Teachers' perception of performance contracting in public secondary schools: a case of Laikipia central district, Kenya
Muriithi, Phyllis Wangui
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This study attempted to find out the perception of teachers towards Performance Contracting (PC). The study explored the teachers' level of exposure and also sought their opinion on the proposal to introduce performance contracting of teachers. Performance Contracting (PC) is a modern management instrument adopted in Kenya as part of the government's public policy initiative to improve efficiency and performance under the wider reform initiatives of the government which began ill 2003. The concept of performance contracting is often cited as an effective strategy to assure accountability for results. The calls for introduction of PC in schools is to a great extent fuelled by a persistent belief that the fundamental issues and problems in education could be resolved or at least better managed if schools and those who teach in them were more 'accountable'. However, the teaching force in Kenya has persistently resisted performance contracting in schools leading to speculations that teachers do not fully understand the concept and benefits of PC or that if they do, then they have fundamental reasons for the outright rejection of the idea. The main purpose of the study was to find out the teachers' perception of the concept of PC and the reasons for their opposition to the introduction of PC in schools. The Scientific Management Theory offered the theoretical framework for the study. The study adopted an exploratory approach using the survey design to investigate the perception of teachers towards performance contracting. The study was carried out in Laikipia Central district. The research targeted all of the one hundred and thirty (130) teachers in the eleven (1 J) pub Iic secondary schools in the district. Simple random, purposive and systematic sampling procedures were employed to draw a sample of forty eight (48) subjects. The questionnaire was utilized to elicit responses on the extent of the teachers' knowledge of the PC concept, as well as their opinion on the introduction of PC in schools. A pilot study was conducted in two schools to enhance the research instrument's reliability and validity. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data collected. Qualitative analysis considered inferences that were made from the respondents' opinions. First primary data from the research instruments was edited and coded to organize and reduce data into manageable summaries; the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the coded items. The findings were quantified and then presented in percentages and frequency tables according to the study objectives. The results of the findings revealed that the teachers' level of knowledge of performance contracting was relatively low, and that their main sources of information on changes proposed in education was the media, the teachers unions and professional associations. The study also established that although there was a high level of resistance among teachers to their performance contracting; there was also evidence that they could change the stance and accept PC if certain conditions were met. The study recommends that the government, through the Ministry of Education and the TSC should work on a strategy to address the information gaps concerning PC of teachers and also ensure that all schools meet the institutional preconditions for successful implementation of PC in schools.