Determinants of occupational attrition among teachers in public secondary schools in Kisumu East district, Kenya
Okungu, Jacob O
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Teachers all over the world play vital roles in the growth and development of children into meaningful and responsible adults. Good training, retention and maintenance of teachers is therefore of paramount importance. However, concerns about occupational attrition among teachers have been reported widely as global phenomena. In Kenya a number of teachers have transferred their services to other sectors like the Ministries of Education, Youth and Gender; the TSC secretariat; the Media industry; NGOs among many others. Occupational attrition translate amongst other things into shortages in teacher supply, high recruitment costs and poor learners' performance due to disruption of planning programs and continuity which poses a challenge to the education system. This is critical to development of quality education delivery, especially in the light of changes in the system generally and demands placed on it to deliver education with the country's socio _ economic expectation as in the vision 2030. The study sought to investigate the determinants of occupational attrition among teachers in public secondary schools in Kisumu East District, with the view to suggest corrective measures to the situation especially to the policy makers. The study was guided by four objectives; to explore the extent to which schemes of service determine occupational attrition among teachers in public secondary schools; to establish how working conditions in secondary schools determine occupational attrition among teachers in public secondary schools; to investigate whether secondary schools' principals' management styles determine occupational attrition among teachers in public secondary schools and to examine how affinity for higher education determine occupational attrition among teachers in public secondary schools. The determinants were related through a conceptual frame work and various related theories explored. The study adopted descriptive survey design where qualitative and quantitative data was collected. The study was carried out in ten public secondary schools in Kisumu East District in Nyanza province. The schools were selected using stratified random sampling by grouping them into boys', girls' and mixed schools from which a sample of 250 teachers was drawn. The standardized structured questionnaires were administered to the teachers proportionate to the population size of teachers in each selected school. The male and female teachers from each school were selected using Purposive sampling. Another set of questionnaires were administered to the principals of the selected schools. Frequency tables, percentages, totals and means were used to present the data while cross tabulation was used to show the relationship between variables. The principals confirmed that there was occupational attrition in the District and even stated that one principal left early in the year to become a County Director of education. The study also revealed that poor schemes of service highly determine occupational attrition in comparison with the other determinants, it was also found out that majority of the teachers worked for long hours without appropriate overtime payment. Though the principals were mostly democratic managers and leaders, the study revealed that inconsistent management styles determined occupational attrition. A number of teachers from the District were either on part time or full time studies in an attempt to get better job opportunities to better their income. Based on the findings of the study it was concluded that poor schemes of service, poor working conditions, rigid management styles and affinity for higher education determine occupational attrition. The recommendations from the study were that the Government should revise the schemes of service; explicitly define working time and compensation and introduce competitive package for those withhigher degrees. The study suggested that further research be done on the effect of schemes of service on productivity of teachers and affinity for higher education.