School boards engagement in resolving conflicts in public secondary schools: The case of Ngara District council

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Mzumbe University
Various strategies of resolving students‟ conflicts in public secondary schools are growing in Africa. However, little is known on the effectiveness of the mechanisms that are used in conflict resolutions by the school boards in public secondary schools using Ngara district council as a case study. The study adopted a case study design, in which the quantitative research approach dominated over the qualitative ones, thus giving rise to quant-qual research design. The study utilized a sample of 103 study participants which comprised of 48 teaching staff and 48 school boards who were surveyed using structured questionnaires; 6 heads of school who were interviewed using interview schedules; as well as a District Secondary Education Officer who was interviewed using interview schedules. The primary data were collected through the use of questionnaires, interviews, and observation. Descriptive type of data analysis was performed to measure the relationship between the type of strategies for resolving conflicts and the effectiveness of the mechanisms in reducing students‟ conflicts in public secondary schools by using (SPSS) version 20. The study revealed that the mechanisms used to resolve students‟ conflict by the school boards members in public secondary schools were effective. However, to a lesser extent this was not accepted by a relative small group of teachers who were of the view that on some incidences the school boards side with students. The most conflicts that rise in schools include: Students with teachers; students with the school management; as well as students among themselves. It was also reported that the sources of conflicts in schools includes lack of enough teachers, poor learning environment, students‟ bad behavior and lack of enough funds. Several types of conflict resolution mechanisms were used by school boards. Among others include: Use of formal meetings with students; school closure; as well as use of coercion from police forces. Also, the study revealed that a relative high proportion of the school board members were knowledgeable on matters related to conflict resolution mechanisms at secondary school level. As such, they were able to competently engage in resolving conflicts within the school setting. The study ends up by recommending that, indeed, there is a need for having an association of school boards‟ members for all secondary schools at a national and regional level in order to share lessons or experiences from various groups. Equally important, designing a journal for school boards can offer necessary remedies towards addressing students‟ atrocities.
A dissertation submitted to the department of education foundations and teaching management in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Arts in Education (MAED) at Mzumbe University
School boards, Conflict resolution, Pulibic secondary school