CONFLICTS BETWEEN PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

In every organization, like the school, conflict is very inevitable and must be resolved for the organization to achieve her objectives. There is no school which does not experience conflict at some time or another as part of daily interactions. Conflict occurs when people or groups are engaged in competition to meet goals which are perceived to be incompatible.

Conflict is viewed as a human and social phenomenon in the school environment which brings about hostility and prevents progress. Conflict, according to Imhabekhai (2000), connotes a product of disagreement between or among individuals or groups in an organization or, in a society over allocation or distribution of resources which are relatively scarce to the demand for them. Conflict is an open disagreement between two people or groups of people who have different values. According to Ikejiani-Clark (2007), conflict is natural and inevitable part of people working together, sharing diverse thoughts, concerns, perspectives and goals. According to Nye (2004), conflict is conceived as “mutual hostility” at interpersonal, inter-human, inter-group and inter-ethnic, inter-cultural and at inter-national level. It is a situation where the disputants are hostile to each other or to one another in order to achieve their set goals or objectives which are usually regulated by hierarchy of human needs, selfishness, greediness as well as sociological, political, cultural, psychological and religious motives.

According to Udomo (2010) conflict is disagreement and misunderstanding between two parties concerning issues. Conflict, he said, exists where there is divergent or different ideas to a matter under consideration. People who are in conflict are termed to be quarreling, disunited, struggling and fighting over somethings.

Zwei (1997) gives a comprehensive idea of conflict situation when he explains that a conflict is a major disagreement that generates antagonism and oppositions in the relationships between persons, groups and organization. It occurs when some persons, because of differences, interfere with, in terms of obstructions, counteraction or opposition, the attainment of the goals and interest of others. By a single word definition, conflict means, a fight, battle, struggle, sharp disagreement or opposition. Conflict enables an individual or groups to reassure their priorities. Fadipe (2000) defines conflict as a form of disagreement in an establishment between two individuals or groups who have cause to interact formally or informally. He further adds that when two or more people who work together in an organization are not in good terms, especially in matters that relate directly or indirectly to their work schedules, there is conflict. All the definitions presented above specify that: there must be a group, there must be some contest over an interest and there must be disagreement. There must also be opposition or disharmony in the struggle between or among the groups or parties. This means therefore that in conflict there must be a group/party, not a single individual. Conflict therefore connotes a situation where there are two or more parties whose interest clash or goals appear to be incompatible. Secondary schools are educational institutions where students are exposed to various educational programmes for acquisition of knowledge and also for the well-being of their communities. In secondary schools, various types of personnel are involved. These include the principals, the teachers, students, non – teaching staff and even the communities. The principal administers the secondary school and it is his/her responsibility to provide and maintain a healthy academic environment.

One of the greatest tasks of a principal in the secondary school is the management of conflicts between a principal and teachers who implement the instructional programmes of the school. Effective and efficient secondary school administration has relationship with the ability of a principal to manage conflict. In an organization such as secondary school, people find themselves in various kinds of conflicts either as a result of their birth or religious beliefs or way of life-culture.

In the secondary schools for example, teachers may resort to boycott of classes, quarrels with the principal or refusal to carry out assigned tasks. Others may resort to physical aggression, and defiance.

Statement of the Problem

Conflict has become major obstacle to personnel productivity and the realization of national objectives and in particular in the educational system. Employees in the education sector have many a time in recent times embarked on strikes to press home their demands for improved conditions of service and regular payments of salaries, professionalization of teaching, establishment of national commission for secondary schools and teaching service commission at state levels.

Conflicts seem to abound in secondary schools in Ekiti Education Zone.

There was a reported case of breakdown in teaching and learning at the Girl’s Secondary School, Ngwo arising from misunderstanding between the principal and teachers on how to share their lesson money, the percentage that should go to the mission and the percentage to go to the teachers. Teachers in the school had also revolted against their principal in October 2012 accusing the principal of high handedness in the administration of the school.

Another conflict occured at Eleyo grammer school, Ikere where the school principal had some problems with the teachers. The principal accused the male teachers of being commercial drivers while their female counter parts are traders in the open markets even during the school hours. Many teachers in Nigeria are ‘cheaters’ because they collect salaries for the work they did not do. At the Community Secondary School, Nsude another conflict is going on between the principal and the teachers over the issue of selling things on their table during the school hours. In other words, staff common room are now minishops where all sorts of jewelries, shoes and clothes are sold by teachers. To worsen the situation, many teachers make use of students, particularly the female, to sell items in schools thus impeding their learning in schools.

At times, conflicts in schools are as a result of conflict from the society or the school community, unwillingness on the part of the government to honor agreements jointly entered in to by government and unions. For instance, in 1992/93 there was a national strike from October 8, 1992 to January 29, 1993 (114 days) over the demand for teachers’ salary structure (TSS) and professionalization of teaching. Efforts have been made in the past to foster peace by school authorities, the government, unions, and the students which most often ended up in dead luck.

All these conflicts either within the educational sector or the society at large have often times paralyzed society, economic and educational activities. No matter how, or the forms they come, they are conflicts since they disrupt. activities. Against this back ground, therefore, the problem of this study put in questions form is what can be responsible for the conflicts in Secondary Schools in Ekiti Education zone and what conflict management strategies can be adopted by the principals to curtail them?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate administrative conflicts between principals and teachers in post primary schools in Ikere Education Zone

in Ekiti State.

Specifically, the study sought to:-

  1. Identify the causes of administrative conflicts between principals and teachers in the secondary schools in Ikere Education Zone.
  2. Ascertain how the non-involvement of teachers in decision making results to conflict in Ikere Education Zone.
  3. Ascertain the extent principals’ qualifications results to conflict in secondary schools in Ikere Education Zone.
  4. Ascertain how gender of the school principal leads to conflict in the secondary schools in Ikere Education Zone.
  5. Ascertain the conflict management strategies adopted by the principals in the secondary schools.

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Updated: 9th October 2017 — 6:59 pm