Job satisfaction of science teachers in public secondary schools in Murang'a East District, Murang’a County, Kenya
Wachira, Charles Mukuni
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In Kenya there are concerns about teacher retention. Various research done have found out that school performance is directly linked to the quality and quantity of teacher remuneration. Teachers’ job satisfaction and performance is dependent on incentives to teachers. Data recorded in various District Education Offices indicate that science teachers in Kenya are leaving the teaching profession to take up jobs in other careers. The teachers who are leaving teaching are usually the young and enthusiastic and hence affecting performance in science subjects at the national examinations and subsequently poor performance in Kenya's scientific, technological and innovation sectors. The study reviewed literature on teacher’s job satisfaction, turnover and retention trends in Africa and Kenya. The main objective of this study was to determine the job satisfaction levels of science teachers in secondary schools of Murang'a East District. The research adopted descriptive survey design. The questionnaire was used for the study as the main research instrument. All public secondary schools in Murang'a East District were targeted in this study. Four teachers were to be selected from each school through stratified random sampling. A sample of 56 science teachers and 14 principals was used. Data collected during the study was analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methods and finally presented in tables, pie charts and graphs. The study revealed that majority of the science teachers would leave teaching given an opportunity. The amount of paid vacation/sick leave offered was rated by teachers as not being important. The respondents revealed that salary, opportunities for promotion and job security were extremely important in influencing their job satisfaction. However factors such as job location and lack of incentives played minimal role. The study also established that majority of teachers were teaching in boarding schools. Majority of the teachers who were teaching in boys and girls boarding schools indicated that they were dissatisfied with the teaching profession. Majority of the head teachers and science teachers indicated that science teachers left teaching profession for greener pastures and due to low pay. As for reasons for staying in the teaching profession, all the head teachers and majority of the teachers said that science teachers remained in teaching profession simply because it is seen as a form of earning.On the desired changes required by science teachers to help them be satisfied with their jobs, majority of teachers and all the head teachers affirmed that among other factors, salary increase, enhanced career development and opportunity to undertake study leaves would be of great help in enhancing job satisfaction among science teachers.The study recommends that the MOE should make teaching profession more attractive i.e. by improving on the pay package, so as to attract and retain science teachers. The MOE should also encourage the school managements to put up decent infrastructure in schools to create conducive working environment for teachers. Secondary school principals should also be taken through management training to help them resolve interpersonal conflicts in their institutions.