Background of the Study
Punishment according to Advance Learner Dictionary of modern English by S. A. Honby is any act that causes suffering or discomfort for wrong doing.
During the first two decades of our post-independence era. It was a thing of joy and concern among parents that the children are disciplined both at home and in school.
More parents who could not discipline their children at home for offences committed found pleasure in bringing them to the school where they will be punished (canned) before the student on the assembly ground. Such open humiliation before his counselling-students often with the earring student for unruly behaviours.
There are cases where in the villages parents carried their children to the home of teacher for discipline due to acts of insubordination children then were submissive and obedient to their parents and elders in order to avoid the whip of the teacher who was then seen as a great disciplinarian. But today cases abound where parents accompany their children to school to bully on and challenge the teacher and school authority on its power to punish their children for an offence committed. Most time the punished or their parents harass the teacher (s) involved at home or in town.
A case in point is situation where pupils who was disciplined by his teacher in Ogiendo primary school Jedo ganged up with other boys, traced the teacher to a primary school where he organises private lesson, and they started stoning him. One then begin to wonder why children and parents alike resort to such violent behaviour on the teacher for effecting discipline on the pupils while performing his duty in the school.
Government on the other hand has not helped matters, it will be recalled that in the late 70s, military personnel's were posted to schools to help affect discipline. One then wonders the nature of discipline the school child will receive from a person trained under strict military conditions.
The government white paper on the use of punishment has not been made public. As a result the teacher who uses punishment to deter student from unruly behaviour becomes more confused as to what, when and how punishment should be administered. The teacher in his use of discretion may be misinterpreted to have abused the use of punishment. How justifiable is it to say that teacher in exercising this legitimate right of punishment erring student's abuse its rightful use. One wonder then limits and bounds of the teacher in exercising his power of punishing an offending student since he is prone to lack by the punished and his parents and in addition lacked proper government guideline and protection on the use of punishment.
Educationalist and indeed the general public are aware that unbridled personal freedom is not compactible with civilized life in any society.
The society which house the school community ought to counselling-operate with the school authority so as to help reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency rather than being at conflict with the school in order to better society.
Statement of the Problem
Discipline is important in any school system including schools in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State.
In recent years it has been observed with dismay that punishment which ought to serve as a means of positive correction among students in schools have gradually died down due to the society attack on the implantators of punishment. To this end the rate of juvenile delinquency acts of subordination and lack of insubordination and lack of self-control is now evident not only in the school system but also in the society at large schools over the years have tried to mention discipline through the adoption of several psycho-social measures. One of which is punishment which its consequences whether negative or positive is well known to the society.
One therefore consider the issue of punishment from various perspective and give attention to the type of punishment (physical, verbal and concrete, etc.) adoption by school authorities to bring about a desirable change in behaviour so as to enhance teaching and learning.
Does these punishment imperial the freedom of the students because its use has been abused.
How will punishment be carried out so that it will be commensurate to the offense committed? Which of the punishment melted out in the schools is regarded as abused? Those issues will be considered against different types of school, single sex, etc.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this research work is to make people aware of the use and abuse of punishment as a means of bringing about desirable change in behaviour. It will draw the attention of teacher to the types of punishment that are commonly abuse and offer suggestions on the effective use of punishment so that it will not be abused as it is used to bring about desirable change in behaviour based on its negative and positive effect.
There is therefore any urgent need to abused so that its modification can help to bring back discipline orderliness and counselling-operation in our society.
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
This study was restricted to some selected primary schools in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State.
The study would also focus on or possibly try to identify the nature or limit of the use and abuse of punishment.
Definition of Terms
A lot of ambiguities have risen from many definition. As such people give different meanings and interpretations to a particular word. To guide against this, I wish in this research work to define certain words or terms.
Punishment: this is the definition of some pain, suffering, loss or social disability as a direct consequence of some action on the part of the person punished, legitimate authority over the punished.
Abuse of Punishment: this is the act of putting punishment into wrong use or the act of not giving punishment for an offence at the right time
Discipline: this means training the mind and body to provide obedience and self-control.
Teacher: a teacher is anyone who combine the home knowledge with ability to impact such knowledge in other.