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Influence of teacher stress on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Kenya: A case study of kakamega North Sub-County

Author: 
Olive Taabu Baraza and Enose M.W. Simatwa
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Studies worldwide have revealed that teachers like other professionals do experience stress in their workplaces. Moderate stress has been found to enhance performance of workers whereas low and high stress characterized by boredom, fatigue, exhaustion and burnout leads to poor performance. Preliminary survey in five public secondary schools revealed that teachers in Kakamega North sub-county were experiencing stress. Students’ performance on the other hand was below average from 2009 to 2013. The mean score in Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Examinations had remained below 4.29 compared to neighbouring sub-counties that had recorded higher means of 4.8 and above for the same period thus Kakamega North Sub County had a mean of 4.29, Kakamega South 5.38, Kakamega East 5.16 and Matete 4.84 for the same period. The objective of the study therefore was to establish the influence of teacher stress on student academic performance in public secondary schools in Kakamega North sub-county, Kenya. A conceptual framework based on Bray, Camlin, Fairbank, Dunteman and Wheeless (2001) concepts that stress is influenced by work factors which in turn influences performance of workers was adopted. On average, secondary teachers in public schools in Kakamega North sub-county were moderately stressed with a mean rate of 3.44. and its influence was weak, negative and not significant as signified by Pearson’s “r” coefficient -.129 and accounted for .6% of the students academic performance as signified by Adjusted R square coefficient .006. Low and high stress levels among teachers had negative influence on students’ academic performance as signified by Pearson’s r of -.220 and -.017 respectively though not significant. Moderate stress levels among teachers had a weak positive influence on students’ academic performance as signified by Pearson’s r of .278 though not significant. The study concluded that teachers in Kakamega North sub-county were moderately stressed and stress among the teachers had little influence on students’ academic performance. The study recommended that stress audits need to be conducted in schools with a view to improving stress levels among teachers to the benefit of students academic performance. The findings of this study are significant to educationists in identifying strategies to deal with stress levels among secondary school teachers in enhancement of students’ academic performance in the Sub County.

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