Conflict Management and Resolution in Context of Educational Institutes

Conflict Management and Resolution in Context of Educational Institutes

Madhu Agarwal Agnihotri (St. Xavier's College, India), Arup Kumar Bhattacharjee (RCC Institute of Information Technology, Kolkata, India) and Soumen Mukherjee (RCC Institute of Information Technology, Kolkata, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1726-0.ch005
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Conflict has been an integral part of collaborative ventures. Educational institutes comprise multiple integrated key activities such as teaching, learning, student management, examination, result declaration along with several administrative tasks. It has also been observed that generally stakeholders do not have formal training to deal with such issues and sometimes lack of knowledge and skills to address the disagreements efficiently adversely affects the overall productivity. Conflicts can occur in various forms starting from verbal dialogue and escalated up to physical confrontations resulting in spoiled relationships. An institutional framework should be designed and must be made transparent, so that all stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities at the institutions. The obligation and constraint defined clearly can act as an essential tool in de-escalation of conflict. This chapter aims at understanding the modes of conflict, reasons behind conflict, and then designing a framework for conflict management in educational institutes.
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Student-College Conflict: A Hypothetical Case Example

University Grants Commission (University Grants Commission, 2018) has clearly stated the requirement of having minimum percentage of attendance as one of the eligibility criteria to appear in exams at under-graduate level.

College XYZ offering under-graduate degree in Science and Arts stream informed its students in the beginning of the semester about the attendance requirement. The college has sent notice in each class room and also out up a notice on the student notice board in this regard. After the completion of the semester, few students were not allowed to appear for the mid-semester examination because of shortage of attendance. Due to this reason students joined hands and demanded the administration for the permission to give the exam as they were not aware about the status of their attendance. On the other hand, administration was not ready to give any kind of relief to such students in order to comply with the UGC guidelines. Hence, a trivial situation of conflict between students and college administration developed. None of them was ready to take their steps back and a deadlock was apparently visible. Administration found itself caught between the students and the UGC guidelines.

Administration later called upon a meeting with student representatives to understand the situation. Student representatives stated that students were not updated about their attendance pattern and status during the whole semester. Hence, suddenly when they came to know about their ineligibility, their reaction was severe. The demand of students was to find a solution so that students can get to know their attendance status regularly. Also, considering it as an unintentional mistake on student part, administration should allow them to appear for the examination. Administration understood the issue and hence, agreed to give permission for the mid-semester examination as only the first and last chance for those students. Also, administration assured the student representatives that college will provide student attendance report on monthly basis so that students can keep track of their attendance pattern and can take corrective measures to make it up to the criteria for final semester examination.

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