Teacher Turnover in the Gambia Private Senior Secondary Schools

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(1)Teacher Turnover in the Gambia Private Senior Secondary Schools. By. George Sambou Gomez. A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of. MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. Major: International Human Resource Development. Advisor: Wei-Wen Chang, Ph. D. Graduate Institute of International Human Resource Development. National Taiwan Normal University Taipei, Taiwan. January, 2016.

(2) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT First and foremost I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my professor and thesis adviser Dr. Vera Chang for her exceptional support and guidance throughout the process of writing my thesis. Without her there is no way I could have made it to this level, I would always live to remember you. In addition I would also like to thank the other committee members Dr. Pai Po Lee and Dr. Steven Lai for their useful comments and encouragement. I would equally like to thank the rest of the faculty staff for their support throughout my studies. Furthermore I would like to say a big thank you to my family, my mother Juwana Mendy and step-mother Jainaba Mendy for their support and care throughout my education career. To my brothers and sisters Philip, Sainabou, Madeline, Adel, Marie and John Gomez I say thank you very much. To you Victoria During for your love and support throughout my studies thank you so much. Finally I want to thank my foster parents Fransuwa Sambou and Anna marie Demba for their care and wonderful support throughout my education career. God bless you all..

(3) ABSTRACT Teacher turnover is an issue that is increasing becoming a global phenomenon that has attracted the attention of researchers, policy makers and academic practitioners. It is an issue that requires much attention in other to mitigate the issues affecting teacher turnover. Every year hundreds of new teachers are handed their appointment letters and given a class to teach. However, within a few years most of them would hand over their resignation letters and then either move to another school, profession or leave the teaching profession entirely. Anecdotal evidence suggest that private schools in The Gambia offers an attractive working environment as well as an attractive salary, however teachers turnover in the private schools continue to escalate at an alarming rate, thus affecting all the players involve, precisely the school administration, students and the parents. In this research, the researcher will explore the perception of teachers on the factors that influence teacher turnover in the private senior secondary schools in the Gambia. This study will adopt a qualitative approach to explore the perceptions of teachers and principals of the factors responsible of teacher turnover, the challenges, and their perceptions about their career as well as the potential solutions to teacher turnover in Gambia private senior secondary schools. An in-depth interview will be conducted to collect the data from 20 teachers and 2 principals in the private senior schools.. Key words: Teacher turnover, Private schools, Gambia.. .. 1.

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(5) TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract……………………………………………………………………………..I. Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………III. List of Tables……………………………………………………………………..VII. List of Figures…………………………………………………………………….IX. CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION .............................................................................. 1. Background of the Study .................................................................................. 1. Problem Statement ............................................................................................ 2. Research Purpose .............................................................................................. 2. Research Questions ........................................................................................... 3. Significance of the Research ............................................................................. 3. Definition of Terms........................................................................................... 4. CHAPTER II. LITERATURE REVIEW………………………………..................5. An Overview of Teacher Turnover ................................ …………………… ... 5. Conceptual Framework………………………………………………… ........ 16. The Education System of the Gambia ............................................................ 18. CHAPTER III. RESEARCH METHOD…………………………………………..24. 3.

(6) Research Framework……………………………………………………… . 24. Research and Participant Selection…………………………………………..27. Data Collection………………………………………………………………30. Measures for Achieving Trustworthiness………………………………… ...30. Data Analysis ………………………………………………………………..35. Research Procedures…………………………………………………………35. CHAPTER IV. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS……………………………….38. Teachers’ Perceptions of the Factors that influenced Teacher Turnover…..38. Challenges Faced by Teachers……………………………………………...45. Teachers’ Perceptions of Their Work………………………………………49. Suggested Solutions to Teacher Turnover………………………………….51. Summary……………………………………………………………………55. Discussion…………………………………………………………………..57. CHAPTER V. CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS…………………………61. Conclusion……………………………………………………….................61. Research Implications………………………………………………………62. Research Limitation………………………………………………………...63. 4.

(7) Suggestions for Further Study……………………………………………...64. REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………….65. APPENDIX A: CONCENT LETTER FOR TEACHERS………………………...72. APPENDIX B: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR TEACHERS………………….73. APPENDIX C: CONCENT LETTER FOR PRINCIPALS……………………….74. APPENDIX D: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR PRINCIPALS………………..75. APPENDIX E: THEMES AND SUBTHEMES DERIEVED FROM INTERVIEW. DATA……………………………………………………………………………...76. 5.

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(9) LIST OF TABLES. Table 2.1 Gambia Education System School and Level……………………… .... ...19. Table 2.2 Statistical Data of Private Schools in the Gambia……………………….22. Table 3.1 Background Information of the Research Participants…………………….28. Table 3.2 Relationship between Research Questions and Interview Questions for. Teachers………………………………………………………………….32. Table 3.3 Relationship between Research questions and Interview Questions for. Principals.................................................................................................. ...34. Table 3.4 Qualitative Terminologies instead of that of Quantitative………......... ...34. Table 4.1 Summary of Findings………………………………………………………..56. 7.

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(11) LIST OF FIGURES. Figure 2.1 Conceptual Framework ................................................................................ 16. Figure 2.2 Map of the Gambia ...................................................................................... 17. Figure 3.1 Research Framework ................................................................................... 26. Figure 3.2 Procedure of the Study ................................................................................. 37. 9.

(12) CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The purpose of this study is to explore the factors responsible for teacher turnover in the Gambia private senior secondary schools. The content includes Background of the study, problem statement, significant of the study, and definitions of key terms.. Background of the Study Teacher turnover is a global challenge and a very complex one. Private schools bear the brunt of teacher turnover despite offering their teachers better working conditions (Ingersoll, 2001). The expectations from both parents and administration has no doubt increase the burden on teachers, as both parties expect the teacher to produce standard results. These challenges coupled with other challenges could cause teacher turnover. These make it important to study teacher turnover (Kearney, 2008) According to Simpson (2002) many teachers in the United Kingdom are leaving the profession for other professions, thereby creating a vacuum. In other to fill the vacuum, hundreds of teachers are been hired from South Africa to fill the vacancies (Pillay 2001). In Sweden, Germany and New Zealand it’s reported that the problem is getting worst (Santiago, 2001). Teacher turnover has become an increasing concern in most private schools in the Gambia. This among other reasons is because it reduces both the quantity and quality of teachers in the schools, thus affecting the school at every level, most importantly the school administration, students and the parents. In the Gambia private schools are much more expensive compared to public schools. Every year parents pay huge amount of money for their children to go to private schools with the sole aim of getting a better and quality education. The success of any organization lies on the human capital and the development of the human resource to keep them in the job is of paramount importance. In a study conducted in England by Smithers, and Robinson (2003) on the factors affecting teachers˜ decisions to leave the profession, it was discovered that workload, new challenges, salary and a host of other issues were the main reasons why some of the teacher left the teaching profession. These findings are similar with that of Harell 1.

(13) (2003) on a study he conducted on the factors related to teacher retention, the results revealed that salary, lack of administrative support, working conditions and problems related to students behavior were the main factors behind teacher turnover . Harrell observed that without understanding the issues behind teacher turnover it will be impossible to achieve an environment where everyone gets access to education. Both Government and Private schools spends a lot of resources to recruit and train teachers at the Gambia college school of education. It’s the only teacher training institution in the whole country nearly all teachers in the Gambia received their training in this institution. But the issues at hand here is that after the training and employment of the teachers the problem of retaining them arises. Retaining teachers has always been an issue that both private and public schools had to deal with. Despite the incentives offered to the teachers, teachers continue to leave the classroom . Hence, many raise questions concerning how private schools can deal with this issue of high turnover. With these questions taken into consideration, this study intends to explore issues affecting teacher turnover in the private senior secondary schools in the Gambia.. Problem Statement Although, turnover has been discussed by many academics scholars, there is however very little information about the Gambia especially in the private schools. This study will address this gap by providing a discussion on issues that influence turnover in the Gambia private senior secondary schools. The research will not only create a holistic view of the variables, but it will also assist in fostering a sense of obligation for school administrators to provide solutions to the problem of teacher turnover.. Research Purpose The purposed of this study was to explore the perceptions of teachers and principals of the factors responsible of teacher turnover, the challenges, and their perceptions about their career as well as the potential solutions to teacher turnover in Gambia private senior secondary schools. The results of this study will help school administrators, teachers, policy makers and government in providing a solution to the problems of teacher turnover in the Gambia. This will in turn ensure a stable and well-motivated staff at private senior secondary schools in the Gambia. 2.

(14) Research Question I.. Based on the perceptions of teachers and principals at the private senior Secondary schools in the Gambia, what are the factors responsible for teacher turnover?. II.. Based on the perceptions of teachers and principals at the private senior secondary Schools in the Gambia, what are the challenges that they are faced with?. III.. Base on the perceptions of teachers and principals how would they describe their teaching their career?. IV. Based on the perceptions of teachers and principals at the private senior secondary schools in the Gambia, what are the solutions to teacher turnover?. Significance of the Study Research on teacher turnover has been conducted in private organizations around the world Swerdlow and Cummings, 2002 as sighted by Kusluvan (2003). However, there is little information and research on private schools in The Gambia. This makes it important to conduct this study in order to bring teacher turnover in the private schools in the Gambia into the academic spot light. The findings of this study have the potential to assist private schools in the Gambia in finding solutions to teacher turnover so that they will be able to retain the teachers and curb turnover. The findings will also help parents, government and policy makers to know the problems responsible for teacher turnover in private senior secondary schools and together they can work to mitigate the factors responsible for turnover of teacher.. 3.

(15) Definitions of Terms Turnover: Turnover refers to the process at which teachers leave their positions (Billingsley, 2004). Merriam (2015) defines it has the rate of at which employees leave their job and are replaced by others. Private Schools: A schools that does not get money from the government and that it is run or managed by private individuals (Marriam, 2015).. Gambia: The Gambia is located in the western part of Africa. It gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1965. With a population of 1.8 million, The Gambia is surrounded by Senegal on three sides and on the west is the Atlantic Ocean.. 4.

(16) CHAPTER II. LITERATURE REVIEW The literature review focuses on the main factors that affect teacher turnover as reported by various researchers.. An Overview of Teacher Turnover It is very much important to find out the reasons why there is high turnover of teachers, rather than pay attention to the issues of shortage of teachers. (Gonzalez, Brown & Slate, 2008). If the reasons behind the shortage of teachers are not known it will be very difficult to avoid such problems. Data from the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) of the Gambia showed that in the year 2015 a total of 625 teachers left the teaching field in the private senior secondary schools alone and in total there were 2323 that left the private schools from the lower basic to senior secondary schools MoBSE (2015) According to Ingersoll and Merriel (2010) there is higher turnover in the teaching profession than other professions. This according to them is because it has a different structured induction than other professions. A survey results from Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) in the United States revealed that in the academic year of 1990-91 a total number of 190,000 teachers entered the teaching field but that then 174,000 left the classroom just within 12 months (Ingersoll, 1999). This is a serious issue that schools, government and private organizations have to deal with. Guin (2004) observed that schools that have serious teacher turnover issues have problems with planning and enforcing the syllabus, as well as with creating a better working environment for teachers, Guin further observed that most of the time it is less privileged schools and students that suffer most. According to Colgan (2004) there was an increase of teachers in the 1990s but then even more teachers were leaving the teaching profession, which he said created a non-level playing field. Oster (2007) reported that a high percentage of newly hired teachers mostly leave the classroom during the first year of teaching. She said she doesn’t know if teachers are not well prepared before they enter the teaching profession adding that preparing the new teachers by the school administrators at the beginning of the school year is very crucial. Unfortunately, administrators usually don’t have enough time to do so thus leading to early classroom exit, concluded Oster. Still shedding light on teacher turnover, Alan and Pamela (2003) in their study at 5.

(17) the Centre for Education and Employment Research of the University of Buckingham (CEER) revealed that turnover rate stood at 14.1% and 7.9% in primary and secondary schools and that 38.8% were moving to other schools with 13.5% of teachers retiring from the profession while 5% quit their jobs. In recent years, the number of private schools in the Gambia has significantly increased, and with the phasing out of the primary school leaving certificate examination, students have an uninterrupted education to grade nine, meaning they will not repeat any class even if they have not done well in their school exams. The education system reform in the Gambia in the past years have. led to the increase of primary completion rates from 39% in 1992 to 66% in 2011. Currently it is estimated that the population of the Gambia students is almost more than 350,000. (Senghore, 2014). According to Ndow (2014), the president of the republic of the Gambia as of September 2014 declared free education from grades 1 to 12. This means parents who could not afford to send their children to school will now have the opportunity to do so and this calls for more teachers in the system. Retaining and motivating these professionals will be of great importance for the administration and the ministry of education as a whole. According to Kamara (2002), the president of the Gambia teachers˜ union reported high turnover of teachers in the Gambia due to low salaries, allowances among other things. In a study conducted by Education International (2007) on six African countries namely, Gambia, Lesotho. Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya it was reported that Gambia ranks second in terms of low salaries just behind Tanzania, the report also pointed out that despite the low salaries, teachers in Gambia and Zambia receives housing and hardship allowances which other countries don’t enjoy. In observing World Teachers Day, the Secretary General of the Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) Antoinette Corr-Jack, said that teacher shortage is a worldwide problem, which she said needs the support of all stake holders, communities and policy makers in order for the millennium development goal of achieving primary education in 2015 is to be achieved. (Cessay, 2013).. The following have been identified has the main factors responsible for teacher turnover according to the literature review.. 6.

(18) Work Motivation According to Claes and Heyman (2008) work motivation is a construct that has been studied and has been found to be an accurate predictor. Many studies have shown that lack of motivation is a leading cause of high turnover of teachers especially in Africa. According to Bennel, (2004) in some countries teachers’ pay large bribes to get hired. This he said affects the teachers˜ motivation. He also observed that working for longer hours, large classes and constantly changing the curricula are factors that de-motivate teachers. In a study conducted by Alam and Farid (2011) on the factors affecting teacher motivation, the findings revealed that economic status, choice of choosing teaching as a career, students attitude and examination workload were the main factors that hindered the motivation level of teachers in Rawalpind, Pakistan. The authors observed that other factors such as classroom environment, incentives and selfconfidence were also factors that teachers claimed to have affected their motivation level.. Salary For the past 30 years or more many developing countries, especially in African witnessed a sharp decline in salary beginning in the 1970s (Lambert 2004). Lambert observed that the decrease in salaries will likely affect the quality of education being delivered by the affected teachers. Most of the time teachers will look for other ways of earning a second income just to meet their financial needs. Gonzalez, Brown, and Slate (2008) conducted a study in Texas on public school teacher turnover focusing on the main reasons why teachers left the profession, The researchers discovered that out of the 8 teachers interviewed 7 of them complained that low salary was the main reason why they left the teaching profession, with some of them complaining that they work for longer hours with low pay. In a study conducted on teacher turnover in pre-tertiary education in Ghana, Congress, (2009) revealed that 98% of teachers interviewed stated that they were dissatisfied with their salaries, which many of them described as not enough to take care of their basic needs.. 7.

(19) Most researchers who wrote on education reform in the United States recommended that salary increase is a solution to improving the retention of teachers in the education system (Murnane & Olsen 1990). The salary stagnation has affected the retention of teachers both in the public and private schools in the Gambia. As a results, many teachers left the academic professions (Kamara 2002). Most teachers who left the teaching profession ends up in the banking industry and other private sector employment and others have even left the country in search of greener pastures in Europe, America, Asia and elsewhere. In a study conducted by Hanushek, Kain and Rivkin (2004) on why public schools lose teachers, the results shows that lack of better pay among others things does have an impact on teacher turnover. Santiago (2001) reported that. teachers˜ salaries are falling compared to other professions, adding that teachers in other words are been told to work hard for less pay describing it as unfair. In general if teachers are given better pay coupled with other incentives such as transport and housing allowances they are likely to stay in the teaching profession and their chances of quitting will become very slim. Murnane and Olsen (1990) acknowledged that salary does play an important part in retaining teachers in the profession. In a research they conducted on the influence of salaries and “opportunity costs” on teacher’s career choice, the results revealed that teachers are likely to stay in the teaching field as long as they are given adequate pay otherwise they will leave. Still shedding light on salary issues, Glewwe, llias, and Kremer (2003) in their study in Kenya on teacher incentives discovered that the education sector suffers from 20% absenteeism of teachers and 26% of the time teachers in Uganda are found to be absent from their schools. Incentives will no doubt help teacher pay more attention on their profession rather than venture to other source of income. Lavy (2003) made similar findings when he conducted a study on paying for performance and on the effect of teachers˜ financial outcomes on students. In Israel it was discovered that a program that was designed to award individual teachers with cash for improving their students˜ performance has worked well. Since the introduction of the program there was an increase in the matriculation exam rate in the high school from 42% to 45.3%. Lavy added that rewarding the school average performance has also resulted in an impressive performance in the test marks as well as the involvement in the exams in preparation for the university.. 8.

(20) Lack of better payment has forced some teachers in the Gambia to look for secondary source of income, through one- on -one private teaching. Some of them organize private classes in their own homes just to make ends meet, others teach in more than one school and others teach double shift. In Africa parents most of the time supplements the teachers˜ salary. This happens as a results of school administrations organizing extra classes which they ask parents to pay for, and this is also due to low teacher salaries payment (Bennel 2004). .. Lack of Administrative Support The issue of teacher turnover cannot be fully comprehended without putting the administration in to the spot light (Ingersoll, 1999). Understanding the administration is very significant because they are the force behind the recruitment, and hiring of the teachers. In private schools the most influential people are the principal and the vice-principal because of the key positions they occupy at the administrative cadre. According to Dian (2003), recently released results from the National Center for Education Statistics ( NCES) disclosed that lack of administrative support was the main reason why teachers left the teaching field. The teaches pointed out that the administrations were not competent and cooperative, they also pointed out that they were left out when it comes to decision making and sometimes been threatened that they would be laid off thus making them to have no choice but to leave. Gonzalez et al (2008) revealed that lack of administrative support was one of the serious issues that led some of the teachers to quit the teaching profession. According to them the respondents cited corruption and unfair treatment of the staff. Others cited professional misconduct such as the administration scolding the teacher in front of the students, parents and other teachers. Administration support has high correlation with the retention of employees (Claes & Heymans, 2008) . Appreciating and recognizing their effort is very crucial in helping the organization achieve its goals as employees will in return show a high level of commitment. Oster (2007) observed that administrative lack of support will have serious effect on teacher turnover, this is because the administrators themselves are not qualified enough and therefore will not endeavor 9.

(21) to search for qualified teachers. Odland and Ruzicka (2009) made similar findings. Lack of administrative support has led to some teachers leaving the teaching profession or moving to other schools for example when a teacher has a problem with a student, especially when it comes to dealing with problem students (indiscipline), usually some school administrators will side with the students in fear that some of the parents of the affected student might withdraw their child from the school or worse still take legal action against the school. When the teacher has low level of control and influence over their class the chances of that teacher leaving the profession is very high. School administration support is very important in mitigating teacher turnover. Empowering the teacher will certainly have greater and positive outcome in the academic performance of the students. In a study conducted by Dee, Henkin and Singleton (2006) on organizational commitment of teachers in urban schools examining the effects of team structures, the results of his findings suggest that the recognition and involvement of teachers in the management of the school is very crucial in mitigating teacher turnover. Taking decisions by the school administrations without the involvement of teachers could be very detrimental in achieving the organization’s goals, because it is common sense that when an employee is sideline and not given the necessary support that he or she deserves, that employee will show little or no commitment in achieving the goals of the organization. In the other hand if a supervisor treats her employees impartially and give them the necessary support, he/she can reduce the turnover rate of the employees and increase employee’s productivity. In a longitudinal study conducted by Boyd, Grossman, Lankford, Loeb and Wyckoff (2011) it was discovered through district administration documents that administration does have a significant relations to teacher decision to quit the teaching profession. Teachers were asked what could be the most important reason for them to leave their job, 40% of them indicated lack of administrative support as the most significant factor, the researcher further reveled that former teachers have indicated that they weren’t given much support from their previous school administrators compared to their present jobs (non-teaching jobs) where they received more recognition and support. In their quest to explore attrition and retention rates in Virginia, Certo and Jill (2002) observed that administrative lack of support, parents interference in the running of the school and lack of voice in the way the school is run as well as having no control over their classes were the main reasons why teachers moved to other schools or is some cases, left the teaching profession. 10.

(22) Work Load Teacher work load is becoming a great concern especially for developing countries. In most parts of the developed countries such as England and Wales teachers were introduced to Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in a one year project initiatives as means of reducing the work load of teachers as well as maximize their productive capacity (Selwood & pilkiington 2005). In the Gambia teachers face enormous challenge in dealing with work load, most especially in lower basic schools where teachers teach all subjects instead of specializing in their subject of interest. Another issue is the number of students that a teacher attends to in some schools. According to anecdotal evidence it is at a ratio of 1:40 in the Gambia. In Nigerian according to Adelabu (2005) the official ratio of pupil to teacher is 1:40 in some states such as River state it˜s 1:50, Kaduna 1:44 and Taraba 1:51.. Wushishi, Fooi, Basin and Baki (2004) in their research on the effect of teacher attrition in Niger state Nigeria, revealed that teacher turnover affects the serving teachers because the teachers have to step in to fill the gap until a replacement is found, this they said gives the serving teachers a heavy load to carry such a work load leads to turnover, Wushishi et al (2008) added that the problem is most common in Mathematics, English and Science subject this they said is because the number of teachers who specialized in this area is very limited. However the teaching workload does not only affect teachers in the developing countries but in the developed countries as well. As one German teacher puts it, there is a very low rate of teacher turnover in Germany but if it ever happens the main reason would be workload (Guardian, 2015). Gonzalez et al (2008) in their studies on teachers who left the profession in Texas revealed that indiscipline and lack of self-control were some of the issues that former teacher raised as been problems they had to deal with besides the teaching, thus making the workload much more heavy and complicated. As result they had to leave the teaching profession because they could not carry the load.. 11.

(23) Lack of Promotion Promotion is a form of recognition for an employee’s contribution and efforts at his workplace. This is a way of motivating employees. To understand this phenomenon better Lyness and Judiesch (2001) conducted a study of 26, 359 financial managers on the relationships of promotion, and leaves of absences to voluntary retirement. The results revealed that promoted managers are likely to stay on the job than those who are not promoted, in other words those not promoted are likely to quit their job. In essence promoting employees will serve as an incentive to keep them on the job. This is a way of acknowledging their efforts and they will in turn stick around and stay on the job because they will feel that their efforts are been recognized by the administration. A longitudinal study also confirmed that promotion does affect turnover in an organization. The results went further to state that irrespective of the organization promotion or past promotion indeed has an effect in employee decision to quit (Saporta & farjoun, 2003). Promotion most of the time is based on merit and teachers has to work to achieve that. However, anecdotal evidence suggest that biased promotion does happen in some institutions leaving those who deserved to be promoted dissatisfied and disgruntled and at the end they end up leaving the profession.. Dependency As the world population continues to age mostly in the developed countries, there is a growing concern about the human capital of these countries. The World Bank defines dependency ratio as young people who are less than 15 years or above, or above 64 years depending on the working age population. According to Gavrilov and Heuveline (2003), the elderly population in the United States was 4.1% and the in the year 2000 it leaped to 12.6% , however by 2030, the aging population is estimated to jump to 20%. What this means is that the dependency rate is going to increase on both the state and family members. The African increasing youthful population which is facing unemployment crises has made matters worse thus putting more pressure on the employed. Too much pressure will no doubt cause the employed to look for other options. Among such options could be to travel overseas to look for greener pastures so that they can support their families. 12.

(24) In the Gambia the dependency ration has been significantly high from 2010 to 2012 but slightly slowed down in 2013 ( World bank, 2015). According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) (2015). There is a significant increase in the poverty rate for households which are headed by informal, temporal or part- time worker with Mexico topping the list followed by the Philippines.. Student Behavior Students˜ attitudes towards their education and teachers have always been characterized by lack of respect as well as lack of dedication to their academic work. These behaviors have always had tremendous effects on teacher’s decisions to leave the profession due to frustration and stress. Many researchers such as Ingersoll (1999) in a study he conducted on teacher turnover, teacher shortages and organizations of schools also confirmed that lack of discipline by students towards their teachers was a factor that caused teachers to leave the profession. Liu and Meger (2005) also revealed in their analysis of teachers perceptions of their jobs, that student discipline problems were the leading factor that caused teachers to leave their profession. The researchers pointed out that the problem is more common in public schools than in private schools. In the Gambia, the issue of student discipline has always been a great concern for teachers, administrators, parents and the society in general. Anecdotal evidence has it that, four decades ago students were more disciplined compare to recent decades, many attributes this to what they said was the use of the cane (corporal punishment). Many years ago students were caned by their teachers for misconducts and other related issues but of recent corporal punishment has been abolished by the state. In Botswana it was reported that anti-social behaviors were very common among senior secondary schools. Boys acknowledged use of drugs and alcohol and carrying and use of weapons (Malete, 2007). This anti-social behavior would have serious effect in teacher attrition because teachers will no longer feel safe in such an environment.. 13.

(25) Lack of Respect for Teachers Teachers are very important in any society and without them there will no schools. They are the corner stone of the school, so understanding them is key to understanding the education system (Ballantine, Jeanne, Joan & Spade, 2011).. However the perception of the society towards the teaching profession has not been so positive in many parts of the Gambia. Anecdotal evidence has shown that the main reason why the teaching profession is not valued is mainly due to the low salaries paid to teachers. In a study conducted by Lawal (2012) on the analysis of parents, teachers and students perception of the teaching profession in south-west Nigeria, the results showed that the perception of parents towards the teaching profession has been very negative, Lawal described it has unfortunate because he was expecting the parents who were well educated to have a positive view about the teaching profession. According to Viatonu (2004) as cited by Lawal (2012) revealed that the reasons why the teaching profession is not respected is due to the following reasons. First and foremost he cited the teacher’s background as a reason, second that there is no good reward system, third he said is the lack of strong teacher’s union and forth he said is the physical appearance of teachers in the primary school that these are the reason why teachers are not respected.. School Policy School Policy has been found to be a leading cause to new teachers quitting their jobs. This was a finding made by Liu (2007) in his study on the effect of perceived teacher influence over school policy on first year teacher attrition. Lie discovered that first year teachers were likely to leave the teaching profession compared to experience and longtime serving teachers, this he said is due to school policy. According to Escandon, Kroes, Boren and Stewart (2007) in their research on teacher turnover, on why do teachers stop teaching in Utah and what policies will encourage them to stay. The researcher found out that policies on high Salaries, differentiated salaries, smaller class size and mentoring were the main policies that affect teacher turnover. The researchers suggested that once steps are taken to remedy the situation Utah will experience less teacher turnover.. 14.

(26) Moore (2012) reported that several states in the United States including Wisconsin. Ohio and Massachusetts have introduce bills that will see more emphasis place on teachers and schools to increase accountability for student achievement or improve outcomes, the researcher describe current the teaching climate has unstable and volatile which he said will lead many teachers to leave the teaching profession.. Summary Base on the literature reviewed the conceptual framework ( figure 2.1) is formulated. The table shows a summary of the variables that were identified has the major and leading factors affecting teacher turnover. Work motivation: Alam and Farid (2011), Bennel ( 2004) have all found lack of motivation as an issue that causes teacher turnover. Salary: Salary has been another issue that affects teacher turnover. Most teachers find it very had to meet their financial needs. As a result they have to quit the teaching professions to look for better paying jobs ( Gonzalez, Brown & Slate 2008; Mumanne & Oslsen 1990). Lack Promotion: Lack of Promotion has been found to be an important factor in teacher turnover (Saporta & Farjoun 2003; Iyness & Judies 2001). Workload: Workload has been identified by researchers as a factor responsible for teacher turnover (Wushishi, Fooi, Basin & Baki 2004; Guardian, 2015) School policy: (Moore 2012; Escandon, Kroes, Boren and Stewart, 2007) has all. found school policies to have an effect on teacher turnover. It is important to note that the school policy affects Gambia private school most compared to public schools. Student Behavior: It’s a variable that has been found by Ingersoll (1999) Liu and Meger (2005) to be a very important variable that leads to teacher turnover.. 15.

(27) Lacck of Respeect for Teacchers: Lackk of respectt for teacherrs has been found to bee a faactor that is i responsib ble for teaccher turnov ver, this waas revealedd by Lawall (20112) in a stuudy he cond ducted on thhe analysis of parents, teachers annd studentss percception of thhe teaching profession in south-west Nigeria. Dep pendency: The T depend dency rate inn this conteext means th he number of people who w depends on onne person, in i this case the teacheer to provid de their feedding, clothiing, G andd Heuvelinee (2003). shellter and meddical bills Gavrilov Adm ministrativve Supportt: This is a leading factor f that cause teaccher attritio on accoording to ( Boyd, Grosssman, Lankkford, Loeb b and Wyck koff (2011);; Gonzalez et al (22008).. Respectt for Teach hers. S School Pollicy Stud dent Behavvior. T Teacher Turnover T r Adm ministrativve Supporrt. Proomotion. Salary Dependencyy Work Load L Worrk Motivattion. Figuure 2.1 Connceptual Fraamework. 16.

(28) An A Overvview of th he Gambia a The Gam mbia is locateed in the weestern part off Africa. It gained g its inddependence from m the Unitedd Kingdom in 1965. Wiith a populaation of 1.8 million, m Thee Gambia is surrrounded by Senegal S on three t sides aand on the west w is the Attlantic Ocean an.. The Gam mbia is one of o the smalllest countriees in Africaa, with a totaal land areaa of. 2. 11, 295 km . The smiling g coast of A Africa as itt is widely known deppends a lot on rem mittances froom its citizeens workingg in other co ountries and d on tourism m as well. The T rem mittance acccounts for 20% of itss GDP. Th he governm ment investss a lot in the t agriicultural seector because many G Gambians rely r heavy on agricultture for th heir liveelihood. A lot has also been iinvested in n the tourism sector by both the t govvernment annd the privatte sectors. T The Gambiaa is the first choice of ddestination for tourrist, especiaally those frrom Europee. This is due d to its beeautiful beaaches and riich bioddiversity. Thhe tourism sector accouunts for onee- fifth of th he GDP (CIA A, 2014).. mbia Figuure 2.2 Mapp of the Gam 17.

(29) The Education System of the Gambia The school system in the Gambia is projected to grow at a significant rate. The Ministry of Basic and Secondary School Education (MoBSE) and the Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (MoHERST ) are the ministries that are responsible for all education matters in the Gambia. In its mission statement the Ministry of Basic and Secondary School Education stated that it will ensure a “responsive, relevant and quality education for all Gambians” as well as provide computer literacy, agriculture and the arts in order to produce viable and productive human capital to meet the demands of the 21. st. century. In their principal objective the. ministry stated that it will promote long life learning as well as encourage Gambians to strive for skills in the area of vocational and technical education as well as adult literacy programs. Table 2.1 depicts the Gambian education system which operates on a 3- 6-3-34 system meaning three years of Early Childhood and Development (ECD) which takes three years to complete. Usually the child starts the early childhood education at the age of 3 and completes at the age of six. Then at the age of 7 the child proceeds to the Lower Basic School for a period of six years, then three years for junior school another three years for senior secondary school and four years for undergraduate program at the university. The language of instruction is English.. Table 2.1 shows the Gambia Education System , School and Level.. 18.

(30) Table 2.1 Gambia Education System , School and Level SCHOOL. LEVEL. TYPE. Nursery/public. Early. Private and. Childhood. Madrassa. Education. Lower Basic. Lower. School/public/. Basic. Grant. Education. GRADE. GRADE. AGE. AGE. DURATION. FROM. TO. FROM. TO. (Years). 1. 3. 3. 6. 3. 1. 6. 7. 12. 6. 7. 9. 13. 15. 3. 10. 12. 16. 18. 3. 20. 24. 4. aided/madrassa Upper Basic &. Upper. Basic cycle. Basic. School (Public,. Education. Private, Grant aided, madrassa Senior. Senior. Secondary. Secondary. School. School. (Public, Private, Grant aided, madrassa) Tertiary/ University. 19.

(31) Lower Basic School The lower Basic School admits pupils beginning from 7 years. It˜s completely free and this has given the under privileged parents an opportunity to send their children to school to be educated. There are no examinations at the end of the six year period so pupils are automatically qualified to go to the upper basic school. Previously there was a national exam called the Primary School Leaving Certificate. th. Examination (PSLCE) that all students take at their 6. grade. Students who perform. well gain admission to the upper basic school and then to Junior Secondary School.. However the phasing out of the PSLCE has been criticized by many from all walks of lives especially teachers. However the ministry of Basic and Secondary Education conducts a National Assessment Test (NAT) for grades 3, 5, and 8 at all levels irrespective of ownership whether private or public, the reason for the assessment is to keep the education sector informed about the pupils˜ progress and performance at various schools across the country.. Upper Basic School Upper basic school education takes three years to complete but during the final year (Grade 9) students are required to take to a national exam called the Gambia Basic Examination Certificate Exams (GABECE) which is usually conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). Students who perform well gain admission to the senior secondary school.. Senior Secondary School At the senior secondary school level students have to select their area of concentration, they either take Science, Commerce or Art with Math, English and General Science being electives. At the end of the 3years students are required to take the West Africa Senior Secondary Examination Certificate (WASSEC), an exam conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC),Students who perform well proceed to the university or to other tertiary institutions. According to statistics from the Ministry of Basic and Secondary education MoBSE(2015) as of 2015 there were 169 senior secondary schools with a total of 1578 teachers and 39719 students in region 1.. 20.

(32) Madrassa These are educational institutions that teach Arabic education.. Basic Cycle Basic Cycle is the combination of both lower basic school and upper basic school on the same campus. In this way students would not take the trouble to look for admission elsewhere but instead will continue in the same campus or community.. Teacher Training The Gambia College is the only institution responsible for training teachers nationwide. It has two campuses one in Banjul the Capital of the Gambia and the Brikama campus which is the main headquarters. It offers courses on Education, Public health, Agriculture, Nursing, Midwifery and of late catering and management (Gambia education system, 2012). In order to encourage more people to enter the teaching profession, the government and donor agencies provide incentives to teacher trainees so as to motive them and attract new graduates from senior secondary schools to enter the teaching profession.. Statistics of Private Schools in the Gambia This study was conducted in region one which has the highest concentration of private schools in the whole country. However the researcher would first like to give statistical information about the private schools in the other region in Gambia. The Gambia has witnessed a surge in private schools in recent years, ranging from Nursery, Lower Basic, Upper Basic, Senior Secondary Schools, Madrassa, Vocational schools and higher training Institutions from Region 1 to Region 6. In the Gambia private institutions are much more expensive than public schools. Therefore, most of the students come from privileged families, except students who are privately sponsored. In terms of academic performance anecdotal evidence suggests that they perform far better than those in the public schools. In addition, they also have more access to more learning resources. As of 2013-2014 academic year there were 6631teachers working in Region 1 private schools, Region 2 has a total of 4805 teachers, Region 3 has a total of 780 teachers, Region 4 has a total of 447, Region 5 has a total of 495 whilst region 6 has a total of 1475 teachers (MoBSE 2014). 21.

(33) Table 2.2 shows the statistical data of private school in the Gambia. Table 2.2. Statistical data of private schools in the Gambia MoBSE (2015). REGIONS Local. School type. Number of. Number of Sum of. schools. teachers. enrollment. LBS. 297. 2352. 65744. UBS. 126. 1225. 51323. BCS. 120. 1476. 26004. SSS. 169. 1578. 39719. LBS. 300. 1560. 53922. UBS. 16. 134. 69302. BCS. 208. 1915. 2181. SSS. 111. 1196. 34438. LBS. 126. 414. 18887. BCS. 51. 323. 14698. SSS. 19. 43. 333. LBS. 72. 183. 8496. BCS. 43. 250. 9242. SSS. 5. 14. 319. LBS. 61. 202. 8125. BCS. 45. 290. 13111. SSS. 1. 3. 8. LBS. 144. 553. 28077. BCS. 118. 901. 41967. SSS. 5. 21. 161. 2037. 14633. 486057. Management REGION 1 Private. REGION 2 Private. REGION 3 private. REGION 4 Private REGION 5 Private REGION 6 Private. TOTAL 22.

(34) Note the abbreviation on the table above. LBS : Lower Basic School. BCS: Basic Cycle School SSS: Senior Secondary School. 23.

(35) CHAPTER III. RESEARCH METHOD This study utilized a qualitative research method of data collection in order to understand more about teacher turnover in the private senior secondary schools in the Gambia. It gave the researcher the opportunity to gather valuable and relevant information about the subject at hand. The goal here is to listen to people in their natural settings (Field & Morse, 1992). Creswell (2003) described qualitative as having steps to follow when collecting and analyzing the collected data as well as ways of asking questions. Ways in which data could be collected include observations, interview, documents and artifacts (Erlandson, Harris, Skipper, & Allen, 1993).. A convenience sampling was adopted because of the fact that the researcher used to work for both public and private schools in the Gambia and therefore it was much easier to get the sample needed for the study.. RESEARCH FRAMEWORK The research frame contains factors that were identified in the literature to be factors that are responsible for teacher turnover in the other hand are the challenges that might trigger teacher turnover in the Gambia. However dependency has been captured in the literature review.. Labor Migration Every year thousands of African migrants both skilled and unskilled heads for Europe to seek for greener pastures and Teachers are no exceptions. By 2010, there were 65,000 Gambians abroad which is about 4% of the population, Kevin (2015). Kevin also reported that the number of migrants crossing by sea to Italy almost quadrupled from 2013 to 2014, which is about 170,100. With Gambia been the highest contributor. Despite the risk associated with this journey many people are ready to risk their lives. Most of these are influenced by success stories of their friends. Such as their friends building new houses for their families, providing a car, electricity and clean drinking water for the family. So when people in this case teachers see their colleagues doing what they cannot do they end up leaving the teaching field.. 24.

(36) Then most of the time they apply for a visa and when they are rejected they go through the “back way” meaning they board ships and canoes and head to Italy or Spain. The surge in the number of migrants reaching Europe lead to the then prime minister of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government to sign an agreement with the Gambia to invest $1.3 million to train Gambians for job opportunities in Spain Burnett (2007). Despite all this, the phenomenon shows no sign of abating Relationship between the Research Framework and the Conceptual Framework All the factors ( factors responsible for teacher turnover) listed below are found in the conceptual framework in chapter 2. These are issues that most researchers across the globe identified as the leading causes of teacher turnover. For the challenges that could trigger turnover these are issues that are not found in the literature review except for dependency. These are issues that seemed to be peculiar to the Gambia situation. Relationship between the Research Questions and Research Framework The researcher was interested in knowing the factors responsible of teacher turnover, the challenges, and the teachers˜ perceptions about their career as well as the potential solutions to teacher turnover in Gambia private senior secondary schools the Gambia. The research questions would help the researcher to understand these issues. The relationship here as to do with issues that have already been identified as the causes of teacher turnover and also the challenges that have being identified and the anticipated teachers perception about their career. The research questions would explore the hearts and minds of the research participants to find out from them about the issues that they think are responsible for teacher turn over, the challenges that confront them and finally the potential solutions. Below is the research framework that guided this study.. 25.

(37) Below is the research framework that guided this study.. Teacher’s perception about their career Factors responsible for Teacher turnover. Challenges that could trigger Teacher turnover. Lack of administrative support Dependency. Teacher Turnover. Salary School policy. Labor migration Workload Student behavior Class size Lack of Promotion Potential Solutions. Figure 3.1 Research Framework Sampling Criteria In this study, four important criterions were used to select the research participants, the criterions will be relevant in providing the necessary information needed for this research. Below are the selection criterions for the research participants. 1. They must be teachers in a private school senior secondary school 2. They must be principals in a senior secondary school with more than 5 years working experience 3. They (Teachers) must have worked in the private school for more than two 4. They must be teachers or principals in region one. 26.

(38) Research Participants Selection Choosing the right sampling for a research can be very challenging, this is because there are many sampling techniques which are sometimes overlapping and hard to understand (Coyne 1997). However this researcher used the convenience sampling because it is the most appropriate and suitable sampling technique for this research. The researcher had worked for some private schools in the Gambia, so this made the study much more convenient. The research was conducted in region one which has the highest concentration of private senior schools in the Gambia than any other region. In other to fully understand the factors responsible for teacher turnover in private senior secondary schools in the Gambia, a total of 20 teachers were selected for this research which consisted 17 male teachers and 3 female teachers, the ages of the research participant ranged from 25 to 60 years. Out of the 20 research participants, 2 were principals 1 male and 1 female. All participants are currently working in private senior secondary schools in region one. Nearly all the research participants (teachers) had more than 5 years teaching experience, both principals spend more than two decades on the job.. All the teachers interviewed actually worked for other private schools before moving to their current schools some of them spend more than two years in those schools. Most of the information that they shared with the researcher was based on their experience in the teaching field, precisely in private schools. 27.

(39) Table 3.1 Background information of the research participants Code Name. Age. Gender. Positions. Highest. Years of. Education. Experience. level PS1. 31-36. M. Teacher. Other. 6-10. PS2. 26-30. M. Teacher. Bachelor. 6-10. PS3. 31-36. M. Teacher. Master. More than 10. PS4. More than. M. Teacher. Bachelor. 40 PS5. More than. More than 10. M. Teacher. Bachelor. 40. More than 10. PS6. 25 or less. M. Teacher. Diploma. Less than 5. PS7. 35. F. Teacher. Bachelor. 9. PS8. 31-36. M. Teacher. Diploma. More than 10. PS9. 25 or less. M. Teacher. Bachelor. More than 10. PS10. 25 or less. M. Teacher. Bachelor. 5-6. PS11. 31-36. M. Teacher. Bachelor. 6-10. PS12. 36-40. M. Teacher. Bachelor. More than 10. PS13. More than. M. Teacher. Bachelor. 40 PS14. 25or less. More than 10. M. Teacher. Bachelor. More than 10. PS15. More than. F. Principal. 40. Master. More than 10. 28.

(40) Table 3.1 (Continued) Code Name. Age31-36. Gender. Position. Highest. Years of. education. Experience. level PS 16. More than. M. Principal. Bachelor. 40. More than 10. PS 17. 31-36. F. Teacher. Bachelor. 6-10. PS18. More than. M. Teacher. Diploma. More than. 40 PS19. 31-26. 10 M. Teacher. Diploma. More than 10. PS20. 31-36. M. Teacher. Diploma. More than 10. PS21. 31-36. M. Teacher. Bachelor. More than 10. PS22. 31-36. M. Teacher. Bachelor. Less than 10. Note: 1. PS: stands for Private School 2. Only two principals took part in this research; they are research participant 15 and 16. 29.

(41) Data Collection This section contains the data collection method as well as the measures for achieving trustworthiness in qualitative research. An in-depth interview was conducted for this research using a mobile phone to record the interview. The interview was conducted in English which the participants understood well. The interview lasted 30 to 40 minutes; questions were framed in such a way that they allowed probing (Garegae, 2008). In addition, in-depth interview was much more fitting for this research because it allowed the researcher to conduct intensive interviews with the participants and it enabled the researcher to explore their perception on the topic of discussion as well (Boyce & Neale, 2006).This was an opportunity for the interviewees to express their feelings and opinions about the issues they think are responsible for teacher turnover. For most of them this was the first time they have been interviewed about issues related to their profession, so they were exited to share the topic of discussion with this researcher, which was relevant to this study. However some of them were worried about the confidentiality of their personal identity but this researcher made it clear to them that their identity will not be revealed in a anyway and that the information that they will be giving is purposely for academic purpose. They were also told that they have the right not to participate in the research as well. The researcher gain access to the teachers through their principals. The participants were asked to choose the places that they deem confortable for the research to be conducted and all of them choose their school campuses as the venues for the interview, some were interviewed in their offices, classrooms and others in the open ground of the school. Measures for Achieving Trustworthiness The trustworthiness of qualitative research generally is often queried by positivists. Perhaps because of their concepts of validity and reliability cannot be address. Nevertheless one such many naturalistic investigators have however, preferred to use different terminology to distance themselves from positivist paradigm. One such author is Guba, who proposes four criteria that he believes should be considered (Shenton 2004) a. credibility b. transferability c. dependability d. confirmability.. 30.

(42) Credibility It would be worth mentioning that in order to enhance a credibility the researcher as on several occasions consulted the participants to clarified issues that were not well understood after listening to the audio. Credibility is one of the most significant factors in addressing trustworthiness as observed by (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). The researcher did not only make a call but went to meet the participants in person in their schools to ensure credibility is enhanced. Dependability Dependability means if the same results will be repeated using the same methodology. To ensure dependability the following were suggested by (Shenton 2004). A. The type of research design and how it was done. B. How the data was generated and give an account of field notes taken. C. Stating how effective was the inquiry procedures executed. In order to ensure the dependability of the research, As clearly stated earlier on an in-depth interview was conducted during the research and the interview was recoded using a mobile phone and notes were also taken. It was an effective and quick way of gathering information as it does not required much equipment and the researcher had to listen to the interview over and over and sometimes have to refer to the field notes. Transferability Transferability is the degree to which the data can be applied to other situations. In this case the researcher needs to give a vivid picture of the settings of the research, this enable the reader to have a clear and broad understanding of the studies and see if it can be applied in other situations to a wider population (Shenton, 2004).. In other to hence the transferability the researcher did explained earlier on about the participants who were involved in the study as well as the entire settings of the study, which would help the readers and other researchers to have a vivid picture 31.

(43) of the research settings.. Confirmability It is the degree in which the results of a study do not show any biasness or being influence by the researcher but the results of the true reflection of what has been investigated (Shenton, 2004). In other to this, the researcher consulted different teachers from different schools across region one as well as the ministry of education which was very instrumental in providing data to this researcher. In addition, the participants varied in many ways in terms of age, qualifications and experience. The researcher allowed the participants to speak their mind throughout the research this has helped to avoid biasness in all forms.. The following table explains the relationship between the research questions and interview questions for teachers. Table 3.2 Relationship between research questions and interview questions (Teachers) Research question. Research question. 1. 2. Research 3. Research 4. Interview questions. Interview. Interview questions. Interview question 1,. 10, 11, 12, 14. questions 15, 16,. 2, 3, 5,6, 7, 13. 4, 8, 9, 15 intended. intended to answer. intended to. intended to answer. research question 2. answer research. research question 4. which was seeking. question 3 which. which was seeking. to find out about the. was seeking to. to find out about. challenges that. find out about. teachers perceptions. teachers face.. the solutions to. about their career. to answer research question. 1. which. was seeking to find out about the factors responsible teacher turnover.. for. teacher turnover. 32.

(44) Table 3.3 below explains the relationship between the research questions and interview questions for principals.. 33.

(45) Table 3.3 Relationship between research questions and interview question (Principal) Research question. Research question. 1. 2. Interview. question. 4,5, 10, 11 intended to answer research question. 1. which. was seeking to find out about the factors responsible teacher turnover.. for. Research 3. Research 4. Interview questions. Interview. Interview questions. 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 11 and. questions 15, 16,. 7, 8. 12 intended to. 13 intended to. intended to answer. answer research. answer research. research question 4. question 2 which. question 3 which. which was seeking. was seeking to find. was seeking to. to find out about. out about the. find out about. teachers perceptions. challenges that. the solutions to. about their career. teachers face.. teacher turnover. Table 3.4 contains the qualitative terminologies that are used in qualitative research instead of the quantitative terminologies Table 3.4 Table 3.3 Qualitative terminologies instead of that of Quantitative Qualitative. Quantitative. Credibility. Internal Validity. Transferability. External Validity. Dependability. Reliability. Confirmability. Objectivity. 34.

(46) Data Analysis Qualitative data analyses means making sense out of the data collected, usually from interview, onsite observations and documents, next is presenting the findings in a responsible way to the readers (Caudle, 2004). In other words data analyses involves going through the literature and other relevant documents so as to comprehend the contents and then answer the topic of discussion. After the data collected was completed the researcher transcribed the data and then code. During the coding process the researcher categorized the data into various categories and then finally the relevant themes were drawn and analyzed.. Research Procedure This section describes the steps this researcher followed to conduct the research. 1. The researcher identified the research problem that needed to be discussed. Teachers in private senior schools were identified as the population of study.. 2. The researcher identified his research participants. 3. The third section deals with the literature; here the researcher reviewed many literatures so as to have a broader understanding of the factors that influence teacher turnover across the globe. 4. Here the design method and research questions were formulated to address the issues in teacher turnover. The questions were reviewed by the researcher’s thesis adviser to help fit the purpose. 5. An in-depth interview was used to collect the data. The questions were administered to 20 teachers as well as 2 principals in private schools. 6. After the interview the data was transcribed and coded and the main themes were drawn.. 35.

(47) 7. The findings of the study were highlighted and followed by further discussions on the issues underpinning teacher turnover in the private schools in the Gambia. 8. The researcher made his conclusions based on the findings as well as recommendations for further studies. 36.

(48) Indentified the research problem. Identified research participants. Reviewed Litterature. Developed research questions and research method. Collected data. Analyzed the data. Report findings and discussion. Provided conclusion and recommendation. Figure 3.2. Procedure of the study. 37.

(49) CHAPTER IV FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS The purposed of this study was to explore the perceptions of teachers and principals of the factors responsible of teacher turnover, the challenges, and their perceptions about their career as well as the potential solutions to teacher turnover in Gambia private senior secondary schools. The researcher used In-depth interview as well as data from the ministry of education as part of the data collection. The teachers and principals who participated in the research are professionals with a wealth of experience in the teaching field nearly all of them have spent more than a decade in the teaching field and had served in different schools in the Gambia. This makes them much more qualified for this research. The findings and discussion are presented below.. Teachers’ Perceptions of the Factors that Influenced Teacher Turnover Research Question 1: Based on the perceptions of the Teachers and Principals at the Private Senior Secondary Schools in the Gambia, what the Factors responsible for Teacher turnover? After the data analysis, the following were the emerging themes that were found to be responsible for teacher turnover in the private senior secondary schools, they are; lack of Motivation in terms of Salaries, lack of Training opportunities , lack of Promotion, and lack of respect for Teachers. The themes and subthemes as well as the quotes that were derived from the research participants can found at the appendix (E). At every stage all themes and subthemes are thoroughly explained with quotations from the research participants.. Lack of Motivation Lack of motivation has been found to be a factor that is responsible for teacher turnover in private schools in the Gambia, this is in line with a study conducted by Alam and Farid (2011) on the factors affecting teacher motivation in Pakistan. The. 38.

(50) research participants shared their experiences on how lack of motivation affect teacher turnover in private senior secondary schools in the Gambia. One of the respondents PS22 disclosed that the reason behind teachers leaving the teaching profession is because they are not receiving the motivation that they deserve.. PS22. Actually because it is not encouraging and that the teachers are not motivated, you find out that most people will start to move to other professions, this is because they are not motivated. Actually am not motivated, in terms of percentage I can say I am 25% motivated. Another respondent PS17, revealed that She is not in any way motivated adding that her intention of leaving the teaching profession is very high. “My motivation is not good and for your information I may quit any moment from now.”. Salary Salary was found to be the main factor that is responsible for teachers leaving the teaching field. This in line with (Hanushek, Kain & Rivkin , 2004) as well as Gonzalez, Brown, and Slate’s (2008) teachers who left the teaching profession, in which out of the 8 teachers interviewed 7 of them complained that low salary was the main reason why they left the teaching profession. In this research nearly all respondents cited Salary to be the main factor that is responsible for teacher turnover. According to one of the respondent PS5 teachers leave the teaching field due to financial reasons, adding that low salaries is not only prevalent in the Gambia but in most countries in the African continent. PS5.Teachers leave the teaching field is because of their financial responsibilities. Because if you are working and the financial responsibility I mean your family. This is Africa here we have a high dependency rate. So if the teaching cannot take care of your immediate family and other dependents you now think of doing something else . In some African countries they pay is high but for others the pay is very low. They don’t take care of the teachers the way they take care of the lawyers and other professions but they don’t remember that all these people pass. 39.

(51) through the hands of the teachers so the teachers should be the one priority they are the ones who train the lawyers, the doctors you name it, but by the time you are in the field you discover that even the younger once you train they are in better positions in life and for you as the teacher you can’t boost of your own compounds, in fact some of us are still living in our family houses. According to research participant PS15 (Principal) who has spent more than two decades in the teaching system added that the main reason why teachings are leaving the teaching field is because of low salaries and allowances, she pointed out that turnover of teachers do affect the academic performance of the students, she advised that the earlier the plight of the teachers are taken care of the better. PS15. The salaries and allowances of the teachers is inadequate looking at the circumstances because you will see that most of us live far from the school and like me I have to travel every day. I have a car but anytime it has a break down I have to pay a lot of money to fix it and the spare parts are expensive. The school does not have a transport of its own most of my teacher commute in public transport, like today before I get here I paid four-hundred and fifty dalasi ( $10) yesterday I paid more than that, how many of us can afford that and you know it is not easy. And this is why their high turnover of teachers, if they see that a particular place is more economical for them they move. So think that dedication is no longer their because people are looking after their welfare, like me because am over 60 years I retired but currently am on contract and this affect the students because if a new teacher comes before the students catch up with his method of teaching he resigns and another comes before they catch up with his method of teaching the exams is at the corner so you see these are factors they are making most of our students not to do well in this country. The earlier teachers welfare is taken care of I think teachers will otherwise it˜s only the old once who will stay. What the above statement implies is that the salaries and allowance of the teachers are not enough and is the main reason why teachers are living the system and that in turn affect the performance of the students as mentioned before, the best thing to be done to remedy the situation is to increase the salaries of teacher.. 40.





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