Assessment of Adoption of Teachers’ Service Commission Dress Code by Female Tutors in Public Teacher Training Colleges in Kenya
Munyua, Dorothy M.
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In an effort to maintain clothing styles within the teaching fraternity, Teachers Service Commission came up with design sketches for incorporation in dress code in 2006. The TSC manual of code of conduct and regulations, states that tutors should dress decently and be presentable. Numerous studies have been done in Kenya on clothing selection among teachers and other groups; however, there is limited documentation regarding dress code for tutors. This gap inspired a study to assess the extent of adoption of TSC dress code among female tutors in Teacher Training Colleges in Kenya. The purpose of the study, therefore, was to establish factors influencing clothing preference and adoption of dress code. The following objectives guided the study: to identify the socio-demographic characteristics of tutors, to establish the level of awareness of the TSC dress code, to identify functional, expressive and aesthetic garments elements that female tutors consider, and to establish the relationship between selected variables and adoption of TSC dress code among others. A cross-sectional survey research design was employed where a mixed method design was used to collect and analyze the data. Cluster and random sampling methods were used to select from a target population of 613 female tutors in all twenty-four public teacher training colleges in Kenya. The sample size comprised of 184 female tutors. Data was collected using questionnaires and observation checklists. Data were analyzed, and results presented using tables, frequencies, and percentages. Chi-square test of independence was used to establish the relationships among independent variables and the dependent variable. Qualitative data were summarized by grouping the responses of open-ended questions thematically based on each question. The results revealed that majority (62.8%) of the respondents in this study were lecturers, with a master’s degree and the average age of 47 years old. Most of the tutors were married (79.8%), with between one and three dependents and 56 percent earned up to Kshs 55,000 monthly. The study established that a higher percentage of those who were aware of the TSC dress code requirement was conforming. However, observation revealed that the majority of female tutors had close-fitted garments, 51.7% had clothes exposing cleavage, and 3.3% wore transparent garments. In terms of hypothesis testing, there was a significant relationship between the net monthly income (Chi-Square value 8.336 and p-value of 0.004), levels of awareness of TSC dress code (Chi-Square value of 18.878 and p-value of 0.000) and adoption of the TSC dress code. In conclusion, factors that influenced clothing preference and adoption of TSC dress code were the age of respondent, net income, and the level of awareness. Functional, expressive, and aesthetics garment elements were a comfortable garment, well- constructed garment and one’s personality. A manual of clothing styles was developed based on the clothing styles most preferred by female tutors that could be incorporated into the TSC dress code. The study recommends that the Teachers’ Service Commission should put into account the views of tutors and fashion trends when revising and implementing a formal dress code.