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1.1    Background of the Study

Societies all over the world have used education as an instrument for the achievement of their national interests and objectives. Education is an instrument par excellence for effecting national development.  It fosters the worth and development of the individual, for the individual’s sake and for the general development of the society (National Policy on Education, 2004).  All these call for functional education for the promotion of a progressive and united country.  Therefore, school programs need to be relevant, practical and comprehensive, while interest and ability should determine the individual’s direction in education.  It is only when these two factors come together that we can achieve the nation’s objectives.


Teaching profession in the olden days was a career which almost all members of the society cherished.  The teachers then were highly motivated.  Also, the immediate community motivated them; and teaching was an occupation which was regarded as most refined and most decent in those days.  The teachers were encouraged because the noble profession as seen as a job meant or preserved for the elite.  It was a profession with such dignity and prestige.  Entry into the occupation as very tasking, exist was simple but few withdrew from the career voluntarily because the teachers had everything that motivated them.

Interestingly, the morale of the teachers were boasted in those days because on their point, they were the mirror image of what decency, humility, gentility and honesty could portray.  Teachers were zealous and very determined in imparting knowledge to their pupils and as such they performed their duties without looking back.  The teachers work seriously and equally performed creditably in their various areas of specialization. Teachers were induced, encouraged, and highly motivated; they never compromised their work no matter the hurdles.

In the same vein, they were the people who laid the foundation of the modern Nigerian society and partook in every aspect of the economy.  Is there any area in our modern society that was not brought up and strengthened or fostered by teachers?  Is there any profession in the modern society that progressed without teachers?  Which professionals in this modern society were not trained by teachers?  The teachers here encompass primary and primary school teachers who among the elite in the society could claim correctly that he/she became what he/she is today without passing through various teachers at various levels of education?  Teaching profession was never an occupation of mockery in those days.  But regrettably, this salient and outstanding profession in the recent time has totally been neglected by almost all the citizens.  The profession now has lost its glory.  It is now seen as a career for dropouts or the frustrated members of the society.  The profession by all indications is sick and almost dead – going by what is happening in our schools today.

The goal of personnel management in any organisation is the production of satisfied employees who will remain on the job to contribute their best toward achieving the organisation’s objectives at minimum cost.  The executive officer of an organisation therefore is highly concerned with motivating his subordinates for organizational goal attainment.

Teachers’ motivation is the impetus that propels any school system toward maximum attainment of set goals.  The rate of staff turnover in schools and the seeming falling standard of education have bearing on inadequate teachers’ motivation in the school system and thereby affecting academic performance and effectiveness in the school system.

Furthermore, Awanbor (2005) noted that because of poor motivation due to inadequate remuneration, poor teaching environment as a result of lack of basic teaching materials, listless and unmotivated learners in the classroom, among others, the teachers have become the endangered species in their own profession. They no long teach and the pupils in turn no longer learn. He suggested that teachers should be academically motivated as this will go a long way to solving most of the problems faced in education system and also increase pupils’ academic performance. He further remarked that motivating teachers will help them to be more responsible and have more interest in the profession. He also holds that motivation of teachers will reduce, if not completely eliminate, high school dropout rates, low enrolment rates, truancy, etc. In the view of Renchler (1992), every educator needs to be concerned about motivation. It is a quality that pupils, teachers, parents, school administrators and other members of the community must have if our educational system is to prepare young people adequately for the challenges and demands of the coming century. Of course, the way these various groups of individuals generate and use motivation differs greatly. Pupils need motivation to learn, parents need it to track the educational progress of their sons and daughters, teachers need it to become better teachers and school administrators need it to ensure that every facet of the schools they manage continues to improve.

Thus, there is need to motivate teachers to enhance job performance.  This has been emphasized by researchers (Abraham Maslow’s, 1943, 1970; Hertzberg, 1959), that teachers must be motivated at work for many nations to be self-reliant and free in their educational development, this can be achieved when the teachers are motivated so that they can be more committed to their job and enhance school effectiveness.  Hellriegel and Slocum (1996) submitted that motivation is the factor that bring out, directs and sustains people’s goal directed behaviour in any organisation.  Stressing further they said, how motivated a workforce is determines to a large extent, how goal bound an organisation is.  Thus, motivation is the impetus that propels any organisation towards maximum accomplishment of set goals.  Despite the poor pay of teachers in years back only teachers were treated like royalty by the community especially in the rural area.  This is no longer the situation due to a variety of factor prominent among which is the increasing civilizing influences among the generality of the citizen.

The late sixties up to the early eighties can really be regarded as the golden-age of teachers in Nigeria with the peak period in the seventies.  During that period, pupil-teachers enjoyed bursary awards, scholarships and other different forms of financial assistance from the government.  Teaching then was an available and very attractive profession.   Consequently, teachers’ per-service and in-service training opportunities are no longer enjoyed by many classroom teachers the fact that study-leave with pay is no longer enjoyed by most classroom teachers.  It is even sad to note that in some states, teachers are not given the opportunities to be promoted to another level or given the privilege to go on a study leave with or without pay.  To actualize the national objectives of Nigeria education as contained in the National Policy of Education (NPE, 2004), there is the need for teachers to the motivated.

When incessant strike goes on in school system, there is no way one can achieve school effectiveness.  Leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) on Wednesday, June 11, 2008; directed all teachers in primary schools across the country to proceed on the three-day warning strike from Wednesday, June 11, 2008.  The reason for this development is the federal government’s failure to implement the new salary structure for teachers across the country (Nigerian Compass News, June 9, 2008).

Thus teachers’ motivation is a prime factor in the national socio-political and economic advancement.  The current trend in the teaching industry, which includes nationwide or state strike actions, as a result of poor conditions of services point to the fact that teachers are dissatisfied with their jobs (Gabadeen, 2007).

Different rewards can be used to motivate Nigerian teachers on the job in terms of quality of output.  Amongst such are monetary rewards, salary increase, housing allowance, national honours, seminars, material gifts and a host of others.  Each of the aforementioned rewards has varying degree of strengths vis-à-vis their capacity to motivate goal-directed behaviour for an excellent performance in teaching and learning, due to variation in the value individual teachers attach to each reward (Weenbergaud Gonld, 1995).

Furthermore, different rewards which can be generally classified as either financial or non-financial reward serve as effective motivation to the teachers.  Motivation in educational organisations due to their association with such reinforces as food, housing, clothing as well their contribution to higher level needs in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Robbins and Couttler, 1996).

1.2    Statement of the Problem

The relationship between teachers’ motivation and academic performance of pupils is of great concern to education in Nigeria.  There is gradual and steady decline in the standard of education in Nigeria.  The need to improve the quality of our primary school through effective motivation is of great concern for stakeholders in education.  The gradual and steady decline in the standard of education in Nigeria can be attributed to the low level of motivation among the teachers as opined by some authors like Durosaro (2002) and Ifinendo (2003).

The teachers’ argument is in line with Adam’s (1963), opinion on equity theory of motivation.  Adam’s equity theory calls for balance to be struck between employees’ inputs (e.g. hard works, communication and involvement in decision making, teachers’ salary scales, teachers’ allowances, and promotion of teachers).  According to the theory’s finding, a fair balance serves to ensure a strong and productive relationship with employee, with the overall result being satisfied, thus motivated employee.  The theory is built-on the belief that employees become de-motivated, both in relation to their job and their employer, if they feel as though their inputs are greater than the outputs.

Poor academic quality on the part of the teachers:  The poor academic standard of some teachers are too low to impact on pupil.  Example is a primary school leaving certificate; pupil being employ as a teacher in a school, nothing is expected of such because his or her academic quality is poor.

Lack of communication and involvement in decision making on the part of the school administrator:  When there is deficiency in communication things will not be properly done by the teachers and pupils, even when there are rules and regulations guiding and directing the activities of the school.

Delay in implementing teachers’ salary scales.  This is paramount in our society when government fails to implement salary scale in accordance with the agreement, that is, implementation is just on the paper.

Delay in paying teachers’ salary and allowances affect their motivation and disposition of duties.

1.3    Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine:

  1. Examine the effect of teachers’ motivation on pupils’ academic performance.
  2. Find out the effect of teachers’ job satisfaction on their disposition of duties in the classroom
  3. Investigate the impact of teachers` fringe benefit on pupils’ learning habit.
  4. Ascertain the condition of service of teachers on pupils’ academic performance.


1.4    Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered during the course of the study:

  1. How effective is teachers’ motivation on pupils’ academic performance?
  2. How does teachers’ job satisfaction after their disposition of duties in the classroom?

iii.      How does teachers` fringe benefit affect pupils’ learning habit?

  1. What effect does teachers’ condition of service have on pupils’ academic performance?


1.5    Research Hypotheses

The following hypothetical statements serve as a direction on which the work will be premised:

HO1:  There is no significant relationship between teachers’ motivation and pupils’ academic performance.

HO2:  There is no significant relationship between teachers’ job satisfaction and disposition of duties in the classroom.

HO3:  There is no significant relationship between teachers` fringe benefit and pupils’ learning habit.

HO4:  There is no significant relationship between teachers’ condition of service and pupils’ academic performance.



The study will be a benefit to all those who are responsible for management of education in Nigeria.  This will at the end contribute to existing literature on teachers’ motivation and school effectiveness.  Data generated from the study could be used for further studies, such as in the area of school management.


Furthermore, it will enlighten the Ministry of Education and primary school principals on the need for teachers’ motivation as a means of ensuring effectiveness in the school system in Nigeria.  It is also anticipated that this study will help educators see the need for adjustments and flexibility in school administration.


Lastly, it will serve as a contribution to knowledge in the subject area.  In this regard, it will be useful for other researchers who might want to carry out research in related areas.




The study examined the relationship between Teachers motivation and academic performance of pupils. Under normal circumstances, social research of this nature is expected to cover a large area like the entire nation so that the generalization could be reliable and valid.  However, there is some limitation which would not make that to be possible.  These limitations include financial and time constraints.  This study will be restricted to selected primary school in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.  The research is focused on the relationship between teachers’ motivation and academic performance of some pupils.


1.8    Definition of Terms

The following terms have been defined as they are used in this study:

Teachers’ Motivation: Teacher motivation naturally has to do with teachers’ attitude to work. It has to do with teachers desire to participate in the pedagogical processes within the school environment. It has to do with teachers’ interest in pupil discipline and control particularly in the classroom.

Academic Performance: Academic performance is the outcome of education — the extent to which a pupil, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Academic achievement is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important — procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts.

Job Satisfaction: Job satisfaction is how content an individual is with his or her job, in other words whether or not they like the job or individual aspects or facets of jobs, such as nature of work or supervision.

 Fringe Benefit: A collection of various benefits provided by an employer, which are exempt from taxation as long as certain conditions are met.


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