Vol. 6, Issue 8 (2019)
Prevalence of juvenile delinquencies as aftermath of minimal social control in primary and secondary schools in Nigeria
Author(s): Okanezi Bright, Ofoma Tonia Virginia
Abstract: The school as an agent of socialization and cultural preservation had served that purpose effectively and efficiently. The norms of the society were taught in the school and some were articulated as aspects of the school rules and regulations. The teachers used corporal punishment as well as other measures to engender discipline in the pupils. Discipline was held in high esteem from the colonial era until about the end of the 20th century. In those days, both primary and post-primary school leavers lived exemplary lifestyles that are regarded as normative in the society. They were respectful, obedient, humble, morally sound and generally disciplined. Juvenile delinquency at that period was alien to Nigeria. However, towards the end of the 20th century till date, Nigeria has witnessed a new trend of events. Pupils and under-age students now involved in cultism, truancy, rape, disobedience to teachers and elders, hooliganism, rudeness, alcoholism etc which are all regarded as juvenile delinquency. The above juvenile delinquencies have become a menace in society. It was found that the reasons for its prevalence were because teachers were banned from using corporal punishment to maintain social control, tort liability laws are made, and parents whose wards are flogged come to the school to avenge on the teacher. These made the teachers minimize their disciplinary role hence things fell apart. It was, however, recommended among other things that there should be a stiffer penalty on juvenile delinquencies; the age of responsibility to child-crime should be lowered; corporal punishment should be re-introduced though with caution; correctional homes should be built where juvenile offenders could be mentored and transformed to better citizens for positive functioning in societys.