Factors that Influence Secondary School Teachers' Turnover in Mbeere South District, Embu County, Kenya
Mutune, Katula John M.
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Concerns about teacher turnover and attrition are reported widely as a global phenomenon. In Kenya teachers have been leaving teaching job for better pastures. However the Teachers' Service Commission CTSC) have tried to seal the loopholes left by the defecting professionals with no success. The purpose of the study was to analyse the factors that influence secondary school teachers' turnover in Mbeere South District with an aim of suggesting possible remedies to minimize them. The objectives of the study were to: analyse the rate of turnover among secondary school teachers in Mbeere South District; establish how school management policies cause turnover among the secondary school teachers; find out the attitude of teachers towards school principals and their influence in teachers' turnover; examine personal characteristics of teachers associated with turnover among secondary school teachers; and propose strategies for minimising turnover among secondary school teachers in Mbeere. The study is significant in that it may add to the body of knowledge on teacher management, teacher turnover and retention in education sector. The study was guided by theory of investment in human capital, proposed by Becker (1993). The study employed a survey design. The target population of the study comprised of all the 29 principals and 319 teachers working in the 29 public secondary schools in Mbeere South District. Stratified random sampling was used to select 20 out of the 29 public schools. All the twenty principals from the sampled schools participated in the study. Random sampling was used to select 120 teachers, that is, 6 teachers from each of the sampled schools, givin~ a total of 140 participants. A questionnaire was used as the main instrument for data collection. In order to improve the validity of the instruments the researcher sought the assistance of research experts, experienced graduates, lecturers and experienced supervisors. Instrument reliability was established at 0.823. Data collected was both quantitative and qualitative. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically and further subjected to descriptive statistics such as frequency counts and percentages. Descriptive statistics including percentages and frequency counts were also used to analyze the quantitative data obtained. The results of data analysis were presented in frequency tables and bar charts. The study established that in year 2010 turnover rate increased from 4.27% in 2009 to 8.21%, but decreased slightly from 8.21% to 7.2% in 2011. The main reasons for teachers' turn over were; job dissatisfaction among teachers, poor remunerations and inadequate support from school administration bodies. In relation to school management policies, the study established that professional growth; opportunities for promotion and low salaries were the major cause of teachers' turnover, The study recommends that; the government through Teachers' Service Commission CTSC) should increase teachers' salaries to promote loyalty, efficiency, productivity and reduce labour turnover; among other recommendations. The study suggests further study on the relationship between leadership styles and commitment of teachers and a comparative study on the leadership styles and job performance of teachers working in urban and rural areas.