Teacher qualifications, working condition and performance in Public Primary schools in Bomi and Margibi counties in Liberia.
Sherif, Sorna F.
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This study assessed teacher qualification and their perceptions of working condition in public primary schools in Bomi and Margibi Counties in Liberia. The study was guided by four objectives namely: i) to assess teacher qualification in Bomi and Margibi Counties, ii) to assess the perceptions of teachers of working condition in Bomi and Margibi Counties, iii) to establish relationship between teacher qualification and performance, and iv) to establish relationship between working conditions and performance. Participants were 133 teachers and 8 principals from 16 public primary schools in Bomi and Margibi Counties. A simple random sampling technique was used to select the teachers, while a purposive sampling technique was used to select the principals for the study. A cross-sectional survey design was used for the first and second objectives while a correlational design was used for the third and fourth objectives. self-administered questionnaires, interview, documentary and observation guides were used to collect the data. Research findings revealed that nearly half of the teachers studied in Bomi and Margibi Counties have teaching Certificates required to teach at the primary level. However, there is a considerable number of teachers teaching in public primary schools without certificates. Secondly, teachers in public primary schools in Liberia are working under unfavorable conditions. Therefore they have low perceptions about their working condition. These perceptions are sometimes transmitted into poor performance. Thirdly, there exist positive and significant relationships between teacher qualification and performance of teachers in Bomi and Margibi Counties. Lastly, there exist negative relationships between most components (teaching aids, staff room & reward) of working condition and the overall performance of teachers, except welfare issues which have a weak positive relationship with the overall teacher performance. In conclusion, nearly half of the teachers in Bomi and Margibi Counties have teaching Certificates to teach in public primary schools, but their working conditions are not favorable. There was positive significant relationship between teacher qualification and overall teacher performance, while there was negative relationship between working condition and the overall teacher performance. In order to improve the educational system in public primary schools in Liberia, the study recommended that: i) the current trend in the training and improvement in the qualifications of teachers should continue, but be improved upon by building the capacities of teacher trainers and improving facilities at the teacher training institutes, and ii) the administrations of the public primary schools in conjunction with the Government need to ensure that there is positive change in the area of working conditions of teachers by priotizing the welfare of teachers, providing relevant teachings aids, and providing rewards that commensurate with the qualifications of teachers in public primary schools in Liberia..