EVALUATION OF CONFLICT CONTROL DEVICES IN MANAGEMENT OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY (FCT) ABUJA, NIGERIA

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EVALUATION OF CONFLICT CONTROL DEVICES IN MANAGEMENT OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY (FCT) ABUJA, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT  

 

This study was conducted on the Assessment of Conflict Control Mechanisms in Administration of Junior Secondary Schools in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. The study has five objectives which are to; find out the use of mediation approach in conflict control, examine the use of negotiation mechanisms in conflict control, ascertain the use of consensus decisionmaking process in conflict control, assess the use of parents’ involvement in conflict control and find out the use of community initiative in conflict control in Junior Secondary Schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. In line with these objectives, five research questions, five null hypotheses and five basic assumptions were formulated. Related literatures were reviewed along with four (4) empirical studies. Survey design was adopted for the study, a total of 357 respondents were sampled from the total population of 4294. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents. The data collected were presented in tables and were analyzed using weighted mean to answer the research questions. The five hypotheses were tested using One

Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the null hypotheses at 0.05 alpha level of significance. Frequencies and percentages were used to analyze the bio- data of the respondents. The major findings of the study were among others; Mediation Mechanism is effectively used in controlling conflict in Junior Secondary Schools in FCT Abuja. Negotiation Mechanism is used in conflict control in Junior Secondary Schools in FCT Abuja. Consensus Decision Making Mechanism is used to promote collaboration between teachers and members of the school community thereby reducing conflict to the barest level in FCT Abuja. The following recommendations were made: Refresher courses should be organized regularly for head of schools to make them familiar with various conflict control mechanism that could be used in their schools, School administrators should see the need to negotiate with all parties in conflict in order not to disrupt academic process in their schools, Principals should always create room for robust decision making with their staff in order to ensure smooth running of the school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Cover Page                                                                                                                              i

Title Page                                                                                                                                ii

Declaration                                                                                                                              iii

Certification                                                                                                                            iv

Dedication                                                                                                                               v

Acknowledgements                                                                                                                 vi

Abstract                                                                                                                                   vii

Table of Contents                                                                                                                    viii

List of Tables                                                                                                                          xi

List of Appendices                                                                                                                  xiii

List of Abbreviations                                                                                                              xiv

Operational Definition of Terms                                                                                            xv

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study                                                                                            1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                                           5

1.3       Objectives of the Study                                                                                               6

1.4       Research Questions                                                                                                    7

1.5        Research Hypotheses                                                                                                  8

1.6       Basic Assumptions                                                                                                     8

1.7       Significance of the Study                                                                                            9

1.8       Scope of the Study                                                                                                      10

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1      Introduction                                                                                                                  11

2.2     Conceptual Framework                                                                                                 12

2.2.1 Conflict                                                                                                                          12

2.2.2   Conflict Control                                                                                                           16

2.2.3  Mediation in Conflict Control                                                                                      17

2.2.4 Negotiation in Conflict Control                                                                                     19

2.2.5 Consensus-Decision in Conflict Control      20 2.2.6 Parents’ Involvement in Conflict Control          22

 

2.2.7 Community Initiative in Conflict Control                                                                     23

2.3      Theoretical Framework                                                                                               24

2.4       Causes of Conflict in Schools                                                                                     29

2.4.1  Misappropriation or Embezzlement of Funds                                                              29

2.4.2  Inadequate Resources                                                                                                   29

2.4.3  Administrative Incompetence of Head Teachers                                                          30

2.4.4  Contradicting Value System                                                                                         30

2.4.5  Unimpressive Condition of Service                                                                              30

2.4.6  Indiscipline on the Part of Students                                                                              31

2.4.7  Poor Academic Performance                                                                                        31

2.4.8  Indiscipline on the Part of Teachers and Administration                                             32

2.5      Effects of Conflict on School System                                                                         33

2.5.1  Effects of Conflict on Students                                                                                     35

2.5.2  Effects of Conflict on School Structures                                                                      35

2.5.3  Effects of Conflict on School Programme                                                                    36

2.5.4  Effects of Conflict on parents and Society                                                                   37

2.6      Process and Strategies of Mediation in Conflict                                                         37

2.6.1  Challenges to Mediation process in Conflict                                                                39

2.6.2  Advantages of Mediation process in Conflict Control                                                 40

2.7      Process and Strategies of Negotiation Process in Conflict Control                            41

2.7.1  Challenges to Negotiation process in Conflict                                                             43

2.7.2  Advantages of Negotiation process in Conflict Control                                               44

2.8      Process and Strategies in Consensus Decision making in Conflict Control               45

2.8.1  Challenges to Consensus Decision Making process in Conflict Control                     47

2.8.2  Advantages of Consensus Decision Making process in Conflict                                 49

2.9      Process and Strategies in Parents’ Involvement in Conflict Control                          50

2.9.1  Challenges to Parents’ Involvement in Conflict                                                           56

2.9.2  Advantages of Parents’ Involvement in Conflict Control                                            56

2.10  Process and Strategies in Community Initiative in Conflict Control                            57

2.10.1 Challenges to Community Initiative in Conflict                                                          58

2.10.2 Advantages of Community Initiative in Conflict Control                                           59

2.11  Empirical Studies                                                                                                          61

2.12  Summary                                                                                                                        67

CHAPTER THREE: RESAERCH METHODOLOGY

3.1       Introduction                                                                                                                 69

3.2    Research Design                                                                                                            69

3.3    Population of the Study                                                                                                 70

3.4    Sample and Sampling Techniques                                                                                 70

3.5    Instrumentation                                                                                                              71

3.5.1   Validity of the Instrument                                                                                            72

3.5.2   Pilot Study                                                                                                                   72

3.5.3   Reliability of the Instrument                                                                                        72

3.6       Procedure for Data Collection                                                                                    73

3.7        Methods of Data Analysis                                                                                          73

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

4.1       Introduction                                                                                                                 74

4.2       Analysis of Personal Data of the Respondents                                                           74

4.3       Answers to Research Questions                                                                                 75

4.4       Hypotheses Testing                                                                                                    86

4.5        Summary of Hypotheses Testing                                                                               92

4.6       Summary of the Findings                                                                                           93

4.7       Discussion of the Findings                                                                                         93

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1       Introduction                                                                                                                 95

5.2        Summary                                                                                                                    95

5.3        Conclusions                                                                                                                96

5.4       Recommendations                                                                                                      96

5.5       Suggestions for Further Studies                                                                                  97

References                                                                                                                  98

Appendices                                                                                                                 103

 

 

  LIST OF TABLES  
Table 1: Population of the Study     70
Table 2: Sample of the Study     71
Table 3: Bio-Data of Respondents     74
Table 4: Mean Score of Respondents on the Opinions of Respondents on the  
  Use of Mediation in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary Schools in  
  FCT Abuja     76
Table 5: Mean Score of Respondents on the Opinions of Respondents on the  
  Use of Negotiation Mechanism in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary  
  Schools in FCT Abuja     78
Table 6: Mean Score of Respondents on the Opinions of Respondents on

Consensus Decision Making in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary

 
  Schools in FCT Abuja     80
Table 7: Mean Score of Respondents on the Opinions of Respondents on the  
  Use Parents Involvement in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary  
  Schools in FCT Abuja     82
Table 8: Mean Score of Respondents on the Opinions of Respondents on the  
  Use of Community Initiative is in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary  
  Schools in FCT Abuja      84
Table 9: Summary of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on the use of Mediation

Mechanism in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary Schools in FCT

 
  Abuja, Nigeria      86
Table 10: Result of the Scheffe Post-hoc Test on the Mean Score of the

Respondents on the use of Mediation Mechanism in Conflict Control

 
  in Junior Secondary Schools in FCT Abuja, Nigeria      87
Table 11: Summary of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on the use of Negotiation

Mechanism in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary Schools in FCT

 
  Abuja, Nigeria      88
Table 12: Summary of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on the use of Consensus  

Decision Making in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary Schools in FCT

Abuja, Nigeria                                                                                                        88

Table 13: Result of the Scheffe Post-hoc Test on the Mean Score of the Respondents  on the use of Consensus Decision Making Approach in Conflict Control in

Junior Secondary Schools in FCT Abuja, Nigeria                                                 89

Table 14: Summary of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on the use of Parental

Involvement Mechanism in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary Schools

in FCT Abuja, Nigeria                                                                                            90

Table 15: Summary of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on the use of Community

Initiative in Conflict Control in Junior Secondary Schools in FCT Abuja,

Nigeria                                                                                                                    91

Table 16:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Hypotheses Tested                                                                             92

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix A: Letter of Introduction                                                                                        103

Appendix B: Conflict Control Mechanism Questionnaire                                                     104

Appendix C:   Research Advisor Sampling Table                                                                  108 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS 

FCT:  Federal Capital Territory
PTA:  Parent Teachers Association
UNICEF: United Nations International Children Education Fund
JSCE:  Junior School Certificate Examination
GDP:  Gross Domestic Product
ANOVA: Analysis of Variance
SPSS:  Statistical Package for Social Sciences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Conflict: is a form of disagreement between two individuals or groups which could cause physical assault or the use of unpleasant comment within the school environment.
Control Mechanism: is a problem solving technique or means used by specialist in       resolving dispute, disagreement among and within people or group of people living or working in the same setting.
Administration: refers to organization and coordination of material and human resources in the school system in order to achieve the desire educational objectives.
Negotiation: is a problem solving process in which the two parties in dispute or their representative agreed to seat and dialogue on how both can make sacrifices in order to resolve their differences.
Mediation: is a problem solving process in which the two parties in the dispute or their representatives meet face to face to work together to resolve the dispute assisted by a neutral third party.
Consensus Decision:  Making is a group problem solving process in which all the parties in the dispute or representatives of each party collaborate and agree on what to do and what not to do in order to resolve the dispute.
Parents Involvement: refers to parent’s involvement through PTA or school based

management committee in resolving dispute between teachers and the school management. 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1        Background to the Study

The fundamental meaning of conflict is disagreement. Conflict is inevitable in any human institution. It is obvious that disagreement, irrespective of the form it takes, is bound to be experienced in most circumstances and situations. Our bodies experience some sort of disagreement in most circumstances. For instance, if someone takes medications and the body reacts to the drugs, there is disagreement between the body and the drugs. Similarly, disagreement arises in the body when we eat and the food comes out immediately as vomit or diarrhea without performing the supposed functions in the body (Tosho, 2013).

In the same way, conflict can also occur as a result of disagreement between teachers and students over disciplinary measures such as corporal punishment and other forms of punishments that ensure discipline in the school. These conflict situations have to be resolve to ensure peace and harmony between the persons and society.

Conflict arises from a discord of needs, drives, wishes, and demands. Conflict in and of itself is not positive or negative. Rather, it is the response to conflict that transforms it into either a competitive, destructive experience or a constructive challenge offering the opportunity for growth. Since conflict is an inevitable part of life, learning how to respond to it constructively is essential. Constructive conflict resolution begins with developing an understanding of conflict and the principles of conflict resolution (Damian, 2014).

Education is the process of transforming the raw human resources to the expected quality and standard, to live and contribute effectively to the development of the society. Since 1842, when the early missionaries established the first school in Nigeria, education has metamorphosed into a large and complex social organization Yalokun (2012). Predictably, most school systems like other social systems, now experience institutional conflict. Conflict is a recurring decimal in all human relationships, be it in the family, institution or organization.

The school, like any other modern institution is not without potential negative features, incompatible behaviors and conflicts which might be counter-productive and give rise to inefficiency, ineffectiveness or dysfunctional consequences in the achievement of goals and objectives (Atkenson, 1994). The school as a bureaucratic organization with division of labour, line of authority in terms of teacher-principal, subordinate-super ordinate relationships, rules and regulations, communication flow – upward, downward, horizontal, etc is bound to have conflicts.

The conflict control mechanism in junior secondary schools can be through mediation approach, negotiation approach, consensus decision-making process, parent involvement approach and also through community initiative in conflict control in junior secondary schools in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. Given that conflict is inevitable in any organization and the school is not an exception, the crucial question is, how to react to, respond to and control conflicts so that positive changes will be realized and negative effects minimized. Poor control mechanism of conflict in school administration may result in deficiencies in the performance of the school both in terms of discipline and academic proficiency (Bridges, 1997).

The word conflict brings to mind images such as antagonism, struggles between parties, opposition processes and threats to cooperation. But not all conflicts come in these forms especially in the school system. They come in form of needs to be met or desires to be satisfied, disagreements to be settled and ideas to be shared that eventually lead to change of attitudes, feelings and perceptions.

Albert (2001) stated that conflicts may be caused by competition for inadequate resources, contradicting value system, psychological needs of group and individuals, manipulation of information and perception. Conflict is part of a school because teachers have varying ideas of mechanism to control the issues arise, they have different backgrounds and their experiences are different. These differences can cause so much damage to the school if they are not properly controlled; hence the importance of conflict resolution strategies to schools administrators. School’ administrators are managers and they should be able to have different mechanisms to control conflict effectively rather than suppress or avoid them in junior secondary schools. In controlling conflicts, it is pertinent to know the causes of such conflicts and the influence it will have on the school system.

Fadipe (2000), sees conflict as a form of disagreement in an establishment between two individuals or groups who have cause to interact formally or informally. Similarly, Miller and King (2005), see it as basically a disagreement between two or more individuals or groups over compatible goals. Conflict therefore is a process of incompatible behaviors. It may involve the interference or disruption by one person or group of persons, or in some way or ways which make another action less likely to be effective. According to Deutsch (1973), conflict inevitably means that people are working against each other, in such a manner that what one wants is incompatible with that which another wants.

In Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. Several types of conflicts can be identified, they are as follows: Conflicts on disagreement over issues relating to religion: Conflicts over the imposition of decision by authority without due consultation with staff and students. Conflicts on personality clash. Conflict over inadequate classroom space: Conflicts over sudden change in school’s policies. Conflicts arising from the disagreement over the strict application of rules and regulations: Conflicts over the allegation of corrupt practices involving members of staff. Conflicts arising from teachers using corporal punishment on students in the schools: Conflicts arising from not paying teachers’ salaries regularly. Conflicts arising from students’ indiscipline: Conflict over poor transport system to the school. Conflict over the inadequate number of specialist teachers: Conflicts arising from inadequate school plant maintenance and Conflict of mode of dressing.

Therefore, there should be proper mechanism used in controlling this conflict such as mediation, negotiation, consensus decision-making process, parents involvement in conflict and community initiative among others in conflict control in junior secondary schools in Federal capital territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. Negotiation is a problem-solving process in which either the two parties in the dispute or their representatives meet face to face to work together unassisted to resolve the dispute between the parties. Mediation is a problem-solving process in which the two parties in the dispute or their representatives meet face to face to work together to resolve the dispute assisted by a neutral third party called the “mediator”. Consensus decisionmaking is a group problem solving process in which all of the parties in the dispute or representatives of each party collaborate to resolve the dispute by crafting a plan of action that all parties can and will support. This process may or may not be facilitated by a neutral party.

Parents’ involvement in conflict control is a process by which they separate issues and individuals to see themselves as working side by side, attacking the problem, not each other.

Fisher and colleagues state, “Where perceptions are inaccurate, parents’ can look for ways to educate. If emotions run high, they can find ways for each person involved to let off steam.

Where misunderstanding exists, they can also work to improve communication”.

Methods of resolving conflict include compromising, accommodating, collaborating, avoiding and competing (Folger, 2007). Other ways include, dialogue, involving third party, court order etc. The success of every school depends on its mechanism used. This is also essential for the development of any education system and for education to achieve its stated goals for the benefits of a nation.

In order to address the issues stated above there is need to know the effects of all these conflicts mechanisms on each prevailing conflicts in junior secondary schools in Federal Capital territory (FCT) Abuja, whether it will produce positive and sustainable changes or worsen the management of our secondary schools in Nigeria. The researcher therefore, is interested in assessing whether there is appropriate utilization of mechanism such as mediation, negotiation, decision-making process, parents involvement and community initiative in conflict control in

Junior Secondary schools in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

 The persistence rise of conflicts in Junior Secondary Schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja Nigeria is on the increase. There are conflicts that occur between students themselves, students and their teachers, students and school authorities and vice versa, to the extent that school programs are always disrupted or ran behind schedule programs and also being abandoned in some few cases. Conflict has serious consequences on the school system, including the students, the teachers and the school authorities thereby resulting to poor organizational climate. Generally it makes program implementation very difficult, thereby making it impossible to achieve educational goals and objectives. This is seen clearly in students continued poor performance in both internal and external examinations. For instance in recent years, 2012/2013 Junior School Certificate Exam (JSCE) shows that students in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja performed below expectation posting 37% of pass rate and 2013/2014 Junior Secondary School Exam recorded 34.7% pass rate.

In Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. Several types of conflicts can be identified, they are as follows: Conflicts on disagreement over issues relating to religion: Conflicts over the imposition of decision by authority without due consultation with staff and students. Conflicts on personality clash. Conflict over inadequate classroom space: Conflicts over sudden change in school’s policies. Conflicts arising from the disagreement over the strict application of rules and regulations: Conflicts over the allegation of corrupt practices involving members of staff. Conflicts arising from teachers using corporal punishment on students in the schools: Conflicts arising from not paying teachers’ salaries regularly. Conflicts arising from students’ indiscipline: Conflict over poor transport system to the school. Conflict over the inadequate number of specialist teachers: Conflicts arising from inadequate school plant maintenance and conflict of mode of dressing.

It is based on the aforementioned ugly scenario prevailing in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja that prompted the researcher to investigate the use of conflict control mechanisms such as negotiation, mediation, consensus decision making in management of Junior Secondary Schools in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The study is designed to assess conflicts control mechanisms in junior secondary schools in Federal Capital territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. Specific objectives are to:

  1. Find out the use of mediation approach in conflict control in Junior secondary schools in

(FCT) Abuja, Nigeria;

  1. examine the use of negotiation mechanisms in conflict control in Junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria;
  2. ascertain the use of consensus decision-making process in conflict control in junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria;
  3. assess the use of parents’ involvement in conflict control in Junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria; and
  4. find out the use of community initiative in conflict control in Junior secondary schools in

(FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.

1.4        Research Questions

This study therefore seeks to answer the following research questions:

  1. Is there any use of mediation approach in conflict control in Junior Secondary schools in

(FCT), Abuja?

  1. How is negotiation mechanisms used in conflict control in Junior Secondary schools in

(FCT), Abuja?

  1. How is consensus decision-making process used in conflict control in Junior Secondary schools in (FCT), Abuja?
  2. How is parents involvement mechanism used in conflict control in Junior Secondary schools in (FCT), Abuja?
  3. Is community initiative used in conflict control in Junior Secondary schools in (FCT),

Abuja, Nigeria?

 

 

 

1.5        Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested:

  1. There is no significant difference in the use of mediation mechanism in conflict control in junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.
  2. There is no significant difference in the use of negotiation mechanism in conflict control in junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.
  3. There is no significant difference in the use of consensus decision-making mechanism in conflict control in junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.
  4. There is no significant difference in the use of parents’ involvement mechanism in conflict

control in junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.

  1. There is no significant difference in the use of community initiative mechanism in conflict control in junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.

1.6        Basic Assumptions

The study was carried out with the assumptions that:

  1. proper use of mediation approach will help in controlling conflict in Junior Secondary Schools in (FCT), Abuja;
  2. Proper use of negotiation mechanism will help to reduce the different levels of conflict that exist in Junior Secondary Schools in (FCT), Abuja;
  3. If the consensus decision making process is used, the level of conflict in Junior Secondary Schools in (FCT), Abuja will be reduced;
  4. parents’ involvement in school conflict will definitely help to control the conflict in Junior

Secondary Schools in (FCT), Abuja; and

  1. Use of community initiative will reduce the level of conflict in Junior Secondary Schools in

(FCT), Abuja, Nigeria.

1.7       Significance of the Study

The study will be of significance to many categories of people, for example, the principals, students, Teachers, Government, School authority, Parents, school-based management committee and the society at large.

To students, the study will be of help to them to understand some short comings of indiscipline behaviour that can lead to conflicts.

Teachers and principals will be well equipped on how best to handle or control school conflicts among students in order to carry them along to achieve a better standard of academic excellence.

The school authority will be able to introduce some additional rules and regulations that will improve the governance of the school.

Parents will be better informed on their roles as primary assignment which is to grow and train their children to be able to conform to rules and regulations where ever they find themselves.

The society would also benefit at the end of studying this research in the sense that the study will provide the government with the idea of different mechanisms that can be used in controlling conflicts generally.

The result from this research is expected to open up new mechanisms, dimensions, ideas, and strategies to effectively control conflicts in schools most especially at community and state level.

The results of this study is expected to lead to closer relationship between the teachers, principals, students, parents and host community in the management of conflicts among students in the junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.

The result will bring to the fore the role teachers, principals, students and community play in ensuring social order in secondary school.

Finally, the findings are expected to create awareness for future research work/efforts. It will serve as an added body of literatures in the area of conflicts control mechanisms in junior secondary schools in (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.

1.8       Scope of the Study

The study focused on assessment of conflict control mechanisms in administration of junior secondary schools in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. The study covers all the public junior secondary schools in FCT Abuja. However, for the purpose of this study, the researcher selected public Junior Secondary Schools in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria.  

EVALUATION OF CONFLICT CONTROL DEVICES IN MANAGEMENT OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY (FCT) ABUJA, NIGERIA

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