Conflict in primary school and its effects on teaching and learning: a case study of Ejisu-Juaben District

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Human beings form groups through voluntary means (clubs, societies) and involuntary means (families, ethnic groups). Conflict is basically the misunderstanding between two or more persons or a group of people. Conflict can therefore be grouped under four categories – intrapersonal conflict, interpersonal conflict, intragroup conflict and intergroup conflict. It is obvious that people understand quality education to be how efficient teachers are, availability of teaching and learning resources, infrastructure and the ability of the pupils to absorb lessons and reproduce when needed. Conflict in the basic schools affects teaching and learning especially when it occurs between a teacher and a pupil. It is in the interest of the researcher to identity types of conflict in the basic schools, their causes and how to mitigate their effect on teaching and learning and suggest measures to reduce conflict in the primary schools in Ejisu- Juaben district in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The researcher employed qualitative method through out this work. A number of libraries were also visited to review literature related to the study. Because the population was wide, the researcher sampled thirty- three percent (33%) of the total number of primary schools in the district. Three research tools (questionnaire, interview and observation) were used to solicit information from the field. The outcome of the study revealed that conflict among pupils where rampant and occurred almost everyday in the basic schools in the Ejisu- Juaben district. It was also found that, teacher- parent conflict was mostly caused by pupils. Again the study brought to the fore that pupils were not aware of conflict resolution mechanism in their respective schools, again most schools did not have defined conflict resolution mechanism and the existing ones were not effective enough. Upon the outcome of the research, the researcher recommends that guidance and counseling unit in most basic schools in the district needs reinforcement to equip them with conflict resolution strategies to educate pupils on better ways to handle conflict. Communication link between teachers and parents needs to be strengthened so that relationships between these key persons in education will cordial to reduce intractable problems of conflict in the school. The researcher here again recommends that pupils should be informed and involved in conflict resolution bodies and procedures in the school since it concerns them and how to channel their grievances through them. Schools that have not established conflict resolution unit should as a matter of urgency form one to reduce issues of conflict in their schools to promote effective teaching and learning.
The Thesis submitted to The School Of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master Of Arts (Art Education).