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WORKLOAD FACTORS AND TEACHER’S JOB PERFORMANCE IN PUBLIC JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN EDUCATION
The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which workload factors (such as working hours, class size, teacher-student ratio, committee assignment and nature of work) influence teacher’s job performance in public secondary schools in Education District III of Lagos State. The study was carried out using descriptive survey design, the population comprised of the 960 teachers in the 66-public junior secondary school in the District and the Sloven formula of sample size was used to select 280 teachers out of the 960 total population. The stratified and random sampling techniques were used to select and administer the research instrument A self-designed questionnaire was the research instrument used for the study. Descriptive statistics such as frequency count and simple percentage was employed to analyse the demographic characteristics of participants and all the research questions, while the chi-square statistical tool was used to test the research hypotheses. From the study it was discovered that working hours, class size, teacher-student ratio, committee assignment and nature of work has an influence on teacher’s job performance. Therefore, it was recommended that School authorities should be conscious of the health status of their teachers by enhancing work efficiency through health-prone working hours and time management, maintain a sizeable classroom that will enhance academic excellence of students and effective teaching of the teachers , play a significant role in promoting student-teacher interaction and a significant student-teacher ratio in order to enhance an improved academic performance and effective teaching among teachers. Teachers should be involved in decision making of the school and to take active role in the effective administration of the school to promote an improved job performance among teachers, assigned to the work they find so convenient and appealing doing. It is to promote teachers’ satisfaction, and to enhance higher job satisfaction
Background of the Study
Improvement in the performance of Nigerian employees in the different sectors of the economy including school organization has remained the recurrent themes of many symposia, conferences and workshops. It is a recognized fact that performance is a critical factor in socio-economic development of any nation, for it is one of the key determinants of the standard of living of the citizenry. There is therefore no doubt that improved performance is at the core of the activity of all organizations including school, suggest that the survival and growth of most human understandings depend to a large extend on the organization level of performance which itself depends on the performance of employee. Therefore, the performance of any employee including a teacher depends largely on the workload.
The management of workload in school is an important aspect that can make or mar the goals of education. This is because where these tasks or duties are not co-ordinated efficiently; expected result will be far from realization. According to Nweke and Dollah (2011) view a teacher’s workload as the totality of academic teaching work and committee workload assigned to a teacher for the attainment of the overall educational objectives in the school. This is in terms of lesson note preparation, test and assignment, examination, house mastership and any other routine work that may be assigned to a teaching staff by the principal. This view agrees with Sinclair as cited in Usoro, Nnaessien & Saleh (2007) that workload is viewed as the physiological and mental demands that occur while performing a task or a combination of tasks; and it can also be the physical and/or mental requirements associated with a task or combination of tasks.
This means that workload is the cost incurred by an individual, given their abilities while performing at a specific level of performance on a job that has particular demands; that is the perception of having too many things to do or not having enough time to do the things one has to do. It is that portion of the employees’ limited capacity actually required to perform a particular task. Tasks are specified in terms of their structural properties. A set of stimuli and responses are specified with a set of rules that map responses to stimuli. The workload factors are teaching units/working units, class size, teacher-student ratio, committee assignment, students’ assessment and nature of work.
Due to limited resources, like restricted budget and staffs, organizations might not be able to hire a sufficient number of employees. For this reason, the organization gives the employees responsibilities that are not included in their job descriptions, thus increasing the workload. According to Kawada, Ueda, Hayashi, Sakamoto, Uchida, Shirato & Etoh (2010), workload is divided into physical and mental workload. Physical workload is created by the technical requirements for processing the work, both in and outside the workplace. This means, the measurable portion of physical resources expended when performing a given task and is affected by a range of factors. However, mental workload is the amount of the subject’s processing capacity which is required for the performance of a task at a given time. This means, it is an attribute of Information processing and control systems that mediate between stimuli and, rules and responses.
It is important to determine the elements that organizations have to consider in order to reduce the workload of the employee. Firstly, they need to identify the crucial element that has the strongest effect on the workload of an employee. After this, the organization must take the necessary actions to reduce workload. It is clear that organizations and in particular human research departments should consider this issue. The work schedule, working day, job description and job specification among others should be clearly set out (Guimarães, Pessa & Biguelini, 2012).
A teacher therefore can be overloaded, that is, much task in terms of teaching units and committee assignment or under-loaded with work, that is, less teaching unit assigned (Zwalchir & Buenyen, 2009). The principal in the school is the sole administrator who assigns workload to the teaching staff and so must be proactive to avoid over utilization or under-utilization of teaching staff for the purpose of goal getting and fruitful performance.
In this same vein, the principal has the duty to also check the class size taught by the teacher, as large class size constitutes excess workload for the teacher. With the increasing enrolment rate in our schools, the teaching staff can be paid for excess workload (Adu, Titilola & Ifeoma, 2013). They further stressed that, the distribution of workload by the principal is dependent on the teaching staff strength of the school. Where this is small, the workload will be high per teacher and some work will be left undone. This is responsible for some subjects not being taught unless the principal engages the services of a helping teacher who may not be competent in the subject; hence quality or effectiveness is compromised. Arora (2009) said that quality is conformance to requirement or specification. In this direction, therefore, teaching staff productivity is directly related to the workload assigned to that staff.
Performance of a teaching staff is a measure of the extent of effectiveness and efficient execution of the workload within a stipulated time, culminating to achievement of school objectives. Usoro et al (2007) agreed that performance is measured in terms of how the students have appreciated and assimilated the lesson taught by the teacher. The class size can make or mar the rate of understanding. A large class will be difficult to be effectively controlled which contradicts the tenets of training on class room management. The classroom management will be more effective if the 1:40 teacher-student’s ratio is maintained in the public senior secondary schools.
Observably, in recent years the quality of education in Nigeria, especially in our secondary schools, has been a subject of public concern. The major thrust of such public concern has to do with the falling standard of education and urgent need to redress the situation to avoid further deterioration. Ajayi (2000) attests to this in an address presented at the national workshop on planning and administration for a successful implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in Nigeria where he states that a cursory look at the education scenario in Nigeria presents no less a picture of poor quality education and then went on to posit that poor planning models, weak school administration and management, low teacher productivity arising from low teachers’ dedication and commitment (morale) to their job accounted for the poor education quality in the country.
Given the above scenario, the importance of good administration and management of the secondary school system becomes imperative. In the secondary school system, the principal is responsible for the administration and management while teaching and learning are carried out primarily by teachers and students respectively. According to Jaiyeoba (2008), the teacher occupies a central position in the instructional setting.
Adesokan (2000) aptly states this when he asserts that the teacher is the spark and key man in the drive to progress in our educational enterprise. Expectedly, the teacher cannot carry out the demanding and indispensable assignment alone. He has to work in cooperation with other stakeholders – the principal, other teachers, students and parents in order to be able to achieve the objectives of delivering good instructions in the classroom setting.
Statement of Problem
Education is the bedrock of development, and the teacher plays a crucial role in the product and outcome of the education sector. There have been reports of persistent poor job performance by teachers and poor academic performance of students in core and major subjects at the Senior Secondary School level of education. This can be attributed to workload of the teachers in schools which has led to the decline of teacher’s job performance.
Workload is on the front burner when it has to do with quality or effectiveness of education in as much as workload determines to a great extent the level of teacher’s job performance. On a general perception, there is hue and cry on the deteriorating level of quality of education as products of our education system, senior secondary school inclusive cannot adequately prove their worth. The scenario is worsening with the insufficiency of teacher staff strength in schools with the resulting high workload on the available teaching staff.
The major statement of problem therefore is to what extent do workload factors (such as working hours, class size, teacher-student ratio, committee assignment and nature of work) influence teacher’s job performance in public secondary schools of Education District III of Lagos State?
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study was to assess how workload factors influence teacher’s job performance in public junior secondary schools of Education District III of Lagos state. Specifically, the study sets out:
The following research questions were used to guide and direct the investigation:
The following null hypotheses were formulated to give direction to the study:
H01: Working hours do not significantly influence teacher’s job performance.
H02: Class size do not significantly influence teacher’s job performance.
H03: Teacher-student ratio do not significantly influence teacher’s job performance.
H04: Committee assignment do not significantly influence teacher’s job performance.
H05: Nature of work do not significantly influence teacher’s job performance.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will equip general knowledge on workload factors and teacher’s job performance. The findings will contribute to information that can be used in organizing seminars and workshops on how to reduce teachers’ workload in public secondary schools in order to improve students’ academic performance and teachers’ job performance in educational goal realization.
The findings could also be used by human resources department of the Ministry of Education and other policy making organs of government especially in the formulation of policies that will help to ensure reduction of teachers’ workload that will help to enhance effective teaching-learning process. The findings of this study will also reveal the best organizational structure that will improve students’ academic performance in schools and improve teachers’ job performance.
Scope of the Study
The study focused mainly on workload factors and teacher’s job performance. The study focused mainly on public secondary school teachers. The study covers only Education District III of Lagos state. The study focused on the following variables: working hours, class size, teacher-student ratio, committee assignment and nature of work
Definitions of Terms
Class size refers to the number of students in a given course or classroom, specifically either (1) the number of students being taught by individual teachers in a course or classroom or (2) the average number of students being taught by teachers in a school, district, or education system.
Nature of work is referred to as the basic daily tasks that he carries out as part of his job, and it can refer to other non-routine tasks that may be required by the job also.
Student-teacher ratio expresses the relationship between the number of students enrolled in a school, district, or education system and the number of full-time equivalent teachers employed by the school, district, or system.
Teacher’s job performance: This is teaching work related activities expected of a teacher and how well those teaching activities were performed. This implies the level of productivity of teachers in a school organisation.
Workload factors: This is the physiological and mental demands that occur while performing a task or a combination of tasks. These factors are: teaching units/working units, class size, teacher-student ratio, committee assignment, students’ assessment and nature of work
Working hours: is the period of time that an individual spends at paid occupational labour.
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