1.1 Background to the Study
Teachers were accorded due respect among other professions during the era of quality education 1950s and late 1960s. In our contemporary Nigeria, teachers’ have not been given adequate priority as stipulated in the national policy of education (Imo, 2013). Teachers are expected to earn be intrinsic and extrinsic reward from work. It is understandable that the success or failure of an educational system depends mainly on the teachers. In line with the foregoing, Imo (2013) posit that educational goals can be accomplished by giving teachers the relevant motivation, necessary, attention and priority they deserve while they are working towards achieving the purpose of learning.
It is a well-known fact that a well-motivated teacher, who is provided with working incentives, good working conditions and adequate remuneration is bound to be dedicated to his/ her teaching responsibilities so as to bring about the needed learning among learners. This is buttressed by Archibong (2013) who argued that quality education does not just occur miraculously but can be achieved through continuous and improved efforts by the stakeholders in the education enterprise, especially by enhancing teachers’ motivation through several welfare packages. If the aforesaid welfare packages are well harnessed, teachers would be motivated to prepare adequately for their lessons, go to school regularly and punctually, attend classes as scheduled, teach the students well and carry out the necessary academic performance assessments both within and outside their respective schools.
The word “motivation” according to Longman Dictionary is derived from motive, which is an eagerness and willingness to do something without needing to be told or force to it. On the other hand, the importance of education motivational methods cannot be undermined due to the fact that high motivation increases productivity which is basically in the interests of all educational systems (Ololube 2010, 2011).
According to Paul Bennell (2012), ‘’Over one-third of all the teachers at the survey primary schools in five of the six extended case study countries indicated that teachers at their school are ‘poorly’ or ‘very poorly’ motivated. Motivation levels appear to be significantly low in Nigeria. High job performance is what is expected of qualified teachers therefore, the Ministry of Education is always being concerned about the job performance of its teachers. A high measure of loyalty, patriotism, dedication, hard work as well as commitment are been demanded from teachers by the Ministry of Education (Ubom & Joshua, 2013).
Researches carried out on motivational strategies on students’ academic performance in Pakistan, Nigeria, and the whole Sub-Saharan Africa as well notable case studies carried out in Ghana on Education Management Information Systems, Induction for Teacher Retention, Motivation and Incentives for teachers and Teachers Job Satisfaction and Motivation for school effectiveness have brought results to support the idea of motivation of teachers if there is to improvements in the performance of the schools.
Therefore, the value of teachers in preparing human beings for a useful living very high and as contained in the national policy on education (2010) that teacher help to “equip“students to interact, relate live responsibly in this era of science and technology. This has made the growing complexity in terms of environmental expulsion, resource mobilization and organization of education institutional the increasing societal demand the more result, oriented schools have made the duties of the staff in the schools to be more critical in organization behaviour.
It is worthy of note that teachers’ effectiveness will only become meaningful if students’ performances are adequate and improved upon. In the words of Orji (2014) how well a teacher has performed can only be ascertained by how well the student has performed, if all things be equal. Thus, students’ academic performances are largely dependent on how well the teacher is motivated or how discouraging the teacher feels about his job. Teachers at all levels of the education system should be adequately trained, respected, remunerated, and allowed to participate in making decisions that affect their professional lives and teaching environments (Decker, 2004). Thus, when teachers are enabled to do their jobs effectively, their students are enabled to learn effectively. Teachers’ motivations occupy a unique place in the entire education system and it becomes absolutely expedient to give it prominent attention.
Teacher motivation in developed countries like United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and Australia is due to the fact that teachers are provided with good quality teacher training and development hence they have opportunities to further improve their training (Evans 2014). They work in acceptable physical school contexts. Their level of motivation increases when they hear or see their students excelling academically in their various fields. It is on these premises that the study seeks to examine teachers’ motivational strategies and academic performance of secondary school student.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In Nigeria, the status of teachers remains in jeopardy. Usman (2015) lamented that there exists alarming maltreatment of teachers in Nigeria to the extent that many teachers feel ashamed to proclaim the teaching profession. He further reported that teachers are paid meagre salaries/wages with almost absence or insignificant welfare packages. Based on the foregoing, teachers are now termed ‘natural economists’ because their hands are forced to resort to simple living as they could hardly afford luxury. Most teachers live in poorly built houses surrounded with little or no ventilation, unclean water, no electricity, poor road network and mockery by workers from other highly remunerable occupations. Teachers’ salaries, pension, allowances and gratuity are mostly delayed, owed and or ceased. Omeoga (2013) further lamented that NUT, Abia Branch went on indefinite strike as a way of agitating for the payment of enhanced Teachers’ Salary Structure, the inclusion of secondary school teachers in minimum wage and the payment of arrears of leave allowances.
To compound the headache, teachers are also compelled to cope with teaching-learning environment that are ill-equipped with outdated office fittings, furniture, laboratories, libraries, basic technology workshops, inadequate farmland and sporting arena. The non-functional state of the afore-painted school plant is enough to implant false perception to teacher vis-a-vis how the society values the teaching profession. The condition of teachers in the states is further highlighted as they complain of lack of motivational incentives for them. Accordingly, Usman (2015) buttressed that teachers complain of lack of fringe benefits of the workers like transport, housing, and medical allowances; lack of payment of leave allowances for many years; lack of recognition, merits awards, bonus and in-service training. With all these nasty experiences, it will become difficult for teachers to remain committed to their official assignments in the various schools.
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective or main objective of this study is to examine teachers’ motivational strategies and academic performance of secondary school student. The specific objectives are:
i) To establish the reasons why teachers are not well motivated in secondary schools in Nigeria.
ii) To find out the motivational techniques used by secondary school teachers in Nigeria.
iii) To determine the best ways to motivate teachers to bring academic excellence among the secondary school students.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What are the reasons why teachers are not well motivated in secondary schools in Nigeria?
ii) What are the motivational techniques used by secondary school teachers in Nigeria?
iii) What are the best ways to motivate teachers to bring academic excellence among the secondary school students?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The followings are the research hypotheses to be tested in this study:
i) There is no significant correlation between motivational strategies used by teachers and academic performance of students.
ii) There is no significant relationship between teachers’ motivation and academic performance of students.
1.6 Significance of the Study
In all educational institutions, the whole teaching-learning process is directed towards achievement in the academic field as well as in the sphere of co-curricular activities. The academic achievement is required to be of greater value and for the attainment of which the students, teachers and parents strive towards it (Verma, 2016). Achievement is the act of accomplishing attaining or finishing something that has been accomplished successfully, especially by means of skill, practice or preference. The innate phenomenon, motivation is influenced by environmental factors. In order to achieve their goals, needs and instincts, human beings acquire sufficient motivation. Particularly with respect to students, motivation for academic achievement is of great importance. By such motivation people are stimulated to successfully complete an assignment, achieving a goal or a degree of qualification in their profession. In educational perspective, motivation has a multi-dimensional structure which is correlated with learning and academic motivation (Mohamadi, 2006). So the investigator wants to study about the various teachers’ motivational strategies and how it influences the students’ academic performance.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The population of this study comprises all the secondary school teachers in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Each research work is subject to one form of limitation or the other and this research is not an exception. However, the research was aimed at sampling the entire secondary schools in the area of the study, but owing to the distance at which each school was from another and considering the transportation cost, only ten (10) schools were sampled. Consequently, respondents were found to be reluctant in supplying the needed information as they often entertain fear of indictment even with the use of the questionnaire method insisting that the name of the school could indict them. Nevertheless, efforts were made to ensure the objectivity of the study.