The study was aimed at exploring the role of the Employee Assistance Programme in addressing the job performance of educators in the Eastern Cape Department of Education as it is affected by both personal and work related challenges. Non-probability purposive sampling was used to select schools that had once utilized the EAP and had more than ten educators in their staff establishment. One school was selected from each of the 3 clusters into which the province is divided, with cluster C having two schools chosen because of its size and demographics. A focus group interview method was used to collect the data. According to the findings of this study most educators are frustrated and demoralized due to various challenges they encounter in both their personal and work lives but, what was outstanding was the fact that they were blaming the new political dispensation for the deteriorating culture of teaching and learning. Among the things they mentioned as the source of their frustration were the lack of support by both the government and the parents, lack of learner discipline and commitment, too many curriculum changes, lack of incentives and opportunities for promotion, and lack of resources. It transpired that even though they were faced with so many challenges, they had no coping mechanisms and were not aware of any EAP services available in the department. They all admitted to have been taken to team buildings when they had conflicts in their respective schools and that relationships improved after that, but were not aware that it was a service available from EAP since they were organized by their EDOs. From this study it was clear that EAP was not marketed well enough to the intended beneficiaries hence it was not fully utilized and seemed not to be playing its role in improving job performance of educators in the department. There were no differences in the views shared by participants based on school location but there were more negative emotions on the older participants compared with the younger ones. One challenge that became obvious in the execution of the EAP mandate was the absence of a specific EAP Act.
Dissertation (MSocSci)--University of Pretoria, 2013.