Performance appraisal in the ministry of primary and secondary education: A case study of Vainona High School in Harare, 2009-2016
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This research focused on performance appraisal in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, with particular reference on Vainona High School. The study was promoted by the fact that teachers in Zimbabwe had problems with the system of performance appraisal being implemented, which was user-centred and top-down resulting in ineffective implementation. The inadequacies in the performance appraisal system were negatively affecting the morale of teachers thereby compromising teaching and learning. There were three specific research objectives. The first objective was to analyse the purpose and benefits of performance appraisal in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. The second objective was to examine the factors that influence the effectiveness of performance appraisal at Vainona High School. The third objective was to interrogate the problems associated with performance appraisal at Vainona High School. This research applied the qualitative research approach because the issue of performance appraisal is subjective. The study was a case study of Vainona High School. The population was made up of the school head, deputy head, six heads of departments and 32 teachers at Vainona High School. The researcher used non-probability sampling techniques because of the time limitations for the study and that this type has lower costs compared to probability sampling. Data for this research was collected using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and documentary review. Data was analysed using thematic analysis and the findings of similar nature were then grouped together. The research found out that the performance appraisal system in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was introduced in 2010 and the Public Service Commission (PSC), which is the government’s employer, manages performance appraisal. The was lack of thorough understanding on the motive and benefits of performance appraisal because some participants at Vainona High School argued that the process is necessary, fair, and benefits the teachers and learners while others had contrasting views. The study showed that a number of factors influenced the success of performance appraisal and they include availability of resources, linkage between performance and rewards, provision of training to both the evaluators and the subordinates, and employee participation in the process. The respondents at Vainona High School opined that between the years 2009 and 2016, the performance appraisal system was bedevilled by a syndrome of problems, including lack of clarity of the appraisal document, absence of teacher consultation, absence of feedback, no relationship between performance appraisal, rewards, and promotions, high teacher-student ratio, and student factors like absenteeism. The study came up with a number of recommendations that could enhance the effectiveness of performance appraisal in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. The first recommendation was the need for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the PSC to clarify the purpose of appraisal to the teachers. The second recommendation was that the PSC and the Ministry of Education should provide adequate training to the evaluators and the teachers. Another suggestion was that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, which has expertise about educational issues, should be in charge of performance appraisal, not the Public Service Commission. The study also recommended that it was essential to link the results of appraisal with rewards and promotions. Outstanding performers should be rewarded for their efforts and there was need for performance related bonuses.