Motivation Matters!

Thursday 29 March 2018

On 16 January, 57 representatives of civil society organizations, high level government officials in education sector, development partners and experts joined Save the Children’s research dissemination workshop followed by the panel discussion on teacher motivation and teacher professional development. The event was organized to disseminate findings of the Situation Analysis of Teacher Motivation and Teacher Professional Development in Nepal. The research was conducted in 2017 in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, National Centre for Educational Development (NCED) to explore a) explore the key opportunities and barriers in effective teaching, b) explore teacher motivation status and factors affecting it c) recommend appropriate reform approaches to Teacher Professional Development (TPD) practices. In order to achieve these objectives, quantitative data were collected from 430 teachers, teaching at the Basic Level, from six districts (Kalikot, Achcham, Kavre, Okhaldhunga, Sarlahi, and Kapilvastu) using a set of questionnaires. Qualitative data were gathered from 48 teachers, 6 resources persons, 6 teacher trainers and 3 policy-makers. In addition, the result sheets of Grade 8 (of 2016) are collected from the sample schools to analyze the impact of the existing TPD inputs on students’ learning achievement.

Dr. Prem Phyak from Centre for Alternative Development Studies (CEADS), who is also the head of Department of English Language Education in Tribhuvan University, led the research, presented the findings.

The major findings of the study showed that multiple factors (individual, school-related, sociocultural and political) influence teacher motivation towards teaching profession. One striking finding regarding individual factor is related to teachers’ job satisfaction. The study shows that teachers from Tarai and municipalities and with a permanent tenure are found more satisfied with their job than those from Hill/Mountain regions and a non-permanent tenure. Similarly, the teachers with higher age and more years of teaching experience are more satisfied with their job than younger teachers and teachers with a short period of teaching experience.

Although majority of teachers are found highly motivated in teaching profession, they have shown a withdrawal syndrome in that their level of motivation decreases as they continue teaching. The major factors that are associated with teachers’ withdrawal syndrome are: a) discriminatory policies and practices for non-permanent teachers; b) political favoritism in providing reward and incentives to teachers; and c) lack of institutional support and recognition (including funding) for innovative teaching.

Dr. Hari Lamsal, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Education who has also been leading policy work at Ministry of Education stressed on the need to look at teacher motivation through broader perspectives and concentration on preservice education. Meanwhile Dr. Laxman Gnawali stressed on the human resource planning. Dr. Wendi Ralaingita, TPD expert in the field of Early Grade Reading Program highlighted on the equitable treatment, opportunities for male and female, permanent and non-permanent teachers with special reference to the early grade teachers. 

The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education and central level line agencies, development partners, I/NGOs working in education sector in Nepal, teachers and students of pre-service education. The interaction concluded with common understanding that motivation matters and teachers are no exception.

The research report which was handed over to NCED representatives is expected to inform future planning and policies related to teacher professional development.