School Geographical Location and Its Effect on Teacher Burnout in Public Secondary Schools in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya


  • Tabitha Gituriandu Maasai Mara University
  • Newton Mukolwe Maasai Mara University
  • Mwaura Kimani Maasai Mara University



School Geographical Location, Teacher Burnout, Secondary Schools, Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya


Teachers’ ought to work in an environment (context) free from too much stress, anxiety, exhaustion to avoid burnout. However, this is not the case in Tharaka Nithi County. Teachers in the county are faced with numerous stressors that could lead to burnout; limiting their abilities to meet teaching obligations. These include poor learning facilities and long distances to school among others. The study set out to determine the effects of workload, expected students’ academic performance by school administrators, students’ indiscipline issues, school geographical location and school physical facilities on teacher burnout in public secondary schools in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. The study adopted the descriptive survey design and was founded on the Multidimensional Theory of Burnout and Golembiewski and Munzenrider’s model of burnout. It targeted 104 principals and 6862 teachers from 104 schools in addition to 10 Teachers Service Commission (TSC) officials and 10 Quality Assurance and Standards Officials (QASOs) from Tharaka Nithi County. Out of these, 378 teachers and 31 principals from 31 schools in addition to all the 10 TSC officials and 10 QASOs were sampled using two-stage cluster random sampling, purposively and simple random techniques. Data was collected using questionnaires from teachers, interview guides from TSC officials and QASOs, and data collection forms. Quantitative data from questionnaires were analyzed descriptively by use of frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations as well as inferentially by use of Pearson Correlation and multiple regression analysis at a 0.05 significance level. For qualitative data from open-ended questions in the questionnaires, interviews, and secondary data transcripts, content analysis was employed. The study established that school geographical location has significant effects on teacher burnout (r=0.186, P<0.05). Based on the findings it can thus be concluded that school geographical location affected teacher burnout. The study recommends that there should be effort to build sufficient housing as well as other social amenities for teachers even in remote areas to make work bearable for teachers and other government officials.


Al-Tayyar, K. (2005). Job satisfaction among psychology teachers in boys’ secondary schools in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia. MA thesis, University of Bristol

Babbie, E., 2013. The practice of social research (13th Ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth Pub. Co., 16-18

Bataineh, O., & Alsagheer, A. (2012). An investigation of social support and burnout among special education teachers in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Special Education, 27 (2), 5-13.

Cordes, C. L., & Dougherty, T. W. (1993). A review and integration of research on job burnout. Academy of Management Review, 18(1), 621-656. DOI:

Diaz, C.I. (2018). The truth about teacher burnout; its work-induced depression American psychological associations. Psych learning curve. Retrieved from psych truth-about-teacher-burnout.

Draugalis, J.R., Coons, S.J., & Plaza, C.M. (2008). Best Practices for Survey Research Reports: A Synopsis for Authors and Reviewers. Am J Pharm Educ., 1(1), 72. DOI:

Esonwanne, O., & Aguwa, E. (2014). Burnout, psychological distress and job satisfaction among secondary school teachers in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria. Okwaraji, Aguwa, J Psychiatry, 18(1), 14-66. DOI:

Farrell, S., Moir, F., Molodynski, A., & Bhugra, D. (2019). Psychological wellbeing, burnout and substance use amongst medical students in New Zealand. International Review of Psychiatry, 31(1), 1-7. DOI:

Gacheri, N.P. (2017). Influence of classroom management practices on students’ academic achievement in public secondary schools in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. Master’s Thesis. Kenyatta University.

Golembiewski, R., & Munzenrider, R., (1981). Efficacy of three versions of one burnout measure: MBI as total score, subscale scores, or phases? Journal of Health and Human Resources Administration, 7(1), 290-323.

Golembiewski, R., & Munzenrider, R., (1984). Phases of psychological burnout and organizational covariants. Organizational Development Journal, 4(1) 25-30.

Golembiewski, R., & Munzenrider, R., (1988). Phases of burnout: Developments in concepts and applications. New York: Praeger.

Hardwick-Franco, K.G. (2019). Educational leadership is different in the country; what support does the rural school principal need? International Journal of Leadership in Education, 22(3), 301-314. DOI:

Jensen, M.T., Solheim, O., & Idsoe, E. (2019) Do you read me? Associations between perceived teacher emotional support, reader self‑concept, and reading achievement. Social Psychology of Education, 22 (2), 247-266. DOI:

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2019). Kenya 2009 Population and Housing Census Highlights. Kenya national Bureau of Statistics.

Kilonzo, M.T. (2018). Job burnout and performance of teachers in secondary schools in Machakos County, Kenya. Journal of business and change management, 5(1), 52-71.

Kothari, C. (2004). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques (2nd ed.). New Delhi: New Age Limited Publishers.

Louw, D., George, E., & Esterhuyse, K. (2011). Burnout amongst urban secondary school teachers in Namibia.SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 37 (1), 1. DOI:

Maingi, M., Olaly, W., Sirera, A., & Kem, P. (2018). Impact of Level of Education on Alcohol Abuse among Teachers in Nyeri County, Kenya. 51940.

Maithya, R. (2009). Drug abuse in secondary schools in Kenya: developing a programme for prevention and intervention. PhD Thesis. University Of South Africa.

Maslach, C. (1982). Burnout: The cost of caring. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

McCormack, N., & Cotter, C. (2013). Managing burnout in the workplace: A guide for information professionals. Oxford: Chandos Publishing. DOI:

McLaughlin, K. (2018). Teachers are seeing their colleagues leave the profession at an alarming rate, and this might be why. Insider November 15. Retrieved from

Ministry of Education. (2016). Student Teacher Ratio. Nairobi: Government Printer.

Mugenda, O., & Mugenda, G. (2012). Research methods Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. Nairobi: ACTS.

Muguongo, Mary. (2015). Effects of compensation on job satisfaction among secondary school teachers in Maara Sub - County of Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. Journal of Human Resource Management, 3(1), 47. DOI:

Ndung’u, G.W. (2017). Teacher Indiscipline and the Effectiveness of Disciplinary Measures Employed By Headteachers in Public Secondary Schools in Githunguri, Kiambu County, Kenya. Master’s Thesis. Kenyatta University, Kenya.

Pucella, T. D. (2011). The Impact of National Board Certification on Burnout Levels in Educators. Clearing House, 84(2), 52–58. DOI:

Schaufeli, W.B., & Enzmann, D. (1998). The burnout companion to study and practice: A critical analysis. London: Taylor & Francis.

Shen, B., McCaughtry, N., Martin, J., Garn, A., Kulik, N., & Fahlman, M. (2015). The relationship between teacher burnout and student motivation. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(4), 519–532. DOI:

Sichambo, M. (2012). Causes of burnout among secondary school teachers. A case of Bungoma North-District- Kenya. International Journal of Academic Research in progressive education and development act, 1(4), 1. DOI:

Tharaka Nithi County. (2022). Alcohol Abuse in Schools. Tharaka Nithi County: Ministry of Education.

White, H. (2004). Citation Analysis and Discourse Analysis Revisited. Applied Linguistics, 25(1), 89-116. DOI:

Yamane, T. (1967). Statistics, An Introductory Analysis (2nd Ed.). New York: Harper and Row.




How to Cite

Gituriandu, T., Mukolwe, N., & Kimani, M. (2022). School Geographical Location and Its Effect on Teacher Burnout in Public Secondary Schools in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. Science Mundi, 2(1), 48–65.