GIDEON ROBERT UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF EDUCATION

GIDEON ROBERT UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF EDUCATION

A SPECIAL RESEARCH PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE FACULTY OF EDUCATION

IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELORS’S DEGREE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
By
SELULEKO DUBE 2018

SUPERVISOR: MR A.MUKONYO

An investigation of factors associated with teacher burnout in primary schools –A case of Regent-Hill English Medium Schools in Botswana.

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the supportive people who made it possible for me to achieve my goal. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Mr. Absolom Mukonyo who not only served as my supervisor but whose stimulating and intelligent counseling inspired me to keep on even during trying times. I would also like to thank my committee members Mr. B Ndlovu who have contributed helpful comments to various chapters of this study.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to those teachers who spared their time to complete the survey questionnaire. Without you, this study could not have been.

Special thanks are also due to my children whose persistent desire to know when I would graduate made me more determined to work harder to complete my research. Finally, to my husband, Vusa Dube thank you for everything.

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of the female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

ABSTRACT

This study investigates the factors associated with teacher burnout in primary schools –A case of Regent-Hill English Medium Schools in Botswana.. The study involved sixty-two teachers among them school heads, deputies, heads of department, senior teachers, teachers, and assistant teachers from the three Regent schools.

The study employed a quantitative method of collecting data in which simple random sampling was sued to select participants for the survey questionnaire. The study identified the census of burnout and its effects on teacher performance. The result of the study suggests that teacher burnout affects student’s performance. In addition, strategies for addressing teacher burnout have been discussed and recommendations for reducing teacher burnout made in the light of the findings.

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of the female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

1.0 Introduction

This chapter briefly looks at the history of education in Botswana and the history of Regent-Hill schools with a view to sowing seeds of burnout in the development of education in Botswana. The chapter then presents the following: the genesis of the research project, the statement of the problem, research questions, and objectives of the study, and the significance of the study. It also discusses the limitations of the study, delimitations and definition of technical terms used henceforth.

1.1 Brief History of Education in Botswana

After attaining independence in 1966, the Government of Botswana realized that the education system inherited from the colonial government was lacking and did not reflect Botswana’s social, cultural, political and economic aspirations (Monyatsi, 2003). Tlou and Campbell (2003) and Bartlett (1999) concur that Bechuanaland had the worst education system in all of the British colonies in Africa. They say that education at the time had been left entirely to the missionaries and the merafe. Vanqa (1998) points out that the then new Director of Education H. Jowitt, showed concern about the following: the well being of teachers, the serious lack of teachers’ quarters in the districts, the teachers’ meagre salaries and the poor buildings in which teachers taught in as well as the inadequate equipment and large classes.

The conditions of service for teachers were said to be worse than those of civil servants in several ways:

  • teachers’ salaries were lower than those of other civil servants;
  • they did not benefit from a pension fund;
  • they lacked proper accommodation;
  • there were inadequate classrooms and discrimination against female teachers in that, if they fell pregnant, they were suspended or dismissed from service (Vanqa, 1992, p.9). The poor conditions of service led to the formation of the Bechuanaland Protectorate African Teachers’ Association (BPATA). The formation of the Bechuanaland Protectorate African

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

Teachers’ Association (BPATA) must have been quite a welcomed development to teachers in those desperate times in that teachers hoped for serious redress. The newly formed BPATA must have also heralded winds of promise for the teachers because as Vanqa (1992) points out, the Association made it very clear at its first conference in Serowe in 1939 that as much as it was going to contribute to the development of education in the Protectorate, the Colonial Government had to reciprocate on matters that affected teachers’ welfare and the teaching profession at large. Vanqa (1992) further indicates that the BPATA raised the need for proper accommodation for teachers; it also called on the administration to improve teachers’ salary structure as there were no increments in some cases. Vanqa (1992) further points out that BPATA also warned the Protectorate Government to desist from the habit of suspending and sometimes expelling unmarried teachers who fell pregnant. These recommendations were not taken heed of by the Colonial Government and the social and economic problems teachers continued to face prevailed until the time of independence in 1966 (Vanqa 1992).

After independence, teachers’ welfare became the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. Over the years, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has been coming up with a number of policy changes, reforms and innovations that sought to improve the conditions of service for teachers. The Unified Teaching Service (UTS), currently Teaching Service Management (TSM) introduced annual confidential reports in 1983 (Gombalume, 2004). This was followed by the Job Evaluation 1988, the Teacher Performance Appraisal Form 1991, the Secondary Schools Management Development Project 1993, a new career structure for teachers called Parallel Progression 1993, the Revised National Policy on Education 1994 and currently the Performance Management System 2004. Despite all the efforts by the MoE to enhance the teaching service and make it attractive, there has not been any marked improvement as teachers continue to be disgruntled with the profession.

According to Tshukudu (2006: 29), the confidential reports ‘lacked transparency, honesty and trust that should exist between the supervisor and the supervisee.’ This frustrated the teachers in that they never got the chance to see or argue their cases if they did not agree with what the supervisor had written about them. Monyatsi (2003) also states that Job Evaluation was met with resistance because it linked the appraisal of teachers to rewards. Monyatsi (2003) points out that teachers vigorously fought it through their unions and associations demanding a fair system of appraisal. Generally, teachers tend to view all these appraisals as nothing but unnecessary

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

paperwork that keeps on adding to their already demanding work. They may be seeing supervisors as being subjective during performance reviews and being influenced by personal issues rather than the objectives of individual teachers on PMS. These changes seemed not to have met teachers’ needs and might have contributed to teacher burnout.

A brief history of the Regent-Hill English Medium Schools in Botswana History and Growth

Regent Hill School is a co-educational multicultural English medium private international school that strives to provide a unique type of educational experience, by fusing both local and international curriculums – Cambridge curriculum with the PSLE. The school thrives on the tradition of academic excellence, through the use of a progressive approach that encourages independent thought, interest, and self-discipline, through a rich and globally aware learning experience. Regent Hill Schools are multicultural English-Medium private international schools registered with the Botswana Ministry of Education and Skills Development. The tradition of academic excellence and ethos encourages students’ independent thought interest and self-disciplined study, through a rich and globally aware learning experience, which blends the Cambridge curriculum with the PSLE.

Regent Hill Schools believes in an equal opportunity policy that ensures an environment in which all members have the right to opportunity regardless, gender, race, or disability. The equal opportunity policy is structured to augment both individual and team performance, which leads to personal development, which is far, exceeds the awards that may be achieved.

The school has three primary schools; one in block nine Gaborone, the other one in Metsimotlhabe, and the other one in Molepolole. The Block 9 Campus is home to both pre-and primary school classrooms and facilities. The campus is steeped in tradition and provides an environment that represents excellence through traditional, as well as proactive, approaches. The campus strives to provide a nurturing environment where both pre-and primary scholars can develop to their fullest potential.

The Metsimotlhabe Campus is home to both pre-and primary school classrooms and facilities. The campus is a definitive state of excellence and is designed to inspire students to achieve their

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

potential. Through nurturing and progressive academic environments, our dynamic educators have adopted a contemporary approach to education, which equips learners with skills to tackle the world.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Much as the management of Regent School has done so much to improve working conditions, it appears teachers are still working under difficult and challenging conditions. It is assumed that teachers continue to be demoralized and school performance continues to decline. These seem to be the major problems that contribute to teacher burnout. The purpose of this study is to investigate factors that contribute to teacher burnout, its impact on the school system, and strategies in place to address the problem.

1.3 Research questions

The study will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. Do teachers understand what burnout is?
  2. What are the causes of burnout at Regent-Hill School in Botswana?
  3. To what extent does burnout affect teachers, schools, and students?
  4. Are there any strategies that are in place to address the problem of burnout in the schools?
  5. What strategies could be introduced to address burnout in Regent schools in Botswana?

1.4 Objectives of the study

The study mainly aims at finding out the following:

  • To examine the extent to which teachers understand burnout.
  • To identify factors that causes teacher burnout in schools.
  • To identify the victims of teacher burnout.

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of female teacher as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

To suggest practical solutions for teacher burnout. 1.5 Significance of the study

Productivity in the teaching at Regent School is threatened by the problem of burnout. The problem of burnout also has adverse effects on student learning in that if teachers are not happy with their job, the students may get demoralized and lose interest in school. It is hoped that the findings of this research may influence and inform the educational administrators in at Regent Schools to improve on issues of recruitment, retention and teacher welfare which seem to have increased school teachers’ burnout. It is anticipated that this research may result in the improvement of the teaching service conditions at Regent which should also have a ripple effect on the quality of teaching and school results.

1.6 Limitations of the study

In carrying out this research, there were some limitations that were encountered. These included reluctance by some teachers to be included in the sample. Some teachers had their own personal commitments to such an extent that they would not avail themselves at the time of the sampling.

1.7 Delimitations

Quite a number of personal inconvenient adverse factors hindered the effective execution of the research project. The researcher’s tight schedule also affected the smooth running of the study. The study required constant visits to the library which was also a big problem that was affected time factors.

1.8 Definition of terms

The following terms have been identified in the study and explained.

(i) Burnout: the state of being extremely tired or ill, either physically or mentally because one has been worked too hard.

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

  1. (ii)  Teacher Appraisal: a judgment of the value performance or nature of teachers.
  2. (iii)  Job Evaluation: Assessment of teachers’ performance at work.
  3. (iv)  Exhaustion: the state of being very tired.
  4. (v)  Cynicism: not believing that something good will happen or that something is important.
  5. (vi)  Alienation: the state of making somebody feel that he or she does not belong in a particular group.

(vii) Bureaucracy: the system of official rules and ways of doing things that an organization has which seem to be complicated.

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

2.0 Introduction

Literature Review

This chapter reviews the literature that is relevant to this study. It discusses the burnout constructs, burnout in the teaching profession, and causes of teacher burnout. The causes of burnout that are investigated in this study include inadequate pay, role conflict, loneliness and isolation, class size, limited class control, bureaucracy, and work overload, the problem of teacher burnout, and causes of teacher burnout in Botswana.

2.1 Burnout construct

Burnout is assumed to be an issue of great public and professional concern. It is a global phenomenon that permeates all aspects of life, be it in the formal or informal sector. Leland (1998) points out that it happens all the time to all kinds of people in all kinds of professions. It is therefore in this light that the problem of burnout in any organization such as a school cannot be ignored. As such research work on burnout has been done covering a wide spectrum of fields such as the private and public sector including teaching (Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter, 2001; Croom, 2003).

Dworkin, Saha, and Hill (2003) view burnout as co-joined effects of alienation involving powerlessness, meaninglessness, normlessness, isolation, and estrangement. Dworkin et al (2003) continue to elucidate that burnout is organizationally induced and should be redressed through organizational change, not personal coping. The problem of burnout has been expressed in cultures as diverse as those of Hong Kong, Europe, and the USA as well as from many other parts of the world as indicated by studies carried out by Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter (2001).

The genesis of research on burnout can be traced to Herbert Freudenberger, a clinical psychiatrist, who used the term burnout to describe the overwork, exhaustion, and frustration he experienced at his practice while treating drug users and indigent persons (Croom, 2003). Croom, (2003) states that Freudenberger explained that chronic exhaustion and frustration result from “continued devotion to a goal or principle that has failed to produce a corresponding reward.” (p.2) Croom (2003) went on to say burnout represented a malaise of human service

The analysis shows that there was no much difference in the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers in the study with 52% of the 52 respondents being females and 28% being males

professions such as social work, mental health work, nursing, and teaching, and that it is characterized by feelings of ‘wearing out.

Despite the explanation above on the beginning of burnout, different people use the term burnout to mean different things as attested by Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter (2001). In addition, the authors agree that there is no single definition of burnout. There has however been a variety of opinions about what it is and what could be done about it. Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter (2001) have proposed two definitions of burnout as being: ‘a psychological syndrome that occurs in response to interpersonal stressors on the job’ and ‘prolonged response to chronic and interpersonal stressors on the job defined by the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy.’ (p.1) Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter (2001) further state that a victim of burnout may experience the following:

  • overwhelming exhaustion, which represents the basic individual stress dimension and includes feelings of being overextended and depleted of one’s emotional and physical resources;
  • A victim may also experience a feeling of cynicism, depersonalization, and detachment from the job, which represents the interpersonal, contextual dimension and includes a negative, callous, or excessively detached response to various aspects of the job; and
  • It might also bring about a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment, which refers to the self-evaluation dimension, and includes reduced feelings of efficacy and accomplishment, feelings of incompetence, a lack of achievement, and lack of productivity (Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter, 2001, p.1). Waugh and Judd (2003) agree with the above observations in that they also have in common exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of accomplishment as key areas of the burnout syndrome. Furthermore, Waugh and Judd (2003) define burnout as ‘a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who do “people work” of some kind.’ (p.3) It can be concluded that burnout is a cycle of negative emotional experiences which over a period of time become chronic and often because of this emotional overload, social interaction becomes a great challenge and test. This inevitably leads to the development of conflicts (Potter, 1998).
August 6, 2021
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