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School Geographical Location and Its Effect on Teacher Burnout in Public Secondary Schools in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya

Tabitha Gituriandu
Newton Mukolwe
Kimani Mwaura


Teachers’ ought to work in an environment (context) free from too much stress, anxiety, exhaustion to avoid burnout. However, this is not the case in Tharaka Nithi County. Teachers in the county are faced with numerous stressors that could lead to burnout; limiting their abilities to meet teaching obligations. These include poor learning facilities and long distances to school among others. The study set out to determine the effects of workload, expected students’ academic performance by school administrators, students’ indiscipline issues, school geographical location and school physical facilities on teacher burnout in public secondary schools in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. The study adopted the descriptive survey design and was founded on the Multidimensional Theory of Burnout and Golembiewski and Munzenrider’s model of burnout. It targeted 104 principals and 6862 teachers from 104 schools in addition to 10 Teachers Service Commission (TSC) officials and 10 Quality Assurance and Standards Officials (QASOs) from Tharaka Nithi County. Out of these, 378 teachers and 31 principals from 31 schools in addition to all the 10 TSC officials and 10 QASOs were sampled using two-stage cluster random sampling, purposively and simple random techniques. Data was collected using questionnaires from teachers, interview guides from TSC officials and QASOs, and data collection forms. Quantitative data from questionnaires were analyzed descriptively by use of frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations as well as inferentially by use of Pearson Correlation and multiple regression analysis at a 0.05 significance level. For qualitative data from open-ended questions in the questionnaires, interviews, and secondary data transcripts, content analysis was employed. The study established that school geographical location has significant effects on teacher burnout (r=0.186, P<0.05). Based on the findings it can thus be concluded that school geographical location affected teacher burnout. The study recommends that there should be effort to build sufficient housing as well as other social amenities for teachers even in remote areas to make work bearable for teachers and other government officials.