Factors affecting teacher turnover at Chitwan District Nepal

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It is commonly believed that teacher turnover is usually high all over the world where this is a sign of failure in the education system of any countries. Turnover has become increasingly important in debates about teaching profession all over the world. The importance of education in our personal and social lives cannot be emphasized enough without proper education. In this twenty-first century, it has become more important than ever before. As the world makes gains in providing quality basic education for all children, the role of experienced teachers becomes increasingly pivotal for achieving, consolidating and sustaining progress (Harris and Adams, 2005). Furthermore, as the attention of nation has increasingly focused on the results of education where policy makers have to undertake verities of reforms to get better schools, ranging from new standards and tests to redesign schools, new curricula, and new instructional strategies. One important lesson has been the recurrent finding that teachers are the pivot that determines whether any school scheme tips towards success or failure from the above efforts. Every feature of school reform, the formation of more demanding programme, the use of determined assessments, the implementation of decentralized management, the discovery of new model schools and programs depend on highly-skilled teachers.

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Reformers have learned that successful programs or curricula cannot be transported from one school to another if teachers are not mentally ready to use them (Hammond, and Prince, 2007). Lack of teacher's autonomy, it has invited a critical problem all over the world as in Nepalese Educational Institutions at Chitwan. Furthermore, organizational theorists have long argued that organizational efficiency may be enhanced by augmenting employees' professional autonomy by affording them greater decision-making power over their daily activities (Luthans, 1992; Fuller, 2000). Autonomous schools that are free from the downtown office would be better equipped to design programmes that fit the needs of their students. They are based on the idea that the debureaucratization of rules and regulations lead to efficient and competent school operations (Gawlik, 2007; Bryk, et al, 1998; and Huber, et al, 1995). A teacher's decision to leave a school can be viewed as a very personal choice, as indeed it is. However personal that choice may be, it does have an impact on the school where the teacher has chosen to leave. With the view in isolation, the departure of one teacher from a school may be considered to have minimal impact. Nonetheless, when substantial numbers of teachers leave a school, the cumulative impact on school grows to be debilitating (Ingersoll, 2001). While the numbers vary depending on the source, studies indicate that in United States in recent years, about 16% to 20% of all teachers choose to leave the school in which they are teaching (Hannushek, 2004; Luukens et al, 2000). Similarly, about 89% teachers from Private Schools and 69% from government schools leave every year in Eastern Chitwan, Nepal (Dhungana, 2009; Mainali, 2009). Public and Private schools in Nepal are established in order to meet the educational standard of quality education all over the country where teachers are the main character of these organizations. The challenges of education in Nepal are immense; both in scale and complexity where teachers are the main pillars of a sound and progressive society. They bear the weight and responsibility of teaching. And, apart from parents, they are the main source of knowledge and value for the students (Teacher first; online resource).o A teacher, being a conscious and educated individual in his/her society is also expected to play the role of a change agent. He/she is looked as a role model for his/her students and as a resource person for the community development activities. Since the teachers are expected to play multiple roles in their school communities. Therefore, it is important to equip and retain them with essential professional autonomy, knowledge and skill to play roles more effectively (Odland, 2007).

Due to the lack of recognition of the teacher as an educator in a society and pressures to transform schools into factories, it has created a big issue which is a major concern of autonomy for Nepalese teachers. Moreover, increasing centralization of authority in school administrators that teachers are compiled to be factory hands who are supposed to carry out the ideas and orders of those vested with authority mechanically and unquestioningly but it not necessarily with the knowledge about children's needs to respond to children. It has also ignored that an environment in which it is easy to teach is also an environment in which it is easy to learn. And since lack of freedom, restricts both the teacher and the child, the undermining of teachers' initiative constitutes an attack on learning itself (Ingersoll, 2003; Haley, 1904). The nature and extent of involvement of teachers in administrative matters much depend on the head teachers. The general perception is that teachers are to teach and the head teachers and School Management Committee's (SMC) members are to take care of school administration. Teachers are being formally evaluated by School Management Committee members, guardians, resource persons and school supervisors apart from head teachers who are mandated to evaluate them (Foundation for Human Development, 2004). Many of the studies examine the issue of teacher turnover with a specific focus on teachers who leave the profession due to job dissatisfaction where teacher's autonomy is a major factor to cause teacher turnover (Buckley, et al, 2005; and Khanal, 2005). Therefore, recruitment and retention of teachers at educational institutions is a contemporary educational issue and a significant phenomenon to provide quality education.

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Statement of the problem: Teacher attrition has become a very serious problem in recent years all over the world. Studies have shown that many talented, new teachers are leaving the profession early in their careers due to feelings of isolation. It is found that nearly 540,000 teachers move to other schools or leave the teaching profession every year in America due to feelings of isolation. It is a serious problem and threat to the government of America and Private Investors of educational programme. By (2013), 3.5 million new teachers will need to be hired to support increased enrolment in public schools and to replace retiring teachers (Heider, 2005).The way out of teachers from the occupation and the movement of teachers to better schools are costly subject, both for the students who miss y an experienced teacher, and to the schools and districts, which has to recruit and train for the new replacements.

Research from Excellence for Education has summarised that $2.9 billion cost is required to replace public school teachers due to the transfer problem. There is a growing concern among researchers and educators that the single most important factor in determining student performance is the quality of his or her teachers who should be retained at schools. Therefore, if the national goal for providing an equitable education to children across the nation is to be met, it is critical that efforts should be concentrated on developing and retaining high-quality teachers in every community and at every grade level (Alliance for Excellence Education, 2005). Given the plethora of school improvement initiatives, it is critically important to acknowledge that one of the most important variables for student achievement is teacher. Therefore, teacher retention is an important phenomenon because of its link with the performance and effectiveness of organizations (Ingersoll, 2001).

Similarly, Nepal is also not excluded from this problem because about 89% from private schools' and 69% from government schools' teachers leave the profession or moved one school to another at Chitwan District (Mainali, 2009). Therefore; it has invited a big challenge to Private investors of educational institutions and government of Nepal as well. Moreover, students are not only lacking quality education due to the lack of experienced teachers but also losing their right of quality education (Adhikari, 2009). Most of private and government schools have been spending a large amount of money to replace the vacancies every year. Therefore, research on teacher turnover at Chitwan District is a very important phenomenon where the objective of this research paper is to investigate regarding this issue (Yadav, et al, 2008). In addition to financial drain on schools, high teacher turnover is a drain on social capital of the school. When teachers leave a school, they remove themselves from the complex and intricate social fabric of that institution. All the experienced and expertise acquired while in that school leaves with person (Johnson, and Birkeland, 2003), and the hole that is left may or may not be filled with someone of equal experience and expertise. In reality, studies show that in many cases, he or she is not replaced by the person of same skills and experience (Darling-Hammond, 2003). High rate of teacher turnover at Chitwan Nepal is concerned not only with teachers because it may be an outcome indicating underlying problems of how well school community and performance is (Ingersoll, 2001). Due to the high rates of turnover in Chitwan Nepal, administrators at centre level and local level have to spend a lot of time in recruiting and transferring teachers to replace the vacancies (Bacchus, 1984).

Summary of the problem: One of the costs incurred by teacher departure is recruitment of replacement teachers, which has been called the most important task of an administrator (Maclean, 1992). In addition to enhancing the stability and continuity of the school, reducing teacher turnover would also save administrators from inordinate time spend recruiting replacements. Conversely, administrators or Principals of Schools in Chitwan have been investing their valuable time to recruit the replacements of departing teachers where turnover has weakened teamwork, co-operation between teachers and administrators, and public faith about educational institutions at Chitwan Nepal. This is a very serious problem and threat for the educational improvement which may invite a dark-full situation at Chitwan District, Nepal (Bacchus, 1984).

Purpose of the study: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between teacher turnover and job dissatisfaction factors in Nepalese Educational Institutions at Chitwan. Personal characteristics are divided into background information about the respondents and information about the respondents' thoughts of changing schools or termination from their profession. The examination of background is important to this study because it is hoped that it would be possible to identify characteristics and factors of job dissatisfaction contributing to significant differences in mobility and termination. Researcher's main interest is to explore the differences in rating of teachers' attitude across school types (community, governmental, private, trust, Multinational Corporation and others) and across teachers' level (Primary, Lower-Secondary, High School, Higher Secondary, Campus level and others).The second part of the study asks the respondents to identify those job dissatisfaction factors concerned with them. Job dissatisfaction factors are defined in thirteen categories which are identified from the Research Report of Centre for the Study of Teaching and Policy and The Consortium for Policy Research Education (CPRE) questionnaires (Ingersoll, 2003).See at appendix 'H' for independent variables.

Main Research Question

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This study will identify several key independent variables that might contribute to a teacher's decision to leave or move Schools of Chitwan District, Nepal. It will seek to identify which of those independent variables seem to have had the greatest impact on the subjects of this study. In doing so, this study will answer the following questions.

What independent variables do teachers of Chitwan District who leave or move schools before contact period or ending an academic year with schools describe as influential in their decision to leave or move schools?

Subsidiary Questions

a)Are there differences in identified key causal factors by associative school characterists ?

b)Are these differences in identified key casual factors by associative teacher level ?

Significance of the study: This study is premised on the assumption that a stable teaching population is a key variable in establishing stability and continuity in Schools (Ingersoll, 2001). This feature is particularly important in Nepalese Educational Institutions at Chitwan. In recent years compelling evidence has emerged that teacher turnover is a significant problem affecting school performance and student's achievement (Grissmer and Kirby, 1997; and Ingersoll, 2001). All the parents of Chitwan District look to the schools for a sense of confidence that the experience teachers they will have, will be a positive one. Equally importantly, guardians who have been sending their children to those schools at Chitwan want to see the programme that offers continuity and consistency, in which their children can experience steady academic and personal growth. Establishing and maintaining such programme in the schools of Chitwan is also premised on a stable teaching population (Hayden and Thompson, 1998). School principles and administrators of Chitwan will recognize that stability in their teaching population is necessary for maximum effectiveness of a school. They also will recognize that when teachers only stay for the minimum two academic years, stability in the school is eroded. Participating administrators involved in Seminar at Chitwan Nepal revealed that 60% to 70% of teachers never continue their teaching profession more than two years in Private Schools (Adhikari, 2009).

The concept underlying this study is that teacher turnover is a function of the relative attractiveness of staying at schools versus leaving the schools. School administrators would do well to investigate why teachers see greater benefits leaving than to staying. One of the costs incurred by teacher departure is recruitment of replacement teachers, which has been the most important task of administrator (Skinner, 1998). It might also be said to be one of the most time consuming process. In addition to enhancing the stability and continuity of the school, reducing teacher turnover would also save administrators from inordinate time spent recruiting replacements. This study seeks to offer insight into how school administrators of Chitwan Nepal can influence current teachers renew their teachers' stay at schools rather than leave the schools. While there is a great diversity among the teachers of Chitwan Nepal, and the context in which schools of Chitwan operate is highly variable, it is the goal of this study to discern influential variables that are common among teachers' decisions to leave schools of Chitwan before completing an academic year. A further breakdown of the causal factors that fall within the control of the school will offer insight into how administrator of schools of Chitwan can lower teacher turnover in their schools. In helping administrators to understand why teachers leave their schools, it may equip them to reduce such harmful departures, to the extent that it is desirable to do so in their schools (Odland, 2007).

One final reason for engaging in the proposed study is to create to opportunity for dialogue, both for teachers and administrators. While the study itself collects data in an anonymous fashion, the very fact that teachers will be asked to share why they left or would leave a school may open a dialogue among teachers, and ideally between teachers and their administrators, to address issues of concern to both parties (Powell, 2001). It is very rare to get any detail research on teacher turnover due to the job dissatisfaction regarding to Nepalese Educational Institutions at Chitwan. This research project will be a milestone to make the policy makers and administrators of the importance of retaining teachers in educational institutions to maintain quality education and to enrich overall social, economical, political, fundamental development of the whole Chitwan District. The researcher's experience, working as an administrator for 20 years suggests this research finding can address the contemporary social issue of educational field of Chitwan Nepal where no one conducted research concerning this issue before.

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