Influence of Motivation on Teacher’s Job Performance in the School System



Background to the Study

        This discourse examined the influence of motivation on teacher’s job performance in the school system. There is no doubt that the reward system in an organization determines the performance of the workers which either lowers or enhances productivity. The vision/mission of every organization is to ensure that its stated objectives are achieved, and for this to be possible, the employees must be motivated for the sake of effectiveness and efficiency. There is direct relationship between motivation and job performance.

        Motivation and performance are crucial variables in achievements of an organization. According to Inayatullah and Jehangir (n.d.), motivation plays a very significant part in an organization because it enhances the productivity of worker and the expected goals can be realized in an efficient manner. For teachers, motivation plays a big role in their performance because it contributes immensely to their competence. Education is the bedrock of any development and the efficiency of the education system of any country depends on the teachers who constitute the most significant input in the school system that allows it to attain and accomplish its goals.

        The federal government of Nigeria recognizes the fact that teachers need to be motivated so as to raise the quality of education in the country. That is why the government has given emphasis to teacher education in its educational planning and development “…since no education  system may rise above thequality of its teachers” (FGN 2012). This conviction has made the government to initiate some reforms and innovations in the education of teachers and their welfare. The National Action Plan and 10-year Strategic Plan laid emphasis on expansion of teacher training opportunities and upgrading of qualification. The reforms include the introduction of Pivotal Teachers Training Programme (PTTP), Federal Teachers Corps, the introduction of Teachers Salary Scheme (TSS) with other incentives. This was designed to improve the status and condition of service of teachers.

        In spite of the beautiful design of the government, teachers have not been adequately motivated for their job. For any nation to achieve high and quality standards, the needs of teachers must be taken seriously (Ofojebe and Ezugoh, 2010). The future of our education system lies in the hands of teacher who not only make learning take place but determine the quality of instruction that will be given to learners. It must be mentioned that:

Teachers are the hub of the educational process; it is upon their number, their education, training, quality and devotion to duty, their effectiveness and efficiency, their competence, their productivity and their capability that the entire educational system and enterprise depend. (Gbenda Batur – Lawa, 2006: 92 – 93).

        It is quite disheartening to saythat there is failure in service delivery in education sector. Udi (2012) posited that in the past decade, West African School Certificate results of students have been very poor. Accusing fingers have been pointed at teachers for the low standards. The teachers on their part have complained of neglect, lack of adequate instructional materials, irregular and poor salaries and poor conditions of service.

        Teachers are human beings, who have their needs and aspiration; and needs vary according to person. When these needs are not met, they (teachers) tend to develop withdrawal syndrome, absenteeism, abandonment of responsibility which affect their job performance and productivity. Teachers performance entails the duty of teaching students which involves the use of instructional materials, teaching methods, evaluation of students every time, preparation of lesson notes and plans, taking part in extracurricular activities, regularity, punctuality, guidance and counseling etc. Teacher job performance relates to their being able to combine all these in mentoring and delivery subject matter to students (Aacha, 2010). It is clear from the position of Aacha that teachers’ job entails making the students complete and total persons equipped for the journeys of life.

        Teachers need to be motivated so that they can perform excellently in the teaching profession for efficiency of service delivery and education system. Certain factors tend to affect teachers motivation; some of the several things that influence it are “nature of school infrastructure to salary, recognition/ professional status, achievement, advancement/ further training,relations with others, school leadership and policies, working conditions, recruitment, deployment, vocational intent and many others” (Gatsini, Jesse and Makewa,- 2014:262).

        It is relevant to say that the attention given to teachers’ motivation is not encouraging; this has impacted negatively on the school system. According to Benett and Akyeampong (2007) cited in Gatsini, Jesse and Makewa (2014), teachers in sub-Saharan Africa are poorly motivated, and children are not properly taught in schools and as a result do not receive or acquire minimum acceptable education. Schools are faced with teacher motivation problems that are connected with pay, achievement, advancement, recognition, responsibility, poor school facilities which have negative consequences on education system. In recent time, our education system has been marred and blighted by fallen quality and standard. This phenomenon has become a topic of concern by participants in the system. Teachers’s motivation cannot be glossed over as an impetus for performance and assurance for efficiency of the school system; it will also douse the palpable tension in the system and bring satisfaction to teachers. The Nigerian Union of Teachers and government are in frequent face-off over salary increase, benefits and enhancement in the working conditions of teachers. Both the federal and state governments contended that the prevailing economic difficulty and situation cannot sustain the demands of teachers; the government often gives excuse of lean resources that is not enough to meet teachers’ demand (Ololube, (n.d).

        Again, the government has shown that it is not satisfied with the performance of teachers; teachers have been accused of indolence, negligence, unenthusiastic, lack of dedication, absenteeism and ineffectiveness and therefore do not deserve any salary increase, and other incentives. On the other hand, teachers contend with government over salary structure, incentives and other working conditions which they believe do not meet their basic needs and aspirations. Teachers also feel that the salary of those in the other sectors is bigger with higher motivation and better working conditions; they agitate for better teachers’ salary structure that will be as good as others (Ololube (n.d.). This development is ill wind that portends danger for the future of our education system, and the society at large.

        Part of the national education goals is “the inculcation of the type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society” and “the acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of mental, physical and social abilities, and competencies as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society” (FGN 2012). For these goals to be achieved in individual and national life, we must have recourse to teachers who are indispensable resource in education system. Teachers need to be motivated for them to display competence and effectiveness. Motivation as it were is one of the ways of making people put in their best efforts in an efficient and effective manner in other to achieve an organization’s objectives” (Motivation in secondary school, n.d).

        In an organization where workers are not empowered, there is no doubt that there will be neglect of duty, reluctance, absenteeism and abandonment of responsibility; this can result in negative outcome that will affect productivity. A worker goes into an organization with the expectation that his needs and aspiration will be met in the course of his or her efforts. Needs are basic to motivation, and when they are made available to the worker, he is energized and becomes efficient. If the education system is to witness transformation, efficiency and quality, teachers must be provided the basic necessities that will give them the force to perform well.

        School administrators largely believe that motivation is a crucial determinant of performance in an organization. As an effort to improve teachers1 motivation and participation “principals will need to focus on ongoing development of their human resources: match the changing needs of teachers over the course of their careers…” (Lumenburg and Ornstein, 2008:94). According to Ofoegbu (2004), motivation is assumed to be something good because it goes in influencing individual’s behaviour and performance of work. Invariably, motivating teachers, therefore has to do with influencing teachers’ attitude to work; it involves making teachers to be ready to take part in the teaching processes in the school. It also has to do with the interest of teachers to discipline and control students. The teacher is the person who expresses or translates the educational philosophy and objectives into skills and knowledge that are eventually transferred to the students. When the teacher has allthat is required to perform his job, he will discharge his duty to the general improvement of school system. Motivating teachers entails doing what will make the teachers happy, satisfied, dedicated and willing to work hard and giving their time and energy to the course of teaching to the benefits of students and the education system.

        Teachers have needs that could be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation has to do with the job itself. A teacher who is intrinsically motivated performs his/her job for the sake of it, for the joy, satisfaction derived from doing it and recognition for doing it. On the other hand, teacher who is extrinsically motivated carries his/her duty so as to get reward like salary. It plays significant role in determining a worker’s attitude and behaviour. The intention of the organization should be to build and improve the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for teachers to teach optimally for school improvement (O’neil, 1995) cited in Ofoegbu (2004).

        The only way quality and standard education can be achieved is through improving the working conditions and work environment in addition to providing adequate perks to teachers so that they perform their job without blemish. We may not expect too much from people who are not well motivated. A worker performs to the level of his empowerment. Therefore, teachers’ level of performance is a manifestation of the extent they are motivated.

        Today, an average secondary school teacher has to engage in other business to make both ends meet. In spite of the approval of Teachers Salary Structure (TSS), their pay is still very low; in most cases, they are not paid regularly. There is the problem of recognition for teacher coupled with absence of in-service training, accommodation, free meal, involvement in decision making, irregular promotion etc. All these have converged to cause absenteeism, negligence, abandonment of duty, lack of dedication to duty, low morale, dereliction of duty and lackadaisical attitude among secondary school teachers. The end result is poor performance. Therefore, this researcher took it as a concern to investigate the influence of motivation on teachers’ job performance in secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.


Statement of Problem

        For quite some time now, the performance of secondary school students in Egor Local government Area in external examinations has been abysmal and disappointment; statistics have shown that among the West African countries that participate in West African Examination Councils (WAEC) every year, the results of students from Nigeria have been the poorest. This is a manifestation and testimony of failure of service delivery in education system. This ugly phenomenon has called to question the commitment of teachers to the teaching profession.

        Some writers have posited that no student ought to fail an examination if the teacher performs his/her job effectively and efficiently. Today the schools in Egor Local Government Area canboast of well qualified teachers but the results and students learning outcome emanating therefrom is unpalatable. Teachers have been accused of perpetuating unprofessional misconduct such as absenteeism, lateness to duty, laziness, unenthusiastic, abandonment of responsibilities and others. This has affected the education system negatively.

        No matter how grand and lofty the philosophy and other input of education are, without teachers facilitating the teaching and learning process, the objectives of education will not be achieved. The questions that readily come to mind are: why are teachers in Egor Local Government Area not committed to their job? Could there be problem with reward system? Therefore, the researcher has decided to carry out an investigation to determine the level of motivation of teachers, and whether adequate motivation would influence or result in proportionate performance of teachers in the Local Government Area.


Research Questions

To guide the study, the following questions are raised.

  1. To what extent do secondary school teachers perform their    jobs in Egor Local Government secondary schools?
  2. What is the level of motivation of secondary teachers in Egor Local Government Area?
  3. Does motivation influence teachers’job performance in Egor Local Government Area Secondary schools?
  4. What is the level of job performance and motivation       amongst teachers in urban and rural schools?
  5. What is the level of job performance and motivation amongst teachers in public and private schools.

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