An Evaluation Of Staff Motivation Measures In The Management Of Schools

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An Evaluation Of Staff Motivation Measures In The Management Of Schools


Owing to the declining productivity of the teaching workforce in our educational system occasioned by teacher motivation crisis rocking our country evidenced in low teacher output, high teacher turnover, regular strike actions, poor pupil performance, refusal of teachers to accept postings to rural areas, irregular attendance and teacher absenteeism, there is need to undertake a study on the motivation measures necessary for improving and boosting the productivity of teachers in our educational system. This is what this study is all about. In doing this, teachers’ opinions were sought through the use of questionnaire administered and oral interviews. The Likert- five points scale of weighting was used in the design of the questionnaire. The aim was to identify the motivation measures in their order of importance. The findings show that many people at the helm of affairs in our educational system do not even understand the issue of motivation, not to talk of employing it as an effective tool to achieve increased productivity. The findings also show that motivation measures identified have varying index of importance and can be combined with other good management practices to effectively achieve the motivation of the teaching workforce. The study recommends more research in motivation issues in our educational system for effective planning geared towards improved productivity. The study is of the view that both the governments and schools proprietors and managements should discharge the roles expected of them in the motivation of the teaching workforce so as to have a vibrant and motivated workforce.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Motivation is not completely a new term. What is interesting about it is that it is commonly assumed to be a good thing that goes in influencing individual’s behavior and performance at work.

Teacher motivation naturally has to do with teacher’s attitude to work. It has to do with teachers desire to participate in the pedagogical process within the school environment. It has to do with teacher’s interest in student discipline and control particularly in the classroom. Therefore it could underlie their involvement or non-involvement in academic and non-academic activities, which operate in school. The teacher is one that translates educational philosophy and objective into knowledge and skill and transfers them to students in the classroom. Classroom climate is important in teacher motivation. If a teacher experiences the classroom as a safe, healthy, happy with supportive reassures and facilities for teaching for optimal learning, he/she tends to participate more than expected in the process of management, administration and the over all improvement of the school. The teacher commands and emits the image of one who improves knowledge and the physical condition of the classroom through orderliness, discipline and control. He makes diagnosis of student’s feelings and attitudes inferred by their behavior and response in the classroom environment. Hence, Lash and Kirkpatrick (1990) concluded that in the absence of school programmes, the major responsibility of working with children in the school rests with the teacher. Likewise Maeher and Midgley (1991), affirms that what takes place in the classroom, even through the classroom itself is not an island, is critical.

Therefore, depending on the degree of congruence with classroom practices and school environment, teachers teaching activities may dilute or enhance students learning and performance.

Teachers motivation is therefore anything done to make teachers happy, satisfied, dedicated, and committed in such a way that they bring out their best in their places of work so that both students, parents, and the society will greatly benefit from their services.

Teachers have both intrinsic and extrinsic needs. A teacher who is intrinsically motivated may be observed to undertake a task for it own sake, for the satisfaction it provides or for the feeling of accomplishment and self actualization. On the other hand, an extrinsically motivated teacher may perform the activities /duty in order to obtain some rewards such as salary. Extrinsic motivation plays an important part in people’s life. It is pre-eminent in influencing a persons behavior. Therefore, the aim of organization should be to build on and enhance the intrinsic motivation for teachers to teach effectively and at the same time, to supply some extrinsic motivation along the way for school improvement (O’neil,1995). Educators are aware that reformers of education may establish new schools, effect changes in structure and curriculum, recommend and prescrib teaching methods and aids, in the end, the teacher will be solely responsible for applying them.

Unfortunately, despite the obvious leading role teachers play in school towards attending educational objectives, several authors including Ndu (1998), Ala-Adeyemi and Afolabi (1990) and the International Labour Organization (ILO,1990) report lamented that the motivation of teachers had reached an intolerable low point. Rosa Mafia Torres, the senior education adviser in UNICEF declared that the condition of teachers had for too long become the most critical “Achilles heels” of educational development in our era.

Berelson and Steiner (1964), Tracy (2000) defined motivation as all those inner striving conditions, described as wishes, desire, urges to stimulate the interest of a person in an activity. It is therefore an inner state that stimulate and triggers behavior. Ukeje (1991), said “motivation could make a mule dance” The relative incidence of specific behaviors, such as teaching and learning, discipline and control in schools could be undermined if teachers were not motivated.

Sadly, the lack of effective teacher motivation is a prime factor in experienced teachers looking for work in other fields.

Management can be defined as the coordination of all the resources of an organization through the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling in order to attain organizational goals.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

One of the most troublesome aspects of our educational sector is the issue of low productivity and lack of motivation. This manifests itself in the lack of zeal and enthusiasm on the part of both the teaching and the non- teaching staffs in our school system. The resultant effect of lack of motivation can be seen on how some staffs carry on their own business during official working hours to the detriment of their students, some come to work whenever they like and others due to the same lack of motivation leave the teaching job to seek greener pastures elsewhere. In all these, the students who are the end products are the worst hit as they do not get enough in terms of learning.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. Can the teaching workforce be motivated through the evolving of effective measures aimed at increasing the productivity of teachers?
  2. Are there any meeting points between the productivity or performance level of teachers and the level of motivation available in our schools?
  3. Can a well planned and organized work environment and its resources be linked to as a key to motivating the teaching workforce and the promotion of job satisfaction that can provide incentive for teachers to increase their productivity?

1.4 Aim and Objective of the Study

  1. To evolve effective measures at increasing the productivity of the teaching workforce through motivation.
  1. To understand the psychology of workmen including the teachers in a given work environment.
  2. To understand the various methods of motivation.
  3. To establish the relationship between motivation and productivity.
  4. To understand the primary categories of motivational programmes that are designed and tailored for increased productivity.
  5. To fully comprehend the essentials of motivations and productivity.
  6. To be acquainted with the need to identify, correct and remove demotivators in a well – motivated work/ teaching/academic school environment.
  7. To understand the importance of motivation in a well planned and organized academic environment.
  8. To provide an explanation on how behaviour is stimulated, sustained, directed and how it can be terminated.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be immense benefit to the government at all levels, school proprietors and planners in the educational sector who employ, administer and make use of the services of teachers in getting to know how best to boast the productivity of teachers in their service.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the evaluation of staff motivation measures in the management of schools in Owerri municipal council using three selected secondary schools and three selected primary schools.

This study was limited to only three secondary and three primary schools due to time, energy and cost involved.

1.7 Hypothesis

Hypothesis 1:

There is no significant relationship between declining productivity and the level of motivation available to teachers.

Hypothesis II:

There is no significant effect of increased motivation on productivity.

Hypothesis III:

There is no significant increase in the vigor of an individual’s activity when motivation is available.

1.8 Organization of the Study

The study was organized in five chapters.

  • Chapter one comprised the background information, statement of the problem, objectives, research questions, significance of the study and limitations.
  • Chapter two dealt with the literature review involving definition of key terms, theoretical framework and empirical reviews.
  • Chapter three focused on the methodology. It dealt with research design, sampling design, data collection and analysis methods.
  • Chapter four focused on results and discussions of findings and
  • Finally chapter five comprised the summary of key findings, conclusions and recommendation

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of Key Findings

The study examined the role of motivation on the performance of school staffs. The study was conducted in three schools in Owerri and it involved 50 staffs as respondents in the study. With varying levels of education, the majority of the staffs had been working for over 5 years in the school. That implied that staffs were already conversant with the motivation in the school and were therefore expected to assess the role of motivation in enhancing their performance.

Consequently, some of the study findings agreed with the conceptual framework that was developed as a guide to the study. All in all, the study revealed that motivation was necessary for high performance of staffs though they were poorly motivated.

5.3 Conclusion

The summary and conclusion were presented in line with the specific objectives.

5.3.1 Measures of Motivation

Research findings revealed that not only were staffs motivated by monetary rewards but also non-monetary rewards. The working conditions were highly favorable in the institution and the discipline of the pupils made work essay for the staffs thus enhancing morale. However, most of the staffs were concerned with the inadequacy of salaries to meet their needs with the cost of living as they found it difficult to meet daily expenses. Salary was the most pressing motivator that was reported. On contrary, salary scales for staffs were often very flat with very low increments awarded on the basis of experience with little or no link with the actual job performance.

According to different researches, it was evident that staff pay was generally very low and declining in real terms in most countries. Salary supplementation for staffs was common to cop strategies adopted by staffs to meet minimum household needs. Private tuition amounted to shadow the education system in many countries with pupil involvement. In addition, the late payment was common in the schools. As a form of motivation therefore, salary was insufficient to motivate staffs and increase their morale to perform effectively. A recent World Bank report on education management in Nigeria noted that “Staffs may have reasonable job security but until they feel confident that they will be paid and when due, their morale will continue to be low and their attendance at school irregular. ”However, not all staffs were motivated by intrinsic rewards.

There were staffs who were motivated by inner drives like promotion, security, recognition among others. It was therefore concluded that high motivation increases performance.

5.3.2 Influence of Motivation

Basically, despite the relatively low motivation, the majority of the respondents indicated that their performance was good implying they performed their duties with morale. This was evident from the early reporting to school, regular assessing of pupils, effective maintenance of pupils‟ discipline, supervision of school activities, among others.

On the other hand, the majority of the respondents indicated that they had the necessary knowledge and skills which enabled effective performance. However, there were other factors that determined individual performance, that‟s the individual differences and situational perceptions. Besides, the respondents suggested the measures to improve performance like improving the working conditions, revision of the salary scale to mention a few.

Therefore, the researcher concluded on this matter that despite the inadequate motivation in schools, the staffs in St. Mary‟s performed their activities with parental attitudes.

5.3.3 Impact of Motivation

Motivation as seen from the findings had an impact on performance. The majority of respondents indicated that lack of motivation had an impact on the morale to perform and that the lack of motivation generated poor performance. There were other factors that caused the poor performance of staffs in schools like, poor management and as revealed from different studies, many managers acted for very long periods and management styles tended to be authoritative with limited participation, delegation and communication with respect to school functions. Staff supervision was very weak and effective performance appraisal and inspection was infrequent. On contrary, there was a high rate of staff turnover with reasons such as resignation, search for greener pastures, staff upgrading, occupational attrition and others which was a sign of dissatisfaction.

Staffs might be highly committed to the attainment of learning goals but might lack necessary competencies to teach effectively. That was reflected in deteriorating standards and professional conducts and performance. Staffs devoted less time to extra activities, teaching preparation and marking. Consequently, there was no spirit of competition in schools as they didn‟t have exposure and were more of business oriented thus the poor enrolment of students.

It‟s also because of the poor and declining quality of education that led parents to sending their children to schools which led to amounts of mass exodus, large class sizes, changing curriculum and thus what was expected of the staffs was not realistic given the workload, rewards and work environment as revealed by Bennel,(2004).

All in all, Dessler(2005) examined motivation and performance from the perspective of staffs in schools that they were different. He stated that motivation was an output to work but performance was an output from the motivation. These two from the staffs‟ perspective may be difficult to distinguish and more-so motivation was often got from the output produced, the possibility of high motivation and low output or low motivation and high output was often not considered. If effort was costly for an employee, ignoring the effort could bias the estimated effect of performance because it should increase performance.

However, when employees are satisfied with their job, they get more motivated automatically and thus show their best effort towards performance. On contrary, the role of motivation couldn‟t be over emphasized in the field of education. Motivation played a very significant role in attaining education objectives through teaching and learning processes. Motivation in staffs was seen as working tirelessly in schools.

5.4 Recommendations

The following recommendations were provided by the researcher basing on the findings to schools owners, staffs and policy makers.

5.4.1 Policy Recommendation

Due to technical innovations and changes in organization structures and processes, Individual work requirements were drastically changing. As a consequence, continuous learning and competence development become increasingly important.

Therefore individuals must be willing and able to engage in continuous learning processes in order to accomplish their tasks carefully.

Furthermore, there was a need to improve promotional prospects in order to attract and retain talents. Qualified and trained staffs in primary schools should be considered for promotion as headmasters and inspectors of schools.

There was a call for salary and non- salary factors as a basic need from respondents. Organizations should provide fair and transparent rewards which are multiple, market pay structures and improve learning and work environment all which could improve staff motivation.

Staffs should ensure that they motivate pupils as an attempt to arouse and enjoy the classes they teach by paying individual attention using different approaches, positive reinforcement thus increasing morale and performance. Awards should be given to better performance for instance pupils‟ discipline, school management, pupils‟ attendance and achievement, community and parent participation in school activities should be awarded to serve as motivation.

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