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The Issue of Teacher Motivation in School

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In Nepal, there are about 29 thousands government schools (now they are called community schools) all over the country. There are more than 203 thousands teachers working in these schools. Government has invested millions of rupees in these schools. In comparison to investment, community schools are not able to provide quality education. Various studies have shown that the educational efficiency of school level is not satisfactory which affects negatively in quality education. Regarding low quality in school education, there are several factors responsible. In this respect, it has been stated in Nepal Human Development Report (1998) that low quality public education has also been linked to the increasing alienation between the local school system and the community, the high level of absenteeism and unprofessional conduct among school teachers, the faulty student evaluation system and a number of other shortcomings.

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Motivation is one of the most important factors affecting human behavior and performance by energizing it and giving direction towards the desired goals. It is the inner urge or effort made by individuals to achieve their target and satisfy individual’s needs. Without motivation towards the assigned task, an individual couldn’t achieve neither satisfaction nor better results of the efforts. Keeping this significant importance of motivation in priority, several organizations have made several efforts to attract and retain right person in right place but result is not found as expected. Especially, in our context, government schools are seemed failure to get motivated teachers towards their assigned job even-though various incentives have been explored and provided to the Nepalese teachers as compare to prior. How this scenario is happening? What are the root causes behind this unexpected scenario?

It is assumed that education is the supreme necessity of human life. It is also a process of human enlightment and empowerment for the achievement of better and higher quality of life. It helps to make a person mentally alert, socially sound, politically conscious, emotionally stable, physically strong and economically manageable. In this context, an efficient education system is very essential. The teaching learning activity plays crucial role for the success of education system. In other words, teachers are special kinds of tools in order to perform teaching learning activities effectively. They not only speak but also think and they can endeavor to solve major educational problem efficiently.

Needless to say that teachers are the main actors in order to make the education qualitative, accessible and relevant. For this purpose, teachers should be committed, efficient, punctual and well motivated towards their profession. That’s why; this study has made attempt to identify the reality of teachers’ motivation and its’ affecting factors, which induce in seeking possible ways for improving teachers’ motivation from the present status. If concerned authorities and stakeholders take care and attempt to apply the findings of this study as the tools of motivating teachers, it might be definitely seemed helpful in terms of improving teaching learning activities, decreasing educational wastages, maintaining educational quality, increasing efficiency and effectiveness of every plan and program provided in education sector and achieving return in education as we invest in community schools as well.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, needs are identified into five major categories in all people– physiological, safety, socia, self-esteem and self actualization needs in sequential order. Likewise, the motivation-hygiene theory propounded by Fredrick Herzberg has extended the work of Maslow and developed motivating factors into two parts named intrinsic and extrinsic factors. With the help of theory X and theory Y, Douglas McGregor proposed two distinct views of the nature of human beings: a basically negative view, labeled theory X and a positive view labeled theory Y. Under this theory, assumption y is related to intrinsic factors and assumption x is related to extrinsic factors. Similarly, according to ERG theory developed by Clayton Alderfer, the existence needs are concerned with survival or physiological needs. The relatedness needs focus the importance of interpersonal and social relationship. Similarly, the growth needs are concerned with the individual’s intrinsic desire for personal development.

A study revealed that number of teachers felt that they were not paid according to their abilities in the context of Rawalpindi city of India. Teachers tend to seek intrinsic needs and the inner psychological aspects of motivation can be a powerful source of motivation in the context of Japan. Until recently, education decision makers and international development partners have skimmed over or not treated in a holistic way, the issues that trigger low teacher morale and declining motivation. Guajardo (2011) has developed a framework of teacher motivation including eight interconnected categories which induce negative in most developing countries which are as – (a) workload and challenges, (b) remunerations and incentives, (c) recognition and prestige, (d) accountability, (e) career development, (f) instructional environment, (g) voice and (h) learning materials and facilities.

Gemeda and Tynjala (2015) have revealed a research in Ethiopia which has presented the voice of Ethiopian teachers that becoming a teacher in Ethiopia is economic suicide. In Ethiopia there is also missing link performance-reward in terms of motivating teachers. A study revealed that in terms of pay, benefits and working conditions that it is the most critical factors affecting teachers’ occupational status and self-esteem. A study report on teacher motivation conducted in Uganda with aimed to provide an actionable framework for better understanding teacher motivation in low-income countries has found that factors that can motivate teachers are categorized in three levels – policy level, school level and teacher level.

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