THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELECTED AGRICULTURE TEACHERS’ JOB- SATISFACTION FACTORS AND PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN AGRICULTURE AT KCSE IN NYERI COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Secondary school education in Kenya equips students with the knowledge, skills and competences that are vital for achieving their desired KCSE performance. The level of teachers of Agriculture job satisfaction can affect implementation of Agriculture curriculum as well as students’ Agriculture scores. In Nyeri County, public secondary-school students continue to perform poorly in KCSE with results from 2009 to 2014 indicating an aggregate of C- in Agriculture. This performance has affected transition to higher levels of education and career aspirations. Studies globally show that teachers’ job satisfaction can affect students’ performance. In Nyeri County, it was not clear whether Agriculture teachers’ job satisfaction was affecting students’ performance; hence, this study sought to provide that missing information. The study employed an ex-post facto survey research design. The study was a census involving 185 public secondary school teachers in Nyeri County. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data, which were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 22. Both face and content validity of the questionnaire were determined using a panel of five agricultural education experts at Egerton University while its reliability was determined using a sample of 30 Agriculture teachers from Kirinyaga County, which has teachers with similar characteristics as those of Nyeri County. A Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient of 0.88 was obtained, which is above the minimum threshold acceptable in educational research. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was used to analyze data at a confidence level of α=0.05. Descriptive statistics such as means, frequencies, standard deviations and charts were used to summarize and present the findings of the study, which indicated a positive relationship between the selected Agriculture teachers’ job satisfaction factors (working conditions, work load, terms and conditions of service and career development programmes) and students’ performance in Agriculture in KCSE except in interpersonal relations where no relationship was found. Based on the findings, the study concludes that favourable working conditions, manageable workload, competitive terms and conditions of service and continuous career development programmes for Agriculture teachers should be enhanced to improve KCSE performance. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education and other education stakeholders improve Agriculture teachers working conditions, their condition of service and career development programmes in order to enhance students’ KCSE Agriculture performance scores.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Teachers are important in the educational development of any society. Their job satisfaction affects the quality of the services they render (Okwaraji & Aguwa, 2015). There is consensus that of all the factors inside the school that affect children’s learning and achievement, having effective teachers is the most important (Islahi, 2013; Tehseen & Hadi, 2015). Students’ high performance leads to teachers’ high job satisfaction, which in turn becomes a basis to influence future performance (Vassallo, 2014). Teachers’ concerns about high student pass rates are understandable because achieving high student achievement levels in schools is a top national priority in many countries and it is reasonable to argue that stakeholders in education judge teacher effectiveness not on what they do in the classroom but by the results they produce in national examinations (Islahi, 2013; Sithole & Solomon, 2015). This is supported by Okwaraji and Aguwa (2015), Kraft, Marinell and Yee (2015) and Perumal (2011) who argue that a teacher’s job satisfaction and commitment have strong implications not only on the quality of instruction, but also on students’ achievement.

Theoretically, job satisfaction is the best predictor of positive work-related outcome such as improved performance (Khan et al., 2013; Okwaraji & Aguwa 2015). If workers are satisfied with their jobs, organizational productivities and performance of workers would be greater than before and intention of workers to quit and absenteeism would decrease. In schools, the job satisfaction of teachers is important because it impacts directly on the delivery of lessons, effectiveness of teaching, student performance and pass rates (Iwu, Gwija, Benedict & Tengeh, 2013; Mumtaz, Khan, Danial & Ahmad, 2011; Perumal, 2011). As a result, when Agriculture teachers are committed and satisfied the attributes aforementioned would translate into higher levels of teacher performance in the classroom. If Agriculture teachers are contented with their jobs they would be more productive and would develop and maintain high levels of performance leading to more efficiency and effectiveness in the teaching- learning process (Usop, Askandar, Langguyuan-Kadlong & Usop, 2013).

A student’s performance in any examination is dependent on many variables. Such variables include the type of school and its facilities, the qualification of teachers, the students’ academic background, the environment from which they come from, the type of leadership provided by principals and their qualifications and parentage (Karue & Amukowa, 2013).

Consequently, the quality of education is dependent partly on the quality of human and material resources available for teaching (inputs), quality of teaching and learning practices (process) and the quality of results (outcomes) (Lumasi & Mukonyi, 2015). The performance of teachers can be measured by performance indicators such as success in impact of pupils’ progress; impact on a wider outcome for the pupils; improvement in specific elements of practice such as behaviour; management or lesson planning; success in KCSE / local examination; low repetition and dropout rates; teacher / pupil contact time; and students’ time on relevant task (Akinyi, 2013).

Studies world over and in Sub-Saharan Africa (for example, Takupiwa et al., 2013; Wachira & Kamau, 2014) have shown that variables such as pay, promotion, working conditions, leadership, social relationships and the job itself affect the level of job satisfaction an individual derives from his or her work. Lack of professional development appointments and insufficient supportive supervision also contribute to low job satisfaction (Ilgan, Parylo & Sungu, 2015; Mugweru, 2013). In addition, tussles between the Kenya government and teachers which at times lead to industrial action affect job satisfaction. In the revised teachers’ code of conduct and ethics, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has proposed stringent measures on teachers engaging in other income generating activities, which has led to threats of industrial action (TSC, 2014). All these indicate job dissatisfaction by teachers and raises queries on its effect on academic performance of students. This study, therefore, focused on the major job satisfaction factors identified in the extant literature namely working conditions, workload, terms and conditions of service, interpersonal relations and career development programmes.

Agriculture teachers are expected to be effective in their jobs. However, for them to be effective they must be accorded emotional, administrative and technical support (Muchiri & Kiriungi, 2015). Teachers are expected to perform teaching, administrative and supervisory duties that relate to their terms of service to promote education in Kenya (TSC, 2012). Unlike other subjects, the effective teaching of Agriculture takes place not only in a classroom and laboratories but also in the school farm (Harper, 2004). Agriculture teachers are expected to involve learners actively in agricultural activities through project work that exposes them to long lasting experiences and assists them think critically enhancing learning and retention (Kyule, Konyango & Nkurumwa, 2015). As noted by Manyali, Obara and Kibett (2015), the assessment of the projects in Agriculture poses unique challenges related to discrepancies in evaluation. Manyali, Obara and Kibett add that an Agriculture teacher plays a noble role in ranking and maintaining interest in students with the desire to venture into Agriculture practical work. Through adoption of participatory curriculum implementation the Agriculture teacher promotes innovation and creativity in Agriculture subject which leads to acquisition of skills for life (Konyango & Asienyo, 2015). As a result, Agriculture teachers help to build self-confidence and high self-esteem among agriculture students. All these activities require a lot of commitment from the Agriculture teachers and are quite demanding; hence, this may affect job satisfaction. An education system that equips human resource with knowledge, skills and competence that can sustain the field of Agriculture (Ministry of Agriculture, 2012) is needed. This could be possible if the youth are provided with quality education in Agriculture. It is against this background that good performance of students in Agriculture in secondary school is necessary. Consequently, the persistent low performance in Agriculture and particularly at the secondary school level as shown in Table 1 has been a source of concern among agricultural educators, researchers and policy makers countrywide. The table below shows a national drop in percentage mean for two consecutive years, that is, 2012 and 2013 and a decline in the number of students enrolled in the subject...

From Table 2, the percent enrolment continued to increase due to subsidized free day secondary school education (MOE, 2017), while performance of Agriculture has stagnated in the C- grade bracket. Nyeri County is predominantly agricultural constituting the backbone of its economy. The bulk of the labour force which is skilled or semi-skilled is mainly engaged in agricultural activities. Unfortunately, students studying Agriculture in public secondary schools continue to perform poorly in Agriculture at the KCSE despite such rich agricultural background in Nyeri County.

Many studies have been conducted regarding influence of physical facilities (Kiruja, 2012), teaching learning resources, teaching styles and perceptions (Cheplogoi, 2011; Kidane & Worth, 2014; Muchiri, Odilla, Kathuri & Kiriungi, 2013) on performance and job satisfaction of teachers (Sithole & Solomon, 2014). A vast amount of reasons dictate students' performance in Agriculture (Ngware, Oketch & Mutisya, 2014). Some of the factors documented that influence performance in subjects include: attitude and physical facilities (Akinyi, 2013); school based factors (Mukhwana, 2013; Mwangi, 2013); teaching learning resources (Ambogo, 2012); assessment (Boud & Soler, 2016); student related factors (Mukhwana, 2013); and management practices (Waweru & Orodho, 2014). However, limited research has been conducted on the relationship between Agriculture teachers’ job satisfaction on student Agriculture performance. The information gained from this study was intended to help fill the lacuna.

Statement of the Problem
Agriculture as a subject in secondary schools aims at developing basic principles of agricultural production relevant to Kenya in general, and specifically to the learners’ environment. Second, learners are expected to acquire useful agricultural skills through the practicals they engage in. Kenyan government is keen to promote agri-business popularly referred to as kilimo biashara. However, Agriculture provides background for agri-business is posting low performance at KCSE. The low performance in the subject may lead to poor agricultural practices, low transition to tertiary institutions, curtail agri-business and further studies in the field of Agriculture. Therefore, students, including those in public secondary schools require quality teaching in Agriculture for continued students’ improvement in KCSE academic performance particularly in Agriculture. The quality of education is partly dependent on the quality of teachers of Agriculture and their level of job satisfaction. It is not clear whether there is a relationship between Nyeri County secondary school Agriculture teachers’ job satisfaction and students KCSE performance in Agriculture. The study sought to provide the missing information.

Purpose of the Study
The study sought to determine the relationship between Nyeri County secondary-school Agriculture teachers’ job satisfaction factors (working conditions, work load, terms and conditions of service, interpersonal relations and prospects for career development) and the performance of Agriculture students in KCSE.

Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study were to determine:

i. The relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with working conditions and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

ii. The relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with work load and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

iii. The relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with terms and conditions of service and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

iv. The relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with interpersonal working relations and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

v. The relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with career development programmes and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses guided the study:

Ho1: There is no statistically significant relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with working conditions and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

Ho2: There is no statistically significant relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with work load and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

Ho3: There is no statistically significant relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with terms and conditions of service and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

Ho4: There is no statistically significant relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with interpersonal working relations and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

Ho5: There is no statistically significant relationship between Agriculture teachers’ satisfaction with career development programmes and students’ Agriculture performance in KCSE examination in Nyeri County.

Significance of the Study
The study would be significant to Education Officers, school principals, teachers of Agriculture and Boards of Management in Nyeri County since the results obtained would help them devise strategies to improve KCSE performance through addressing job satisfaction issues. The findings are likely to provide a reference point for school principals in Nyeri County on staff management skills that would lead to improvement of students’ performance in national examinations. Providing opportunities that would meet different job satisfaction needs of teachers of Agriculture could increase their motivation and morale hence teach students better. It would also guard against the teachers seeking alternative jobs. These study findings are also likely to be of importance to the TSC which employs teachers since it would inform policy formulation which would enable teachers achieve job satisfaction. Teachers’ job satisfaction is likely to improve on students’ performance in Agriculture. The study findings would as well inform the sub-counties Education Boards in designing programmes that would make teaching as a career more enjoyable and satisfying.

Scope of the Study
The study was confined to TSC employed teachers of Agriculture from all public secondary schools in Nyeri County which had presented candidates to KNEC from 2012 to 2014. Public secondary schools were selected because teachers of those institutions are employed using public funds and their work environment may be affected by resources provided. Agriculture teachers were targeted because they are involved in disseminating agricultural knowledge to the youth of a country whose economy relies on Agriculture. KCSE Agriculture mean scores from 2012 to 2014 were used because they are the most recent complete years that could be used for comparison in order to give an overview of performance in Agriculture. In addition, since performance does not change drastically, they formed a basis to compare since they had similar characteristics. The study was limited to selected teachers’ job satisfaction determinants, namely; working conditions, workload, terms and conditions of service, interpersonal relations and career development programmess. As such, any other factor that influence students’ performance in Agriculture which was not part of the defined parameters of the study was deemed out of scope. The study was carried out in January 2016.

Assumptions of the Study
The study assumed that:

i. Agriculture teachers were on duty during the study and were not away due to an industrial action.

ii. Agriculture teachers adequately prepared their students for KCSE agriculture examination.
Limitations of the Study

i. The researcher had no control over the school events and hence adhered to the overall County calendar of events to schedule data collection.

ii. KCSE average Agriculture mean scores of the preceding three years were used to fairly represent the performance of the students’ instead of individual student’s scores.

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