychological outcomes are; eroded trust between parent and child, aggression toward siblings, sadness and anger, crying, fear, embarrassment, withdrawal and compliance, bullying and disobedience, poor mental health, weaker internalization of moral values, anti-social behaviour, poor adult adjustment, depression, withdrawal, sleep disturbances, avoidance of school, learning problems, loss of self-esteem, and delinquency. In addition, studies show that corporal punishment is not effective as a disciplinary strategy as it does not teach an alternative behaviour because children usually feel resentful, humiliated and helpless after being hit and nevertheless do misbehave but they learn to master not to get caught.

Corporal punishment drastically alleviates guilt feelings, that is, when a child is whipped he feels he has paid the price and his guilt is gone and later, especially during the adolescent years, these children will need to be taught the inner controls of conscience and guilt.

According to the Ministry of Education and Sports Report (2005), the number of school going students was recorded increasing from 1986 as a result of the good governance, new education policies and political stability in the country. The education system had a double shift mode of studying where Senior One, Senior Two and Senior Five students used to study during the afternoon while the Senior Three, Senior Four and Senior Six students studied in the morning.

See also  The Impact of Motivation and Pupils Academic Performance in Primary Schools

This assisted to create a balance between students to teacher ratio of 1:45, as required by the Ministry of Education and Sports. The level of discipline in classes and schools at large could easily be managed then and the level of indiscipline though existed, was not so strange (Ministry of Education and Sports, 2005).

The Impact of Corporal Punishment on Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

The only existing schools by then were government funded schools where admissions were centralized and thus dismissed students could not easily access other schools without recommendations from previous schools. Students therefore had to maintain discipline for fear of not easily accessing new schools. Most of these schools were day schools where parents could also participate in keeping a watch over their children‟s behaviors at home. Many Ugandans have been going through this education system for a number of decades.

Uganda as a partner of the Education for all (EFA) coalition launched Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1997. This resulted into increased enrolment figures from 2.7 million pupils to 5.3 millions in 1997 and to 7.1million in 2005 (Ministry of Education and Sports, 2005). This also increased capacity for secondary schools enrollment. Even though this was followed by a drastic increase in the number of teachers and classrooms, the current official average pupil-to-teacher ratio is 51:1.

After the government policy that outlawed caning, teachers were legally required to adopt alternative measures that would ensure that discipline is instilled and maintained.  Some of the measures include Guidance and Counseling (G & C), pastoral teaching, peer counseling, involving parents, students and teachers when making decisions in School Njoka, (1985).  According to Njoka (1985) school community particularly teachers feel ignored when important decisions are made by the head teachers and the Board of Governors (BOG) without involving them.

 In Uganda many people think that discipline is the same as punishment. Punishment comes from a Latin word punitive which means to impose a penalty to a person for a fault, offence or violation of rule (Hurlock, 1978). In Uganda many head teachers have in the past over relied on corporal punishment as the main method of instilling discipline (Achieng, 1996).  Discipline in schools today more than ever need professionalism and dynamism that require school administrators who are properly trained in methods and techniques of

management of the students’ behavior (Were, 2002). The secondary schools administration is expected to make conscious efforts to inculcate in the students some good manners to support and enforce whatever good habit they have leant at home (Sushila, 2004). One of the aims of discipline in secondary schools administration is to have a conducive, smooth and efficient school.

This is done through introduction of well formulated rules and regulations to guide students in what they are expected to do or not to do, while working towards the realization of efficient secondary schools with impressive discipline. Therefore, methods of maintaining discipline include motivation for positive behavior, guidance and counseling, pastoral teaching, motivation, use of reward system and others. However, there are forms of negative punishments which are used when positive motivation fails. Forms of punishment differ and may have different results.  Some forms of punishment are thought to trigger more cases of indiscipline and of high veracity.

Some schools have changed to boarding section as a way of coping up with the increasing stiff competition among students and schools as well as for national level exams. This has also resulted into students spending more time in schools than with parents where they are suspected to get adapted to all various kinds of behaviors such as homosexuality, smoking, abuse of substances, and use of nasty words among other things.

There is also concern that indiscipline has taken new forms with increased violence, sale and consumption of drugs, theft, disrespect of school rules and regulations which has resulted into wide spread corporal punishments, students‟ expulsion and suspension from schools, cases of arsons are on the increase in schools, problems which go beyond educational institutions. This has attracted serious attention from scholars and administrators as well as education stakeholders about the academic performance from such undisciplined students and therefore created a need, which called for this study.


The Impact of Corporal Punishment on Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

1.2 Statement of Problem

However, corporal punishment is one of the biggest challenges facing the equitable access to quality education at both primary and post-primary education institutions. Currently, a large percentage of pupils are dropping out of their primary level education. This undesirable situation is attributed to many challenges; prime amongst which is the widespread use of corporal punishment in schools. The high dropout rate poses a threat not only to completion rates but also to the attainment of gender balance in schools. The girls suffer more from child abuse and harassment through corporal punishment.

With regard to experiences at school, younger children reported the highest amount of ad hoc physical punishment, while older children reported being harassed or humiliated by teachers. Girls reported a considerable amount of sexual harassment, and one in five girls reported being forced to have sex. A lot of the bullying, teasing and humiliation of girls revolved around their sexuality.

Older boys reported the most severe incidents of physical beating, probably due to the prevailing gender stereotypes of physical resilience and notions of tough masculinity. Many older children seemed to mimic the behaviour of adults, and as a result, they victimised younger children. Bullying was reported as a major problem, especially as an experience of girls and younger children.  This has therefore created a big concern from teachers, head teachers and stakeholders about the lack of opportunity for learners to concentrate on their academic work for attainment in the tests, internal exams and national level examinations as well as the nature of future citizens.

1.3. Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study was to establish the impact of corporal punishment on student’s academic performance in secondary schools in Mbarara Municipality

1.4. Objectives of the study

The study was guided by the following objectives;

1) To identify various impacts on corporal punishment on student’s academic performance in secondary schools in Mbarara Municipality.

2) To identify the alternatives to corporal punishment of secondary school students

3) To analyze how the administration of punishments by head teachers affect students‟ academic performance

1.5 scope of the study

1.5.1 Geographical scope

The study was carried out in Mbarara Municipality in Mbarara district. Mbarara Municipality is mainly divided in three divisions which are Kamukuzi, Nyamitanga and Kakoba. It is further sub-divided into six sub-divisions including Ruharo, Nyamitanga, Nyamityobora, Kamukuzi, Kakoba and Lutti.

1.5.2 Content scope

The study considered  the following content scope; to identify various impacts on corporal punishment on student’s academic performance in secondary schools in Mbarara Municipality; to identify the alternatives to corporal punishment of secondary school students and to analyze how the administration of punishments by head teachers affect students‟ academic performance.

 1.5.3 Time scope

The study was  intended  to cover information in relation of five (5) years that is 2010 to 2015 on to assess the impact of corporal punishment on student’s academic performance in secondary schools in Mbarara Municipality.

1.6 Significance of the study

The findings of the study are expected to be beneficial to school head teachers, policy makers in the Ministry of Education and Sports, parents and other stakeholders in Uganda.

Secondly the study findings may be helpful to the Government of Uganda in solving the escalating problems of indiscipline that are widely spread in most schools.

Thirdly the study has helped to provide a guide to head teachers not only in Mbarara Municipality on how to manage school rules and regulations, but also in other schools in the whole country at large and has also provided preventive measures against indiscipline.

Mr. Harrison

Project Gurus is a subsidiary website owned by Harrilibrary Integrated Services which was registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria that was established in 1990 vide Companies and Allied Matters Act no 1 1990 as amended, now on Act cap C20 Laws of Federation of Nigeria. Our aim and objective is to assist students all over the world on their educational research works. We are committed toward assisting students at all level of education in their academic work. We have a team of seasonal writers who are vested with the current knowledge in research work. For more information contact on via Email @[email protected] or WhatsApp us on +2348127963962

Related Articles

Back to top button