CONFLICTS AND CONFLICTS RESOLUTIONS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATION IN OWERRI EDUCATIONAL ZONE OF IMO STATE

ABSTRACT

The study looked at the administrative competence of secondary school principals in resolving institutional conflicts in the Owerri Educational Zone of Imo State, all public secondary schools in Owerri Municipal were used while five was sampled for the study. The target population is the principals and teachers of public secondary Schools in Owerri Educational Zone of Imo State. There are 138 (One Hundred and Thirty Eight) Public Secondary Schools in Owerri Educational Zone with one hundred and thirty eight principals. The total number of teachers in Owerri Educational Zone is 2,554 (Two Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Four), made up of male and female. The researchers used questionnaire as the main instrument for data collection in the research, this ensure the scope and diversity of opening of the subject. Sixteen (16) items questionnaire was used in the study. Simple percentage was used in the data analysis. From the findings made in this study, the researchers discovered that the regular supervision of teachers schemes of work and the general disregard of a teachers area of specialization in subjects assignment, frequently fermented conflicts. Fifty percent (50%) of the principals were perceived as being undemocratic in their decision making processes as teachers were rarely consulted. Therefore strict supervision discourage the teachers to perform optimally in the school administration. Other supervisory methods recommended include proper communication channels, between principals and teachers so that mutual understanding will exist between them. However, the principals should adopt a more democratic method of decision making.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Approval page ii
Dedication iii
Acknowledgment iv
Abstract vi
Table of content vii
CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
Background of the Study 1
Statement of the Problem 5
Purpose of the Study 6
Significance of the Study 6
Research Questions 8
Delimitation of Study 8
CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review 10
Concept of conflict and theoretical frame work 11
Areas of conflict between the principals and teachers 16
Sources/causes of conflict in secondary school Administration 26
Conflict resolution strategies in secondary school Administration 32
Strategies/techniques to conflict management 35
Summary 38
CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology 40
Area of Study 41
Design of the Study 41
Population of study 41
Sample and Sampling Techniques 43
Instrument for Data Collection 45
Validity of instrument 45
Administration of the instrument 46
Methods of data analysis 46
CHAPTER FOUR: Data analysis and results 47
CHAPTER FIVE: Interpretation and discussion of findings
Discussion of Findings 63
Educational implication of the Study 68
Limitation of Study 69
Suggestion for Further Studies 70
Recommendations of the Study 71
Summary and Conclusion 72
References 73
Appendix 76
Questionnaire 77

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Conflict have become almost normal and regular between principals of secondary schools in Imo State and the teachers under them. This has no doubt retarded the success of the administration of the institution in particular and the state educational system at large.

Mullins (1999; 816) sees conflict as a reality of management and organizational behaviour; he sees conflict as a term synonymous to competition since both involve at least some degree of opposing behaviour, this shows that he sees conflict as a term which occurs when there are opposing behaviours or when there are incompatibility of views and goals.

Conflict has been defined in the following ways by the Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary, sixth edition (2000; 239).

A Situation in which people, group or countries are involved in a serious disagreement or argument;

A violet situation or a period of fighting between countries or groups; b

A situation in which there are apposing ideas, opinions, feelings, or wishes;

A situation in which it is difficult to choose

Having defined conflict which is the key word of the topic, the above can now be read or interpreted to mean-opposing behaviours, ideas, opinions or feelings in secondary school Administration and their resolution among principals in Owerri Educational Zone of Imo State.

The position of secondary school principal is a highly sensitive one as it is the office of the Head of the school Administration.

Efficient administration among other things determines the success of any system of Education.

In the bid to attain the highest possible level of success in their administration, each principal tries to explore any possible means, at times they over step their bounds by rigidly supervising the teachers under them and rigid supervision tends to style the initiative of the teachers. It is in this time that the teacher wants less supervision so as to be effective. Thus conflict comes in as rigid supervision desire a free hand. Another way through which conflict ensures is when some lazy and undedicated teachers are disciplined by the principal in-charge, even the bible acknowledges that no discipline is fun to receive.

This should remind us to MC Gregor’s management theory of X and Y.

Conflict is an evil wind that blows no one any good, it retards progress at it builds animosity thus a school head should focus on the most possible reduction of conflict in all his managerial functions which includes planning, organizing, controlling, staffing, directing and budgeting (According to Agunanne 2004).

Thus principals should employ conflict prevention and resolution techniques that are both effective and dynamic as to reflect the charges in the school environment.

A good administrator does not wait till the time conflict is blown open before he does something reasonable about it. On this note the principals have to receive administrative training and remaining to copy with ever changing world. To this end, the focus of this study will be;

  1. The sources/causes of conflicts in secondary school administration.
  2. Main areas of conflicts in secondary school administration.
  3. Types of conflicts in secondary school administration.
  4. Recommendation how best to resolve conflict.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM   

The researchers have observed that conflict has been a hook on the neck of the principals and teachers of public secondary schools in Owerri Educational Zone. It has been seen as mostly normal and regular in our public secondary schools administration this days. Without a better resolution, it will affect the standard of Education in future.

Lack of invaluable source of information for the up building and smooth running of our Secondary Educational System are of concern to the researchers. In an attempt to find out factors responsible for these conflicts, the researchers would like to look at the main areas of conflict, causes/sources of conflict, recommendation, and how best to resolve conflict.

The principal thus needs to identify conflict at its easily stage, classify them as to whether they are destructive or constructive resolve the destructive ones speedily and make use of the constructive ones. Could conflicts in secondary schools be associated with, internal supervision of instruction, teacher attitude to work, principal’s decision making process and teachers welfare and interest.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study shall be to:-

  1. Investigate whether there are conflicts in secondary school administration;
  2. Identify the areas of conflicts in secondary school administration;
  3. Ascertain the causes of conflicts in secondary school administration;
  4. Establish strategies for the resolution of conflict

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is expected that the research report of this study will provide the reader with a basis for an objective assessment of the main area of conflict in secondary schools in Imo State with particular reference to Owerri Educational zone as well as desirable resolution techniques or strategies for such conflicts. However, the discovery of these areas of conflict in secondary schools, will eventually help in designing new methods to conflict management in schools and other organization.

This study will also reveal the weakness and strengths of principals in conflicts management in schools. It will also be of particular and immense value to the principal of secondary schools.

This study will help to identify some of the administrative conflict facing secondary schools in Imo State. The study will also inform the public on some of the administrative conflicts facing the secondary school in Imo State Owerri Educational Zone and the principals in the day to day running of the schools.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following Research question guided the study:-

  1. Are there conflict in Public Secondary Schools Administration?
  2. What are the main areas of conflict between principals and teachers in secondary school administration?
  3. What are the causes of conflict in secondary school Administration?
  4. What are the desirable strategies/techniques for the resolution of conflict between the principals and teachers?

DELIMITATION OF STUDY

Though there are many area of conflict in the secondary school administration, this study will focus on conflicts in secondary school administration and their resolution among principals using the following areas of school administrative process in the area of;

  1. Leadership skills,
  2. Decision making,
  3. Supervision of instruction
  4. Communication
  5. The strategies for the resolution of conflict in secondary school administration.

The study covers only five public secondary school principals in Owerri Educational Zone. The schools include the following;

  1. Comprehensive Development Secondary School,Owerri.
  2. Okpala Secondary School
  3. Aboh Mbaise Secondary School
  4. Atta Girls Secondary School
  5. Comprehensive Secondary School Umuokanne