Potential attrition in education: the impact of job satisfaction, morale, workload and HIV/AIDS
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The decision to change one's job is usually preceded by a process of job evaluation and determining alternative employment opportunities. Dissatisfaction with the workplace can be a strong incentive to seek alternative opportunities. This study focuses on the role played by job satisfaction, morale and HIV/AIDS in educator attrition. The responses of educators who considered leaving their jobs were compared to the responses of those preferring to stay. Findings reveal that job dissatisfaction linked to poor salaries and limited possibilities for career development, as well as the lack of status and respect attached to the profession, may push educators out of the classroom. The low morale amongst potential leavers reflects this dissatisfaction, as well as the stress caused by curriculum transformation and the emotional impact of HIV/AIDS.
Factors encouraging educators to stay in their profession included their passion for developing young people and strong collegial relationships. However, many also feel trapped by limited job alternatives, and may embark on withdrawal options such as increased absenteeism or lower outputs. It is crucially important to deal with the sources of educator frustration, lest the result becomes deteriorating service provision and quality in South African education.