The Importance Of Teacher Motivation

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I.1 Growth of interest in teacher motivation
The past two decades have witnessed a marked increase in interest in teacher motivation in Africa. NGOs such as VSO, ActionAid, Save the Children and the Aga Khan Foundation were amongst the first development partners to document the critical importance of teacher motivation to teaching practice and education quality, producing seminal studies as early as 2001/2002.
Doctoral theses in countries such as Tanzania, Rwanda, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria (among others) have further sought to understand teachers’ influences in their career choice, how the impact of various factors on job satisfaction, their capacity to teach, willingness to remain in teaching and the extent of a teacher crisis (if any).
At policy level, the growing attention given to teacher motivation is unsurprising. There is high levels of teacher absenteeism and attrition across Africa, low professional commitment to teaching duties and the massive teacher shortages accompanying the drive for education for all. The need to properly remunerate teachers, increase ‘quality’ time on task and keep teachers in the profession have been pressing policy questions and constant refrains of education conferences, development agencies, commissioned studies and other reviews (Bennell & Akyeampong, 2007).
Until recently, however, education decision makers and international development partners have skimmed over, or not treated in a holistic way, the issues that trigger low

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