The impact of performance appraisal on secondary school teacher professional development in Kitui West District
Teacher appraisal is already well established in countries such as Britain, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, it has only recently become a significant issue in Kenya. Over the years, teacher appraisal in Kenyan secondary schools has been mainly inspectorial, achieved through occasional inspection of schools and teachers by school inspectors. Teacher appraisal process in Kenya is wanting, especially due to the superiority-inferiority relationship between inspectors and teachers. Now that the appraisal system has been made more comprehensive and objective, with the Publication of the Revised Code of Regulation for Teachers as opposed to previously when it was confidential. The study therefore sought to assess the impact of performance appraisal in facilitating secondary school teacher professional development Kitui West district. The objectives of the study were to: investigate the nature and strategies of performance appraisal in public secondary schools; find out ways in which performance appraisal . information is used in teacher professional development and investigate the emerging issues and challenges in teacher performance appraisal in relation to professional development. The study was based on performance appraisal model. The study . employed descriptive survey design, targeting all the 30 principals and 237 teachers in 30 secondary schools in Kitui West district, the District Education Officer and the District Quality Assurance and Standards Officer. Stratified random sampling was used to select 20 principals from all the participating schools while purposive sampling technique was used to select 60 teachers, 3 per school from each strata; representing boys boarding, girls boarding, mixed boarding, mixed day and boarding and mixed day schools. The area DEO and DQASO also participated. Data was collected using questionnaires for the principals and for teachers while an interview schedule were used on the DEO and the DQASO. Piloting was done in two public secondary schools to test the reliability and validity of the instruments. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data obtained. The statistics used included frequency counts, means, and percentages. On the other hand, qualitative analysis considered the inferences that were made from the opinions of the respondents. This analysis was thematically presented in narrative form and where possible tabular form. The results of data analysis were presented in frequency tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study established that the TSC did not give teachers feedback on their performance, therefore making them not improve their performance. It was also established that the headteachers appraised teachers to identify areas where performance was below standard and also to discover their strengths and weaknesses. The study further established that the most common hindrances to effective performance appraisal were: lack of finances, poor TSC services, time factor, lack of sponsors and family commitments. The study recommended that adopting a collaborative approach in developing the appraisal system, where all the stakeholders are included in the decision- making process, this will make them feel like part of the system and make them work hard; school heads should ensure that the appraisal process is fair and transparent to avoid any forms of bias and after being appraised among others.