Introduction: Low retention of science teachers has become a major problem in the education sector all over the world.
Purpose: The study investigated the effect of working conditions on retention of science teachers in public secondary schools in Kisumu County, Kenya.
Methodology: Embedded mixed method design was adopted for the study while target population included 905 respondents which comprised 221 principals and 684 science teachers from 221 public secondary schools in Kisumu County. Stratified, simple random and purposive sampling techniques were employed to sample 277 respondents who included 68 principals and 209 science teachers. Science teachers questionnaires and principals interview schedule were used to collect data. Pilot study was conducted in 7 public secondary schools in Kisumu County. Validity of the data collection instruments was determined through expert judgment whereas reliability was ascertained through internal consistency method using Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient formula which yielded 0.848. Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 22.0 facilitated analysis of quantitative data. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics while thematic approach was used to analyze qualitative data. Quantitative findings were presented in tables whereas qualitative data were presented in narratives and verbatim form according to themes.
Results: The study established that working conditions significantly affected retention of science teachers and this included factors such as employee representation, health and safety and working load.
Recommendations/Classroom Implications: Principals should make a deliberate effort to provide protective clothes, warning signs and laboratory equipment to protect users from harmful emissions.
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