Although motivation is not a new terminology, it is gradually gaining more popularity in the education sector in recent times. However, this practice is carried out in the wrong perspective. Nanna Selkur mirrors the problems and the way forward.
Motivation has been defined as a psychological phenomenon, which is generated within an individual in the form of an energetic force that drives him or her to behave or not to behave in certain ways. There are some environmental and other forces that trigger these drives.
Like in any other profession, adequate incentives and motivating factors are essential if education delivery is to be effective.
So far in the education sector, especially in private schools, motivation in education is becoming limited to providing beautiful and air conditioned classes with comfortable chairs, there by emphasising more on the environmental form of motivation without taking into consideration the internal drive for learning to take place.
Apart from the environment, questions have been raised concerning what motivates teachers in carrying out their duties effectively and consistently, and on the part of students, what triggers them to sit down and learn.
During a recent paper presentation, by Clinton Omezi, an organisation development consultant at the Musa Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Mr Omezi outlined the means of motivating students and teachers in the hope of attaining a more viable educational sector.
In his words, “certain types of schooling practice such as the features of class rooms, peer groups and challenging relevant instruction materials that engage students, mentoring and finding role models for the children are also factors that can serve as motivation for students. This is in addition to the positive messages the students receive from their parents.”
According to him the provision of free uniforms when needed, textbooks and scholarship, especially for the less privilege in society will go a long way at motivating students to learn.
On the part of the teachers, motivation as outlined by Mr Omezi revolves around providing training for the teachers on regular basis, provision of housing and salary review.
Speaking further on teacher’s motivation, the spokesman of the national union of teachers (NUT), Mr Emmanuel Hwande highlighted on areas in dire need of motivation for teachers.
These he outlined as housing and car loans, national awards, in-house training, tax-exemption which some states are currently practising and appointment of teachers into government position.
However, in a recent paper presentation, the union pointed out that on realizing that Nigerian teachers could not be given a salary structure that would take into consideration their expectations and peculiarities, the union opted for enhanced professional allowances that would compensate for the kind of work they are doing.
The union, while urging that the 2008 Nigeria Governor’s Forum agreement entered with the union as pertains the proposed 27.5 per cent increase in teacher’s basic salaries should be implemented, also emphasised that it is only a bench mark to be improved upon in due course.
The union body also said that the brainchild project of the ministry of education, Housing For All Teachers Scheme (HATS) is a laudable form of motivation and should be pursued to its logical conclusion.
At the moment, motivation for teachers as disclosed from a reliable source who preferred anonymity, has been limited to minute bonus at the end of the year, collection of basic salaries, movement from step1 to step 3 accompanied with some protest before actual promotion is being granted quote while some states are yet to give any of these sort of incentives.
Although, in recent years the Federal Government realising the importance of education as a vehicle for social, economic and political transformation has taken steps to bring motivation in the education system.
One of the strategies for achieving this has been to confer Excellence Merit Award on Teachers, Head Teachers, Principals and Schools at States and National levels which is tagged the Presidential Teachers’ and Schools’ Excellence Award.
But LEADERSHIP gathered that, form of motivation is yet to be given the desired attention as little or nothing has been done to see that it comes to fruition.