Teacher Retention, Secondary Schools, Seventh-day Adventist Church, East Kenya Union Conference (EKUC)
The study aimed at examining retention of teachers in secondary schools of the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church in East Kenya Union Conference (EKUC). It employed a concurrent mixed methods research design and adopted an exploratory approach using a descriptive survey. Out of the twenty secondary schools in the Union, the researcher targeted eleven which sat for the national exams since 2008. The subjects of the study included teachers, principals, the Conferences/Field Education Directors and the BoM chairpersons. The instruments used for data collection were questionnaires for teachers. Interview schedules were organized for education directors, the school BoM chairpersons, the principals and teachers for triangulation. Observation schedule was also organized. This targeted the school infrastructure and generally all what goes on in the school. The school learning facilities and the behavior of teachers in school was also captured here. The other instrument used was the tool for document analysis to collect data for 8 years. Ninety-eight (98) teachers were required to fill the provided questionnaire, but the eleven principals, five education directions and eleven Boards of Management (BoM ) chairpersons were subjected to interviews. Three teachers per school were also interviewed for triangulation purpose. Observations were also done during the visits in schools. Documentary analysis method was also used to gather information on the turnover trends of teachers for eight years. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations. Documentary analysis was done on records about teacher retention. Content analysis was done on responses from interviews and in open-ended questions to identify the emerging themes. The findings show that more teachers were leaving schools than those being employed in most of the years. Generally, it is evident that some teachers left church employment. The turnover was experienced annually. However, teachers intended to remain in the school as long as the administration was cooperative, understanding, appreciative, recognizes their efforts, was caring and was ready to treat them with dignity. The study recommends that the school administration should be cooperative to teachers, by treating them with dignity and appreciating their efforts. There should be stringent measures for motivating teachers, ensuring that they had access to housing and transport and that they were adequately remunerated.
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