Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 2(4), pp. 1074-1088 April 2011         
Copyright © 2011 International Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of conflict management and resolution in public secondary schools in Kenya: A case study of Nyakach District 

Adhiambo Roseline Ageng’a and Enose M.W. Simatwa* 

Department of Educational Management and Foundations, Maseno University.

*Corresponding author Email: simatwae@yahoo.com

Received 21 April, 2011; Accepted 2 May, 2011 

Abstract

Educational institutions in Kenya have occasionally experienced conflict of varied nature, due to different reasons. Most of the conflict ends up being destructive to life and property. From the year 1990 to 2008 conflicts with adverse effects were experienced in Kenyan schools but the climax was mid 2008 when there was a wave of conflict in secondary schools that threatened security. In Nyakach District, over 20 schools experienced conflict that resulted in unrest from 2004 to 2008. The purpose of this study was to investigate conflict management and resolution in public secondary schools in Nyakach District. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The study population was 41 head teachers, 41deputy head teachers,41 guidance and counseling heads of departments, 302 teachers, 1 Kenya National Union of Teachers branch secretary and 1 District Education Officer. Saturated random sampling technique was used to select 37 head teachers, 37 deputy head teachers, 37 guidance and counseling Heads of departments and simple random sampling technique used to select 101 teachers. 1 Kenya national union of teacher’s branch secretary and 1 District Education Officer. Data was collected using questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Quantitative data obtained was analyzed using descriptive statistics in forms of percentages, means and frequency counts. Qualitative data coded and analyzed in an on going process as themes and sub themes emerged. Validity of the instruments was determined by three experts from the Department of Educational Management and Foundations, Maseno University who perused and made necessary amendments to address face validity. Their comments were incorporated in the revised instruments.  Reliability of the instruments was determined by piloting in 4 schools which were not included in the study. The consistencies and weaknesses noted were corrected. The study established that the causes of conflict experienced were poor academic performance, differences in opinions, negative attitude, mismanagement of school resources and financial control. Conflict management and resolution strategies used were arbitration, reconciliation, negotiation, collaboration and effective communication. The conclusion of the study was that public secondary schools in Nyakach District experienced various forms of conflict and many strategies were used to resolve them. The study recommended that the Ministry of Education should sensitize all stakeholders on their roles in public secondary schools to avoid conflict; team spirit, professionalism and effective communication be enhanced in order to minimize conflict among the various stakeholders in public secondary schools and that  the study of conflict management and resolution be included in teachers training institutions in order to equip the teachers with effective conflict management and resolution strategies. The findings of the study will be useful to stakeholders in education to develop more effective ways of managing and resolving conflict in public secondary schools in Nyakach District and other educational institutions in the country. It will also form the baseline information for future researchers in related fields.

 

Key words: Assessment, Causes, Conflict management,   Resolutions, Secondary Schools, Nyakach District Kenya.

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