Perceptions of violence in a secondary school.
Violence in schools is one of the most challenging issue facing educators, policy makers, learners, parents and the community at large. Sometimes it takes place without educators and parents being aware of it and in most cases, learners specifically girls are reluctant to report their experiences of violence. Because the entire community is continually searching for ways to curb this problem in schools, it is hoped that this study may offer some general insights. The primary aim of this research was to explore the perceptions of violence of educators and learners of their school and the perceptions of learners of measures taken by educators to curb violence in their school. The secondary aim was to develop guidelines in the form of recommendations, which would be useful to policy makers, educators, parents, learners and the entire community at large. In this study qualitative design was used and the case study method was employed. Purposeful sampling technique was used in selecting the educators for interviews and the learners for focus group interviews. Groups of six learners were chosen for focus group interviews and in the case of educators, five were selected. In the process of data analysis the researcher applied Marshall and Rossman's approach. The results showed that only a few educators were able to describe the concept of violence and no learner was able to describe the concept violence. With regards to corporal punishment, the research revealed that some educators are in favour of corporal punishment while others are not in favour of corporal punishment. From the study, it was noted that the following forms of violence are experienced in the school namely, violence in the form of corporal punishment, physical violence in the form of bullying and fighting, sexual violence as gender-based violence, verbal violence and violence in the form of stealing belongings. Furthermore the research revealed that learners were not in favour of measures used by educators to curb violence in the school more specifically corporal punishment and suspension or expulsion. As a matter of fact, it is important for the entire community to address the problem of violence in the schools. Several recommendations have been made to encourage the community to curb violence in its schools such as the Government, Ministry 0f Education and Culture, educators training institutions, school management, educators and learners should address the problem of violence in order to curb its spread in the schools.