Impact of Student Leaders’ Participation in School Open Forums on Learners’ Discipline in Public and Private Secondary Schools in Machakos Sub-County, Kenya
Keywords:Students, Student Leaders, Participation, Learners Discipline, Open Forums
This paper focuses on student leaders’ participation in school open forums as a worthwhile practice of incorporating student leaders in school governance. Active participation of student leaders in school open forums is an opportunity for learners to participate in initiating and owning academic and discipline decisions made during the forums. Ownership of decisions translates to improved learners’ discipline and academic performance. The study was carried out in Machakos sub-county, Machakos County Kenya to investigate the impact of student leaders’ participation in school open forums on learners’ discipline in public and private secondary schools in Machakos sub-county. The study was guided by two objectives; to establish the status of student leaders’ participation in school open forums and determines the impact on learners’ discipline. The study embraced a descriptive survey design. Simple random sampling and purposive sampling were employed to get the sample size. Data were collected using questionnaires for the students and teachers and interview schedules for the deputy principals, principals, board of management (BoM) chairpersons, and private school directors. Further, document analysis was done for triangulation of the information. The data collected was processed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21. The statistics were tabulated and subjected to regression analysis using ANOVA and coefficient models.
The study established student leaders’ participation in school open forums was opportunity to express learners’ views and suggestions on school routines, rules, and regulations. The participation resulted in ownership of school rules and regulations hence improving learners’ discipline. In contrast, student leaders who did not actively participate in school open forums missed an opportunity to express learners' views and hence did not embrace reforms in the school routine, rules, and regulations citing their views were not put into consideration resulting in deteriorated student discipline levels. The study concluded that participation of student leaders in school open forums was significantly higher at (p) 0.003 than student leaders not participating in school open forums (p) 0.047. Hence the null hypothesis was rejected. The study recommended that school principals should organize frequent school open forums and encourage openness to encourage student leaders and other learners to air their views.
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