Secondary Schools, Seventh-day Adventist Church, East Kenya Union Conference (EKUC), Approaches to improve student and teacher retention
The study aimed at establishing the factors which influence low retention of teachers and students in secondary schools of the SDA Church in EKUC. It employed a concurrent mixed methods research design and adopted an exploratory approach using a descriptive survey. This was to investigate the factors which influenced the retention of teachers and students in EKUC schools. 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, students, principals, the Conferences/Field Education Directors and the BoM chairpersons. The study was based on expectancy theory of motivation which states that certain behavior leads to expected outcome. In the research, certain behaviors by the relevant authorities should lead to high retention of students and teachers. Teachers should be availed bursary funds for career advancement, given incentives for motivation and be made to believe that they are appreciated by the school administration. The administration should assist the needy students to get financial support. The findings showed that two independent variables (school administration and motivation strategies) commonly contributed to retention of teachers and students. School administration was the most common factor which contributed to low retention, among the two groups. It was found important to carry out exhaustive studies on each of the study variables for comparative purposes in public schools and undertake exploratory and in-depth studies on the same.
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