Individual, organizational factors and teacher turnover intentions among primary schools In mbarara district
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Background: In Uganda, during the pre-independence period, teachers seemed to like, enjoy and were proud of their profession. High teacher retention in schools was experienced and for this reason Uganda had the best education system in Africa during the 1960s. In the recent past, however, the trend has changed there is high teacher turnover intentions in primary schools. Aim: The study established the relationship between individual, organizational factors and teacher turnover intentions among primary schools in Mbarara district, Western Uganda. Methods: A cross-sectional study design where a sample size of 421 active and present on the 2012/2013 payroll primary school teachers in Mbarara district (N=1951 teachers) were enrolled between 1st April and 30th June 2013 using simple random sampling technique. Data was collected by Researcher and 2 trained research assistants using a self-administered semi-structured questionnaire between 1st April and 30th June, 2013 to obtain information on the individual and organizational characteristics. dependent variable; teacher turnover intention and independent variables; Categorical variables were summarized using frequencies, tabulations and percentages while for appropriate reporting, continuous variables were summarized using mean and median if the data was skewed. In measuring the strength of associations, binary logistic regression method was used to analyze the data and reported in Odds Ratio at a 95% Confidence Interval. At bivariate level, any independent Variable having a P-value of < 0.2 was considered for further analysis at multivariate level and only considered statistically significant with a P-value of <0.05 having been considered for confounding at 10%. Results: From the 421 respondents, individual factors which included owning a car (OR 3.992, p= 0.007) spouse’s occupation as business (OR 0.287, p=0.002) and having less than three children (OR 5.928, p=0.005) were statistically significantly associated with teacher turnover intentions. Among the organizational factors, the study found out that low job vulnerability (OR 0.437, p=0.001), absence of scholastic materials; textbooks (OR 3.224, p=0.001) and lack of involvement of teachers in extra-curricular activities; being a class teacher (OR 2.522, p=0.001), denied designing of timetable (OR 2.085, p=0.006) and extra lessons provided (OR 2.413, p=0.001) were noted to be statistically significant factors associated with teacher turnover intentions. Conclusions: Teachers with spouses involved in business and those who owned a car(s) were less likely to leave the teaching profession while Teachers having less than three children were more likely to quit the teaching profession soon than later. Extra-curricular activities not allocated to the teachers such as being a class head or designing a timetable and coaching increased teacher attrition intentions by more than twice their counterparts allocated these responsibilities. The absence of teaching materials especially textbooks within the primary schools increased teacher attrition intentions three folds while low vulnerability on the job decreased teacher attrition by more than twice. Recommendations: Extra responsibilities on merit should be assigned to teachers. Strengthening the appointment mechanism of teachers into professional service needs revisiting through quick provision of appointment letters and regularization into service. Teachers could delay or have fewer children preferable not more than three. Encourage teachers with spouses having additional income/businesses to improve the family cash base. Further studies to establish causality could be conducted to involve the whole country. Key words: Individual factors, organizational factors, teacher turnover intentions, primary schools.