Effects of teacher turnover on students’ academic performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in public and private secondary schools in Lamu County, Kenya
Kiunga, Bernard Mwenda
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This research focused on the effects of teachers’ turnover on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Lamu County. The study was prompted by the overwhelming teacher turnover in most private and public secondary schools in the county. According to Sogomo, in his report, Private secondary schools have higher teacher turnover than public schools of which, private secondary schools constitute a significant percentage of secondary schools in Kenya (Sogomo B 2002). As indicated in Lamu County Annual Education Report (2010), almost 50% of private secondary schools staff leaves within the first five years and this obviously has consequences on students’ academic performance. This study therefore sought to investigate the effect of teacher turnover on students’ academic performance, the possible factors responsible for teacher turnover in secondary schools in Lamu County and the possible permanent remedy to this. The researcher used both Hertzberg’s Motivational and Expectancy Theories to provide a theoretical foundation for factors affecting teacher turnover which is likely to lead to poor students’ academic performance. The study was conducted using descriptive research design; specifically cross-sectional survey design using both the quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. The study population was 134 respondents of which they comprised of students, teachers and head teachers of some selected secondary schools, TSC and MoE officials in Lamu County. Simple random sampling was used to select the respondents who comprised: 10 school Principals out of 20 secondary school, 2 TSC Officials, 2 MoE Officials, 20 teachers and 100 students. The researcher collected data himself through the use of questionnaires, interview guide and observation schedule as research tools. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. SPSS (v21.0) was used in organizing the quantitative data. The qualitative data was used in explaining and clarifying the quantitative data from questionnaires. Frequencies and percentages were used to summarize the data and the findings were presented using frequency distribution tables and a multiple regression model was applied. The researcher found evidence that turnover costs, although difficult to quantify, are significant at both the county, Sub County and the school level. It was also found that teachers who leave the schools to other areas, left high minority and low performing schools at significantly higher risks. This has implications for the differential impact of teacher turnover on high-need schools. The relationship between teacher turnover in public schools and private schools varied across the schools in the county.