«INFLUENCE OF TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONALISM ON TEACHER PERFORMANCE IN BUSIRO COUNTY SECONDARY SCHOOLS, WAKISO DISTRICT BY MARGARET NABUKENYA BA (EDUC.) ...»
Findings in Table 4.1 reveal that 113 (62.8%) respondents were males; while 67 (37.2%) of them were females. This shows that the majority of the study participants were male teachers and that there were more male teachers than female ones in all the sampled secondary schools in Busiro County, Wakiso District. It can also be observed that 87 (48.6%) teacher respondents were in the age bracket of 23-30 years and they were followed by 52 (29.1%) respondents who were 41 years and above. Those aged 31-40 years were 40 (22.3%). The results revealed that a bigger number of the teachers in Busiro County secondary schools, Wakiso District are those who have just enrolled in the teaching profession and are still young and energetic and therefore capable of adequately performing their duties and also adhere to the code of ethics for teachers.
Results in Table 4.1 also reveal that a least number 25 (13.9%) of respondents were directors of studies, 36 (20.0%) of them were class teachers, and 119 (66.1%) were ordinary teachers.
The results imply that majority of the respondents in the study were ordinary teachers. This was due to the nature of the study where teachers had to take a big proportion of the total participants. Of the 180 respondents, 77 (42.8%) were single, 87 (48.3%) were married and 16 (8.9%) were religious. The results indicate that there was a slight difference between the married and single respondents of the study an indication that Busiro County secondary schools strive to strike a balance in the recruitment of their teachers. The researcher observed that much as some of these schools are headed by the religious, there are very few on the staff different of the sampled schools.
The study findings further indicate that 106 (58.9%) respondents had spent between 1 -10 years in the respective schools they teach in, 68 (37.8%) respondents had spent 11-20 years, and 6 (3.3%) had a teaching experience of 21 years and above. The results in Table 4.1 reveal that most of the teachers in Busiro County secondary schools have not stayed long in the teaching profession and this could probably be because many have just enrolled in the teaching field. Results also show that 29 (16.1%) were diploma holders; 128 (71.1%) respondents had attained a degree and the remaining 23 respondents were postgraduates. The study results therefore reveal that majority of the teacher respondents in Busiro County secondary schools are degree holders.
Findings in Table 4.1 further show that of the 180 teacher respondents, majority 106 (or 58.8%) of them are permanently employed and 74 (41.2%) are on part-time basis. This finding demonstrates that Busiro County secondary schools in Wakiso District value the employment status of the teachers because they realize that a teacher who is fully employed executes his/her duties well, and endeavours to abide by the stipulated rules of the code which in turn influences their performance. The study found out that part-timing teachers were hard to get because of the different commitments they had in other schools outside those that the researcher had targeted but those on the permanent basis could easily be accessed.
Teachers’ professionalism 4. 2 Data on teacher professionalism is presented under the three sub-titles namely:
2) Teacher commitment
3) Teacher perception 4.2.1 Relationship of the code of conduct and teacher performance The researcher inquired from the respondents on the code of conduct by using ten questions which required the respondents to do self rating based on the Likert scale whereby: 1 represented Strongly Disagree; 2 Disagree; 3 Strongly agree and 4 Agree. Respondents‟ responses are summarized in Table 4.2.
Results in Table 4.2 show that all 160 (88.8%) respondents were in agreement as regards their knowledge of the code of conduct an indicator that all respondents respect and value what the code of conduct holds, that is, the core values in it, such as respect, trust, integrity, service among others and they are comfortable with it. According to the respondents, the code is a very vital aspect and a guide in the conduct of teachers and so they ought to fully hold the knowledge about it. The findings in Table 4.2 further indicated that 117 (65%) respondents were in agreement as compared to the 63 (35%) who did not agree that the Board of Governors, Ministry of Education and Sports and the head teachers enforce the code of conduct indicating that majority of the respondents were contented with the current enforcers of the code of conduct for teachers. According to some respondents, even teachers are part of the enforcement team of the teachers‟ code of conduct since it acts as their guide and all that constitutes the teaching profession are well stipulated in it.
The findings in Table 4.2 also revealed that all the respondents were in agreement that the national code of conduct does not conflict with the teachers‟ code of conduct and as to whether schools have unique codes of conduct; all respondents disagreed implying that all schools follow the same code of conduct for teachers. As regards the adherence to the core values of the code of conduct, majority 151 (83.9%) agreed that they live in line with the stipulated core values of the teachers‟ code compared to 29 (16.1%) respondents who seemed to disagree with the issue. The results implied that, in most of the schools studied, teachers were very positive in adhering to the core values of their code of conduct as they are stipulated. The researcher felt that this may be due to the emphasis the school administration puts when recruiting new teachers and the provision of the terms and conditions of service to the teachers and the recurrent reminders that are made during staff meetings.
The above findings were supplemented by findings from a qualitative research where the researcher continued to interrogate teachers in a focus group discussion by asking them “what they think is the main purpose of the code of conduct in the profession of teaching?” In answering the question, a moderate number of the respondents between the ages of 31 years to 40 years and who had spent more than ten years indicated that the code of conduct for teachers is set as a guiding principle or a set of rules that govern the conduct or behaviours of teachers.
And that once as members of the teaching profession they do observe it, then they do give the teaching profession its due respect and they portray good behaviour and in doing so, they try to show a close link between the code itself and their performance.
Teachers were further asked whether they own a copy of the teachers‟ code of conduct and the question they were given was; “Do teachers in your school own a copy of the teachers‟ code of conduct?” In answering, teachers‟ responses varied because some said yes and others said no, which meant that some teachers are given a copy of the teachers‟ code of conduct and others are not given. One respondent at one moment even said;
„„Most of us on being recruited are given a copy that contains the terms of service and conditions of the school and in it the rules and regulations of the teachers‟ code of conduct are well stipulated. So it is up to the individual teacher to live by them or not.‟‟ (A permanent male teacher and has taught for over five years) Another teacher revealed that, “On arrival to my school of appointment, the first thing my head teacher did was to hand over to me a copy of the teachers‟ terms and conditions of the school and when I opened my dear, a good number of the rules and regulations and besides the school rules did not differ much from those of the national code of teachers all stress duty, avoidance of absconding form duty and so many.” (A Married teacher and is a degree holder with an experience of over ten years in teaching) Yet another teacher reported that, “For her, apart from seeing it on the teachers‟ notice board in the staff room, she and her fellow teachers are not given a copy of their own. She however said that since they find new messages on the notice board, they endeavour to at least read a line or two and that keeps them going, but not all dare to give it time. (Female teacher but still single and has a diploma in the teaching profession).
Further still, using interview sessions, the study sought to establish if the official custodians and enforcers of the code knew and possessed an official copy of the teachers‟ code of conduct. The question was; „„Do you know and possess an official copy of the teachers‟ copy of the code of conduct?‟‟ One of the respondents answered;
„„For any leader to enforce any law, such a leader must have the knowledge of that law and besides that leader must have a base or point of reference, and therefore on that note, I must say, that I and together with my colleagues we have the knowledge and do possess an official copy of the teachers‟ code of conduct.‟‟ In fact one other respondent who was a school inspector gave a salient response when he said;
“I know the teachers‟ code and I can tell if a teacher is behaving professionally or not, but I do not own a copy of the official code of these teachers.” (One school inspector interviewed in April 2009).
Also during interviews with head teachers and their deputies, the researcher sought to understand the various ways that these custodians of the code of conduct use in enforcing the code of conduct. In the discussions, the head teachers and deputies revealed the various ways they use to ensure the enforcement of the code of conduct. Such ways included; use of seminars, workshops, talking about it in staff meetings, availing a copy of the code of conduct to teachers and encouraging them to read it so as to get to know what it is all about and live by it, among others. Here, one head teacher actually is quoted to have said;
“In fact, we have tried to help our teachers get in touch with the code of conduct and fully get to know what exactly it requires of the members of the teaching profession by availing a copy to each and we have always endeavoured to hold seminars and workshops on the teachers‟ code of ethics and we feel that our teachers are making an effort to live in accordance with what the teachers‟ code require.” (Head teacher
Then another one added:
“Actually, we do it constantly in our staff meetings and also we keep copies of it on the teachers‟ notice boards in the staffrooms”.
However, in the interview sessions with the head teachers, deputy head teachers, local government officials, BOGs, and school inspectors, the following were found to be the outstanding means of enforcing the code.
1) Teachers were reminded to act professionally in staff meetings.
2) It was attached to their terms of office.
3) It was pinned on staff notice boards in 6 staff rooms.
4) Teachers who violate the code were reported to the Board of Governors or the teaching service commission and hence punished.
5) Five school inspectors reported that schools especially the denominational government aided schools usually invite them to talk to their teachers about professionalism. This was saliently emphasized by one school inspector when he said;
“One headmaster requested me to invite some officials from District Education
6) All the school inspectors revealed that they regularly made surprise visits to the schools in their jurisdiction. This keeps teachers in a state of professionalism. In fact
one of the inspectors emphatically pointed out that:
1) The study also revealed that all denominational secretariats in the study area have organs, which enforce and monitor the compliance of the teachers to the code of conduct. For example, it was revealed that Kampala Catholic Archdiocesan Education Secretariat following the Synod commission (2006), each catholic parish has a Parish Education Committee (PEC) which acts as the “eye” of the Arch-Bishop. It also regulates and monitors the activities of the teachers, head teachers and school members. This is in line with the findings from the documentary review in the Vatican Council II document, Gravissimum Eductionis 28 October, 1965.
2) Findings from the documentary review further revealed that different denomination education secretariats have a school inspection body, for example, the Arch-Diocesan School Inspectorate Association (AIA) and Uganda Muslim Education Association
3) Seven (7) of the sampled head teachers revealed that indisciplined teachers are issued with warning letters and if they do not change, then these letters are placed in their
5) Adding on to the above, the study also revealed that 8 (80%) of the sampled head teachers on recruiting teachers they have salient issues, which they look out for. The head teachers revealed that these also help to enhance teachers‟ professionalism.
ii. Experience of the teacher.
iii. Teacher training institution attended.
iv. Nature and character of primary and secondary schools attended. The head teachers singled out certain secondary schools which the study does not name for ethical purposes, which they claim are a source of very indisciplined students who they allege on training as teachers turn out to be rogue teachers. The above finding was enhanced
“Most teachers who have gone through for-profit secondary schools usually have no ideal values to offer to the children, they have grown with no culture: I prefer to employ teachers who are a product of well established schools, schools which have a culture and values. That is why I prefer ex-seminarians. These turn out to be very good teachers because they have some values they transmit to the students.” (Head teacher
The study further revealed that there were teachers who had had no formal teacher training and they were between the ages of 40 years and above. This implied that these teachers were illegally executing duties of teachers much as they found themselves there and had probably acquired the skills due to their long stay in the service. In the focus group discussions with teachers one respondent seemed to provide a salient answer when he said;