1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Adedoyin in (2012) defined and observed moral decadence as extreme delinquent, disorderly, irregularity, destructive unjust and non-conforming behaviors characteristics of stratified people or individuals which continue to spread intra and inter-institutions campuses. Those problem reduce the value of education and destroy the human capacity for leadership and good citizenship its lowers the academic integrity of the institutions and destroy peace, security progress and real development of the society, collectively, indiscipline lead to anti-human behaviors that have failed all tests of decency and civilized living conditions.
Different societies have their own moral values which are considered normal, ideal and morally acceptable. Hence, the conduct of the people of a society is regulated and controlled by the moral values. The tendency and ability to identity what is right instead of the wrong ones and as well practice it, give it the moral virtue. According to Aristotle, moral virtue is the habit that is consciously acquired through practice. Thus, good moral conduct had been emphasized and echoed in the society right from the era of Socrates to Plato and through the Aristotelian philosophy. Perhaps, that makes Fredrick Herbert to say that the aim and indeed the total aim of education should be summed up under morality. Within the context of education therefore, public holds the schools and the teachers more accountable for students’ learning and behaviors.
Students’ indiscipline is global phenomenon. It permeates all educational set- ups. Statistics of student indiscipline is abound across all educational institutions globally. For instance, in the United States as reported by Larson (2008), the National Center for Educational Statistics reveals that in 2006, thirty six (36) percent of students in grade 9-12 reported that they had been in a physical fight within the last year. The reports add that, four percent (4%) of inner city teachers and three percent (3%) of suburban and rural school teachers were physically assaulted by students. According to Kuntz (2000), day after day primary and secondary school teachers both private and state school are confronted with examples of bad behaviors- destruction of school equipment and furniture, pupils lack of respect for each other or for adults which impede normal school routine.
In Ghana, Danso (2010), lamented over the high rate of indiscipline and lawlessness in educational institutions. He observed that not a day passes without a report of an act of indiscipline perpetrated by teenager of primary and secondary schools. He lamented over the causes of drug abuse, rape, armed robbery, and even murder in the educational institutions. According to him, meaningful teaching and learning geared towards the attainment of school goals is unattainable if teachers and students are not discipline Despite the efforts by stakeholders to curb the situation, recent trends depict rising rate of incidence of violence and deviate behavior among a section of students in public school, thereby creating a feeling of insecurity among teachers and students alike. The declining rate of discipline in many schools has contributed to the erosion of high academic attainments, demoralized teaching staff and has brought sorrow and disappointment to many parents (Frimpong 2008). Morongwa (2010) observed three type of misbehaviors which are regarded as disciplinary problems for the educator in the classroom ;misbehavior that inhabit learner’s own learning, misbehavior by one learner which is destructive to the learning of another and misbehaviors which is disrespectful, deviate or abusive to the educator. He added that this misbehavior can be committed intentionally or unintentionally. Chukwuka (2013), students were not born with the problem of indiscipline, they did not inherit it from anybody, neither is it genetic. Everybody is born pure without spots or wrinkles. Children become hard when they start socializing with their peer groups. Hence the home and environment of the school may influence them. The system of our education centered on the child and what the child will become in the community. So the home, the school and the community must join hands and interact with the child in such a manner that they should inculcate discipline in children. The causes of student’s indiscipline are varied and many. However they can be classify into three main factors, namely; the bad home factor, poor school administration and the pervading bad influence in a corrupt society. (Information Nigeria, 2013) According to Amado &Freire(2009) the causes of student’s indiscipline can be distinguished among others, those related to student’s idiosyncrasies, his or her family context, external influences and of social, economic, cultural, generational nature etc, those related to personality and professionalism of teachers, and those associated with the school as an organization or the educational system as a whole.
Students in Nigerian higher institutions engage in moral misconduct ranging from robbery, cheating, cultism, forgery; corruption, fraud, indecent dressing and disrespect to constituted authority. It is in this regard that this research looks into the moral misconduct among students of higher institutions in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The research that induces the reason to embark upon writing this project is that modernization and the western technology which are encroaching into the youths which they consider as civilization.
If left unchecked, such force will erode completely. The cherish values and customs of the youth will make it parts and force of their life, especially in the learning strategies. Some youths feels proud to be recognized, because their mode of dressing and order activities that where adopted, had conformed them with western values, such values involves mal-adjusted behavior like, cultism, smoking, prostitution, examination mal-practices drug abuse alcoholism stealing etc.
Something effective must be done to improve the condition of Nigeria youths. The youth situation can be described as one of the worst in the world. There is an urgent need to instill in youths, not only in knowledge and skills but also in motivation and values, to enhance their physical and mental health. Homes, schools, health care institution, community groups peer groups and the media must to more in the realm of health promotion, emphasizing health education building life skills and enhancing knowledge of human psychological system, so that youths can have good intrapersonal and interpersonal behaviors and through understanding of the state of their health so that they can avoid risking behaviors.
Laxity on the part of parents: in the sense that when they see their wards at home during school hours, they fail to send them back to school. Also school administration and teachers fail to be strict on student with regard to obeying school rules and regulations. When students’ releases that school administration and teachers are not strict on school rules and regulations, they turn to display all manners of indiscipline acts. Dialogue is very important for smooth and effective running of any institution. Students are given rules and regulation, if in one way or the other these rules and regulations are not adhered to and there is no dialogue between teachers and students, the consequences would be indiscipline acts. Issues of indiscipline has translated into poor academic performance as teachers spend more time in controlling indiscipline students behavior, reducing teaching contact hours.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to find out the factors that influence moral decadence among the tertiary institution students and the effect it has on their performance in school, specifically the objective of this study is:
1. To find out the causes of moral decadence among students of higher institution
2. To discover if there is any relationship between moral decadence and poor performance of students in school
3. To discover strategies that can be used to curb moral decadence and restore morality and good moral conduct among the students of higher institutions
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions guides the researcher to achieve the objectives of this study:
1. What are the causes of moral misconduct among the students of higher institutions?
2. Is there any relationship between moral decadence and poor performance of students in school?
3. What strategies can be used to stop moral decadence and restore morality and good moral conduct among the students of higher institutions?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Conducting research into the influence and effect of moral decadence is an important exercise for both academicians and policy makers. Learning cannot take place in an environment of chaos. The findings of the study will assist academicians, policy maker, administrators and teachers to know the causes of student indiscipline and therefore be in a better place to create conducive environment devoid of high level of student immorality. The finding will also assist the government to identify the weaknesses of the existing strategies and also lead to the development of new strategies for addressing moral decadence in school. Also, the study will enlighten parents on the need to train their children at home so that they can be good mannered and behave well at school, the community and the society as a whole. It will result in the community producing acceptable members of the society who aren’t threats to social stability and peace. That why the saying goes,’ charity begins at home’. The study will also contribute to existing literature and stimulate further research on the topic and guide further research work.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study initially was aimed to cover all tertiary institution in Enugu state but due to time and some other unforeseen constraint, samples was taken only from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The major constraint that affected this research is limited time and insufficient fund to finance the project, due to this the research is limited to one tertiary institution in Enugu state.
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