For education to survive in Nigeria there is need to reward and
motivate teachers because an unmotivated teacher is incapable of motivating
students to learn. To this end therefore, this paper focuses on rewarding and
motivating Nigerian Languages Teachers for greater effectiveness in the
classroom. Highlighting the negative consequences of poor motivation of
teachers in the classroom, The paper further presents a perspective on the
level of motivation in the teaching profession in the past and at the present.
It also reviews the concepts of reward and motivation pointing out the need to
ensure adequate reward for Nigerian languages teachers as a strategy for the
effective teaching of Nigerian languages in schools. Finally, the paper
proffered some recommendations.
The challenging situation to implement the curriculum of
education in the classroom makes teachers exhausted, which prevents the success
of the objectives of education. Being intrinsically and extrinsically motivated
increases the satisfaction of a teacher which will make teachers to put in
their best to actualize the goal of education. So, teacher motivation has an important
role to play in the job of teaching. The economic situations prevailing at any
point in time affects teachers’ motivation and their level of inputs. A teacher
who is certain of his monthly salary, incentives and other benefits puts in his
best and ensures that his pupils get the best out of him. On the other hand,
when the prospect of a continued payment of teachers’ salary and other
incentives are gloomy, there will be lack of enthusiasm to teach. Furthermore,
Maduewesi (1990) asserts that an unhappy teacher is incapable of relating
favourably with children and therefore will be unable to provide the desired
level of interaction necessary for adequate learning to take place in the
CONCEPT OF MOTIVATION
Teacher motivation is an internal force which pushes a teacher
to put more effort in order to achieve the stated objectives. It is the
eagerness and willingness to do something without needing to be told or forced
to do it. Mbakwem (2001) asserts that motivation deals with the processes of arousal,
expectancy and incentives. In the same vain, Eke (1992) views motivation as an
umbrella term that is used to explain the circumstances which enhances the
initiation, maintenance, and direction of human behaviour in the pursuit of a
For teachers to perform their best in the classroom, series of
rewards must be given to teachers. In this paper, teacher motivation is
classified into two:
Intrinsic motivation: This refers to motivation
that is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists
within the individual than relying on any external pressure. This type of
motivation is gotten mainly from students. It is not in the form of concrete
reward, but in the form of gratitude and commendations. Ellis (1984:1) defines
intrinsic motivation as self- respect of accomplishment and personal growth.
That is, the emotional and personal benefits of the job itself are known as
intrinsic rewards. In the same way, Lathan (1998:83) emphasizes that intrinsic
reward takes an important role in teachers’ lives. These gestures by students
to their teachers motivate them to perform creditably in the future. These
expressions help to boost the moral of the teacher and motivate him to work
harder. Intrinsic motivation is likely to be increased by a sense of
relatedness. Raffini (1996:8) defines relatedness as “the degree of emotional
security” that teachers feel. A sense of belonging and acceptance is developed
by conforming to the social and academic expectations of their colleagues and
Extrinsic motivation: Itcomes from outside of
the individual. It deals with those rewards that are concrete, which are in the
form of salaries, fringe benefits and incentives given to a teacher to motivate
him to do more. Prompt payment of salary or a teacher who gets a book, money,
or a certificate of honour for being the best teacher in any subject is an
example of extrinsic motivation. Furthermore, Lathan (1998:82) asserts that
salary, fringe benefits and job security are known as extrinsic motivation. In
addition, Herzberg (1993:49) also identified physical conditions, the amount of
work and facilities available for doing the work as extrinsic rewards.In his
categorization, Herzberg included competition as extrinsic motivation because
it encourages the performer to win and beat others, not to enjoy the intrinsic
rewards of the activity.
According to several authorities, the proper approach to work
motivation lies in a careful distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic
rewards. Herzberg (1964) distinguishes between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards.
He goes further to define extrinsic reward as salaries, fringe benefits, and
job security and intrinsic reward of the job itself such as self-respect, sense
of accomplishment and personal growth.
THE TEACHING PROFESSION IN NIGERIA
Teaching is concerned with giving directives to an
individual who will result in a change in behaviour of the individual. Achinine
(1997) asserts that teaching in school is a formal action geared towards
providing opportunities for the pupils to positively change behaviour. Teaching
is both an art and a science that use methods to shape behaviour.
Here in Nigeria, this noble profession has been bastardized by
unaccomplished promises and educational policies. Let us trace the
certification of Nigerian teacher from independence. The 1960s teachers were
next to the white colonial masters in order of ranking. They were respected and
valued. A community of old always consults him before taking any decision
because his input is crucial to the decision of the elders. The olden days
teachers were robust and well fed. They never suffered anything. Their
accommodation and food were taken care of by the community. They represented
the community at government and other meetings. These satisfactions made them
to produce graduates of higher quality. Noble Nigerians like Tafawa Belewa,
Alhaji Shehu Shagari and late Samuel Akintola were teachers before they joined
But a modern time teacher is not recognized and valued in any
where. He goes with tattered cloths and worn-out shoes. He never introduces
himself before important people as a teacher, if he want to be recognized. He
is always hungry and hence, always angry. Because his salary is too meager to
sustain his family, he resorts to farming and other businesses to make the end
meet. Because of these distractions, universities and other institutions of
higher learning began to produce half baked graduate which destroyed the
standard of education in Nigeria.
Former minister of Education, Fafunwa in his contribution to
education in Nigeria on Punch News Paper of 1st October,2010 to
commemorate the fiftieth National Anniversary which he tagged “Education: Large
in quantity, poor in quality. He assessed the quality and state of Nigerian
education before independence, at independence and what obtains now. He said
“You should be mindful of this fact that when you are dealing with a small
number of students with surplus facilities and well-motivated cum quality
teachers, quality will be guaranteed and so there will be a big gap in quality
when doing the same with a huge number of students in a crowded classroom,
using inadequate and obsolete equipment and with disillusioned teachers. Before
and shortly after independence, facilities were superb, we had fewer number of
students, teachers welfare was adequate and the general environment was good”
In his view, compared to the quality of education before independence, at
independence and what obtains now. He was of the view that why education
excelled before independence was because there was adequate facilities and
teachers were motivated.
He goes further to complain about the present Language policy,
which he asserts “For education, our language policy must change. We must use
our mother tongue to teach our children if we must experience growth in our
search for technological advancement. Nations like China, Japan, Spain, Germany
and India are examples of nations that have experienced development as a result
WHY MOTIVATING TEACHERS
There is a sense in which motivation can be considered
synonymous with education. When we motivate the teacher, we improve the chances
of students in school being better educated. Furthermore, Nwagwu (1987:19)
states that the two most important component of any educational institution are
teachers and the students. He further pointed out that educational
administrators and the presence of facilities and equipment are necessary
because they aid and support the activities of teachers and students in the
teaching learning process. In addition, Obanya (2004) says that the better
educated the citizenry is, the greater the likelihood of him/her contributing
to overall societal development. Motivation implies the development and
liberation of talents. Teachers are the primary actors in the process of talent
cultivation. A democratic society strives to harness the talents which teachers
and schools have cultivated for proper participation in development.
WAYS OF MOTIVATING TEACHERS
Some of the ways which a teacher can be motivated are enumerated
Prompt payment of salaries.
Sponsoring teachers for further education.
Harmonizing rural / urban dichotomy in primary / secondary
Giving scholarships to teaching staff children.
Building staff quarters, especially schools in rural areas.
Granting loans to teaching staff to build houses and buy
MOTIVATION AND TEACHING OF NIGERIAN LANGUAGES
The three major Nigerian Languages are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
As stipulated in the language policy cited by Emenyonu (1994:78) that “In
addition to appreciating the importance of language in the educational process,
and as means of preserving the people’s culture, the government considers it to
be in the interest of the national unity that each child should be encouraged
to learn one of the three major languages other than his own mother tongue”.
Instead of the society to embrace the good gesture, they made students and
teachers in these departments subject of mockery. A case in point is the
mockery and stigmatization experienced by undergraduate student of Igbo who
were called all sorts of mockery names like “IGBO, IGBO BK”, making them not to
be proud to introduce themselves as students studying these courses to any one.
Such students were seen by others as people that came to west time and parents
resources. This situation has led people to want to know the relevance studying
Igbo in a higher institution. Teachers of Nigerian languages suffer the same
neglect and stigmatization. It is for the same reason that Professors or
doctorate degree holders in Nigerian Languages scarce, instead scholars prefer
to major in Linguistics.
For the society to recognize Nigerian Languages as important,
government should give special preference to the students and teachers of these
languages. This will motivate the teachers to put in their best and make the
students in the department to be valued in the society. This will attract
talented scholars into the study.
Furthermore, for Nigerians not to lose their culture local
languages should be developed and teachers of these languages motivated so as
to attract the interest of the talented scholars that could have gone into studying
Considering the importance of teachers in the society today
especially in character molding and in learning, there is a need to equip and
motivate teachers for they are the life wire of development in all asset of
life. Furthermore, for Nigerians to excel in technological advancement, local
languages teachers must be put into considerations. Efforts should be made to
motivate them so that they have all the resource to make more research on the
development of these local languages and to give their students the best. I am
of the same view with Bab Fafunwa that for Nigerians to experience growth in
development, we must use our mother tongue to teach our children and at the
same time motivate the Nigerian languages teachers. Nigerians should inculcate
the spirit of rewarding and motivating their teachers so that teachers would
put in their best to produce people that will develop Nigeria.
Effort should be made to organize award / prize giving day
to teachers that performed creditably.
The Government should make Nigerian Languages compulsory
for admission into Nigerian Universities.
Enough text books should be written on Nigerian Languages.
Employment segregation on people that graduated from
Nigerian Languages Departments should be stopped.
Government should be given scholarships to students of
One Million Naira loans should be granted to teaching
staff at least once in two years.