Baraza and Simatwa
Greener Journal of Educational Research Vol. 6(3), pp. 091-114, May 2016
ISSN: 2276-7789 © 2015 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 051616087
Influence of Employment Factors on Stress among Public Secondary School Teachers in Kenya. A Case Study of Kakamega North Sub-county
Olive Taabu Baraza and Enose M.W. Simatwa
Department of Educational Management and Foundations, Maseno University.
Stress is a complex concept that for many years has not been taken seriously and hence lacks adequate definition. To some scholars stress is any external stimulus that causes wear and tear on one’s psychological or physical well-being. Other scholars define it as tension, pressure, anxiety or worry resulting from one’s life events. These definitions imply that stress is a condition arising from the interaction of people and their jobs, characterized by changes within people that force them to deviate from normal functioning. Under normal conditions, our bodies and minds are in a state of equilibrium. As a result of occurrences on and off the job however, our equilibrium may be disrupted. In attempting to recover from this imbalance, we function differently and sometimes generate a fight-or-flight chemical reaction. A person under severe or prolonged stress cannot function as effectively as a person leading a more balanced life. This does not imply that stress is all negative, some amount of stress is necessary to accomplish anything meaningful because certain amount of stress adds zest to life. The link between perceived work-related stress and impaired functioning on the job is well-documented, demonstrating the classic inverted U-shaped relationship between stress and performance. That is, employees who experience a moderate degree of job stress perform their jobs most efficiently, while those who experience either low or high work-related stress show reduced work efficiency. Students in Kakamega North Sub county’s performance was below average from 2009 to 2013. The mean scores of Kenya Certificate of Secondary examinations remained below 4.3 compared to neighbouring sub counties that had recorded higher mean scores of 5.1 and above for the same period. That is, Mumias Sub –county had 5.80, Kakamega Sub-county had 5.40, Kakamega East Sub County had 5.20 and Matete Sub-county had 4.90. Stress related cases were also on the increase in the sub county with cases of transfer requests rising from 14 in 2009 to 400 in 2013. The purpose of this study was therefore to establish employment factors that influence stress among secondary school teachers in public secondary schools in Kakamega North Sub-county. The study adopted descriptive survey and correlational research designs. The study population consisted of 45 principals, 133 teachers and one Teachers Service Commission County Director. Quantitative data was collected using questionnaires and document analysis guide while qualitative data was collected using interview schedules. Data was collected by use of questionnaires, interview schedules, and document analysis guide. The study established that employment factors accounted for 11.8% of the variation in teachers’ stress. This means that 88.2% of the variation was due to other factors that were not subject of this study. Since the employment factor that had the highest impact on teachers’ stress was government decisions on teachers strike, this study recommended that industrial disputes involving national strike should be dealt with strictly in accordance with the legislation that govern labour relations. The wage bill for teachers should also be regularly reviewed and collective bargaining agreements adhered to by both the teachers’ trade union and the government.
Key Words: Influence, Employment Factors, Stress, Public Secondary School, Teachers, Kakamega North Sub-county, Kenya.
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