Indiscipline in schools has become systemic, reaching proportions described as out of control by various educationalists. The figures on the subject tabled in the National Assembly by the Ministry of Education are striking.

A telling observation. Over the past nine years, from 2015 to 2024, the number of cases of indiscipline in schools has increased dramatically. In 2015, the Ministry of Education recorded 55 cases: 15 in primary schools and 40 in secondary schools. In 2024, this figure had increased more than fivefold, reaching 297 cases: 139 in primary schools and 158 in secondary schools. This represents an increase of 440%.

Among the most frequent cases of indiscipline in the primary environment: violence, which predominates with no less than 60 cases recorded in 2024, compared to only eight in 2015. The second most frequent type of undisciplined behavior in primary schools is that categorized as “disruptive and disrespectful behavior.” For the current school year, 40 cases have already been recorded, while in 2015 there were only six.

New forms

bullyThe figures also reveal the emergence of new forms of indiscipline in primary schools. In 2015, there were no cases of vandalism, destruction of school property and inappropriate behaviour between students. However, in 2024, two cases of vandalism and destruction of school property were recorded, as well as 10 for inappropriate behaviour.

Bullying is another worrying form of indiscipline. Although this type of violence was almost non-existent in 2015, it has gradually increased over the last nine years. The data from 2024 are alarming: 27 cases of bullying were recorded. This significant increase reflects a worrying trend in primary schools, where violent and disrespectful behavior is increasing.

The observation is equally alarming in middle schools, where cases of indiscipline have almost quadrupled in nine years. Incidents of violence in secondary schools have increased from 40 to 158 between 2015 and 2024. The most common form of indiscipline in middle schools is “disruptive and disrespectful behaviour”, with a significant increase, from 22 cases in 2015 to 74 in 2024.


A phenomenal growth in cases of violence was also recorded, from 11 to 57. In addition, as observed in primary schools, cases of bullying are on the rise. In 2015, only four cases of bullying were reported, compared to 17 in 2024. Inappropriate behavior between students, which was non-existent in 2015, began to emerge in middle schools from 2016. For 2024, four cases of this type of behavior have already been recorded in secondary schools.

This worrying increase in unruly and violent behaviour in middle schools raises serious concerns about the effectiveness of current disciplinary measures and the school environment in general. For many educationalists, it is clear that more robust actions and close collaboration between parents, teachers and education authorities are needed to reverse this trend. It is imperative to strengthen psychological support and early intervention mechanisms for students at risk.

Labour Party MP Mahen Gungapersad initially raised the issue during Tuesday’s parliamentary session, challenging Education Minister Leela Devi Dookun-Lutchoomun. When contacted later for comment on the figures that were tabled, he said: “The situation is alarming. Nothing has been done to take corrective measures to bring these numbers down.”

He is also very critical of the lack of a clear inventory, deploring the fact that the recruitment of Discipline Masters, planned in the 2019-20 Budget to improve school discipline, has still not taken place. Another shortcoming deplored by the MP: the lack of Senior Educators in schools. According to him, one of their responsibilities is to deal with indiscipline in schools.

“In addition, the number of school psychologists has drastically decreased, from around thirty to only 22 for all public and private establishments. This reduction in staff further complicates the management of disruptive behavior and the provision of psychological support to students,” he said.

Education Minister Leela Devi Dookun Lutchoomun disagreed with criticism suggesting a lack of action to combat the problem. She outlined the steps her ministry has taken to address the problem of indiscipline in schools (see box). The measures have been weak and ineffective, according to Mahen Gungapersad.

According to him, one only has to visit schools to realize that the structures mentioned by the minister are simply not working. For Mahen Gungapersad, the increase in cases of indiscipline in schools demonstrates that there is a deep problem that requires, above all, a thorough analysis and understanding of the phenomenon.

It is a reflection of society, according to the Minister of Education

Education Minister Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, for her part, outlined the measures taken to address the problem of indiscipline in schools. She noted that the ministry has a national counselling service and teachers are trained for the purpose. She also noted that counselling offices have been set up in schools and monitoring efforts are underway. She expressed her total disagreement with criticisms that suggest a lack of action against the phenomenon. “It is totally inappropriate to come and say that nothing is working. We know that there has been an increase in the number of cases of indiscipline, but this is a reflection of society,” she told the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Basheer Taleb: “Traditional methods no longer work”

Basheer Taleb, head of the Federation of Managers of Private Colleges, also took note of the figures released by the Ministry of Education. He did not mince his words when he said bluntly that cases of indiscipline in schools “are frightening.”

For him, these data demonstrate a total failure of the strategy to combat this problem. “Traditional methods no longer work. Today we need to adopt a new approach,” he says.

According to him, simply sending children accused of indiscipline back for a few days is no longer a feasible solution. “It is high time that the authorities show creativity and listening in order to better respond to this phenomenon,” he believes.

Reacting to the minister's remarks about the existence of counseling offices set up in schools, Basheer Taleb maintains that this measure only exists in private schools and not in public institutions. “As for the availability of psychologists for the school environment, this is also another problem. Each time they are contacted, they are often already overworked and cannot handle all the cases in time,” he explains.

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