CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES IN USED IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ANAMBRA STATE.
This study examined the management of conflict in primary schools. The purposes of this study are to identify the strategies used by head teachers in managing conflict between teachers, and the strategies used by teachers in managing conflicts between pupils. The purpose of the study is also to identify the strategies used by pupils in managing conflict among themselves. The study identified teachers appraisal of the conflict-management techniques of their head teachers. Four research questions and four hypotheses guided the study. The population of the study consisted of all the pupils in senior primary schools numbering 7892, as well as 1181 teachers and 80 head teachers in two local government areas in Awka Education Zone. The sample size consisted of eight hundred and seventy (870) respondents. The instrument was a questionnaires used to collect data from the respondents. Data collected were analyzed used statistical weighted means and standard deviation. The student t-test was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings showed that the head teachers manage conflicts among teachers by use of persuasion, dialogue and invitation of the third party (arbitration). It also revealed that the teachers manage conflicts principally among pupils by using empathy and referral to Guidance Counselors, while pupils manage conflicts among themselves by use of force (confrontation). The appraisal of conflict management style of the head teachers by teachers showed that the head teachers use dialogue, arbitration and separation device as effective ways of resolving conflicts. Generally, the findings showed that pupils, teachers and head teachers in Awka Education Zone apply various and different methods in resolving conflicts in primary schools. For effective management of conflict in primary schools, it was recommended among others that the curriculum planning experts should include a course on management of conflicts in the primary school teacher preparation programmes. This will enable the head teachers, teachers and pupils to be vast in different techniques of conflict management so that they will apply the appropriate ones when the need arises. Suggestions for further studies as well as limitations and implications of the study were also discussed.