WORKING CONDITIONS AND STRESS AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN UYO SENATORIAL DISTRICT OF AKWA IBOM STATE
This study aimed at investigating the relationship between working conditions and stress among Secondary School Teachers in Uyo Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom state. The study had seven specific objectives, seven research questions and seven null hypotheses. The study adopted the expost-facto design; the population of this study was 1,115 teachers distributed in 85 public Secondary Schools in Uyo Senatorial District. The multi-stage approach was used to select the sample of one thousand ninety teachers (1,090) were selected through purposive sampling. This was achieved by diving the population into clusters; the nine local education committee in Uyo Senatorial District formed the clusters. The researcher developed instruments for data collection captioned” “Working Conditions and stress among Secondary School Teachers questionnaire (WCSSSTQ). The reliability coefficient of the instrument were determined using Test Re-test method, the reliability coefficient of 0.65 to 0.93 were considered high enough to justify the use of the instrument. Research questions were answered. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation analysis was used for testing the null hypotheses. All the result were tested as 0.05 level of significance. All the seven hypotheses were rejected for the alternate which led to the conclusion that thereis a significant relationship between working conditions and stress among Secondary School Teachers in Uyo Senatorial District. It was therefore recommended that teachers should not be overloaded with out task in order to help them deliver on time with stress. It was also recommended that teachers should be well paid to get motivated for high performance knowing that if they are encouraged, they are bound to deliver the best.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER TITLE PAGE
Dedication - - - - - iv
Acknowledge - - - - v
Abstract - - - - - vi
Table of content - - - - vii
List of Tables - - - - x
List of Appendices - - - - xii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the study - - - - - 1
1.2 Statement of the problem - - - - - 9
1.3 Purpose of the study - - - - - - 10
1.4 significance of the study - - - - - - 11
1.5 Research Question - - - - - - 12
1.6 Hypotheses - - - - - - - 12
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the study - - - - 13
1.8 Delimitation of the study - - - - - 13
1.9 Limitation of the study - - - - - 13
1.10 Definition of Terms - - - - - - 14
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 Theoretical Framework - - - - - - 15
2.2 Conceptual/Empirical Framework - - - - 23
2.2.1 Concept of working Conditions - - - - 23
2.2.2 Concept of Stress - - - - - - - 25
2.3 Teachers’ Perception to Salary and Stress - - - 37
2.4 Teachers’ Perception to Workload and Stress - - 40
2.5 Teachers’ Perception to Student AcademicBehavoiur and Stress 43
2.6 Teachers’ Perception to their interpersonal Relationship with the
Principal and Stress-------46
2.7 Teachers’ Perception to School Discipline and Stress - - 49
2.8 Teachers’ Perception to Fringe Benefit and Stress - - 52
2.9 Teachers’ Perception to Office Facilities and Stress - - 53
2.10 Summary of the Review of Related Literature - - - 54
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD
3.1 Design of the Study - - - - - - - - 56
3.2 Area of the Study - - - - - - - - 57
3.3 Population of the Study - - - - - - - 58
3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique - - - - - 58
3.5 Instrumentation of Data Collection - - - - - 60
3.6 Validation of the Instrument 60
3.7 Reliability of the Instrument - - - - - - 61
3.8 Administration of the Instrument - - - - - 62
3.9 Method of Data Analysis - - - - - - 63
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS, RESULTS AND
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Answering the Research Question - - - - - 64
4.1.1 Research Question One - - - - - - - 64
4.1.2 Research Question Two - - - - - - - 65
4.1.3 Research Question Three - - - - - - 65
4.1.4 Research Question Four - - - - - - 66
4.1.5 Research Question Five - - - - - - 66
4.1.6 Research Question Six - - - - - - 67
4.1.7 Research Question Seven - - - - - - 68
4.2 Testing of Null Hypotheses - - - - - - 68
4.2.1 Hypotheses One - - - - - - - 68
4.2.2 Hypotheses Two - - - - - - - - 69
4.2.3 Hypotheses Three - - - - - - - 70
4.2.4 Hypotheses Four - - - - - - - 71
4.2.5 Hypotheses Five - - - - - - - 72
4.2.6 Hypotheses Six - - - - - - - 73
4.3 Summary of Findings - - - - - - - 74
4.4 Discussion of Findings - - - - - - - 75
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary of the Study 82
5.2 Conclusion - - - - - - - - - 83
5.3 Recommendations - - - - - - - 84
5.4 Suggestion for further Studies - - - - - - 85
REFERENCES - - - - - - - - 86
APPENDICES - - - - - - - - 95
1.1 Background of the study
Secondary school is an institution designed for teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have system of formal education which is commonly compulsory. The word school is derived from Greek (schote), originally meaning “leisure” and school “that in which leisure is employed.” But late “a group to who lecture were given, school. “the concept of grouping student together in a centralized location for learning has existed, since classical antiquity. Teachers are extremely important facet of any society for a multitude of reasons. Teachers are the people who educate the youth of society who in turn become the leaders of the next generation of people. Teachers are the people who are teaching children and imparting knowledge upon them in their most impressionable years, what these students learn from their teachers at a young age will most likely stay with them in some facet for the rest of their lives. So, teachers certainly have a significant mark on the development of young children and even older children alike, as they are teaching them and helping them develop their knowledge so that they can go on in life and be responsible and productive members of society. A teacher is someone who provides education for students. The role of a teacher is often formal and ongoing carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries; person who to wishes be become a teacher must first obtain specified professional qualifications or credentials from a university or college. A teacher who facilitates education for an individual may also be described as a personal tutor. In some countries, formal education can take place through home schooling; informal learning may be assisted by a teacher occupying a
transient or on going role, such as a family member or by anyone with knowledge or skills in the wider community setting, Barrow (1992). A teacher’s professional duties may extend beyond formal teaching. Outside of the classroom teachers may accompany student on field trips, supervise study halls, help with the organization of school functions, and serve as supervisors for extracurricular activities. In some education system, teachers may have responsibility for student discipline. The education system will not be complete without a teacher. Teachers play an important role in the education system. The teachers who takes much responsibility and roles to achieve school objectives are been stressed due to their work conditions.
The key set of working conditions that teachers encounter are those in classrooms. But because teacher’s work is not confined to the classroom, conditions found in the school, such a supportive principal leadership, salary workload, school discipline etc are important influence on their work both inside and outside a classroom. Poor working conditions are major problem faced by teachers, facilities that are not clean and safe, poor administrative support, workload, insufficient resources for students and school discipline made without teacher’s participation discourage teachers and also poses stress on them.
Eagly (2000), stress is one body’s way responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experience. When people feel stressed by something going around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. These chemical give people more energy and strength, which can be a goodthing if their stress is caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing. If their stress is in response to something and there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength. Stress could be a normal physical response to response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some. Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mentalequilibrium. In other words, it’s an omnipresent part of life. A stressful event can trigger the “fight-or-fight” response, causing hormones such as adrenaline and cortical to surge through the body. Stress is a fact nature in which forces from the inside or outside world affect the individual. The individual responds to stress in ways that affect the individual, as well their environment. Due to the over abundance of stress in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress is related to both external and internal factors. Eternal factors include the physical environment, including work conditions such as salary, relationship with others, student academic behavior, workload, fringe benefit and office facilities. One home and all the situations, challenges, difficulties and expectations, you are confronted with on daily basis internal factors determines your body’s ability to respond to, and deal with, the external include your nutritional status, overall health and fitness level, emotional wellbeing and the amount of sleep and rest you get. Teachers could look for possible way of a managing stress. Stress management is the habitual method of overcoming stress, receiving frustration and maintains equilibrium. For teachers, to manage stress, teachers should starts with identifying the sources of stress,instead of teachers focusing on the negative, the should turn their negative thoughts into positive ones. Even this night seen silly it is the core of interval happiness.
Stress is a normal part of every teacher’s life, but if left unmanaged, it can undermine effective teaching and learning. The following are ways to manage stress.
Recognize the sign of stress
Teachers should monitor themselves for the following symptoms.
Feeling nervous all the time
forgetting important things
getting sick a lot
Always getting tired
Eating a lot more or less than usual
When you no longer enjoy everyday activities
When you think about leaving the teaching profession
Black & Porter (200) stated that, the first step on handling stress is to identify its key source. These may be behavioural, (not getting enough sleep), situational (lack of support from the subordinate), or mental/emotional (low self-esteem). Teachers should pay attention to their stress load. And also keep a stress journey in which they record their reactions to specific events, review the results, look for patterns, and identify the key sources of stress in their life. Then develop targeted plan to avoid or alleviate these stressors. He also noted that social isolation is a common cause of professional stress. Talking things over with their colleagues could help in managing their stress level. Many teachers go all day without a break and these poses so much stress on them. Teachers could use their break to step away from work and relax and also take a walk round the school premises or listen to music to clear his/her head.
Time management is an important component of stress management. Teachers should take a few minutes each to organize for the next day’s work and also develop a weekly schedule with time for teaching, grading, meetings, and setting their alarm 15 minutes earlier to start each morning with quiet reflection.
Teachers could practice daily management skills by:
Getting plenty of rest
Reducing caffeine consumption
Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditations
Keeping a sense of humor
Enjoying a favorite activity on a regular basis
Trying “reframing” difficult situation
Reframing is an exercise in which you view problems as opportunities, focusing on the positive rather than the negative, thinking of stressful situations at work and how they teacher can reframe these issues in a positive light.
Finally, teachers may feel extra stress during examination or when final grades are due. Teacher should plan a reward for themselves when the school session is over, like a message or a dinner out. Teacher’s working conditions also affect the future of the country. Working conditions are generally defined as the physical environment in which an employee is expected to complete his or her job. For teachers, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Teachers are often underpaid and under supported in their need for educational resources for their students. Poor working conditions can lead to many negative issues for teachers and the students they educate, including depression, anger and lack of interest. There areseveral common complaints from teachers about their work environments; their office facilities are so poor, and they lack their own desk to store materials. Those who do have their own classroom often find that the facilities are not adequate to handle their students’needs. Some do not have computer or internet access in the classroom. Others do not receive sufficient benefit packages or training hours per year, while teacher work towards improving the schools, parent and community members must get involved in helping them meet these goals. Striving to help improve teachers’ working conditions can significantly enhance the students educational experience otherwise, poor working conditions of a teacher could make him or her stress up, thereby making teacher ineffective in his/her job.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) surveys assessed students’ performance, thus, targeted teachers and principals. These results were used for the first ever international comparison of learning environment and teachers’ working condition from the survey it was noted that three out of four teachers feel that they lack incentives to improve the quality of their teaching, while bad behavior by students in the classroom disrupts lessons. Teachers need working conditions where they have adequate resources, a supportive manageable class sizes and reduced instructions on their instructional time. The best teachers can be crippled by bad working conditions. Improving teacher working conditions means more than focusing on resources, class size, and physical structures.
The current concept of working conditions must move beyond typical labor issues of occupational health and safety concerns to consider a more comprehensive environment for teaching and learning. Recent teacher working conditions researchincludes measures to determine the effect of time allocation, empowerment, professional development and leaders’ hip-complex issues now proven to be closely related to the capacity of professionals to improve student learning.Teacherssusceptible to various factors that engender the development of stress due to their working conditions.Support, most teacher are not allowed to be part of the decision-making process and this makes the teacher feel depersonalized, and they feel unsupported, they also feel a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. Teachers also faced students with disruptive behavior, teachers want more control over removing disruptive students from their classes and more inputs into disciplinary matters.
Teachers are faced with large class size. Moreover, every year, more and more students are admitted, yet, more teachers are not employed to meet the students’ demand in schools. This makes the existing teachers in the school system to teach many streams of classes. In some schools, more than seventy (70) students are in a class as against 45 students per class; and the classes may stretch from “1 to 10”. In some subjects like social studies, introductory technology, English Language and the Sciences, Teachers are given than the expected normal 20 periods a week. Class size had a positive effect on time spent working in small groups, innovative instructional time for both group and individual. It was concluded that students’ participation was greater in small classes. The issues of class size had increased substantially and the number of integrated, special needs students in their classes also had increased. Dibbon (2004) found that teachers believed that large classes were a barrier to effective teaching and that resource, already at a premium, were further decreased in large classes. Additionally, student participants reported that they were unable to use innovative teaching methodologies in crowded classrooms and also contribute to behavior problems. This adds additional burden on the teachers, also marking of assignments and examination scripts. Conscientious teachers are forced to work after stipulated working hours and even late in the night to meet deadliness. The unconscientiousones may shift all these to the side. Both actions cause psychological harm which causes teachers’ stress.
Teachers are also faced with job insecurity as a result of obsolescence of skills, redundancy due to lack of in-service training and delayed promotion. These are stressful experiences to teachers as these lacks may lead to untimely retrenchment or retirement from the service. Teachers are faced with improper academic behavior of the students which increased the stress level of the teacher. The teacher is equally faced with conflicting demands like restrictive work condition controlled through rules and regulations. These are made worst by unbecoming interpersonal relationship between subordinate and superiors, and high performance standards demand that far exceed individual teachers’ capacities. Poor relationship may force or cause a teacher to seek transfer to another school. Even the processing of transfer and movement to another station are stressful on their own right.
Teachers are faced with delays and inconsistencies in salary payment and they are also denied of their fringe benefit, insufficient appliances, a geographically isolated school and a high noise level in the working environment and these poses stress on the teachers. The issue of working conditions and teachers’ stress receives particular attention in the education sector as causal survey point to alarming levels of stress association with condition among teachers. For instance, the pressure of workload, poor office facilities’ irregular and inconsistence payment of salary/fringe benefit, poor students’ academic behavior, lack of school discipline and poor relationship between the subordinate, and superior etc. may cause the teachers to be stressed. the concept of working condition interest this scholar.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Teachers are prone to various factors that facilitate the development of stress due to their working environment. Teachers are faced with poor condition of service, lack of respect and recognition and lack of encouragement. They are faced with work overload. He or she has to contend with unrealistic salaries, student behavior/threats and crisis. Discipline is still ranked as a major problem faced by teachers. They are faced with verbal disruption, physical resistance. Discipline is widely viewed as a significant contributing factor to teachers’ stress. They spend an inordinate amount of time on matters of order and control. Teachers are also faced with incidence of verbal assault and they struggle to maintain order in schools and these poses stress on them.
Teachers are faced with different student’s academic behavior such as side conversation in classroom when teaching is going on. Some do not perform well in their tests and examination and disregard for deadliness when it has to do with submission of assignment. Teachers are faced with lack of administrative support and dearth of principal support was constantly cited by teachers as sources of stress, dissatisfaction and attrition.
Teachers are faced with unpleasant physical facilities, poor working environment and lack of control over the work environment. Again, they are faced with information overload required by Ministry of Education, teaching service commission and associated agencies. These information are usually required within a short period of time, and consequently, the teacher may be unable to respond to all.
The teacher is in dilemma of job security as a result of obsolescence, redundancy or early retirement or termination of appointment. He or she is sometimes faced with the problem of lack of promotion, poor interpersonal relationship with subordinates and superiors, conflicting demands from superiors, overly restrictive work rule, regulation and control system.
The sources of stress were found to be inadequate salary, inadequate resources, conflicting increased job demands, lack of promotional prospects and lack of recognition of worth. Stress does not only frustrate job satisfaction but also leads to burn-out or the development of various psychological and health ailments. These problems in their many and varied ways have affected the sources of the school system.
Based on the foregoing therefore, the problem of this study is how working condition cause stresses among secondary school teachers in Uyo Senatorial district.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to determine the relationship between working conditions and stress among secondary school teachers in Uyo Senatorial district. The objectives of the study were to:
1. Determine the relationship between teachers’ perception to salary and stress.
2. Determine the relationship between teachers’ perception to work load and stress
3. Assess the relationship between teachers’ perception to students academic behavior and stress
4. Examine the relationship between teachers’ perception to interpersonal relationship with the principal and stress.
5. Examine the relationship between teachers’ perception to school disciple and stress.
6. Determine the relationship between teachers’ perception to fringe benefits and stress
7. Determine the relationship between teachers’ perception to office facilities and stress.
1.4 Significance of the study
The study is of immense significance to a number of people. It highlight the need for school principal to have a good working relationship, promotion of cooperative spirit and team work as it influences teacher effectiveness while poor relationship would poses stress on them. Finding of this study would help the teacher to manage their stress level due to wok conditions. The recommendations of the study if adopted would stimulate school administrators’ consciousness of the need to improve discipline in schools and stress management in our school system.
Also findings of the study will be useful for teachers by assisting them in tackling problem associated with student academic behavior so as to reduce their stress level. The findings will assist principals on ways to motivate his/her staff, reducing teachers’ workload, provision and maintenance of offices facilities. Also assists the government in prompt payment of teachers’ salary and motivating teachers through the provision of fringe benefit. The findings of this study would also serve as a source of references to other researchers in related area and help all professional staff members to be actively committed in improving work conditions in our schools.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
1. What is the relationship between teachers’ perception to salary and stress?
2. What is the relationship between teachers’ perception to work load and stress?
3. What is the relationship between teachers’ perception to student academic behavior and stress?
4. What is the relationship between teachers’ perception to interpersonal relationship with the principal and stress?
5. What is the relationship between teachers’ perception to school discipline and stress?
6. What is the relationship between teachers’ perception to fringe benefit and stress?
7. What is the relationship between teachers’ perception to office facilities and stress?
The following nulls hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
1. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ perception to salary and stress
2. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ perception to work load and stress
3. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ perception to students’ academic behavior and stress.
4. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ perception to interpersonal relationship with the principal and stress.
5. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ perception to school discipline and stress.
6. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ perception to fringe benefit and stress.
7. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ perception to office facilities and stress.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study
Thebasic assumptions that are made in this study are:
1. The teachers’ work conditions could be determined.
2. The teachers’ stress could be measured.
3. It was assumed that the respondents would be honest in their responses to the administered research instrument.
1.8 Delimitation of the study
The study was carried out on working conditions and stress among teachers. The study focused on working conditions variables such as salary, workload, student, academic behavior, school discipline, interpersonal relationship with the principal, fringe benefit and office facilities and stress among teachers in Uyo Senatorial District. This study was carried out in 2013/2014 school year. However, the study was limited to eight five (85) public schools in Uyo Senatorial District.
1.9 Limitation of the study
Uyo Senatorial District comprises of 9 local government areas with the 85 public secondary schools spread across its length and breath. In some schools visited during the administration of the research instrument, some respondents were unavoidably absent. This led to repeat visits, thus, delaying the timely completion of questionnaire administration.
1.10 Definition of Terms
i) Working Condition: The physical environment in which employee is expected to complete his or her job.
ii) Stress: Any change that makes an individual feel uncomfortable, physical, mental or emotional.
iii) Fringe Benefits: An additional benefit, especially a benefit given to an employee.
iv) Workload: An amount of work or capacity to be done by an individual.
v) Stressor: Factor that causes stress
vi) Stress Management: Habitual method of overcoming stress, receiving frustration and maintaining equilibrium.
vii) Salary: is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee.
viii) Office facilities: Piece of equipment on office provided for a particular purpose.
ix) Interpersonal Relationship: Ability to create a harmonious working relationship.
x) Student academic behavior: Manner in which a student behave with regards to academic work
xi) School discipline: is the system of rules, punishments, and behavioral strategies appropriate to the regulation of children or adolescents and the maintenance of order in schools..