CHAPTER 1 THE RESEARCH PROBLEM AND BACKGROUND 1.
0 Introduction This chapter begins with the background of the study which aims at demonstrating the need for conducting the research. This leads to the formulation of the problem and the relevant research questions of the study. The assumptions, significance of the study, delimitations and limitations are also presented. The key terms of the study are also defined in this chapter. This chapter ends with the summary of what has been presented in the entire chapter. 1.
1 Background of the study Stress cannot be avoided. Internal and external stress factors cause a kind of pressure that causes imbalances in the human body. According to some scholars, Kyriacou (2004) and Guglielmi and Tatrow (1998), stress was not considered a significant problem in the education sector worldwide but recently stress has gained worldwide attention due to its potential hazards.
To reduce the negative effects stress has on teachers, more attention needs to be placed on this epidemic Bachkirova 2005). Recent research, Muchemwa and Masuku (2015) has shown that teachers along with other servicemen, social workers and linguistics, are the most affected by the rising stress in their respective work environments. Teacher stress can be caused by both environmental and home factors as well as individual characteristics. Major environmental factors include poor working conditions, scarcity of resources, heavy workloads and student behavior. Individual characteristics can include gender, age, personality and the ability to cope, Guglielm and Tatrow, (1998).
These factors lead to, according to previous studies, 30 of all novice teachers leaving the profession within five years of service and if given the opportunity, most of these teachers would not choose the teaching profession again. The work environment has been considered to be a leading stressor among adults. The International Labor Organization (ILO) says that occupational stress affects all countries, all professions and all categories of workers. In the United Kingdom (UK), 43 of head teachers described their work as Very or Extremely stressful. According to a cross study by Kyriacou (2004), 26.3 percent teachers found to be suffering from very high or extreme stress in Taiwan.
In Pakistan 23.9 teachers either highly or extremely stressed. In a cross sectional study reported from India using a Psycho Social Stress Scale, 42 of teachers showed high to very high level of stress.
This study was conducted among female teachers only. The World Labor Report of 1993 identified stress at work as one of the most serious health issues of the twentieth century while few years later World Health Organization (WHO) termed it as World Wide Epidemic. In a report, Distress and Other Mental Health Problems in the Zimbabwean Working Population, the Industrial Psychological Consultants (IPC) said its survey was to find out the prevalence of distress and other mental health problems in Zimbabwean workforce. The survey showed that 4 out of 10 working Zimbabweans experience symptoms of stress representing over 43 of the workforce. This proposed research used a convenient random selection approach to explore the causes and effects of stress among female primary school teachers.
By studying the female primary school teachers in Mzilikazi District of Bulawayo, the researcher demonstrates the causes and effects of stress. The study also shows how teachers manage the stress. 1.2 Statement of the problems In patriarchal establishments such as Zimbabwe, female teachers have the mandate to fulfill triple roles a wife, mother and professional, in their daily tasks both at work and home. At the work place, these roles include assessing, planning/scheming, teaching, curriculum development, providing information, being role models in society and school, facilitating and attending workshops, providing resources and acting in loco-parentis in their field of work. In trying to keep a balance in these many roles, stress is inevitable.
However, there is a dearth of studies examining causes of stress to female teachers in Zimbabwe. In that context, using Mzilikazi District in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province as a case study, this study examines the causes and effects of stress in female primary school teachers. The study also provides possible solutions in an attempt to mitigate stress amongst female primary school teachers. 1.3 Purpose of study This study seeks to explore the causes and effects of stress in female primary school teachers and suggest how they can manage it. 1.
4Research Questions What are the causes of stress among female teachers in Mzilikazi District Schools What are the effects of stress among female primary school teachers in Mzilikazi District Schools How do female primary school teachers cope with stress at work in Mzilikazi District School What measures could be employed to counteract stress in female primary school teachers Significance of the study Being aware of the possible causes, effects and mitigation measures on stress for primary school female teachers is significant for many reasons. Teaching as a profession is progressive becoming a stressful occupation, Hepburn and Brown (2001). Female teachers are affected by stress today because they have deadlines to meet as well as more responsibilities to shoulder. Previous studies have concentrated on occupational stress in teachers in general and lecturers. The study will look at these and other causes which are not occupational which affect female teachers and how females can mitigate stress. 1.
5.1 To female teachers Identifying possible stressors can help teachers choose positive coping strategies rather than negative strategies that may be unhealthy towards other aspects of life. If they can identify possible stressful situations and be aware of stress, teachers can actively use appropriate strategies to deal with it or even be able to avoid the stressful situations. The study aims in assisting teachers so that stress does not interfere with the achievement of their educational goals.
As supported by Guglielmi and Tatrow (1998), the study aims at equipping teachers in balancing their three fold roles so as to have better quality life both personally and professionally. 1.5.2 To the learner The study also seeks to facilitate conducive learning to take place. When teachers can cope with their stress, proper learning takes place and proper behaviors are modeled which the learner would emulate and be a functional citizen in the society. 1.
5.3 To administrators The research aims to bring awareness to the administrators on the possible causes, effects and mitigation measures of stress. This will assist them to accommodate their colleagues and create a conducive environment for teaching and learning to take place. 1.5.4 To policy makers The study hopes to alert policy makers on the effects of stress on female teachers so that appropriate policies are put in place to facilitate working with minimum stress possible being experienced.
1.5.5 To researcher The study aims at unveiling causes, effects and possible measures of stress which helped the researcher to cope with stress at work as the researcher falls in the population under study. 1.
6 Delimitations of the study The study was confined to three primary schools in Tshabalala in Mzilikazi District. In studying the causes and effects of stress and also finding out any mitigation measures to reduce it, the researcher selected female teachers and female administrators of the targeted schools. The chosen district was convenient to the researcher and the chosen schools were accessible in terms of distance during the time of the research.
The research was manageable within the two years of studying for the degree. 1.7 Limitations of the study Participants were asked to respond to items that may have needed them to review their past experiences of stress therefore the way in which they responded may have been affected by their memory recall.
In addition, participants may have had a tendency to under report undesirable results because they do not want to portray the teaching professions in a negative way. Furthermore the teacher may have had attitudes towards questionnaires as a tool and a tendency to just answer to do away with the process and this might influence results. Finally, the major limitation of this research lies of generalisability of findings. While there are several female teachers suffering from stress across Zimbabwe and other patriarchal African countries, this study is only confined to Tshabalala Cluster in Mzilikazi district in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province. Therefore, findings of this study are specific to the examined case and cannot be generalized across the entire spectrum.
1.8 Definition of terms Stress- the response people may have when presented with work demand and pressures that are not matched to their abilities and scope. Teacher stress- It is any characteristics within the school environment that possess a threat to the teacher.
Stress copying strategies- any physical, psychological, social or material factor which helps teachers overcome stressors and achieve valued outcomes with students. Stressors are activities or stimuli that cause stress. 1.9 Summary This chapter looked at the background of the study, statement of problem, research questions that guide the research and why the study was carried out.
It also highlighted on the demography of the study and some of the limitations to the study. A list of definition of terms used during the study was given. The next chapter focuses on literature review. Chapter 2 Literature Review 2.0 Introduction Stress is encountered both at home and at work. However excessive stress hinders quality results or outcomes.
Economic disturbances, downsizing and bankruptcies in the world today have contributed to creating stressful environments in homes, workplaces and even led to loss of jobs in some cases. The teaching profession is not an exception to such stressful conditions. Besides affecting the work results it has an effect on the emotional and physical health of a teacher or any other worker. The phenomena of stress are not new rather man has been experiencing stress since the origin of structured societies, Friedman and Roseman (2009). According to Nhundu, (1999), the difference lies with the severity and frequency which has increased nowadays to such an extent that it has become a major threat to human life.
It has become part of our daily life activities whether it is related to family, education, social activity, economic activity, organization or work, Joseph (2000). This chapter covers the diverse studies previously undertaken by scholars who this researcher reviewed and related to on teacher stress and how stress affects the working environment. Relevant literature on the previously studied possible causes and effects of stress are highlighted. Suggested copying strategies from previous researchers shall be stated and a summary of the literature view given. 2.
1 What are the causes of stress among female primary teachers Teaching is a profession that is highly valued in Zimbabwe, if not in the world, however, instead of enjoying their work, teachers are impacted with some stress of some sort. Situations and pressures that cause stress are experienced daily and has become a normal part of life. This can de-motivate an individual to run the last mile of a marathon. Furthermore if not managed and becomes long term, it can seriously interfere with ones job, family, life and health, alludes Parachin, (2000).
Each individual has a different stress trigger. Different scholars and researchers suggest quite a number of common causes of tress at work. Some authors advocate that women are likely to suffer the major depression due to stress than men. Other researchers go on to say that women are also up to three times more apt to suffer from anxiety disorders or to attempt suicide.
Though the differences for this gender are not clear, Parachin, (2000) suggests a variety of observations tend to confirm that these disparities are valid. These are hormonal differences and genetic predisposition for depression which is stronger in women than men to mention but just a few. Other causes suggested include unhappiness in ones job, heaving heavy workloads, too many responsibilities, working long hours, having poor management, unclear expectations of your work, working under dangerous conditions and having to give speeches in front of colleagues, Dua and Sangwan (2017).
Life stresses include death of a loved one, divorce, chronic illness and injury. Sometimes stress comes from within an individual through worrying. Causes of stress in teachers worldwide have been extensively researched but little work has been done on the causes of stress in female teachers Mundia (2010) and Head (1996). There is, however, some emerging interest in the area in some developing countries such as South Africa as noted by Kiggundu Nayimuli, (2009) and Zimbabwe might be heading in the same direction through researches such as this one. In a study among 50 middle-aged female school teachers in Varanasi in India, Singh and Singh (2006) found that about 42 of them had high to very high level of stress and at high risk of developing psychosocial stress generated problems. Total 80 of teachers having moderate social dysfunction score, 36 felt depressed and 16 felt anxious.
According to Singh and Singh, workload was the top concern, with 89 citing this as a problem, followed by pay (45), inspection (44), curriculum reform (42) and pupil behaviors (40). In addition, fear of being laid off, overtime due to staff cutbacks, pressure to perform and meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction and lack of control over how work is done. Olodube (2005) quoted in Yusuf, (2015) says that teachers dissatisfaction is associated with education policies, administration, pay and fringe benefits material and rewards. Other researchers also advocates that work setting can create physical stress because of noise, lack of privacy, poor lighting, poor temperature and inadequate sanitary facilities.
Work environments where there is organizational confusion or overly authoritarian, laissez-faire or crisis centered managerial style are all psychologically stressful. This is according to the American Psychological Association. The Wealth Health Organization (WHO) article on Occupational Health says that work related stress can be caused by poor work organization (the way the job and the work systems are designed and how we manage them), by poor work design for example lack of control over work process, poor management, unsatisfactory working conditions and lack of support from colleagues and supervisors. Yusuf (2015) studied stress on primary school teachers in Nigeria assert that fear, uncertainty, attitudes, perceptions, unrealistic expectations and generally change effect stress in a human being. Fear and uncertainty comes in for example when one fears terrorists, war and global warming.
The way one views the world or a particular situation can determine the causes of stress. People who feel they are doing a good job at work can be less stressed out by an upcoming project than those who worry that they are incompetent. If a person expects to do everything right all the time, then he/she is destined to feel stressed when things dont go as expected.
Any major change in life can be stressful even a happy event. Death and setbacks are examples of changes that may cause stress. According to Blonna (2005), men and women are stressed trying to balance the demands of husbands or wives, mothers or fathers, children or other relatives. However, women are known to bear the major share of both home and work-related stress prevalence, Solma and Feld (1998).
The findings of the combination of these studies revealed that the phenomenon of stress problem of teachers was widespread and was not restricted to a particular country. In Hong Kong, public awareness of the stress problem of teachers had been heightened with the increasing occurrence of suicide cases amongst teachers. Work-related stress in Ghana Education Service comes from different areas of activities and may have physical, emotional and environmental causes. Adeyemo (2002) found that some people are generally more stress prone while others are generally less stress prone depending on their personality traits.
In the same vein, Dierendonck (2005) reported that personality characteristics of employees have the tendency to moderate the effect of stressful situations on employees such that certain traits may buffer or enhance more negative outcomes than others. The findings are consistent with those of Kokkinos (2007) who reported that personality characteristics associated with stress or burnout dimensions. Moreover, factors such as long hours at work, engaging in co-curricular activities, taking care of children and other domestic activities at home, making attempt to further education through Distance Learning programs, control and management of both human and financial resources are some principal sources of stress which increase the level of burnout among female teachers. Furthermore, with the introduction and implementation of the Capitation Grant by the government of Ghana, school feeding program, free school uniforms and other interventions, enrolment of pupils goes up each year and this automatically calls for extra vigilance, care, teaching, attention and supervision of the pupils for a desirable standard of education.
In Zimbabwe some studies has been carried out in Mutare and Masvingo Provinces to find the sources and levels of stress among the main stream and special needs teachers. In the research, Chireshe, (20145) revealed that the major sources of stress among teachers in Zimbabwe included high work load, lack of resources, overcrowded classrooms and lack of government support. In addition teacher personality factors and leadership styles have also been implicated in causing stress for the teachers. This was a study inclusive of both male and female teachers who are exposed to the same situations at work but different societal roles. 2.2 What are the effects of stress among female teachers The concept of stress was first introduced in the life sciences by Hans Selye in the year 1936.
It was derived from the Latin word stringere it meant the experience of physical hardship, starvation, torture and pain Nayak, (2008).Selye, defined stress as the non-specific response of the body to any demand placed upon it. When a person feels insufficient in dealing with demands and challenges faced in life, she or he experiences stress, Eres (2011). The Helen Selyes model, as described by Safricot (1996), explains how individuals react physically and psychological to acute and chronic stress in the short or long term. He states that all human beings have an innate drive to maintain internal balance and equilibrium through the process of homeostasis.
This implies that stressors disturb the internal balance and the body responds with physiological arousal. Female teachers fall into this category of human being and if the function of their bodies is adversely disturbed, then less effort is put in their work. The health of teachers could be seriously affected by stress. Moreover, apart from teachers themselves, work stress suffered by them can also adversely affect their students and the learning environment. Horowitz, (1992) asserts that they are physiological changes that result from the activation of the endocrine system in the body. Too much stress decreases the ability of the endocrine system and the immune systems to effectively combat the negative influences such as bacteria, injuries and pollution.
Thus the body becomes vulnerable to diseases. Stress may also elicit a physical or physiological response from teachers as asserted by Blas (1982) and advocated by Blancharach (1999). Some physicals symptoms of stress include fatigue, tiredness, burn-out, headaches, stomach aches, chest pains, sleepiness, trembling hands, shortness of breath, dizziness, restlessness, cold sweats, ill health, confused thoughts or difficulty in concentrating, loss of memory, loss of appetite and trouble falling asleep. Some physiological symptoms of stress include an increase in blood pressure, heart rate as alluded by Guglietmi Tatrow, (1998), irregular heartbeat, and nervousness ,Bacharach (1999).Emotional symptoms of stress include anxiety, poor decision making, anger outburst, depression, change in eating habits, nightmares and insomnia.
In agreement to the above observations, Horowitz (1992) says that stress impairs ones ability to concentrate and to organize thoughts logically. Instead of concentrating on the issue at hand, ones mind tends to be dominated by worries about the consequences of ones actions by self-blaming thoughts. Chronic stress symptoms may also occur if stress continues to be present in the day to day activities of teacher. Stress can have negative effects on teachers mental, physical, emotional and behavioral well being, Sutton (1984). The educational system in Ghana is going through a whole culture of changes and transformation. A female primary school teacher is usually burdened with multiple roles.
She faces a wide, distracting and sometimes conflict array of role obligations. Teaching has become a more challenging profession worldwide. Surveys conducted worldwide revealed widespread concern about the effects of stress on teachers sense of well-being as a result of being subjected to stressful conditions. Many teachers have found these changes very stressful and have left the teaching profession, either through the voluntary severance package or through ill health.
Teacher stress can lead to alienation, apathy and absenteeism and eventually interfere with student achievement Guglielmi and Tatrow, (1998). The health of teachers could seriously be affected by stress and besides teachers being stressed themselves stress can also adversely affect their students and the learning environment, Stranger (1982). Research indicates that in comparison to men, women are more susceptible to home and work related stress.
The teacher under stress can exhibit behavior changes that can effect and disrupt the learning of students in their classroom. If teachers are under high levels of stress, there is potential for the entire school to be affected in a negative manner. Bhuvaneshwari (2013) conducted a case study on psychological and physical stress undergone by married working women working in different teaching institutions.
Researches revealed that stress in married working women is caused due to long working hours, various family and official commitments, harassments and improper work life balance. Such type of stress leads to various problems such as prolonged headaches, hypertension and obesity. The researcher cleverly concludes that stress can be relieved from institutional support, balancing work and life by spending some time with family, entertainments, yoga and rest.
Ved (1980) in his study Effect of work on home life of women workers concluded that most of the women workers did not pay sufficient attention to their children and neglected their own health. The work load, both at home and work and other mental worries exhausted their bodies. Other studies, Stranger (1982), reveal that stress reaction is relevant to studies of frustration because of the energy mobilization process. When a person tries to obtain a certain goal, he mobilizes energy. If he is blocked from reaching the goal, more energy is summoned, thus the level of tension increases.
The psychosomatic diseases such as stomach ulcers are examples of the consequences of excessive stress. Findings from early studies on health related problems associated with teacher stress indicated that the negative effects of stress could range from minor physical symptoms such as mouth sores to more serious psychopathological symptoms like depression and suicidal ideations. Kyriacou, (1985). Pervez and Hanif (2003) in their study with Pakistani female teachers concluded that stress manifestations could be physical, psychological, or emotional in nature. On comparing stress manifestations between teachers of private and Government schools, they found that the former had significantly more complaints with The 2014 State of Americas Schools report indicate that when teachers are stressed or not fully engaged in their work, students feel the impact, Granata, (2014) quoted online. Granata alludes that Disengaged teachers are less likely to bring the energy, insights and resilience that effective teaching requires in the classroom.
He goes on to say that, teachers are less likely to build the king of caring relationships with the students that form the emotional core of the learning process, online. Gallups 2012 survey on 60 000 students in grades 5-12 in America showed that 45 of the students did not feel engaged in their school and the rate of disengagement increased with grade level. Hence the effect of a school environment full of stressed teachers.
The right leadership and engagement of teachers and students are important to the entire school and breaking the relationship is undermining an entire school. In Zimbabwe, negative aspects of stress are staggering, Mapfumo, Chitsiko and Chireshe (2012). Revell cited in Mapfumo et al (2012) states that in Britain 13 million working days are lost to stress. He also adds that 667million British pounds is lost to such palliative measures as massage, yoga and certain other therapies that fell short of addressing the root causes of stress. According to Chireshe and Mpfumo (2003), the effects of stress have also been identified as ranging as cited in the Independent Education Union (1996). These are largely negative at both personal and organizational levels.
From the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, the Human Resource Disciplinary Services officer confirmed that 13 cases of mental illness due to stress had been reported by the 8th of February 2018. 2.3 How do primary school teachers cope with stress There are studies that have focused exclusively on primary school teachers.
Bindu and Sudheeshkumar (2006) focused on the relationship between job satisfaction and stress coping skills among 500 primary school teachers in India. The study found that there is a positive relationship exists between job satisfaction and stress coping skills and teachers who create a supportive organizational climate, enrich the design of tasks, reduce conflict, and are provided guidance tend to more satisfied and better equipped cope with stress. Jeanne Segal (2006) quoted online articulates that managers or employees can reduce stress at work by classifying expectations by sharing information with employees to reduce uncertainty about their jobs and futures.
Furthermore, roles and responsibilities should be well established. Management actions are well articulated when they are consistent with organizational values. Offering rewards and incentives increase self actualization thus reducing stress. Encouraging a zero tolerance policy for harassments is another copying strategy. A study carried out on female teachers in West Akim of Ghana revealed that the female teachers using social support as a coping method.
All the twenty-five female teachers that participated in the study, representing 100, disclosed that they always seek professional assistance when dealing with stressful situations. The teachers said they got their professional assistance from their religious leaders, doctors, lawyers and counselors. Twenty-two (88) teachers said their management strategies to see to it that their working environment both at home and school friendly and conducive, whiles 23(92) saw the need to have a circle of friends who would value them as a source of social support, Addison, (2015). Another way that the kindergarten female teachers used of trying to cope with stress was the rational of cognitive coping.
This approach involves changing the individuals habit of thinking that triggers inappropriate or negative emotional responses. The study found out that twenty (80) female teachers not in the habit of putting their job out of mind at home, 14 (56) perform their duties through proper planning and decision making, whiles 19 (76) said they prioritize their activities to know things that of importance before others. Finally, the study revealed that 11(44) female teachers drink alcoholic beverages as one of their coping strategies whenever they feel tense. Fifteen (60) of them said they take in certain drugs to aid them relax and reduce their stress situations.
However, ten (40) of the female teachers strongly disagreed that taking in drugs and alcoholic beverages was the best coping strategy of stress. There have also been some attempts by teachers to try and deal with stress, Chireshe and Mapfumo, (2003). They say responses that Zimbabwean teachers make are seeking social support and involvement in entertainment that takes away the focus from the stressful atmosphere. The stress management activities reported from another study on primary and secondary teachers by Alan, (2010), show that the respondents frequently reported activities such as sleeping (57.5), talking to neighbours and friends (57.1), self-relaxing (44.0), and watching television (42.2). The least frequently reported activity was doing more exercises or sports (32.3). Primary school teachers are significantly more likely than secondary school teachers to manage stress by sleeping, talking to neighbors and friends, watching television and shopping. For gender difference, male teachers are more likely than female teachers to manage stress by listening to music and doing more exercises or sports. On the other hand, Alan, (2010) goes on to note that female teachers are more likely to cope with stress than male teachers through sleeping, talking to neighbors and friends, watching television and shopping as their choices of stress management activities. However these copying strategies, especially on female teachers, seem to be surface measures which do not last as after the copying activity stress can resurface. It is in this study that the researcher wishes to come up with rather permanent mitigatory measures on stress. 2.5 Summary of Literature Review The chapter reviewed literature related to stress in general and stress among female teachers. Causes of stress among female teachers is not only work based but from home as well. From the information gathered, the effects of stress on female teachers have a negative effect on ones health, on the learning environment and affect the female teachers performance as a wife, mother and professional. The next chapter focuses at the research methodology, Chapter 3 Research Methodology 3.0 Introduction The previous chapter aimed at providing the related literature and conceptual framework which influences this study. This chapter presents the research approach and design. It includes population and sample size, sampling techniques and procedures, the data collection methods adopted and used and also the data analysis plan. 3.1 Research Design The study utilises a qualitative research approach. As asserted by Silverman (2006) it is by definition exploratory and used when we do not know what to expect, how to define the issues or how and why a population is affected by a situation, event or practices. This approach was chosen as it allowed this researcher to center on the attempt to achieve a sense of the meaning that others give to their own situations, Smith (2005). The goal of qualitative research is to develop concepts which help us to understand social phenomena in natural (rather than experimental) settings, giving due emphasis to the meanings, experiences, and views of all participants, Pope Mays (1995), hence this approach was used to explore the behavior, perspectives, experiences, feelings of female primary teachers about stress. The approach was selected in order to help the researcher understand these elements. Thus the rationale of using qualitative approach in this research is to explore the opinions of primary school female teachers on the causes and effects of stress both at work and recommendations on how to cope with it. However, complete objectivity is impossible and qualitative methodology is not completely precise because human beings do not always act logically predictably, Holloway Wheeler (2002). Burns and Grove (2003195) define a research design as a blueprint for conducting a study with maximum control over factors that may interfere with the validity of the findings. This study focuses on the opinion of primary female teachers who come across different forms of stress. The research design is a case study which is non-experimental, qualitative, exploratory and contextual in nature. According to Gosh (1992), a case study examines a phenomenon in its natural setting, employing a wide range of data collection methods. A case study is selected for this study because it assists in an in depth understanding of the causes and effects of stress in teachers and answers how it can be overcome. However there is a slight possible bias in data collection and interpretation since the researcher gathers information and interprets it on her own. The qualitative case study is being adopted as the most appropriate because the phenomena of stress is subjective and is conducted within a specified area which is Tshabalala zone of Mzilikazi District schools. 3.2 Population and Sample 3.2.1 Population Chiromo, (200616) defines population as that which refers to all the individuals, units, objects or events that be considered in a research project. In agreement, Hute (2009) asserts that in research terms, population refers to a group of people that have one or more common characteristics which are of interest to the researchers problem under study. The study was carried out in Tshabalala cluster in Mzilikazi District which has 4 schools. The population of the study comprised of 78 female teachers and 3 female administrators. The total population was 81participants. 3.2.2 Sample Sampling was considered as the population was too large to identify all the study units. According to Gay (1997) sampling is a process of selecting a group of subjects for a study in such a way that the individuals represent the larger group from which they selected. Chiromo (200616) also agrees to the above when he says that a sample is a smaller group or subject of the population selected from the population. The cluster has 4 schools from which three of them were chosen for the study. To choose the 3 schools, systematic random sampling was used where the schools were chosen according to their alphabetical order. 27 female teachers were selected using the simple random sampling technique. The hat system was used where the selected female population of teachers were asked to pick yes or no papers to which those who picked yes qualified for the study. 3 female deputy head administrators automatically qualified for the study as each school had one deputy head. The total sample comprised of 30 participants. The total sample is 37 of the population. The larger the sample size is, the more accurate we can expect the sample estimates to be, elludes Keller (2005). 3.3 Research Instruments According to Parahoo (199752), a research instrument is a tool used to collect data. An instrument is a tool designed to measure knowledge attitude and skills. Primary and secondary data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. Structured questionnaires and interviews used as research instruments for this study. 3.3.1 Questionnaires A questionnaire is a form containing a set of questions, especially addressed to a statistically significant number of subjects, and is a way of gathering information for a survey. As eluded by Chiromo (200624) a questionnaire is that form of inquiry, which contains a systematically compiled and organized series of questions that are sent to the population samples. In agreement, Ackroyd and Hughes (1981) say that it is a very concise preplanned set of questions designed to yield specific information to meet a particular need for research information about a pertinent topic. The researcher used questionnaires to collect data from 27 professional female teachers. Self administered questionnaires were used because they could be completed by respondents without direct interference from the researcher. These questionnaires were also used because the number of teachers, 27, was too big to be interviewed given the teachers time and availability. Close and open ended questions were used for the questionnaires. Open ended questions were used as a way of probing sensitive issues and respondents were given sufficient space to write their responses. To guard against unnecessary digression by the respondents, single option responses were given in close- ended questions such as yes, and no. These questions provided easy answers from recipients and in data analysis. These types of questionnaires were used because they allowed respondents to work on the questions at their own pace thus avoiding any bias due to the presence of the research. Furthermore, they provide uniform or standardized data which was easy to process and present. The main weakness of the method was that respondents were trying to recreate their views and attitudes which they held from past times. 3.3.2 Interview Seale, (2004) define an interview as a social encounter where speakers collaborate in producing retrospective and prospective accounts or versions of their past or future actions, experiences, feelings and thoughts. Only one type of interview was used in this study which is the structured interview. According to Chiromo (2006) a structured interview consists of specific questions. The scholar goes on to say that the interviewer does not deviate from the list or inject any extra remarks into the interview process, Chiromo (200626) and to ensure this, the researcher use an interview guide. The interviews were confined to the three deputy heads because they were a manageable figure. Appointments with interviewees were made after working hours in their offices on different dates. The interviews took an average of 15-20 minutes per participant. The interviews allowed the researcher to maintain eye contact with the participants and grand as well as mini tour questions were used to elicit information from participants. Grand tour questions were broad questions asked to introduce the topic such as What is your opinion on the causes of stress in female teachers The miniature questions were specific questions such as What measures are being taken by the responsible authorities in trying to alleviate stress in female teachers The interview techniques of probing (verbal and non- verbal) were used. These include probing or exploring, silence, prompting as well as summarising. The researcher use phrases such as Could you elaborate more on that point to encourage participants to continue speaking. Any other contributions were requested for from the participant by researcher including questions or comments. The researcher summarised the interview proceedings by restating in her own words the ideas and opinions of the participants, to ensure understanding as advocated by Holloway Wheeler (2002). However, as Holloway Wheeler (2002) say, the weakness of conducting interviews is that the researcher totally relies on the participants accuracy on their opinions. Interviews are also emotionally straining hence the need for the researcher to be a shock absorber. In addition, as the interviews were recording, this tends to limit total free expression from the respondents as they may think that the audio might be used against them. 3.4 Data Collection Procedures Data was collected from November 2017 to January 2018. Questionnaires were distributed during the month of November and early December. Interviews were carried out in the month of January 2018. As indicated in the sample and sampling procedures described above, the target sample was 30 female primary teachers in the Mzilikazi District of Bulawayo Province. Three (3) of these were primary female deputy head teachers who were interviewed, as explained above, and 27 questionnaires given. Distribution and collection of the questionnaires The purpose of the questionnaire was to investigate and document the contribution of the female teachers on the causes, effects and possible solutions on stress and how it affected them and their work. The following methods were used to distribute and collect the questionnaires The questionnaires were packed according to the three selected schools in the district and submitted to the head teachers for deliverance to the participants. The participants were contacted by the researcher in their school meetings to collect their questionnaires from their head teachers and requested them to complete the questionnaires. Tape-recording the interview During the interview data collected was recorded on audio-tape and notes were not taken. According to Holloway and Wheeler (2002237), note taking is an important activity, but it might disturb the participants and this is why notes were not taken simultaneously with the interview. The following factors were considered by the researcher to ensure a successful interview Permission to use the tape record was sought before the interview. All the participants consented to its use with emphasis not to publish it in any form. Use of the phone recorder assisted the researcher to maintain eye contact with the participants. Preservation of participants words during data collection was very important. The phone recorder was positioned close enough between the researcher and participants to record conversation. A do not disturb label was posted on the door to ensure silence. The phone recorder was to be tested prior to the interview to ensure that it was in good working order. The audio tapes were labeled properly for the interview with dates and pseudonyms such as 05/11/17/Mf.01/3, 07/12/17/I.02/8. This represented the date of the interview e.g. (05/11/17), the initial of school e.g. (M1), gender (f) and position of participants interviewed (01/3). Ethical Considerations Creswell, (2009) asserts that ethics are rules and regulations to abide by when dealing with a particular issue. These are principles of right or wrong that guide a researcher. In this research, the researcher was obligated to respect the rights, values and norms of the participants or respondents. To be able to achieve this, the researcher sought consent from the participants by employing the following measures to gain their full attention and boost confidence in them. The researcher advised on the objectives of the research verbally and in writing to the understanding of the participants. Permission was sought to from respondents to proceed with research from the participants. The researcher also informed the participants on the data collecting techniques and procedures. Participants were told why they were chosen and were assured that they were completely free to decline or withdraw their consent and discontinue participation in the study at anytime without prejudice to the subjects, as advocated by Chiromo, (200611). Participants were assured of their right to privacy and confidentiality. Their interests and wishes were considered. 3.6 Data Analysis Plan According to Fraenkel and Wallen (2003) data analysis is a process of simplifying data in order to make it comprehensive. It involves the ways on how the findings of the research would be presented. Schatzman and Strauss (1973) claim that qualitative data analysis primarily entails classifying things, persons and events and the properties which characterize them. During data analysis, the researcher catergorised data and organized it chronologically. Data was sorted out and tabulated. Data analysing included numbers and frequency to come up with meaningful information. Some data were presented in a narrative form articulating the opinions, views, experiences and observations got from the research. 3.7 Chapter Summary This chapter illustrated the methodology of the research. It dwelt much on research approach, research design and data collection procedures. The research used the qualitative descriptive data approach and a qualitative case study design was used. The questionnaire and the interview were the data collection tools to gather required information for the study. Ethical considerations were well spelt out and a data analysis plan presented. The next chapter looked at the data presentation, analysis and discussion. CHAPTER 4 DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS, AND DISCUSSION Introduction This chapter focuses on data presentation, analysis and discussion. Data was collected through questionnaires and interviews from female teachers and female administrators respectively. It was then analysed to identify causes and effects of stress in primary school female teachers. It also sought to identify possible mitigation measures to reduce or eradicate stress in female teachers. This chapter begins by an introduction followed by the demographic information on the response rate to instruments. Presentation on the characteristics of participants in terms of age, teaching experience, grades taught during research and marital status then follows. Data analysis was done according to research questions as indicated on questionnaires. Discussion of the findings was done with reference to research questions as drawn from chapter 1. The summary of discussions concludes this chapter. 4.1 Presentation and Analysis of Findings Demographic data Table 4.0 Target Population. School ASchool BSchool CNPrimary school female teaches25282578Primary school deputy heads1113N26292681 Table 4.0 is a representation of the population from where the sample population was extracted. School A had a total of 25, school B 28 and school C 25 classroom practitioners. Each school was represented by one school administrator giving a total of three. The whole population had 81female teachers. Sample population Pie chart 1 EMBED Excel.Chart.8 s 27 female teachers comprised 33.3 of the total population hence the pie chart shows that the bulk of the participants were female classroom practitioners (teachers). The deputy heads were 3.7 of the total population as indicated on the pie chart. Response rate to questionnaires by primary school female teachers. Table 4.1 Category Number of questionnaires distributedNumber of questionnaires returnedPercentage response rate ()Infant module ECD-Grade 2 9 9 100Junior module Grade 3-7 18 18 100N 27 27 100 Table 4.1, shows that questionnaires were administered to 9 infant module teachers, 18 junior module teachers totaling to 27 participants on questionnaires which is 34.6 of the whole population. All the questionnaires distributed were returned. The response rate to the study was a hundred percent hence aiding positively to the validity and reliability of the research. Response to interviews by female deputy heads. Table 4.2 Number of deputy headsNumber of deputy heads interviewedPercentage response rate 33100 Information on table 4.2 as shown on pie chart 1 shows that all the female deputy school heads were available for interviews. This was a hundred percent response. Data were obtained from a sample population of 3 primary school female deputy head teachers. The interviews were 10 of the sample population. Summary of ages for participants. Table 4.3 Age (years)Frequency Percentage ()25-300031-4093041-50124050yrs 930N30100 The tabulated information is shown on the bar graph below Bar graph 1 Frequency EMBED Excel.Chart.8 s Age in Years Table 4.3 also represented in bar graph 1 showed that the majority of female teachers who participated in the study were above 31 years of age as there were no teachers who were 30 years or below. That gives a high probability of having matured persons in the study. Summary of teaching experience of all participants Table 4.4 Years in teaching profession (years)Frequency Percentage () 3-5413.3 6-10413.3 11-15930 16-20516.7 20826.7 N30100 Table 4.4 above showed that the research comprised of a mixed distribution of the teaching experience of participants. The table shows that thirty female teachers (including administrators) participated in data collection. The range 11-15 and 20 were represented by 30 and 26.7 respectively. The least percentages of 13.3 were recorded in the range of 3-5 and 6-10 years working experience. The above distribution of the reaching experience enhances validity and reliability as teaching experience matters in regards to activities changes and effects to teachers. Summary of administrative experience in years of deputy heads Table 4.5 Deputy head M111years Deputy head M28yearsDeputy head M35years The above table shows the experience in years of the school deputy heads under study. It shows that they had quiet some experience in their offices. Table 4.6 Grades taught by teacher participants during the research period. Grade taught Frequency ECD112263444556371N27 Table 4.6 shows the different grades represented in the study. The infant junior module has a total of 9 female teachers. This was influenced by the number of streams at this level which are only 3 that is from ECD to grade 2 compared to the junior level which has 5 streams which are grades 3-7. Information on the marital status of female teachers under study Table 4.7 Status Frequency Percentage ()Single930Married 1860Divorced 13.3Expectant/ Pregnant26.7N30100 Table 4.7 shows that a variety of females with different status were represented with most of the participants being married female teachers with a percentage rate of 60. Single female teachers formed the second highest group with a percentage rate of 30. Expectant female teachers had a representation of 6.7 of the sample population which was followed by the list which had 3.3 from the divorced group. 4.1.2 Analysis of findings Question 1 Are you satisfied with your job generally Table 4.8 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 1Infant 45944.455.6100Junior 1382161.938.1100 Table 4.8 shows the responses on the general consensus on job satisfaction. Basing on the responses, 55.6 of the infant module female teachers are not generally satisfied with their job while a 38.1 showed dissatisfaction in the junior module. On the other hand a lesser percentage of 44.4, showed satisfaction in their job in the infant module while a greater percentage, 61.9, is satisfied in the junior module. The results may suggest that female teachers in primary schools perceive their job differently. Those who indicated dissatisfaction had their reasons. The main reasons indicated were that dissatisfaction came about as a result of lack of resources, prompt changes within the system, unsatisfying remuneration, poor working environment and too much work that there isnt adequate resting time on the part of a female teacher. They went on to indicate that because of these reasons there is sometimes poor performance of daily duties. As a way to cope with stress, they resort to working with what they can manage. Question 2 Do you think skills and knowledge match the requirements of your job Table 4.9 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 2Infant 72977.822.2100Junior 1472166.733.3100 Table 4.9 shows results of responses on whether the female teachers have skills and knowledge needed for their job. 77.8 and 66.7 from the infant and junior level respectively indicated that they have skills and knowledge on their job. The percentage rate is higher than the responses that showed lack of knowledge. This may indicate that skills and knowledge of the teaching profession is not a stressor in female teachers. The 22, 2 responses from the infant module and 33.3 from the junior module indicated that they had no adequate skills to do their job. The most common reason cited was that the skills acquired no longer match the new technological era and the new curriculum requirements. Question 3 Do you think that you have adequate class/lesson preparation time Table 4.10 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 3Infant 45944.455.6100Junior5162123.876.2100 Table 4.10 shows the responses to adequate lesson preparation time. Lesser percentage rates are shown on the responses that think they have enough lesson preparation time. The responses show that 55.6 in the infant module and 76.2 in the junior module do not have sufficient time for lesson preparation. Question 4 Do you think that you have adequate resources to be able to do your job Table 4.11 Module Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total Infant 0990100100Junior 3182114.385.7100 Table 4.11 Indicates that the responses on the adequacy of resources. 100 on the infant module and 85.7 of the junior module participants showed that the resources are not adequate. No infant participant indicated that resources were available and only a mere 14.3 of junior module participants indicated that they had adequate resources. This implied that insufficient resources could be a stressor to most female teachers. Question 5 Do you think that the work load is just about right Table 4.12 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 5Infant 27922.977.8100Junior 417211981100 In response to whether the participants work load is about right, table 4.12 shows that the majority of the teachers disagreed to this. 77.8 and 80 were recorded as the rate of responses from both the infant and junior module respectively. Female teachers who agreed to the fact that the work load is about right were 22.9 from the infant module and 19 from junior module, Question 6 Are the deadlines or targets you are given reasonable and achievable Table 4.13 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 6Infant 63966.733.3100Junior 6152128.671.4100 Table 4.13 shows the responses as percentages on deadlines and targets. From the table 66.7 of the infant module respondents assert that the deadlines or targets are achievable and 33.3 indicated that they are not. From the junior module participants, the rate is higher on those who disagreed to the fact that deadlines are achievable with a response of 71.4 and those agreeing with a response rate of 28.6. However, the total number of infant and junior modules amounted to 18 (315) out of a total 30 participants. This gives a total percentage response rate of 60 to deadlines and targets being not achievable. Question 7 Are you satisfied with the physical environment (heating, lighting, space, equipment, etc) Table 4.14 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 7Infant 36933.366.7100Junior 5162123.876.2100 The results on table 4.14 suggest that 66, 7 from the infant participants are not satisfied with their work physical environment and 33.35 are satisfied. With the junior respondents a similar scenario is observed where the majority of 76.25 are not satisfied and the minority 23.8 seems satisfied. Question number 8 Do you think you have adequate time within your working hours for rest Table 4.15 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 8Infant 27922.277.8100Junior 6152128.671.4100 Table 4.15 shows the responses on adequate resting time during working hours. The infant module respondents indicated that 77.8 do not have enough resting time during working hours and 22.2 have. In agreement, the junior modules responses show that 71.4 have insufficient resting time and only 28.6 perceive having enough resting time. Question 9 Are you satisfied that you and your colleagues support and assist one another Table 4.16 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 9Infant 9091000100Junior 2012195.24.8100 Table 4.16 shows responses on the support and assistance that the participants get from colleagues. All the infant respondents that are 100 are satisfied with their colleagues cooperation and none is dissatisfied. Also the junior module respondents indicated that 95.2 are satisfied with the assistance and support they get from their colleagues. The results may suggest that colleagues support and assistance is not a stressor among female teachers in this study. Question 10 Are you satisfied with the way you relate to learners Table 4.17 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 10Infant 72977.822.2100Junior 1742181.019.0100 Table 4.17 show results on the responses to the question on if they are satisfied with their teacher- learner relationship. High percentage rate responses were recorded with the junior module participants recording a score of 81.0 and the infant module with 77.8. A 19.0 was recorded in the junior module and 22.2 in the infant module which indicated dissatisfaction of the relations between teachers and learners. The results may rule out the fact that teacher- learner relationships are a stressor. However those few who indicated that these relationships are not satisfactory pointed out that the teacher-learner ratios are large and some learners are controlled by parents. This, as shown by respondents, leads to lack of individualization and lack of attentive listening to learners. Question 11 Are you satisfied with the appraisal and the review system Table 4.18 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 11Infant 0990100100Junior 7142133.366.7100 Table 4.18 shows that 100 of the infant module participants are not satisfied with the appraisal system and none is satisfied. Responses from the junior module participants indicate that 66.7 find dissatisfaction in the appraisal system and a mere 33.3 are content with it Question 12 Do you think you are satisfied with the communication methods that exist in the school Table 4.19 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 12Infant 72977.822.2100Junior 1652176.223.8100 Table 4.19 indicates that the highest number of responses is satisfied with the communication methods in the school with recordings of 77.8 and 76.2 in infant and junior modules respectively. Only 22.2 disagreed to this fact in the infant module and 23.8 in the junior module. Those in disagreement cited that sometimes communication is not clear, information is received after due dates, information is kept in offices and channels are sometimes not properly followed. In return this contributes to unnecessary pressure on teachers. Despite these factors, the results on the table may indicate that communication methods are not a stressor according to this study. Question 13 Are you satisfied with the overall management of your school Table 4.20 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 13Infant 63966.733.3100Junior 1382161.938.1100 The table shows that generally 66.7 of the junior participants are satisfied with the overall management of their schools while 33.3 are not. In the junior module a similar scenario is noted where the majority, 61.9 are satisfied and 38.1 are dissatisfied with overall management. When asked to comments on their answers the respondents cited that the management team gives divided attention to some disciplines, distribution of resources in not equitably done, there are no follow ups and feedbacks by authorities and the management is still a bit too transactional and militarist for the 21st century. As the majority of the respondents seem satisfied it can be ruled that generally there is satisfaction in the management of schools. Question 14 Do you think your home or social life is affected seriously by the events that happen at work Table 4.21 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 14Infant 72977.822.2100Junior 1382161.938.,1100 Table 4.21 shows 77.8 from the infant module indicated that their social life is affected by work activities and 22.2 showed that it is not affected. The junior module participants also echoed the same sentiments as their response rate indicate that 61.9 of the participants state that their social life is affected by work activities and only 38.1 disagree. In their comments to these indications, the respondents said they carry work home for example record updating and some indicated that the exhaustion from work affects their performance as mothers and wives in the home. Question 15 Do you think your work is affected by events that happen in your social life Table 4.22 QuestionModule Response in numbersResponse as percentagesYes No Total Yes No Total 15Infant 63966.733.3100Junior 1292157.142.9100 Table 4.22 shows that 66.7 of the participants work is affected by events from social life and 33.3 is not affected as in the infant module. A similar pattern is noted with the junior module where 57.1 indicate that their work is affected by events from social life while 42.9 indicate that they are not affected. Those who indicated that work is affected by social life indicated that there are some imbalances from home that affects their minds and performance, for example undertaking triple roles as mothers, wives and teachers. Also challenges like illness and deaths within family contribute to stress. Question 16 (open ended) Other possible factors that contribute to stress in female teachers as indicated by the participants. Table 4.23 Possible factor FrequencyPercentage Poor remuneration1920.2Overload of work at work and home leading to fatigue1819.1Long working hours 1516Lack of social life1414.9Increase in financial responsibilities1111.7Uncontrollable childrens behaviours 77.4Abuse within family members44.3Break ups and poor relationships33.2Voice not heard by authorities33.2 N94100 When asked to state other factors that were not work related on open ended question 16 the above were the most popular responses. Most respondents alluded that inadequate salaries become the basis of all the other sources being scarce hence life becomes unbearable for mothers Question 17 (open ended) What do you think are the effects of stress in female teachers (Table on next page) Possible effects FrequencyPercentage Body exhaustion2223.7Ill health1920.4Sleeping during working hours1415.1Impairment on concentration1111.7Incompetence/ producing half baked work99.7Anger and frustration77.5Poor role models66.5Develop a negative attitude towards work55.4Develops bitterness because of unsolved issues33.2 N93100 Question 18 (open ended) How can responsible authorities assist in alleviating stress in female teachers at work Table 4.24 Possible solutions FrequencyPercentage Advocate for better remuneration2122.6Reduce workload especially paper work 1718.3Allow conference platforms for sharing social issues for ladies at school level1415.1Provide free counseling sessions from professionals in schools for both teachers and learners1111.7Provide adequate resources99.7Practice ethical leadership qualities77.5Give incentives66.5Reduce teacher-learner ratio55.4Be human and compassionate33.2 N93100 Table 4.24 shows the suggested solutions by respondents. These are the ways in which the responsible authorities at work may assist to ease on stress in female teachers. The first four suggestions form the bulk of the responses with a total of 67.7. Question 19 In your own opinion, what do you think are the best ways to address the issue of stress in female teachers both at work and home When asked to respond to the above question, the following responses in table 4.25 were noted Table 4.25 Opinion Frequency percentageConduct workshops on issues to do with the classroom819.4Female teachers platforms 717.1Listen to and act on grievances/Review policies614.6Counseling 614.6Increase remuneration49.8Create a conducive environment especially the teacher and head teacher relations49.8Review working time24.9Allow for income generating projects24.9N41100 The table above shows the different opinions of participants on how stress can be reduced or eradicated in female teachers. The most popular opinion was to conduct workshops where lady teachers would share their life and work experiences. To this regard one of the responses wrote a problem shared is a problem half solved. Concern was also shown on the way policies are made and implemented. 4.1.3 ORAL INTERVIEWS Three primary school deputy head teachers were interviewed. Their responses on the first 15 questions on the questionnaires were recorded under data from questionnaires as most of the responses were similar. However from question 16 to 18 their responses were a bit different and hence data collected under interviews was captured as the following QUESTION 16 (on interviews) Apart from work experiences from above what are the other possible factors that you think contribute to your stress as deputy head The deputy head teacher of school M1 cited that lack of motivation triggers stress as workloads come in. To her as an administrator, conflicting policies are stressful. She cited an example where children are not allowed to be sent home for fees and yet the same policy makers demand development in schools. M1 narrated the need to provide adequate relevant resources at work. Another stressor she pointed out was that of non-responsive parents to issues relating to their children at school. She also added that when things arent right for teachers at home sometimes concentration is difficult for us women at work. To this statement she echoed that there is need for alleviating stress at work so that one is not overstressed. In response to the same question deputy head teacher of school M2 stated that unstable relationships at home, deviance behavior of children at home, un-supporting husbands and insufficient salaries are factors that triggers stress in female teachers. She also mentioned that women as mothers at home and teachers in the school have multiple duties which if they do not balance well may cause stress and disturb their performance both at work and home. Demands from higher offices with immediate due dates are unbearable. Deputy Head teacher from school M3 cited that pressures from extended families at home cause a lot of stress. Alongside the failing economy female teachers are also affected by lack of resources both at home and work where there is need to improvise in order to make ends meet. In addition, the policies that change from now and then and the speed at which they are to be implemented are strenuous. Question 17(interviews) How can the responsible authorities assist in alleviating stress in female teachers Deputy Head from school M1 suggested that there should be order in issuing out of policies as some come with demands for implementation. She advocated for consultations when changes are to be put in place so that things are not a surprise. In addition she also said refusal to changes in the education systems can cause stress in teachers. On administration ground the deputy school head of school M2 suggested that female teachers should learn cooperative ways of solving issues rather than waiting for authorities. In response to the question deputy school head from school M3 suggested that school activities should be balanced as sports activities are taking most of the other learning time. She echoed that the new curriculum was demanding for both the classroom practitioner and administrators and they all need to acquire new skills for the innovation changes in the system. Question 18 In your own opinion, what do you think are the best ways to address the issue of stress in female teachers both at work and home Deputy Head of school M1 said that teachers should be in a position to improvise and come up with solutions to everyday challenges. She echoed that a twenty first century teacher has to be creative and innovative or stress will be the order of the day. Responding to the same question, deputy school head from school M2 gave the opinion that there is need to have order in the education system so that there is flow of events and work is fairly distributed among teachers. Deputy Head teacher from school M3 claimed that female lady teachers have to have positive attitudes towards changes, learn to change with the situation and find adaptive ways to relate to the changing environment. The M3 deputy head highlighted the need for the so called teachers unions to advocate ad adversely for the welfare of teachers. 4.2 DISCUSSIONS The results of the study shall be discussed in response to research questions as stated in chapter 1. What are the causes of stress among female teachers in Mzilikazi District From the questionnaires the following causes were suggested by the respondents. The causes are summarized on the table below. Suggested cause Infant module percentage response rateJunior module percentage response rateInadequate resources 100 85.7Workload not right 77.8 81Inadequate resting time at work 77.8 71.4Appraisal and review system 100 66.7Physical environment 66.7 76.2Insufficient lesson preparation time 55.6 76.2 The above were the main causes of stress among others which could not be categorized. The most common one being lack of resources. Resources that were not available include lack of relevant textbooks, information and technology equipment, other teaching media, lack of skills and knowledge on the new learning areas (subjects) (to those in the new curriculum) and insufficient funds to purchase furniture. The high percentages as shown on the summary table may indicate that lack of resources is a stressor in female teachers in Mzilikazi District. Regarding the workload, the participants cried foul over the amount of paper work, number of subjects taught by one person, other loco-parentice duties they carry in the classroom like guidance and counseling. Lamenting on the same issue, some respondents cited that too many sporting and other co-curriculum activities were worrisome to female teachers. The rate of responses which was 77.8 and 81 for infant and junior modules respectively also suggested that this is a stressor among the teachers under study and the Mzilikazi District female teachers. From the research, paper work tends to take time for lesson planning and delivery hence quality of education compromised. The most stressing part is the way different supervisors view the classroom documents. The participants pointed out that there was duplication of documentation hence time taken at the expense of the real work. A study on stress among female high school teachers in Hryana (India) by Dua and Sangwan (2017) reveals workload as a stressing factor. However because of the different ethnocentric societies the workload differs. Quiet a number of other reasons were given to account for inadequate lesson preparation time. These were indicated as too many activities during the day, crowded timetables, and a great deal of paperwork and not enough lesson time (thirty-minute) for the teaching and learning of 50 or more learners. The inadequate lesson preparation time is a stressor among Mzilikazi District female teachers in that the classroom practitioner is always under pressure to meet lesson targets and to teach with inadequate or half backed content. To add to the above statement, table 4.13 shows that 60 of the teacher participants indicated unachievable deadlines or targets being a stressor to female teachers under study and Mzilikazi District in general. Commenting as to why participants indicated unreasonable deadlines, they cited that the deadlines are now now or by end of day today/tomorrow or it was needed at the district yesterday. The results indicate that the teachers under study work under certain unmanageable speed. The expected output is affected as attention is always disrupted. From table 4.26 a 66.7 and 76.2 as indicators, the status of the physical environment contributed to stress in Mzilikazi District female teachers. From the research, participants indicated that the space in classrooms is small compared to the number of learners considering that there are learning corners to be erected in classrooms. This is in line with findings from other researches done elsewhere which found out that work-related stress comes from different areas of activities and may have physical, emotional and environmental causes, Adeyemo, (2002). In support of these factors Chireshe, et al (20145) revealed that the major sources of stress among teachers in Zimbabwe included high work load, lack of resources, overcrowded classrooms and lack of government support. However, the overcrowdings and inadequate space depends on the capacity of a school. For example the insufficient space highlighted by one of the participants was as 3 classes sharing one classroom. Furthermore, most classrooms do not have lights or the lighting system is poor, there is inadequate furniture and some classrooms have potholes, leaking roofs and no electricity plugs. From the participants responses, the research also indicated that there is insufficient resting time at school. The participants cited that there are too many activities to be facilitated by one person at once which leads to these being done during tea or lunch break. Some cited that because of the teachers expectations by school heads, all the time of the day would be sacrificed for research and some form of planning. As resting time is not enough it leads to body exhaustion, dozing at work, reducing or omitting other necessary activities which leads to low performance according to the participants comments on their responses. According to the participants comments on appraisal and reviews, dissatisfaction was expressed by the majority. Using the participants responses, these appraisals are not well understood, no feedbacks concerning previous appraisals, no rewards and they are biased towards industry. The above results may indicate that dissatisfaction with appraisals can be a stressor. The above stated causes that were revealed by the teachers indicate that most of the stress that affects the female teachers performance emanates from the work environment and less from the home. However this needs to be scientifically proven. What are the effects of stress among female teachers in Mzilikazi District schools As the participant was responding to questionnaires they had the opportunity to indicate the effects of stress on their work and them. The reasons they gave to research questions on insufficient time on lesson preparation indicated that the effect is on teachers performance at work. The effects on work performance include half baked content given to learners, postponement of other lessons, learners reading affected, low work output and poor lesson delivery. Regarding the responses that the work load was not just right the flowing responses were stated on the effect of the workload the individual needs of the learner is not catered for as suggested by Granata (2014)Disengaged teachers are less likely to bring the energy, insights and resilience that effective teaching requires in the classroom. To add to the above effects, more time spent on recordings rather than teaching, divided effort on the part of the teacher, other areas are not attended to fully, poor lesson delivery and that the best cannot be achieved from the teacher. As Horowitz (1992) says, stress impairs ones ability to concentrate and to organize thoughts logically. Thus the above disturbances will affect teacher performance hence she becomes incompetent. This shows the adverse effect stress has on participants and Mzilikazi District female teachers. The effects of unachievable targets and deadlines were noted as the targets are not accurately met or they are not met at all, overlapping activities become strenuous on the teacher, it leaves some work undone and stresses even the learners. This affects the participants teaching and learning as they report that the Information Communication Technological gadgets cannot be used, no room for learning centres and this affects their general smooth running of learning. For these reasons their work is affected in the sense that these demoralises them at work and time is wasted trying to understand and complete them as school heads sometimes to explain grey areas. How do female primary school teachers cope with stress at work in Mzilikazi District schools Most of the teachers who participated in the research did not highlight much on the way to cope with stress. However to those who responded the following results were obtained as shown in table 4.26 below. Coping measureFrequency Percentage Change in attitude towards work experiences317.6Omitting other activities or lessons635.3Work with what is achievable847.1N17100 Table 4.26 shows that the responses from participants indicate that female teachers have resorted to omitting activities or lessons in order to deal with their stress. All the three deputy heads concurrently argued that female teachers need to have a positive attitude on challenges they come across. What measures could be employed to counteract stress in female primary school teachers (see table on page 56) Opinion Frequency percentageConduct workshops819.4Female teachers platforms 717.1Listen to grievances614.6Counseling 614.6Increase remuneration49.8Create a conducive environment49.8Review working time24.9Allow for income generating projects24.9N41100 From the research it was noted that most respondents advocated for workshops (19.4), female teacher platforms (17.1), giving an ear to female grievances (14.6) and counseling (14.6). It can be concluded that to alleviate stress in female teachers there is need for getting together in professional groups to discuss different social and work related issues. Knowing that one is not alone in a stressful situation might alleviate the situation. Professional counseling sessions are crucial in the school environment where female teachers can consult for free. From the perceptions of the interviewee, the most important aspect is change of attitudes and view situations in a positive way. Teachers suggested that a conducive working environment is a better way to reduce stress. As suggested by the school administrators, policies that are well understood are well implemented hence alleviating stress. Previous research, Chireshe and Mapfumo, (2003) say that Zimbabwean teachers seek social support and involvement in entertainment to takes away the focus from the stressful atmosphere. Thus it indicates that teachers deal with stress mostly through withdrawal from activities. This is different from the findings of this research where most female teachers under study managed to suggest progressive ways of dealing with stress like getting counseling sessions, female teachers platforms and a conducive environment among other solutions. This is an indication that female teachers who love their profession but needs it to be professionally handled. 4.3 Chapter Summary The chapter focused on the presentation, analysis, and discussion of findings on the views of female teachers and deputy heads on the causes, effects and possible measures on female primary teachers. All teachers perceived that stress was there among teachers. Among the causes are poor salaries, multiple duties, overload of work, long working hours and abuse by family members. Suggested ways to reduce stress in female women was to have a positive mind always, to have conference platforms which will allow ladies to share experiences. The next chapter will summarise, conclude and give recommendations to the research. Although other studies indicate the diverse effect as that of health, the participants of this study revealed that their performance is affected resulting in incompetence and the child at most suffers in the long run. CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.0 Introduction Chapter four of this study presented, analysed and discussed the data collected through questionnaires and interviews. This chapter summarises and gives conclusions of the study as well as recommendations. 5.1 Summary A large number of female classroom practitioners in the primary school and the female administrators indicated that the causes of stress were mainly inadequate resources, workload not being due to the amount of paper work and subjects taught, number of subjects taught by one person as well as other loco-parentice duties they carry in the classroom like guidance and counseling, inadequate resting time at work, appraisal and review system, physical environment and Insufficient lesson preparation time. The research also indicated that there is insufficient resting time at school. The participants cited that there are too many activities to be facilitated by one person at once which leads to some being done during tea or lunch break. Some cited that because of the head teachers expectations, all the time of the day would be sacrificed for research and some form of planning. As resting time is not enough it leads to body exhaustion, dozing at work, reducing or omitting other necessary activities which leads to low performance according to the participants comments on their responses. According to the participants comments on appraisal and reviews, dissatisfaction was expressed by the majority. Using the participants responses, these appraisals are not well understood, no feedbacks concerning previous appraisals, no rewards and they are biased towards industry. The above results may indicate that dissatisfaction with appraisals can be a stress Insufficient time on lesson preparation had a negative effect on female teachers performance at work. This manifested in half baked content given to learners, postponement of other lessons, learners reading affected, low work output and poor lesson delivery. With a stressful workload, the individual needs of the learner were not fully catered for. More time spent on recordings rather than teaching also meant that divided effort on the part of the teacher, other areas are not attended to fully, poor lesson delivery and that the best cannot be achieved from the teacher. Thus the above disturbances affected teacher performance hence she becomes incompetent. Unachievable targets and deadlines were noted as the targets are not accurately met or they are not met at all, overlapping activities were strenuous on the teacher. It left some work undone and stressed even the learners. This affected their teaching and learning as they report that the Information Communication Technological gadgets cannot be used, no room for learning centres and this affects the general smooth running of learning. For these reasons their work is affected in the sense that these demoralises them at work and time is wasted trying to understand and complete them as school heads sometimes fail to explain grey areas. Other factors from the social life included lack of the much expected social life, uncontrollable behavior of children, multiple roles, increased financial responsibilities and the patriarchal environment in the home. The respondents indicated that the following measures could be employed to counteract stress in female primary school teachers that is conducting workshops, having female teachers platforms, listening to teachers grievances, counseling, increase remuneration, create a conducive environment, review working time and allow for income generating projects. It can be concluded that to alleviate stress in female teachers there is need for getting together in professional groups to discuss different social and work related issues. Knowing that one is not alone in a stressful situation might alleviate the situation. Professional counseling sessions are crucial in the school environment where female teachers can consult for free. From the perceptions of the interviewee, the most important aspect is change of attitudes and view situations in a positive way. Teachers suggested that a conducive working environment is a better way to reduce stress. As suggested by the school administrators, policies that are well understood are well implemented hence alleviating stress. The study concentrated on the exploring the causes and effects of stress in female teachers and measures that can be taken to alleviate stress in them. The introductory chapter had a background to the study. The background presented stress as a potential hazard in the education sector. In Zimbabwe researches have been carried out to find out to find sources, levels of stress and stressors that impinge on teachers in secondary and factories. The purpose of the study, research questions, its significance, assumptions, limitations, delimitations of the study and the definitions of key terms were fairly attended to in the study. A review of what other authorities have said about stress in teachers was also reviewed according to the research questions. The causes and effects of stress including mitigation measures to alleviate stress in schools worldwide were also explored. The methodology of the study was also established with the case study design in use since the study aimed to gather the perceptions, views and opinions through questionnaire and interviews. The population, sample and sampling procedures of the study were clearly explained. Highlights on the process of gathering findings were well articulated as well as the justification of instruments used. The procedure for data analysis, ethical challenges and considerations on how there were addressed received reasonable attention. The presentation of the findings and analysis were done simultaneously with discussions coming after in this study. Quantitatively data were mostly presented in tables and qualitatively through narrations. The analysis and discussions followed the order of the questions in the questionnaire designed concurrently addressing research questions in the introductory chapter. Discussions were meant to confirm the findings with what has already been established by authorities as well as some differences. The research was also met with the challenges which might have influenced the validity of the research findings. The environment which the researcher carried the study was not completely receptive. Some selected teachers were not keen to help the researcher with the information needed while some had an attitude on researches. In addition, the financial source of the researcher was limited which also meant that the researcher was unable to carry out the study with the largest sample possible. Hence these challenges met by the researcher might have had a bearing on the sample size, which in turn may influence the validity of the findings. 5.2. Conclusions The study consisted of varied opinions from primary school female teachers on stress causes, effects and alleviation measures. In relationship to research question 1, it can be deduced that the main causes of stress in female teachers is mostly economically and from the work place in Mzilikazi District. Among all the stressors revealed by this study, lack of resources, to which 100 of the infant teachers and 85.7 of the junior teachers indicated, was rated the most possible stressor. Huge workloads, inadequate resting time, poor remuneration and review system were among the highly rated stressors on female teachers in Mzilikazi District. All interviewed deputy primary heads echoed the same sentiments arguing that multiple responsibilities of a women influences stress among female teachers and leads to incompetence as most teachers fail to cope with it. On research question 2, the majority of the female participants pointed to the effects of stress as leading to mediocre performance, fatigue and divided attention/ lack of individualization on learners and health problems like increased blood pressure, back aches and swollen feet. The majority of the administrators (2) echoed the same understanding that it is stress in female teachers that contributes to certain diseases echoed above. On research question 3, it is conclusive that the responsible authorities and the female teachers play an important role in alleviating stress in female teachers. The study indicated that the responsible authorizes of Mzilikazi District should not pay a deaf ear on the pleas of female teachers through taking action. Some of the common measures that came out of the study were providing adequate relevant teaching/learning materials, allowing for platforms for lady teachers to air and share social challenges so that they find within them solutions, free counseling sessions from professionals within schools, creating a conducive environment and conducting workshops. In responding to question 3 the study revealed that coping with stress is not common among female teachers. However some echoed that the ways they cope with stress has an impact on the quality of work. Some measures articulated were omitting other activities or lessons and working within their abilities. The majority of the administrators in the study advocated for change of female teachers attitudes towards work and trying to adapt to situations so that they are not stressed. On research question 4, a majority of teachers pointed that effective discipline can be realised through application of corporal punishment. Therefore, it is conclusive that despite the effectiveness of corporal punishment, it has negative implications. 5.3. Recommendations The study recommendations that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education provide professionally trained counseling professionals in schools which is to be freely accessed by female teachers. These can also work with learners to help curb the deviant behaviour. It could allow for female staff development from a broad aspect. Thus the development should not be academics that assist teachers on teaching certain concept, but also on social issues affecting female teachers, for example having presentations and discussions on topics concerning stress. The Ministry in question can also allow for workshops where female teachers are taught on stress and other topics of concern that may affect their performance. This should not be left to pressure groups and the church. In addition the responsible authority should reconsider the teachers responsibilities, duties and paperwork to reduce on workload and have more time and energy on facilitating the learning of the child. This could be done through revisiting current policies on documentation. Furthermore, specialization should be considered on certain subjects in primary schools especially in the newly introduced learning areas in the new Curriculum. To add to the recommendations to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, it is recommended that the performance appraisal review system be simplified and become effective and understandable by teachers. The system should be fully utilised. It is also recommended that the school head teachers provide adequate relevant instructional resources that are easily accessed and equitably distributed. The Public Service Commission as employer should not allow rally policies as these are mostly hurriedly implemented causing unwarranted stress in female teachers. The responsible ministry and the employer could try not to make contradicting policies. There is need for law empowerment on female teachers by responsible authorities as most of these teachers know the statues but do not understand them. It is also recommended that human rights education be taught to both teachers and learners by the responsible organization through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education so that they may fully understand their positions in their teaching fraternity. It is recommended that the primary school female teachers as individuals be innovative and adaptive to challenges that the meet during their course of life. 5.4. 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