Burnout hits Kenyan dons on high workload – Business Daily
Guests and dons in a procession after the first graduation ceremony of Kirinyaga University. FILE PHOTO | NMG
University lecturers are experiencing burnout from workload, amid poor pay and slow career progression, a new survey by a United Nations agency says.
The study conducted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in June and July shows 79 percent of Kenyan dons linked their burnout to workload while 66 percent of them linked it to emotional exhaustion.
The lecturers –particularly those in public universities— reported encountering low remuneration and slow job progression more often than the other work-related issues.
“A vast majority of lecturers were experiencing work-related burnout in regard to workload and emotional exhaustion dimension,” said Unesco.
Typically, the work of lecturers includes delivering lectures, creating course outlines, setting and administering exams, conducting independent research in their field of study and assisting students with academic challenges.
Official data shows university enrolment will grow from 546,000 in 2020/21 to 562,000 in the 2021/22 academic year on an anticipated rise in the number of government-sponsored students.
This is amid disproportionate ratio concerns for universities where academic staff are fewer, yet the core business of the institutions is teaching, research and related services.
Education CSGeorge Magoha has cited without revealing the names that the university with the highest academic-to-support staff ratio is at 48:52 and the lowest is at 14:86.
These revelations point to workload pressures which combined with poor Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) being implemented out of their cycles have led to perennial lecturer strikes.