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Discipline is a must at home and in school. Discipline is the training of the mind and character; the exercise, development and control of the character, intended to produce obedience and orderly behavior. The definition above is apt enough for the type of discipline intended for the young people at school. The need for disciplining young people cannot be over-emphasized. A wise saying goes “Spare the rod and spoilt the child”. An undisciplined child becomes a spoil child.

The disciplining does not necessarily involve the use of cane. It should normally take the form of corrections by the educators through the setting of good examples and verbal corrections. It is the repeated and deliberate tendencies to incorrigibility that should involve punishments from the educator. These punishments should also be corrective and directly related to the offence. The question then arises; who is to discipline the child, the school or the home? The unequivocal answer is both the school and the home.

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The efforts of these two agencies to direct the life of the child should be complementary. The all-round development of a person cannot be achieved if one of the parties withdraws its own contribution. Before a child is of school age the discipline is solely the business of the home. At that stage, a child is already in the preparatory stage of being potentially bad or good child. The mind of the new born child being so flexible has had certain impressions made on it.

The child learns to act and behave mainly through imitation. These picked-up acts and behaviour which a child goes to the school will form the foundation upon which the school is to be built. Hence the school either inherits a light or a heavy job in this regard. Some schools are lucky to have under their care children who are already good natured and the school only needs to build and improve upon this good foundation. On the other hand the school may inherit other types of children who are real problems.

In either case there is little the school can do however well meaning in its mission to achieve good result if the home does not work hand in hand with the school. Even when a good spade work had been done on the children with regard to discipline before the children start schooling this good spade work can be spoilt as a result of contact with other children who have not had the advantage from home. It is the duty of the school to ensure that those with pre-school good discipline are still better moulded while those still lacking in many essentials of good iscipline are made to be good. But at home where the children spend most of their time with the parents and relatives, friends and acquaintances, the good work the school is doing can either be helped or hindered. If the children are shown and made to follow the good ideas taught in the school it is necessary that what they and made to act at home be similar to the good ideas taught in the school. If what they do at home are at variance with what goes on in school the children become people of ‘two worlds’ and confusion and frustration result from these conflicting ideas.

It is for this reason that the home and the school should mutually seek advice and inquire on what is not properly understood or clear as to the proper upbringing of these children. The children should be made to understand that the home is in the school and vice versa. Neither of the two should be made a refuge from the rigours of the training of the other. When this happens well behaved, responsible and good citizens are bred. Written by Adewumi M. O.

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