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Title: Teacher motivation and incentives in Rwanda : analysis of stakeholders' perceptions of the changes in teachers' motivation during 2008-13
Author: Muvunyi, Emmanuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 219X
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explored the impact of the teacher incentive policies which were designed and implemented in Rwanda between 2008 and 2013, with the aim to understand their impact on teacher motivation. Research evidence shows that, competence and commitment of teachers are among the main determinants of student learning outcomes (Bennell and Akyeampong, 2007). As such, governments have the responsibility to ensure that teachers are appropriately trained and motivated to teach. Yet, motivational and incentives issues among teachers have been inadequately researched in the African context to understand how teacher motivational issues might be addressed by governments and international donors to improve educational quality. Rather, as reported by the Voluntary Services Oversees (VSO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), educational policies have focused much more on teacher supply and demand issues in response to increased access to education (VSO, 2002; UNESCO, 2005). In countries where teacher motivation issues have been on the education agenda, these have been piecemeal interventions lacking long-term sustainability. As such, UNESCO's 2013/14 Education For All-Global Monitoring Report (EFA-GMR) recommends the need for policy-makers to identify ways how teachers' motivation can be improved so as to enable teachers to work in the service of improving learning for all (UNESCO, 2014). This study employed a mixed methods sequential explanatory research design, where quantitative data (from 276 teachers from 46 schools located in 10 districts) was collected first, followed by qualitative data (obtained from interviews with eighteen participants, selected from institutions involved in teacher incentives' policy making, implementation, facilitation and the beneficiary level). This data was then integrated at the intermediate and final stages of the study and presented concurrently in this thesis. The study was framed around the content (or basic needs) theory of motivation (see Chapter 3). Findings indicate that, individual teacher characteristics are key in understanding how the incentives impact on teachers' levels of motivation. As such, the Government of Rwanda (GoR), should take into consideration these characteristics, when designing the teacher incentive policies for the teaching profession. The study confirms earlier findings that, teachers' pay is very low, both in absolute terms and in comparison to other professions, which is a major motivational challenge. The study further shows that, while most teacher incentives may achieve the purpose for which they are meant, others are likely to result into unintended implications, which should be factored and monitored while designing and implementing the teacher incentives (see Chapter 6, section 6.2.2). Furthermore, the study shows the “8-step monthly protocol on processing the teachers' salaries”, as an example of incentives that are cost-effective and are likely to create an immediate positive motivation impact, and which can be ideal for resource-constrained contexts, such as Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries, including Rwanda. The study notes the key potential role of parental contributions to teachers' pay (top-up), and that governments need to harmonise and regulate it, so as to eliminate the imbalance it causes, between primary and secondary teachers; and rural and urban schools. Most teachers responded that teacher training and professional development was the main intrinsic motivational factor. The study noted that, while the teacher's union was viewed as potentially key in enhancing teachers' status, solidarity and power, the teachers' union was very weak and influenced by government, which is characteristic of most unions in the SSA. This is coupled with limited teachers' participation in decision-making on issues that concern them (see DeJaeghere et al, 2006), which is likely to lead to their de-motivation. This study, therefore, has attempted to make a contribution to the development of the theoretical and substantive knowledge in terms of policy changes designed to improve teacher motivation in Rwanda (and possibly in the SSA region). It also contributes to a clarification of the methodology, which can be employed for future research on teacher motivation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1025 Teaching (Principles and practice)