An investigation into sources of conflicts in selected primary schools of Lusaka district, Zambia.
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Conflict affects all types of institutions and primary schools are no exception. This study was undertaken to investigate conflicts in primary schools of Lusaka District. The study employed Qualitative methods. Purposive sampling was used for the administrative staff and random sampling for the teachers with a sample size of 50 respondents. Research data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires with a 100% response rate. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics with frequencies and percentages by means of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. In addition, thematic analysis was used to give detailed findings. The study findings indicated that competition among workmates, limited school financial resources, limited possibilities for promotion, miscommunication between teachers and lack of materials for teaching were the main causes of conflict in Primary Schools. Conflict was found prevalent among teachers, administrators, learners and parents within the primary schools. Conflicts between teachers and administrators were resolved using dialogue, involvement of teachers unions, applying conditions of service, compromise and avoidance. Conflicts involving learners were resolved through counselling, sensitization, student orientation; motivational talks and alternative punishment. However, conflicts with parents were resolved by dialogue, meetings, written communication, summoning the concerned parents, collaboration and compromise. The studyindicated that conflict is ameliorated by applying established conflict management strategies such as enforcement of school rules, counselling, collaboration, sensitization, mediation, and dialogue. The study concludes that conflict at primary school level is inevitable and school administrators are at the helm of making conflict management strategies effective. The study recommends for the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) to formulate policies for handling school-based conflict and schools to adopt team-based and democratic approaches to management.
The University of Zambia