Burnout of primary school teachers in the North West Province
Montgomery, Amanda Jane
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The foundation of the education of our country lies in the hands of the primary school teachers. Unfortunately, teachers have to juggle many roles - not only are they expected to teach diverse classes and be a role model, but they also have to deal with social problems - all for very little remuneration. Our teachers are becoming less motivated, frustrated and very despondent and as a result, an increasing number of teachers are suffering from burnout. The objective of this research was to investigate the job characteristics associated with burnout as well as the burnout-strain relationship among primary school teachers in the North-West Province. A stratified random sample of 646 primary school teachers in the North West Province was taken. The Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (MBEGS), Job Characteristics Scale and Your Health Questionnaire (third questionnaire of the ASSET) were used as measuring instruments. Cronbach alpha coefficients, inter-item correlation coefficients, Pearsonproduct correlation coefficients and canonical correlation coefficients were used to analyse the data. Structural equation modelling (SEM) methods were used to construct job characteristic models of burnout. The results showed that overload leads to exhaustion, which leads to cynicism and in turn to lack of professional efficacy. Job resources was found to be related to all three dimensions of burnout, while rewards played a moderating effect between both overload and exhaustion, and job resources and burnout. Exhaustion and lack of professional efficacy lead to physical and psychological strain. Recommendations were made for further research.