Training a Determinant of Teacher Retention in Zambia

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Training a Determinant of Teacher Retention in Zambia

  • Zulu Natalia
  • Masaiti Gift
  • Mundende Kasonde
  • 700-715
  • Jan 17, 2024
  • Education

Training a Determinant of  Teacher Retention in Zambia

 Zulu Natalia*1, Masaiti Gift2 & Mundende Kasonde3

University of Zambia: Institute of Distance Education1,2,3

 Corresponding Author*

DOI: https://doi.org/10.51244/IJRSI.2023.1012054

Received: 06 December 2023; Revised: 16 December 2023; Accepted: 20 December 2023; Published: 15 January 2024

ABSTRACT

The high turnover rates of experienced and qualified teachers in government schools on the Copperbelt Province of Zambia necessitates this novel paper into determining the impact of training on  teacher retention.  This article was guided by Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory and Job Embeddedness Theory. And to simplify the relationship between the key variables the Employee Retention Connections (ERC) model was used.  This paper was underpinned by pragmatic research philosophy and utilized a Mixed Method design, precisely an embedded correlational model which was primarily quantitative. The article was done on the Copperbelt Province of Zambia with the population of 17, 885.  A study sample of 600 participants which was calculated using Yamane formula at 95% confidence level with the level of precision of ±4% was used. basic set of beliefs that guide the actions and define the worldview of the researcher (Lincoln et al. 2011).Introduced by Thomas Kuhn (1970), the term paradigm was used to discuss the shared generalizations, beliefs, and values of a community of specialists regarding the nature of reality and knowledge. Sampling was done using multistage sampling and snowball sampling techniques. To collect quantitative and qualitative data, self-administered questionnaires and semi-structured interview guides were used respectively. Quantitative data were then analyzed using inferential statistics precisely linear regression analysis. On the other hand, qualitative data were analyzed using both a qualitative interpretative approach and Moustakas`s Modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen (SCK) method. The findings suggest that school managers and newly recruited teachers should be given foundational training before ushered in an office, and in-service training should be an ongoing exercise.   The researcher further recommends that in-service training should be an on-going exercise especially in rural schools; and foundational training should be mandatory for all education administrators, as well as newly recruited teachers, before ushered in the office.

Key Words:  retention, training, foundational training,

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH PAPER

Background

Employee retention has been one of the widely researched topics (Wamitu, 2018; Rodriguez, 2019; Kukano, 2020; Muma, 2021). This is so because employees, who are the life force of every institution, are becoming very difficult to retain world-wide. This problem is apparent in the civil service (Ingersoll et al., 2014). Globally, the teaching profession has been badly hit especially in some teaching fields such as science, technology, special education, languages, and senior mathematics (Anne et al., 2016; Sutcher, Darling-Hammond, & Carver-Thomas, 2019; Teacher shortage in Africa, 2016; Vonow, 2015).

To be precise, in England a National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) report found that 31% of teachers of science would consider exiting the profession, whereas only 17% of teachers of mathematics considering leaving (House of Common Education Committee, 2017). Furthermore, complementary data from the US, based on a representative sample of 50,000 teachers, indicates that over 41% of teachers (primary and secondary education combined) leave the profession within five years of entry, producing an annual attrition rate of 13% (Ingersoll, Merrill, & Stuckey, 2014).  In Australia, teacher attrition rates range from 8% to 50% (Queensland College of Teachers, 2013, as cited by Mason & Matas, 2015). Reports have also shown that the greatest teacher shortages are in sub-Saharan Africa (Teacher shortage in Africa, 2016).

Zambia as one of those countries in the sub-Saharan Africa has not been spared with the problem of teacher attrition. For instance, in 2018, a total of 107 490 teachers were reported to have left the Ministry of education, showing an increase of 1 220 from 106 270 in 2017 (MoE, 2018 and 2020).

According to the MoE, (2018 and 2020), resignation is the second largest cause of high turnover among teachers in Zambia.

In trying to establish the reasons for low retention rates among teachers worldwide, the following reasons are advanced: poor working conditions, poor infrastructure, lack of accommodation, distance from town, poor leadership styles, low salaries, lack of opportunities for employee development, lack of job security, lack of recognition of highly performing teachers and many more others (Msango, & Mulenga 2010; Costen, & Salazar, 2011; Ingersoll et al., 2014; George, 2015; Daka, 2016; Podolsky et al., 2016;   MoE, 2018; Wamitu, 2018).

The problem of high teacher turnover has led to a high concentration of inexperienced and underprepared teachers in some schools (Carver-Thomas, & Darling-Hammond, 2017; Wamitu, 2018), reduction in the number of taxpayers (Mathews, 2013), and  profound drain on a country’s resources (Beaugez, 2012)..  The departure of teachers from the Ministry of Education has also compromised the quality of education, the achievement of Education for All (EFA) policy goals, the Universal Primary Education (UPE) targets, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Pitsoe, 2013).

Some studies have been done in   Zambia in relation to teacher retention (Msango & Mulenga 2010; Masaiti & Naluyele 2011; Kukano 2020; and Muma 2021).  These studies established the main contributing factors to teacher retention, which includes inappropriate hiring practices, unprofessional management style, lack of recognition, lack of competitive compensation system, lack of interesting work, lack of job security, lack of promotion, inadequate training and career development opportunities, and an unfavorable working environment. It was also discovered that the decisions of employees to leave a firm are influenced by factors such as salary, work life balance, or career opportunities (Masaiti, & Naluyele, 2011; Wamitu, 2018; Kukano, 2020; Muma, 2021) but did not establish the extent at which these variables can affect teacher retention..

Moreover, in a study on employee retention, Ramlall (2003) suggested that when there is lack of challenge and opportunity, career advancement opportunities, recognition, inadequate emphasis on teamwork, no flexible work schedule, these become the most common reasons for employees to leave an institution.

Similarly, Herzberg’s (1959) Two Factor Theory asserts that employees are motivated mostly by the internal values rather than the external values attached to the work.  Herzberg continues to say that motivation is internally generated and is propelled by variables that are intrinsic to the work and he called that “motivators”. Conversely, certain aspects which cause dissatisfying experiences to employees are mostly result from non-job-related variables (extrinsic).  Therefore, to have a wider understanding of the concept of job retention, it is important that variables influencing job retention be looked at in detail. This paper therefore, focused on determining the effect of training on teacher retention.

The impact of training on teacher retention

Competent employees never stop learning.  Learning among employees can only happen because of good training. Training may mean teaching people certain skills they may need to perform their duties effectively and diligently.  Edwin B. Flippo (1984), defines training as the act of increasing the knowledge and skills of an employee for performing a particular task. Similarly, Armstrong (1999) defines training as a well-planned alteration of behaviour through learning which occurs as a result of education, instruction, development and planned experi­ence. It is clear that through training employees, performance improves and it can bring permanent change in their behaviour and equip them with skills and knowledge needed to do a particular assignment. This assumption is born out of Mefleh et al’s (2015) study which asserts that training does not only impact on employee performance but also brings about job satisfaction.  Training also helps staff to get along well with those in authority and positively influences retention of employees (Umesh, 2014; Rao et al., 2018). Therefore, the strong influence of training on retention cannot be ignored.

Training opportunities have a direct impact on employee retention and reports have shown that

training increases employees’ retention.  A study by Damei (2020) showed a positive significant relationship between job instruction and employee retention (r = .940**, p-value = 0.000 when tested at 95% confidence interval).  Training can have a positive effect on employee retention when training is credibly provided and certified by external institutions (Dietz, & Zwick, 2016). A study based on the Human Capital Theory and Herzberg’s theory also identified training as an important factor to enhance organizational performance and as the main strategy to influence employee retention.  It also revealed that training and job satisfaction positively impacted on employee retention (Oraby, & Elsafty, 2022). Similarly, Sah and Kumari (2022) also established that there is a relationship between training and development on employee retention and concluded that training has an impact on employee retention.  Employees’ decision to stay for a long period of time can be influenced by the provision of training (Ahmad, 2013).

Training can also appear particularly striking to managers, who are often in ideal positions to deploy the rewarding and reinforcement of certain employee behaviour  and at the same time establishing cooperation and a fully-fledged and fruitful process of exchanging experiences (Abazi, & Hajrizi,  2018).  Additionally, training also helps staff to get along well with those in authority and that is a long-term achievement (Umesh, 2014).

Milhem, Khalil and Arostegui (2014) further  contend that training is a continuous improving process that should be up-to-date to face the dynamic changes in the workplace and to adopt training as a competitive advantage Therefore, for training to be of benefit to the employees, it has to depend much on the concept of training, the trainer, the types and process of training (Jawad, 2019).

Types of Training

There are different types of training that organizations and educational institutions offer. These types of training depend on the needs of the institution. For example, despite new teachers receiving training in college, there is need to give them induction training immediately they join the profession. This will help them understand how the education system works and this will in turn lead to job efficiency. Studies done on two companies in Lebanon on designing different training programs designed training programs that focused on short-term skills and development programmes for long-term abilities.  The programmes helped employees to develop inner satisfaction, to give positive evaluation feedback, to understand how to achieve quality output, and to develop a career beyond classwork (Halawi, & Haydar, 2018). Contrary to this study, the majority of training programs have been identified not to be interactive, impractical, and off-the-job (Martin, Kolomitro, & Lam, 2013)

Consecutively, Alim and Ali (n.d.) outlined a number of types of in-service training that are needed for staff development throughout their work life.  This included induction or orientation training. This type of training is given to employees immediately they are employed to help them get acclimatized with the new environment.  This type of training provides new employees with the knowledge, tools, and direct exposure that will support them in developing their skills and contributing to the growth of the institution. The new employees will have a chance to know the rules and regulations of the new work place, and this may help them to adjust without difficulties.   Studies have established that induction training reduces the negative effects of a sudden change of  environment and lifestyle, and  helps  employees adapt to the  conditions at the new working place (Rodica, & Hurioiu, 2014).  A qualitative study done in Tanzania  also concluded  that induction training is of great value to  learning institutions as it served to inform new staff of the important aspects of their new work environment  (Shayo, & Mchete, 2020).

From the above discussion, it is clear that induction training can lead to job satisfaction which can improve retention rates in the work place.  Coming to the education sector, we can only make the new teachers into better ones if we expose them to such training. By so doing the numbers of those who normally resign from the profession in their early years of employment will be reduced. Gibson (2018) established that early career teachers made the decision to leave the profession within the first three months of their employment. This is proof enough that many newly recruited teachers do leave the profession at an early stage hence the importance of this type of training.

Other than induction training, foundation training is another type of training that can be given to new entrants in the profession and those who have been promoted to new positions. This training aims to improve their basic skills and technical competences and other important things concerning an organization and the position they are holding. To be precise, every member of staff needs some professional knowledge about various rules and regulations of the government, financial transactions, administrative capability, communication skills, leadership ability, coordination and cooperation among institutions and their linkage mechanism, report writing, and so on (Alim, & Ali, n.d.).  In schools, foundational professional development (FPD) training is often used to prepare schools for implementing trauma-informed approaches. This type of training also contributes to significant knowledge growth among teachers (Elizabeth, Baker, & Overstreet, 2018). Therefore, induction training should be made available to employees to strengthen the foundation of their service career.

Maintenance or refresher training is another type of training given to employees.   This course is not just for junior employees but for everyone, the chief executive officer inclusive.  A refresher course has a number of benefits. For instance, it helps in preparing future leaders, it improves intelligence levels, it helps employees to reduce on making mistakes, and also helps in identifying knowledge gaps and future needs. Refresher courses can also improve job satisfaction among employees and this will later impact positively on the retention rates in many institutions (Mefleh et al 2015).

Additionally, on-the-job training is another very important training in the development of human resource. Its aim is to improve the work performance of employees. With this type of training even those who may have joined an organization with low qualifications will end up being competent in the way they perform their duties. To make this training effective, superiors and any other employees with experience and knowledge on a particular area should handle the training. Not only that, the issue of job specialization will also be considered in the sense that only specialized professionals understand and can articulate the relevant issues well.  For instance, in schools, heads of department should be people with high qualifications for this will allow them to handle this type of training effectively. It is also important to note that this type of training should have a very short time period between the first and that second training.

Career or development training is another type of training. Many organizations include career training in their benefit packages as a way of motivating employees. This is so because it allows employees to advance in their studies and improve their curriculum vitae which is every employee’s dream. Career training is mainly designed to improve the competence of employees as a way of preparing them for higher positions. In addition, reports have shown that career training can increase job satisfaction and retention rates (Aroge 2012; Umesh 2014; Mefleh et al 2015).

From the types of training just discussed, it can be deduced that all types of training mentioned are vital to efficiency in an organization. It is also clear that such types of training increase the morale of employees to remain working for particular organizations for a long time. This is so because people feel valued and dependable.  However, it is important to know that for training to be effective, there is need for the full support of managers and funds have to be put aside specifically for training. There should also be a continuous follow-up on trainees to check if the training has taken effect on the way the trainees are performing their tasks.

Identification of Training Needs

Needs diagnosis is one of the most cardinal steps when it comes to the training process for the attainment of the individual and organizational goals.  Needs diagnosis helps to bring out grey areas where training is much needed as well as closing the gap between the actual and desired training needs (Rothwell, & Kazanas, 1998). Therefore, identification of training required will help in giving the employees the right training they need and when (Kapur, 2019).  Those preparing the training programme will also have an opportunity prepare exactly what the employees need (You cannot give a human resource officer the training needed by an accountant because that will be a shear waste of resources unless there is a need).

Training needs diagnosis, being one the most important and first steps in the training process, involves a procedure to determine whether training will indeed address the problem which has been identified (Panji et al., 2018).  This therefore requires training needs analysis to look at each aspect of an operational area so that the basic skills, concepts and attitudes of the human elements of a system and the appropriate training can be pointed out (Tripathi, & Bansal, 2017). Needs analysis actually makes the training process efficient and effective. This is so because training needs starts from unrevealed skills, scarce knowledge or inappropriate employees’ attitudes in their job.  Panji et al. (2018) contends that failure to identify the gap between current performance and skills required causes serious problems in terms of resources required for effective training. Therefore, institutions/organizations must identify employee training needs accurately to avoid wasting resources.  Research has also established that the identification of training needs has a significant impact on the efficiency of the training programs as well as improving the individual and organizational performance (Abdul, 2015). Proper training needs identification has also been identified as a process that will keep pace with the smooth flow of  information and aid organizations to improve productivity, competitiveness and motivation of employees (Chaubey, Kapoor, & Negi, 2015).

To analyze training needs, McGhee and Thayer (1961) provide a three-tiered approach as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1: Three -tiered approach in a needs analysis

Source: McGhee and Thayer as cited by Triphati and Bansal (2017)

From Figure 6 above, organization analysis gives a clear picture of how the organization is performing. However, though it does not highlight the training needs of a specific employee, it is important to note that it will still point out problems some departments in an organization may be facing. It will pinpoint things like employee turnover rates, accounts statements, breakoffs, and organizational objectives and goals. Then operational analysis is much concerned with the knowledge, skills and abilities needed by employees to perform certain tasks. This can be made possible through quality assurance procedures, interviewing heads of department and obtaining job description. Personal analysis on the other hand, describes how best an individual performs a task given. This can be made possible through interviewing staff about their job, observation and by checking job profiles. This approach makes it possible to provide employees with the training they require.

Training needs diagnosis is very important in the provision of the appropriate training to employees. This can later help in the achievement of organizational goals in the sense that employees will have the skills needed to perform tasks. The provision of appropriate training, through training needs diagnoses, also leads to motivation of employees which can also positively impact on employee retention.

In conclusion, it is imperative that the training provided should match the employee needs (Mefleh, et al 2015). Therefore, if we are to reap the good out of training programmes provided to employees, training must be valid and consistent. Employee knowledge gaps have to be assessed and resources have to be put aside for training. This will surely motivate the employees to appreciate their employers and can later yield improved retentions rates in an organization in the sense that employees will feel indebted to the organization.

Theoretical and conceptual overview

This study was informed by Herzberg Two Factor Theory of Motivation and the Job Embeddedness Theory.  These theories provide ways for understanding as to why employees leave so as to prevent the employees from leaving (Merin, 2021). The two theories have been put forward keeping in mind that low job retention rates are mainly as a result of job dissatisfaction, poor working conditions, low salaries, lack of accommodation, distance from town, poor leadership styles, lack of opportunities for employee development, lack of job security, lack of recognition of highly performing teachers and many others (Costen, & Salazar 2011; Ingersoll et Educational Statistical al., 2014; George, 2015;  Daka, 2016; Podolsky et al., 2016; Presbitero et al., 2016;  MoE, 2018; Wamitu, 2018).

To understand relationship between key variables ( training and teacher retention) in this  study, the Employee Retention Connections (ERC) model was used.  This model helped to bring out a picture of originality to this study since it is a tested model and the independent variable being used in this study fitted well in the model. The ERC model helped to give accuracy to the research process because of its nature and focus. This model  identifies opportunity to learn as one of the key drivers of  employee retention ( Nazia and Begum 2013).

Research Problem, Questions and Hypothesis

Zambia, has not been spared with the problem of retaining qualified teachers (MoE 2020). In spite of many recommended solutions, the problem of high teacher attrition in Zambia has escalated (Kukano 2020; Muma, 2021). For instance, 7,915 teachers left the teaching profession for different reasons and resignation been the major cause (MoE 2020). The following are the reasons: poor working conditions, poor infrastructure, lack of accommodation, distance from town, poor leadership styles, low salaries, lack of opportunities for employee development, lack of job security, lack of recognition of highly performing teachers and many more others (Daka, 2016; Podolsky et al., 2016; MoE, 2018; MoE 2020; Wamitu, 2018).  In addressing the research problem, the current paper sought to answer the following question;

  1. How does training impact on retention rates among teachers in the Copperbelt province of Zambia?

The paper also tested the following hypothesis which emerged from the literature reviewed:

H1: Training has a positive impact on teacher retention in the Copperbelt province of Zambia.

 H0: Training negatively impacts on teacher retention in the Copperbelt province of Zambia.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN

This paper was underpinned by pragmatic research philosophy and used a mixed design approach precisely an embedded correlational model, in which qualitative data was embedded within a quantitative design. The research was done on the Copperbelt Province of Zambia with the population of 17, 885 which included the teaching staff in government secondary, combined primary and basic schools. From the population, the sample of 600 participants was calculated using Yamane formula. Yamane (1967) came up with a simplified formula for calculation of sample size from a population. According to him, for a 95% confidence level and p = 0.0 4, size of the sample (n) should be:

where, N is the population size and e is the level of precision

The above formula was used to obtain the study sample size, when N = 17885 with ±4% precision. Assuming a 95% confidence level and p =0.04, we were able to get the sample size of;

The calculated sample size was later rounded off to a nearest hundred which was 600. This sample size is similar to that used in a study by Nyanga et al. (2022). Similarly, Glenn (1992) also specifies that a good sample size (for example 200-500) is needed for regression, which may be performed for more rigid state impact evaluations.  The sample size should also be acceptable for the analysis that is planned, hence 600 was suitable for this study.

In the sample, there was the permanent secretary (PS) from the Ministry of Education, the provincial education officer (PEO) for Copperbelt province, six district educational board secretaries (DEBS), 52 school administrators, and 540 serving teachers.

basic set of beliefs that guide the actions and define the worldview of the researcher (Lincoln et al. 2011).Introduced by Thomas Kuhn (1970), the term paradigm was used to discuss the shared generalizations,beliefs, and values of a community of specialists regarding the nature of reality and knowledge.Sampling was done using multistage sampling and snowball sampling techniques. To collect quantitative and qualitative data, self-administered questionnaires and semi-structured interview guides were used respectively. The questionnaires were given to serving teachers and administrators. And out of the 600 questionnaires distributed a total of 503 questionnaires were collected. This gave a response rate of 84 %, an acceptable percentage to make the study generalizable. The interview schedule was also used to interview teachers who had joined other organizations and the saturation point was reached at 10.

Quantitative data were then analyzed using inferential statistics, thus Analysis of Variance and linear regression. Additionally, qualitative data were also analyzed separately.  In analyzing this type of data, a qualitative interpretative approach was used. Gomba (2017) defines the qualitative interpretive approach as a qualitative study that seeks to discover and understand a situation, a process, or the positions and worldviews of the people involved. In this case the teachers who had left the Ministry of Education helped the researcher in locating and appreciating teacher retention perspectives.  Furthermore, in the qualitative interpretive approach, explanation and understanding of the experience of the participants is of extreme importance, and the interpretations of the researcher are marginal (Creswell, 2013).

Qualitative data were also analyzed using the Moustakas`s Modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen (SCK) method. This provided a systematic approach to analyzing data about lived experiences of teachers who left the Ministry of Education to join other organizations (Moustakas 1994).  This therefore helped the researcher to understand the research problem based on the lived experiences of the informants other than from her own experience.

To achieve reliability and validity, extensive literature reviews was done to extract the related items as a way of establishing content validity. Experts in the topic under investigation, were also consulted on their own judgement of the items in the survey instrument. However, it was not easy to present the instrument to many experts due to scarcity of experts in this field.  This caused a limitation to conduct validity tests on the research instrument (Choudrie, & Dwivedi, 2005). Cronbach’s statistical analysis for the questionnaire items was also done (Bowling 1997; Bryman, & Cramer, 1997).

Quantitative data was then coded and cleaned with the aid of Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 26.  And to attain trustworthiness in this research, environmental and methodological triangulation was used.  The paper also considered the ethical principles.

RESEARCH FINDINGS AND RESULTS

This paper aimed to determine the impact of training on teacher retention. The findings were presented starting with descriptive statistics, ANOVA results on individual items in relation to training, the hypothesis testing findings and the qualitative results.

Research question: How does training lead to higher retention rates among teachers in the Copperbelt province of Zambia?

Table 1: Descriptive statistics of individual items in relation to training

Descriptive Statistics
N Mean Std. Deviation
Inservice training should be an on- going exercise especially in rural schools 503 4.02 1.027
Quality training given to teachers impacts on teacher retention positively 503 3.98 .921
Foundational training helps to bring about technical competence which can later led to intrinsic motivation 503 3.89 .867
School managers who have gone through foundational training are good managers 503 3.85 1.019
In-service training motivates teachers to stay in on place for a long time 503 3.08 1.170
Most learning institution offer induction training to newly recruited teachers as a way of reducing teacher turnover 503 3.04 1.031
All newly appointed school managers undergo foundational training to help them manage human resource well 503 3.03 1.350
In-service training is a well- funded policy in most schools 503 2.43 1.349
Valid N (listwise) 503

Source: Field Data (2022)

In Table 1 above, the  mean ranging from 4.02- 3.85 was  a clear indication that on average the participants  agreed that in-service training should be an ongoing exercise especially in rural schools,  quality training given to teachers impacts on teacher retention positively, foundational training helps to bring about technical competence which can later led to intrinsic motivation and school managers who have gone through foundational training are good managers.  Statistically, standard deviation for all the items in the table was no greater than plus or minus 2 an indication that the measures were closer to the true value.

Table 2:  Analysis of variance test statistics (ANOVA) on individual items in relation to training and teacher retention

ANOVA

Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.
Most learning institution offer induction training to newly recruited teachers as a way of reducing teacher turnover Between Groups 6.892 4 1.723 1.628 .166
Within Groups 527.231 498 1.059
Total 534.123 503
In-service training motivates teachers to stay in on place for a long time Between Groups 20.064 4 5.016 3.742 .005
Within Groups 667.595 498 1.341
Total 687.658 503
All newly appointed school managers undergo foundational training to help them manage human resource well Between Groups 11.714 4 2.928 1.615 .169
Within Groups 902.950 498 1.813
Total 914.664 503
Foundational training helps to bring about technical competence which can later led to intrinsic motivation Between Groups 8.245 4 2.061 2.784 .026
Within Groups 368.741 498 .740
Total 376.986 503
School managers who have gone through foundational training are good managers Between Groups 33.983 4 8.496 8.685 .000
Within Groups 487.131 498 .978
Total 521.113 503
Inservice training should be an on -going exercise especially in rural schools Between Groups 31.757 4 7.939 7.937 .000
Within Groups 498.116 498 1.000
Total 529.873 503
In-service training is a well- funded policy in most schools Between Groups 4.580 4 1.145 .628 .643
Within Groups 906.617 497 1.824
Total 911.197 503

Source: Field Data (2022)

Table 2 clearly indicates that at a 0.05 level of significance only four items were significant. These included; school managers who have gone through foundational training are good managers (f value= 8.685, p-value=0.000); In-service training should be an ongoing exercise especially in rural schools (f-value=7.937, p-value=0.000); foundational training helps to bring about technical competence which can later led to intrinsic motivation (f-value = 2.784, p-value= 0.026 and in-service training motivates teachers to stay in one place for a long time (f-value=3.742, p-value=0.005). These findings were also supported by the hypothesis findings shown in table 3

Presentation of Research hypothesis

Table 3: ANOVA on how training affect retention among teachers

ANOVAb

Model Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 33.963 7 5.138 6.529 .000b.
Residual 388.700 494 .787
Total 424.663 503
a. Predictor: (Constant), training
b. Dependent Variable:  Teachers Retention

Source: Field Data (2022)

The ANOVA test results revealed significant results with the significant value of 0.000 at 5% and f-statistic value of 6.529. This indicates that there is a significant impact of training on teacher retention, hence we rejected the null hypothesis.

Qualitative results

Preparatory trainings should be offered to school administrators before the take up the positions in order to equip them with knowledge on how to carry out their duties. The training should not just be for administrators but should be extended even to class teachers and especially to those in disadvantaged locations. Opportunities for training contribute much to high retention rates. This is so because training given to the teachers may give them a skill which others do not have; hence they will feel indebted to the institution. To support this assertion Teacher C had this to say:

Workers become indebted to the institution whenever the institution takes them for further studies, and since they will benefit from the training they will be forced to stay. And at times they will be bonded to the institution for a particular agreed number of years after graduation. This helps in retaining the teachers.

Teacher G added;

 To increase retention rates among the teachers with very high qualifications, it is imperative that both newly recruited teachers and school administrators undergo preparatory training as they join the Ministry and as they take up the new office respectively. This will help them prepare for future challenges and it will also help them to understand what they should expect from the teaching profession.

Teacher E also added by saying that;

Training provides us with knowledge on how to handle even the most difficult situations. Therefore, training opportunities should be accorded to every teacher and should be a continuous exercise. This will even be more beneficial to those teachers who are in places where there is no internet nor public libraries. In so doing teachers will not feel left out or cut off from what is trending out there and this will result into increased motivation which can later impact positively on teacher retention.   

From these results, three themes emerged, these being: preparatory training, bonding, and continuous training. These themes were in agreement with the findings from the quantitative data which established that  school managers who have gone through foundational training are good managers, In-service training should be an ongoing exercise especially in rural schools, foundational training helps to bring about technical competence which can later led to intrinsic motivation and in-service training motivates teachers to stay in one place for a long time. Therefore, based on the findings from both data set we can confidently conclude that training has a significant effect on teacher retention on government teachers on the Copperbelt province.

DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

Focusing on the study findings, the ANOVA tests gave credible evidence that training has a significant effect on teacher retention. These results validated the findings of Ahmad (2013), Oraby and Elsafty (2022), and Sah and Kumari (2022).  Further, to assess the impact of training on retention, individual items in line with training were analyzed as presented in the preceding paragraphs.

In-service training

The individual items which were analyzed under training gave credible results that showed that in-service training motivated teachers to stay at one place of work for a long time. These results agreed with Aroge (2012), Damei (2020), and Samaneh and Zoure (2014) who found a significant relationship between workers’ training and workers’ performance. Embeddedness theory alludes that there is a combination of factors that are to be considered in a system. This cover and surround an employee not only in his or her workplace but also the community outside the workplace.  In this case, in-service training can be one of the relevant factors. In support of this statement, a study by Yildiz (2018) showed a moderate relationship between teachers’ job embeddedness and vocational belonging perceptions. Fejoh and Faniran’s (2016) findings showed that although in-service training and staff development had insignificant combined effects, they had significant relative effects on workers’ optimal job productivity. This is a clear indication that in-service training impacts positively on job satisfaction and motivation for these are also connected to productivity. This is also beneficial especially to those teachers who joined the profession some time back. We know that a number of things have changed in the way teachers do their work, but for them to acclimatize to change they need to be given opportunities to learn through in-service training. However, looking at the demographic information, the study findings clearly showed that teachers who are in the range of 50-65 years of age were relatively few. Could it be that many were going on early retirement because of the 21st century technological demands on their jobs? The use of computers has brought a lot of challenges to many teachers for many do not know how to use them.  As such, those who cannot manage to use computers, if not exposed to relevant in-service training, may tend to get demotivated.  As a result, Herzberg’s two factor theory has classified training such as in-service training as a motivator. It is imperative to note, thus, that lack of opportunities in career development leads to poor job satisfaction (Hotchkiss et al., 2015).

Employees can be satisfied when they experience a high level of job embeddedness of which opportunities in career development can be one of the forces that can attract employees to stay. Therefore, educational administrators should try by all means to invest as much as possible in the training of their employees.

The study findings further revealed that in-service training should be an ongoing exercise especially in rural schools. To maintain the standards in the nation, rural schools must be run at excellent level of efficiency. And with many positions being filled by unexperienced teachers, in- service training is very important. Newly recruited teachers depend on expert advice to survive and they definitely need an experienced teacher, who has been exposed new philosophies in education, to mentor them. This is only possible if teachers are also exposed to in-service training (Sand, 1943).

According to UNESCO (2017), training has been identified as important in the realisation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Training offers individuals a chance for lifelong learning and for personal development, as well as for the development of the communities they work in. This is enough reason to give much more attention to in-service training especially to those in disadvantaged areas. And since education has been identified as essential for the realisation the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, prioritizing in-service training especially in rural schools is imperative.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Education (MOE, 1996) states that employing of well qualified and competent teachers is very important. The Ministry asserts that the quality and effectiveness of any education system largely depends on the quality of educational personnel. There is a saying that the quality of a teacher determines the quality of the student. Therefore, to make this vision real, teachers who are the predictors of quality education need to move with the times and acquire skills as per demands of the new philosophies introduced in the education system for them to offer quality education. This is only possible if in-service training is an ongoing exercise especially in rural schools where there is no access to modern libraries and technologies.

Job embeddedness theory predicts that if teachers are accorded opportunities in career advancement, even those in remote areas will tend to stay because the opportunities will act as a force that attracts them to remain in those schools. Teachers who have been recognized as being able to mentor n teachers, as a result of the skill or knowledge they acquired through in-service training, always feel accomplished and that would lead to job satisfaction that later leads to higher teacher retention. Herzberg’s theory describes an opportunity for career advancement as a motivator or satisfier regardless of whether the opportunity is in a rural school or not.

Foundational training

The study also reported that foundation training helps to bring about technical competence which can later lead to intrinsic motivation and this validates the findings of the study by Elizabeth, Baker and Overstreet (2018) that contends that foundational training contributes to significant knowledge growth among teachers.  This type of training that can be given to new entrants in the profession and to those being promoted to new positions.  Foundation training helps in improving employees’ basic skills and technical competences as well as teaching employees other important things concerning the organization and the office.  We all know that every member of staff needs some professional knowledge about various rules and regulations of the government, financial transactions, administrative capability, communication skills, leadership ability, coordination and cooperation among institutions, their linkage mechanisms, report writing, and so on (Alim, & Ali, n.d.).  In schools, foundational professional development (FPD) training is therefore necessary to prepare newly recruited teachers and those being promoted to new offices so that they can strengthen the foundation of their service career. Likewise, Herzberg identified training opportunities as one of the motivators and job embeddedness theory looks at it as one of the forces that may impact positively on employee retention. This is so because employees often feel indebted to the institution if the institution has accorded them a chance to be trained in a certain skill. Also, when one has been given a skill which no one else has in the institution, they tend to feel more appreciated and connected to the institution that also positively impacts on retention.

The results on whether school mangers who had gone through foundational training were better managers indicated the calculated Anova value of 9.354 and the value from the f-distrbution table of 2.460. These results also  showed strong evidence that managers who have undergone foundational training are better managers. Literature has also clearly shown a significant relationship between workers’ training and workers’ performance (Aroge, 2012; Samaneh, & Zoure, 2014). It has also been reported that foundational skills are also vital to facilitating the use of other skills on the job, such as oral and written communication and teamwork (Hecker, & Loprest, 2019).   Additionally, foundational training may also help school administrators acquire the skills for certain job specifications. When one is promoted to a higher office, one may need certain skills to handle the responsibilities of that office. Foundational training would then be needed. There are times when people fail to carry out certain responsibilities not because they are incompetent but because they were not given right training before attempting the assigned task. This is a common trend in Zambian schools and that has really affected the way some school administrators perform, hence we can surmise that foundational training is essential for school administrators for them to become effective managers.

Relating this to Herzberg’s two factor theory, it is argued that employees feel accomplished if accorded the opportunity to learn. This can lead to job satisfaction which in turn leads to high retention rates.  Job embeddedness theory also contends that when one feels that he or she has a skill that is required to perform certain tasks in an organization he or she working for, the skill  that can act as a force that can attract them to stay in that organization, hence the importance of foundational training.  And in agreement with this, the ERC model also looks at leaders to be champions of change and those who inspire a shared vision of organization direction, develop the capabilities of others and become role models for their institutions. However, this can only be possible if they have an opportunity to be exposed to the right foundational training.

Summary

To conclude, training is vital when it come improving employee performance, job satisfaction and retention. In agreement with this statement, Mefleh et al (2015) asserts that training does not only impact on employee performance but also bring about job satisfaction. Training also helps staff to get along well with those in authority and that is a long-term achievement (Umesh, 2014).  Rao et al.’s (2018) study also established that career enhancement directly influences job retention of employees.

However, the job embeddedness theory suggests three important elements that indicate the level of connection that individuals may develop within their organization. These are fit, links and sacrifice.  This theory argues that employers need to understand ‘fit’, and thus understanding how an individual’s work relates to his or her values and goals (Ehrler, 2018). By understanding how this relates to individual values and goals in relation to job embeddedness, we can therefore assess the extent to which employees risk leaving an organization and how best that can be prevented.

When an individual has high job embeddedness in terms of fit (and that could be that employees’ goal is to further their studies), they would likely feel a stronger tie to the organization itself.  Therefore, this can only be possible if training events and group learning sessions are given to the employees to help them develop compatibility and comfort within an organization, hence improving job retention.

Patterson (2016) asserts that to create a positive attitude and motivate team members to become high performers, management needs to focus on the factors that are known to be strong motivators of which training, which can lead to growth and advancement, is one. It is also important to know that in order to provide employees with challenging work, they need to be given new skills which can also contribute to job satisfaction and later lead to high job retention.  And according to Herzberg’s two factor theory, employees get motivated when they are given an opportunity for growth and personal development. This so because employees who are accorded such opportunities experience a sense of accomplishment which later leads to high job satisfaction, motivation and ultimately lower teacher turnover.

IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

The practical implications of this paper are of great concern to education policy makers as well as the school administrators, Generally, training  plays a  vital role in the retention of teachers (Rodriguez, 2019) therefore it should be a continuous improving process that should be up-to-date to face the dynamic changes in the workplace ( Milhem, Khalil and Arostegui 2014). Therefore,   policy makers should consider providing the teachers with  training that will be of benefit to the employees, it has to depend much on the concept of training, the trainer, the types and process of training (Jawad, 2019).

CONCLUSION

The main aim of this article was to assess the impact of training on teacher retention in the Copperbelt province of Zambia. The focus of the paper was to understand the degree to which training impacted on teacher retention. This article used a mixed method approach which was primarily quantitative. The findings of this paper established that foundational training is to be given to both administrators and newly recruited teachers. In-service training should also be an on-going exercise  especially in rural schools.

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