Teachers' perception towards implementation of performance contracts: a case of public Secondary schools in Gatanga District Murang' a County, Kenya
Boboti, Solomon Muhoro
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Performance contract is an agreement between two patties that clearly specify their performance obligations. It is a management instrument used to define responsibilities and expectations between parties to achieve mutually agreed results. It is a relatively new concept in Kenya especially in the public sector. In 2003, the government of Kenya introduced performance contracts with an aim of enhancing performance of the civil servants through improved accountability and productivity. Though education sector is key, implementation of performance contracts has been inhibited by various hitches and challenges especially among teachers. It is for this reason that this study carried out an analysis of teachers' perception towards implementation of performance contracts in selected secondary schools in Gatanga District. The study was guided by the following objectives; to establish the level of teachers' awareness of performance contracts, to investigate the extent to which teachers' attitudes influence their perception towards implementation of performance contracts, to investigate the extent to which the training and skills of the teachers is a factor to their perception towards implementation of performance contracts, to find out whether working conditions in secondary schools is a factors influencing teachers' perception towards implementation of performance contracts, to find out whether external environment is a factor influencing teachers' perception towards implementation of performance contracts. The study was based on Cole job improvement plan model, which emphasizes setting standards in specific key result areas and specifying results for all employees at the operating level of the institution. Review of literature was done on various studies done on performance contracts under the sub sections; definition of performance contract, the purpose ittld process of performance contracting, and how teachers' attitudes, training, working conditions and external environment influences performance contracting. The study employed a descriptive survey design, targeting 410 teachers in 31 public secondary schools in Gatanga District. A sample size of 123 teachers and 16 principals was used. Teachers were selected using proportionate, stratified and random sampling techniques while principals were selected using purposive sampling. The study utilized questionnaire and interview schedule for data collection. After the data were collected, they were coded, analyzed and descriptive statistics like frequencies and percentages were used. The findings showed that the teachers had very little knowledge on performance contracting and therefore, they were opposed to it. The study also showed that, negative perception towards performance contracting by teachers is caused by factors like training, working conditions, teachers' attitude and external environment. The researcher recommends that the Ministry of Education educates teachers on performance contracting before implementing it to change teachers' negative perceptions and inform them of its benefits. The ministry should also consider setting targets that are informed by each school's unique setup.