Management of violence in secondary schools of the North West Province
Motsatsi, Iponeng Doreen
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Violence in schools in South Africa and globally is a very serious problem. Parents, teachers, learners, and the community alike are concerned about the escalating violence amongst learners and the gravity of the acts of violence committed in schools today. The violent behaviour of learners in schools disrupts the smooth functioning of the schools as well as teaching and learning. This qualitative study, based on an interpretive paradigm, aimed to investigate the management of violence in selected violence-prone secondary schools of one school district in the North West Province in South Africa. Two theories, namely Social Learning theory and General Strain theory underpinned the study. Purposive sampling was utilised to select six secondary schools from each of which one parent, one principal and six teachers were purposively selected to participate in the study. Semi structured interviews and a set of open-ended questions were used to obtain data from principals, parents and teachers respectively. Atlas.ti version 22 was used to manage and support the qualitative content analysis of the data from the interviews with principals and parents, and from the qualitative open-ended questionnaires with teachers from secondary schools of the North West Province. The study identified gaps in the management of school violence with some of the key findings identified as risk factors for school violence being poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, community school gangsterism and corporal punishment. The most prevalent forms of violent behaviour that emerged from the study included bullying, gangsterism,fighting and stabbing. These violent behaviours are managed through the school‘s Code of conduct, disciplinary hearings and suspension. The findings have provided a basis for the development of a model that might help stakeholders address these violent behaviours through anti-violence programmes such as seminars, campaigns and film shows. The model might also serve as a basis for the introduction of school violence policy reforms for more effective measures to curb learner indiscipline and violence in schools. Besides contributing to practice, the findings have added to the existing body of knowledge on violence in secondary schools.
- Education