STRESS LEVEL AND FACTORS AMONG VOCATIONAL COLLEGES INSTRUCTORS
Technical and vocational education (TVE) system in Malaysia has experienced significant transformation within these recent years. This transformation has led to various changes in the pattern of its curriculum which to some extent, has increased workload stresses among the Malaysian TVE instructors including in Vocational Colleges. These stresses should be managed effectively, or otherwise they could negatively impact on the individual’s health and life. The aim of this study was to identify the level of stress among instructors, the dominant factors that caused the stresses, and differences between the level of stress and stress factors with demographic factors. A set of questionnaire was constructed based on symptoms of stresses determined by the literature and five stress factors based on Boyle’s model. A total of 255 instructors were randomly selected from seven vocational colleges located in the Southern part of Malaysia. Data were statistically analysed using descriptive and inferens based on frequency, percentage, independent t-test and ANOVA. The results showed that the level of stress among instructors were high, and that the level of stress for female is higher than male instructors. The findings also indicated that the first five dominant factors that contributed to the instructors’ stress levels were changes in the system as a result of the transformation of TVE, increment in academic and management workloads, students behaviour, interpersonal relationship, and the constraints of time and resources. In addition, results indicated that there was no significant difference between the level of stress and stress factors by gender, but there were significant differences between the level of stress and stress factors between colleges. As a whole, although the transformation of TVE system has a positive impact in realizing the national agenda, these results illustrated that these transformation have impacted negatively to the stress level of instructors in these Vocational Colleges. It is therefore suggested that the particular authorities need to be responsive to deal with the stresses among instructors for them to be more effective and efficient in their work which then will assist in realizing the goals of national education.