Use of media in resolving conflicts in Kenyan boys schools: a case study of Nairobi province
Khaimia, Anne Claire
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The study aimed at finding out the use of media in resolving conflict in Kenyan boys' schools. It was established that communication was vital within the process of curbing unrest in schools. There is a direct relationship between media and conflict. To this end, availability of media is important to provide a medium of communication. Whereas media could inflame conflicts by reporting negatively it could also act as a third party watchdog that provides feedback to the public on problems facing students in schools. Before the onset of conflict, media could also draw attention pressure to address the conflicts as well as give early warning of potential conflicts. How media portrays violence is very important. The role of the media in the post violence period is also essential. In this study, 120 questionnaires were issued to teachers and students in five boys' schools in Nairobi. Out of the questionnaires issued, 106 were returned: 20 for teachers and 86 for students. It was found out that unrest was rampant in boys' secondary schools. Using the media to educate students on amicable conflict resolution tactics was practiced by a majority of teachers. In addition, it was strongly established from the study that the school notice board was the most highly used media in boys' schools. The other most used media in communicating with teachers, the administration and the Ministry of Education according to students were school magazines, newsletters, suggestion boxes and writing of letters. To this effect, the majority of students pointed out that their schools published school magazines. According to teachers, face to face was established as the most preferred media channel for use in dissuading students from planned unrest. This corroborated the finding that face to face and the schools' suggestion boxes were the most used media used in communication between teachers and students. Other media such as the internet and mobile telephones were slowly but increasingly being promoted by teachers in communicating with students. In search for media platforms to air their views, some teachers elucidated that students wrote a lot of graffiti about the schools and the administration in their washrooms and around the J schools. Consequently, in case of planned strike by fellow students, the majority of students pointed out that they would tell about it if the students involved did not get to know about it. In terms of access, the most frequently accessed media was newspapers according to students. A minority of students pointed out that their schools did not have radio but Standard newspapers featured articles written by students for students followed by those who pointed out the Daily Nation and the Saturday Nation. In terms of radio stations that aired programs run by students for students, three percent of the students pointed out the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). Lack of proper communication and poor diet were the other main reasons that caused students in boys' schools go on strike among others. The majority of teachers perceived that school strikes in Kenyan boys' schools led to poor performance in examinations. In conclusion, a few recommendations and areas of further study were established.