The study investigated the application of education law in the management of disciplinary problems in secondary schools. The study was carried out in Okigwe Education zone of Imo State. Four research questions and four null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Literature related to the study was reviewed under conceptual framework, theoretical framework, related empirical studies and summary of literature review. Descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was 1,013, comprising of 64 principals and 949 teachers. Random sampling technique was adopted in selecting a sample of 300, comprising of 20 principals and 280 teachers. A structured questionnaire with 37 items was used for data collection. Internal consistency estimate was estimated for each cluster using Cronbach Alpha method and this yielded: 0.82, 0.72, 0.81 and 0.76 respectively for clusters A, B, C and D. Data collected were analyzed, mean scores and standard deviations were used to answer the research questions while the t-test statistics was used in testing the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The study revealed that education law is being enforced in the management of disciplinary problems in secondary schools. It also revealed that there are noticeable impacts of the application of education law in the management of disciplinary problems in secondary schools. The study identified some factors that militate against the application of education law in the management of disciplinary problems. The study revealed some strategies to be employed for effective application of education law in the management of disciplinary problems in secondary schools. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that government should provide adequate man-power to teach technical subjects, administrators and teachers should show total commitment while trying to stop students’ misbehaviour and adults should be role models themselves. Government should provide adequate facilities and empower examination bodies to prosecute students involved in examination malpractice.

Background of the Study
Every organization needs a viable system of social control. This is in order to avoid
confusion and chaos. The maintenance of order is achieved through the establishment of
some standards of behaviour, which are maintained through rules, laws and corresponding sanctions on deviant persons.

Law provides a framework for group relations and serves as a vastly complex mechanism or system of social control. It permits, regulates and prohibits certain conducts for the purpose of achieving harmony in a society (Ogbonnaya, 2010). In its general sense it is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority and having binding legal force (Obi 2004). Ndu, Ocho and Okeke (Eds.)(1997) admit that laws and regulations equip individual members of the society with the knowledge of their rights and obligations and also provides a check to possible arbitrary behaviour of leaders. They went further to indicate that the leader is expected to operate within the rule of law and must therefore anticipate the consequences of his action and avoid unnecessary excesses. Since the role of an administrator consists of planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling school operations (Ogunu 2001), he/she needs to have good general knowledge and understanding of the laws and regulations guiding their various actions as they carry out the intricate and complex tasks. For this reason law needs to be definite, clear and public (Ndu, Ocho and Okeke (Eds) 1997).

Education on its part is the pivot on which the wheels of the growth and development of the society revolves due to its numerable contributions. Consequently, it has to be guided by laws to ensure its continuous efficiency and effectiveness. Ogunu (2001) observed that education law are the rules and regulations enacted by government and enforced through judicial processes to guide educational practice and development. They are rules meant to regulate the activities of school personnel and various agencies connected with the school. Obi (2004) admits that education law is concerned with those areas of jurisprudence which focus on educational principles and practices which are established to guide the activities or operations of public and private schools; primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Peretomode cited in Ogbonnaya (2010) stated that education law deals with those areas of jurisprudence which focuses on educational activities- the operation of public and private elementary, secondary, post secondary institutions of learning. It is concerned with those areas or systems of law that focus on educational programmes and activities.

From the foregoing education law can be deduced to constitute the legal issues in the education sector, in which the school administrators, the teachers and other stake holders in education are involved. It tends to spell out the powers conferred on educational administrators, other education bodies and their activities at various levels of educational institutions. Reason which include the curtail excesses in their use of power.

Education law is a generic term covering a wide range of legal subject matter including the basic fields of contracts, property, torts, constitutional law and other areas of law which directly (or indirectly) affect the educational and administrative process of the educational system (Alexander cited in Obi 2004). Ogunu (2001) classified education law into ordinances -which are the enactment or statute or legislation of the Nigerian legislature before 1954 and those of the federal parliament since 1954 but before 1st October 1960; Education code which is a collection of practical guidance for interpreting and executing a rule of law, Act, which involves the enactment or law passed by the federal legislature during civilian administration, Decree which includes enactment or law passed by the federal legislature during a military administration; and Edict which involves the enactment or statue or legislation promulgated by the military government of a Region or State during a military administration. Achunine (2007) added that education Boards, commissions, committees and panels are set up by law. The law specifies a number of important issues which the government would want the commission or board to address. It also states the limits of operation of the activities of the particular board or commission, the status of all the officials of the board or commission and a clear definition of the functions and responsibilities of each in relation to other members and related agencies.

Obi (2004) opined that Education law has three main sources namely; the customary law-which is a body of rules regulating the life style and value system of a people for the purpose of maintaining law and order, and harmonous co-existence among the people within the indigenous community, English law-which was introduced in Nigeria by the British colonial policy makers not to abrogate the customary law but to preserve as much as possible customary laws that were capable of English notion of justice, and statute law which refers to enacted laws or legislation or Act of parliament in a democracy. In continuation, he includes other sources of Education law as: the constitution, which provides a framework of law within which orderly government processes may operate. It contains the basic structure of the national government and a written set of rules to control the conduct of the government and its agencies,' the Legislature which involves law made by a body constituted for the purpose, that is, an enacted law or statute. Statute here is from a Latin word 'statum' meaning, it is decided showing that statues are bills voted on and passed into law by the legislature. Statute can be distinguished from Bye laws, decrees and edicts. While Bye laws are enactment by a local Government council based on the statue law, Edicts are laws at the state level, Decree are laws at the federal level under a military government, for example Decree No 16 of 1985 which confers on the Minister of Education the power to establish and maintain minimum standards at all levels of education.

Obi (2004) included Judicial precedents or court decisions as another source of law in education in which case laws or judicial laws or the judgments by courts are terms used to express judicial opinions on education law. The terms are used to distinguish laws enacted by legislative bodies from rule of law which are enunciated by the courts. Administrative laws and school rules and regulations are rules, and regulations made and applied by the federal or state regulatory agencies and commissions such as ministries of education, schools management board among others. The state school boards as a creation of the legislature in.....

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