Factors influencing selection and buying practices among primary school teachers: a case of Mwimbi Division, Meru South District
Riungu, Dorothy M.
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Clothing is a factor in every day human life and interactions with others. Clothing is a systematic means of transmitting information about the wearer. Teachers should dress in order to succeed as role models to their pupils. When teachers dress professionally they obtain the respect and credibility necessary from pupils, parents and the community in general. However teachers are not easily recognized in the rural areas by the way they dress. They have lost identity and respect they used to command in society. This study was designed to find out factors influencing the way they dress. The purpose of this study was to determine factors influencing clothing selection among primary school teachers in rural areas with reference to Mwimbi division in Meru district. The main objective in this study was to identify the physical, psychological and socio-economic factors influencing teachers' clothing selection. The study was confined within 22 random sampled schools in Mwimbi division, Meru south, Eastern province, in which a total of 327 teachers were selected at random. The study adopted a descriptive design, since it is concerned with gathering of facts. The data for this study was collected using questionnaire, which was administered by the researcher to a sample of primary schools teachers in Mwimbi division. A pre-testing of the research tool was carried out in 4 schools in order to ascertain its validity and reliability. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics, such as use of frequencies and percentages. The study established that sources of information on clothing that teachers use includes family members, friends, tailors, window shopping and fashion magazines. The various shopping outlets used by teachers include boutiques, tailoring stores, retail stores, open air markets, Mitumba markets (second hand clothes) and exhibitions. The physical characteristics of the clothes influencing clothing selection includes item construction and finishing, fabric quality, work suitability and cleaning and care. Psychological factors such as smart looking, acceptable style personal beliefs and values, latest style and unique outfit influenced clothing selection. Teachers' remuneration influenced clothing section and buying practices. The researcher recommends the government to improve teachers' remunerations so as to enable them to afford the ever competitive clothing fashion world. Further research is recommended with regard to teachers' attitudes towards exotic styles of dressing. Further research should also be done on this topic in urban areas