Discipline in Africa schools

The Importance of Changing the Mode of Discipline in Schools


Every day, we hear about new cases of violence and indiscipline at school: fights between classmates, clashes with supervisors, physical and moral violence from supervisors, students, or visitors, drug sales and consumption, and so on. This insecurity appears to extend beyond the school setting, becoming a social issue that should concern everyone. How is it to be overcome?

Discipline Methods that are insufficient

Private disciplinary methods taken in a few schools and in an isolated manner have little effect on students.

Some schools conduct systematic and unannounced searches. Although it is a deterrent, this measure cannot eliminate the problem. In fact, surveillance cannot be maintained indefinitely without moments of relaxation. There will always be moments of inattention that will benefit the ill-intentioned students. Similarly, this search prevents the manifestations rather than the root causes of evil, which lie in the child’s moral education. If a student is searched and found without danger is because he or she has not seen anything incriminating to use the compass to attack the life of the teacher or a classmate.

Other schools have installed surveillance cameras in some places but to a limited extent. Moreover, students no longer hide to assert themselves as “boys”, i.e. as delinquents, to impose their authority on their classmates and teachers to whom they regularly promise to “return” and who, for the most part, comply without concern. Stronger measures are needed to address the root of the problem.

Other Disciplinary measures to explore

  • First, the state must restore the dignity of the teacher. They must regain their honour to be respected and to enforce discipline. This starts with a good salary that will make him less dependent on the students he begs for rehearsals, less of a tramp obliged to sing the will of his parents or to work as a motorcycle-taxi driver to make ends meet, less vulnerable and undignified, unable to eat his fill.  If the teacher once again becomes a role model who makes the learners dream and imposes himself by his mere presence, violence will undoubtedly decrease if his authority is established.
  • Second, define a harmonized discipline management charter. After identifying recurrent violence cases, it will be important to harmonize disciplinary practices within the institution at the regional and even the national levels. This will create a sense of justice, of equity and will avoid management discrepancies that sometimes give the impression of injustice, an apprehension that reinforces frustrations and violence.
  • Third, formalize the criminalization of school violence. A criminal law that condemns acts of violence would be a strong deterrent. It could range from fines to imprisonment, with consequences attributable to the parents if the child is a minor. This will have the advantage of pushing parents to control their children closely to educate them better to avoid any misbehaviour on their part, which can be detrimental to them.   
  • Fourth, create synergy and true collaboration between schools. Schools operate in silos, making it easy for offenders to move from one school to another. In reality, many students are insensitive to exclusion, which is supposed to be the harshest sanction, because they are reassured that they will be recruited in the following hours in another school. A regional or national computerized file would make it possible to register all learners and to have the disciplinary report of each one.


It is obvious that the school, a place par excellence for socialization, is strongly threatened nowadays by multiform violence. Far from resigning ourselves to this scourge that dictates its law and destroys the education of young people, a general mobilization would allow us to overcome this problem. It is urgent to rethink school discipline to save the school and society

Pierre Sonore Djiogue


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