The problem of retaining secondary school teachers in Mpanda district in Tanzania

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Unversity of Dar es Salaam
This study investigated the problems of retaining public secondary school teachers in remote areas of Tanzania, focusing on Mpanda District. The study had three objectives, namely to assess retention status of public secondary school teachers; to examine the problems of retaining secondary school teachers; and to find out the contribution of initiated retention strategies for secondary school teachers’ retention. The study employed a qualitative approach and a case study design particularly a multiple case study. Data were collected from public secondary school teachers, students, school heads, the district secondary education officer (DSEO) and the teachers’ service department (TSD) secretary. Samples were drawn by using purposive random sampling techniques. The sample constituted 33 teachers, 28 students, seven heads of school, the DSEO and the TSD secretary. Four data collection methods were deployed to obtain the required data, namely interviews, observations, documentary review and focused group discussions. Data were analysed using content analysis. The study findings indicate that the district faced difficulties in recruiting and retaining teachers because of low reporting rate and teacher turnover. Voluntary resignation was the major source of teacher turnover followed by transfer, promotion and dismissal. The problem of teacher turnover was fluctuating from time to time hence, limiting the government’s efforts to supply adequate number of teachers in the district. It was found that attrition and migration affected much younger teachers regardless of their qualifications. The findings revealed that although the education management provided monetary and non-monetary incentives to encourage teachers to stay, these were inadequate as the problem of teacher turnover continued. The study identified four teacher retention problems that the district faced. These included administrative, pecuniary, working and living conditions as well as personal factors. Generally, Mpanda District Council had not instigated any retention strategies for teachers apart from using the existing teacher recruitment and retention policy frameworks. These strategies were not adequate in retaining rural teachers. However, participatory leadership style of school management had some positive effects in retaining teachers. On the basis of the research findings it is concluded that Mpanda district experiences shortage of teachers caused by low reporting rate and turnover. The problem of teacher turnover is attributed to job dissatisfaction among teachers. From the findings of the study, it is recommended that to realise access and equity in the provision of education, rural schools should be provided with adequate resources. Among these resources, the teaching force should be given first priority. Teachers deployed in rural areas should be provided with financial and material incentives in addition to a competitive salary. In-service training for teachers is vital for it enable them cope with any changes occurring in the field of teaching. All education stakeholders should be involved in the task of improving working and living conditions for teachers.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB1777.4.T34K34)
High school teachers, Teacher turnover, In-service training, Mpanda district, Tanzania
Kapalanaka, P. S. (2016) The problem of retaining secondary school teachers in Mpanda district in Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam