Strategies adopted in managing conflicts in secondary schools in Sumbawanga district

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study assessed the strategies adopted in managing conflicts in secondary schools in Sumbawanga district, Rukwa region. The study was guided by three objectives namely, to establish the frequency and types of conflicts occurring in secondary schools, to explore sources of conflicts and strategies employed in managing conflicts in secondary schools and to assess the adequacy of the strategies and policies adopted in addressing conflicts in secondary schools. The study adopted a qualitative research approach employing a descriptive case study design. Four schools and a sample of 54 respondents were included. The sample comprised heads of secondary schools (n=4), public secondary school teachers (n=24), form four students (n=24) and supporting staff (n=2). Respondents were selected through purposive, stratified, intensity and convenience sampling techniques. Data collection methods involved semi structured interviews, focused group discussions and documentary review. Data were analyzed using content analysis framework and a conceptual framework for effective conflict management indicated sources of conflict, strategies and conditions for conflict management and outcomes. The findings indicated that there were four types of conflicts namely; inter-personal conflicts which ranked the highest followed by intra-group conflicts, inter-group conflicts and lastly intra-personal conflicts. In exploring the sources of conflicts and strategies employed in managing conflicts, the findings suggested that conflicts were derived from both personal and organisational factors. It was further found that the strategies for managing conflicts involved two major categories namely, participatory (conducting meetings, discussions, dialogue and sharing ideas) and non-participatory strategies (the use of power, competing, punishments and threatening). It was also found that schools experienced both destructive and constructive results from conflicts depending on strategies employed in addressing them. Finally, with regard to whether strategies and policies on conflict management were adequate in addressing conflicts, the results showed that participatory strategies were adequate while non-participatory strategies were inadequate in managing conflicts in schools. Moreover, there existed some policies on conflict management though they were not clearly organised. It was also found that heads of schools failed to manage some big conflicts. The study concluded that participatory strategies were adequate in managing conflicts in schools therefore they were to be encouraged. Based on the findings, the study recommended that each school should form a students’ conflict management committee to deal with persisting inter-personal conflicts among students and between teachers and students fairly. Also, there is need to conduct regular in-service training to enable heads of schools’ deal with conflicts at all levels. Likewise, every education stakeholder should play a part to improve the teaching and learning conditions so as to avoid unnecessary conflicts in secondary schools. Finally, outlines and instructions on conflict management should be organised and amended to produce a clear conflict policy document for secondary schools. The study recommends further similar studies to be conducted in other districts in Tanzania using other research approaches for replication purposes.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB2866.5.T34K346)
Sumbawanga, adopted
Kajoba, D (2019) Strategies adopted in managing conflicts in secondary schools in Sumbawanga district, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.