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Introduction to Dissertation Essay

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Background to the problem

The indiscipline problem is ranked as a major issue among students of secondary schools in Mauritius. In fact, this problem is prevailing not only in Mauritius but also across the many nations around the world. According to the Longman contemporary dictionary, indiscipline refers to “a lack of control in the behaviour of a group of people, with the result that they behave badly”. It occurs when students breach the rules and regulations of the classroom or school. Such disruptive behavior is not only a concern to schools and teachers but also the parents and most importantly to the students, whose future is at stake. Misconduct in the classroom interferes with teaching and learning. It can eventually lead to school dropout and similar negative social outcomes. Students’ behavioral problems are also thought to be a leading contributor to teachers’ and parents’ stress and attrition. Serious breaches of school discipline policy can have profound negative effects on teachers.

1.2 Significance of Study

Since discipline plays a crucial role in school system, it is all the more important to assess the measures taken to upholding it. Continuing to apply the present measures blindly without ascertaining oneself if they are actually alleviating the problem is equivalent to losing money, time or, worse, deteriorating the current situation. The study will help in not only finding if the measures are good or wrong but also to what extent the measures being adopted are effective or not. Since students are not the only ones being affected by the problem, the study will help us get to know students’ perception of the measures used to tackle indiscipline but also perception of teachers themselves. It will give both parties the chance to equally express themselves.

By being able to understand each group, it will be possible to introduce and suggest different measures which could bring a better impact, or adapting existing ones to be more productive. Student indiscipline is not decreasing at Saint Bartholomew’s college. We have reached to a point of saturation and it is almost impossible to bring the student’s to the right track. They are out of control and think that the system and teachers are against them. Indiscipline has led to low education level at St Bartholomew’s college, the percentage was below 50 % in 2007 – only 47 %. The main causes of indiscipline need to be identified so that the college can look for better measures.

1.2 Aims of Study

The aim of this research is to investigate the impact of present measures used in dealing with student indiscipline at Saint Bartholomew’s College. Student indiscipline has been tainting this college’s reputation. Students are ill-mannered, and this badly influences their future role in their social and professional life. Therefore, it is high time to proactively make sure that the right actions are being taken to decrease, or ideally eradicate, student indiscipline. This study has for aim to assess the existing measures in dealing with student indiscipline at Saint Bartholomew’s college; whether they meeting, and if they are to what extent they are meeting, the expectations. And to observe its impact whether it is positive or not.

1.3 Objectives of Study

The main objectives of the study are :
Finding out if indiscipline is increasing despite the existing measures Analysing factors resulting in indiscipline
Investigating on the existing methods at Saint Bartholomew’s College Knowing if indiscipline will keep on growing
Knowing new methods can be introduced to ameliorate the situation

1.5 Problem of Statement

Pedagogues have been trying to implement measures to eradicate indiscipline in schools. In fact, all the stakeholders (teaching staff, Ministry of Education) work in unison to alleviate the problem. Methods such as having CCTV installed within the school compound to keep an eye on students or SMS Alert to parents in case of Lateness or absenteeism are not decreasing indiscipline. Living in a society, transformed by technological progress and influenced by Media, Mauritian Youth has gone beyond control; they are living in their own world, forgetting that Mauritian society is still tied to old traditions and cultures. Students are rebelling against rules and regulations of their institutions. Student Indiscipline has been a major problem at Saint Bartholomew’s college, Port Louis. It keeps on increasing.

According to Premita Leelachand from Defi Media, the college “accepts all students who seek admission, even school drop-outs who either failed or were removed by their previous institutions due to bad behaviour. In fact, St Bartholomew’s is regarded as the last resort for students who are considered hopeless.” This is the main reason why the percentage of indiscipline in high at the private aided college. Students already have discipline problems and still show no signs of respect towards their teachers and express no interest in education. Traditional punishments such as writing in journals or detention hours do not seem to scare them anymore. Being punished has become a ‘honor’ for them and it increases their ‘respect’ among other students. This is why there is a need to check whether the measures being presently taken are effective or not.

1.6 Research questions

The research questions will be as follows:
What are the methods being used?
Why is indiscipline on an increase since the last years?
What do students and teachers think about indiscipline and the measures
adopted? What can be done to improve student discipline and making the deterring measures more effective?

1.7 Assumptions
Indiscipline is increasing despite various measures introduced by the Ministry of Education and the college itself, for example, the counseling unit at the college.

1.8 Format of Study

The Study will be divided into 5 main sections:

Chapter 1: Introduction
This part of the study gives an overview of the topic and prepares the reader for the next chapters. It analyses the background of the problem, gives its importance and aims and objectives of the study as well.

Chapter 2 :Literature Review

Literature review will give a deeper overview of the problems of indiscipline in Mauritius and describe measures adopted to deal with these problems.

Chapter 3: Research Methodology
In this section, the interview format to quantify the problem will be discussed.

Chapter 4: Discussion of Findings and Analysis of Data
Statistical tools will be used to extract the pertinent information from the data collected. These statistical approaches are discussed in this part of the research and the conclusions inferred from the analysis will be discussed.

Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations

1.9 Conclusion
This was the first chapter of the study. It had for aim to prepare the reader for further chapters of the study and to understand the topic and the actual issue, that is, impact of measures dealing with student indiscipline at Saint Bartholomew’s College, clearly.

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