An analysis of educators' perceptions of the developmental appraisal system: a case study of schools in Richards Bay.
Mbatha, Misumuzi Felix.
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Research has shown that employees engage in Performance Appraisal on an on-going basis to review their current performance and strategize on ways to improve. This view derives from Locke’s conceptualization of goal-setting theory, in which employees set themselves challenging goals to achieve during the appraisal cycle. Educators participate in an appraisal process every year, but unfortunately very little improvement is noticeable in their performance. The pass rates of the learners they teach are not improving. The main aim of this study was to analyse the perceptions of educators regarding the Development Appraisal System as it is constructed within the Department of Education. The study used a mixed-methods approach, which involved survey methods (the administrations of questionnaires to 135 respondents) and in-depth interviews (7) to elicit the views of educators on the implementation of Developmental Appraisal in schools. Through the data analysis this study established that Performance Appraisal is well entrenched in schools. There were, however, challenges related to the quality of its implementation. Educators find the process time consuming and state that there is no time to do justice to the appraisal processes. The data analysis suggests that the training programmes do not respond to the needs of the schools. A further analysis revealed that educators engage in such appraisal largely to fulfil administrative requirements. The consequence is that the scores entered on evaluation instruments and reporting documents are unreliable and misleading, which affects the suitability of the development interventions designed for educators. These findings have critical implications for the Department of Education with regard to monitoring and supporting school managers to run an effective and efficient Developmental Appraisal System.