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27,4 Motivation among public primary
school teachers in Mauritius
Ashley Keshwar Seebaluck and Trisha Devi Seegum
446 Department of Management, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius

Received 22 April 2012 Abstract

Revised 30 October 2012 Purpose The purpose of this study was to critically analyse the factors that affect the motivation
Accepted 16 November of public primary school teachers and also to investigate if there is any relationship between teacher
motivation and job satisfaction in Mauritius.
Design/methodology/approach Simple random sampling method was used to collect data from
250 primary teachers who are members of the Government Teachers Union (GTU). Chi-square test
was used to test the hypotheses.
Findings The findings have shown similar results to the integrated cognitive-motivational model
for the study of teachers professional motivation by Jesus and Lens. However, some results
seem to contradict the literature review. On the whole, Mauritian primary teachers have a good
motivational level. Research limitations/implications Owing to time and financial constraints,
a larger sample size could not be taken to carry out the survey.
Practical implications There is a need for educational leaders to take immediate actions
pertaining to the improvement of teachers motivation.
Originality/value Despite the fact that many research studies have been carried out on
job satisfaction and motivation of teachers worldwide, there is hardly any study that has focused
solely on the concept of motivation as far as the Mauritian context is concerned.
Keywords Mauritius, Education, Primary teachers, Motivation, Teachers
Paper type Research paper

1. Introduction
Successful learning at school is the foundation of lifelong learning by individuals and
globalised, knowledge society of the future (Skilbeck and Connell, 2004, p. 7).
Therefore, it is very important that every pupil at school is well set on this path and
primary teachers are the ones who have the pivotal role to impart knowledge to
students. According to
Ariffin (1998), teachers who are appointed today are not only the leaders of the next
generation, but they also act as role models to students. He also added that if teachers
are happy, motivated and satisfied with their teaching profession, then greater
achievement will definitely result. Teachers decisions and attitudes are likely to affect
the welfare and prospects of a country including the lives of the countrys future
Job satisfaction and motivation of teachers have been the focus of substantial
research over the past years. According to Bogler (2001, quoted in Hughes, 2006, p.
job satisfaction is important in terms of teacher retention, but is also related to
International Journal of Educational teacher empowerment, school culture, quality work environment, and student
Vol. 27 No. 4, achievement. Teacher motivation, on the other hand, is usually demonstrated by
2013 pp. 446-464 the behaviour of
r Emerald Group Publishing
Limited the teacher (Olajide, 2000, cited in Tella et al., 2007). Low teacher motivation not only
DOI 10.1108/09513541311316359
has adverse effects on student motivation and performance, but also on the attainment
of high standards of education. Attracting and retaining teachers are also major
concerns to educational leaders in order to ensure that there is no shortage of teachers
in the future (Perie and Baker, 1997).
As White (2000, p.
61, cited by
DeBruyne, 2001)
points out, teaching
in todays schools can
be rewarding, but it
can also be filled with
stress, frustration and
little time
to take care of oneself . This is so because the role of teachers has changed Motivation
dramatically over the past decades. Primary teachers are required to play several
roles during the course of the school day including those that parents are supposed to among teachers
play, for instance, provide moral education (DeBruyne, 2001; McCormick, 1997). in Mauritius
Some teachers assume their responsibilities with no difficulty (Hakanen et al., 2006,
cited by Sass et al., 2011) while to others, the teaching profession seems like an
endless battle (Ariffin, 1998). High expectations from the various stakeholders of
education, including students, parents,
school and society at large and the various challenges that teachers have to face worsen
the situation (Lumsden, 1998, quoted in DeBruyne, 2001). With regards to this,
feel frustrated and depressed and they also experience a feeling of lack of
motivation and dissatisfaction (DeBruyne, 2001). Consequently, some teachers
either quit the teaching profession for greener pastures while others consider this
situation as part of their fate (DeBruyne, 2001). They remain in the teaching
profession, but however, they
demonstrate a lack of interest in their job, which can ultimately have adverse effects
on student performance (DeBruyne, 2001). High rate of absenteeism among teachers
also results which is a serious impediment to the delivery of education and learning
et al., 2007). There are numerous factors which account for why primary school
teachers are not satisfied with their job and what causes them to lack motivation. As
per Norton and Kelly (1997) and Shann (1998), they include low salary, no
promotion, lack of
communication, poor working environments and many
Since teachers occupy a fundamental position in the primary education
system, therefore, it is of upmost importance to cater for the needs of primary
teachers and improve certain aspects of the teaching profession. Hence, the purpose
of this paper to
explore and analyse the critical factors affecting the level of motivation of primary
school teachers in Mauritius a small developing island in the Indian Ocean whereby
education is highly regarded by the society of Mauritius (Ministry of Education,
Culture and Human
Resources, 2009). The Mauritian education system, with well-defined mission, vision
and objectives has witnessed progressive evolution over past decades, thus making it
become a vital element in the economic and social development of the country
(Ministry of
Education, Culture and Human Resources,

2. Research on teacher motivation

According to Ifinedo (2003) and Rosenfeld and Wilson (1999, quoted in Ololube,
2007, p. 3), a precise definition of motivation is elusive as the notion
comprises the characteristics of an individual and a situation as well as the perception
of that situation by the individual. Nevertheless, Luthans (1998, cited by Tella et al.,
2007, p. 2) defines
motivation as a process that starts with a physiological deficiency or need that
activates a behavior or a drive that is aimed at a goal incentive. For instance,
when a person has a need deficiency, desire or expectation, he/she tries to reduce that
need deficiency
(Tella et al., 2007). This causes a tension within the person and this situation
eventually pushes the latter to adopt a goal-directed behaviour which will provide
him/ her feedback on the needs met (Mullins, 2005). Since human needs are
unlimited, the
motivation process is an on-going one (Ivancevich and Matteson, 1999, p. 149).
Furthermore, Ifinedo (2003) also acknowledged that a motivated worker can easily
be spotted by his/her enthusiasm, dedication and focused performance to
contribute to
the organizational goals and objectives. Thus, motivation is related to the desire of
achieving a desired task.
Besides, in terms of definition, job satisfaction and motivation which are
paramount in any organisations existence are two concepts which are often
somehow confused
IJEM with one another. Peretomode (1991, cited by Ololube, 2004, p. 3) pointed out that the
27,4 two terms are related but are not synonymous. While motivation is principally
concerned with a goal-directed behaviour, on the other hand, however, job
satisfaction refers to the feeling of accomplishment acquired by experiencing
different job activities and rewards (Ololube, 2004). Peretomode (1991, p. 113) also
asserted that an employee might be dissatisfied with every feature of his/her job,
448 nevertheless, he/she is very motivated. Thus, both job satisfaction and motivation are
inextricably linked to one another and to
derive a relationship between these two concepts is quite complex (Dinham and Scott,
1997, cited by De Nobile, 2008). Past studies by Friedman and Farber (1992),
(1991) and Thomas and Velthouse (1990) have demonstrated that there is a
relationship between job satisfaction and motivation in developed countries. As far
as developing countries are concerned, Garrett (1999) claimed that there is no
relationship between teachers job satisfaction and motivation.
Teacher motivation has significant implications for educational leaders and school
administrators because teacher motivation considerably impacts on the motivation of
pupils ( Jesus and Lens, 2005). Apart from teaching, the role of teachers is to motivate
students to strive hard in their studies, yet it is very intriguing to know how these
teachers perceive motivation (Neelofar, 2009). A gross disparity is evident when the
lack of effective motivation in qualified teachers is compared with the general
importance of
having motivated teachers ( Jesus and Lens, 2005). The latter also claimed that
teachers constantly complain that it is a very tedious task to keep students motivated
in their studies, however, the pertinent issue for educational leaders is how can
teachers motivate their students when they themselves lack motivation. Findings of
various studies carried
out by researchers namely Alvarez et al. (1993), Esteve (1992), Kyriacou (1987), Lens
and Jesus (1999), Pithers and Fogarty (1995) and Prick (1989) demonstrated that
although major importance is attributed to teacher motivation, teachers show
lower levels of
motivation and superior levels of stress compared to other professional groups, thus
resulting in low job satisfaction. As a result, lack of job satisfaction among teachers
often leads to indolence, absenteeism, poor teaching quality and reduced commitment
to their
teaching career (Moser, 1997). Consequently, students are the ones who are more likely
to feel the residual effects, for example, poor academic performance and since students
are the leaders of tomorrow, this will have a harmful impact on the overall society if
they are
wrongly guided by teaching professionals. However, teachers solely cannot be
held responsible for the poor performance of pupils. The rationale behind every
educational goal is to constantly boost motivation among the different stakeholders
concerned. Nevertheless, little has been done by the government of Mauritius to
probe into these
issues despite being aware of the motivation crisis in teaching (Aquilina,
2010). As pointed out in the Education & Human Resources Strategy Plan
2008-2020 report brought forward by Ministry of Education, Culture and Human
(2009), if teachers are treated as professionals, they will feel motivated and thus be
more professional in their judgement and outlook.
Numerous studies carried out by various researchers have demonstrated that there
are specifically two sets of factors that affect teachers motivation (Dinham and
2000). They are namely intrinsic and extrinsic factors (Stemple, 2004). First,
intrinsic factors play an important role in motivating teachers and also in
promoting their
willingness to enter or remain in the teaching profession (Herzberg et al., 1959, quoted
in Ololube, 2007). Intrinsic factors include pupil and teacher achievement, positive
attitudes of pupils, opportunities for advancement, promotion, prospect for
growth, positive interpersonal relationships, finding fulfillment in teaching,
responsibility, meaningful
and varied work, teacher professionalism and capability, teacher empowerment and Motivation
recognition through acknowledgements or rewards (Dinham and Scott, 1997). The
above factors have a positive influence on job satisfaction and absence or inadequacy among teachers
of these factors leads to poor job satisfaction. On the other hand, extrinsic factors in Mauritius
subvert teacher job satisfaction and their desire to pursue the teaching profession
(Herzberg et al., 1959, cited by Dinham and Scott, 1997). They include changes
in educational policies, poor supervision, the declining status of teachers in society,
being treated impersonally
by school administrators, increasing workloads such as administrative tasks, inadequate
salary, poor working conditions, negative or no feedback and no job security
and Scott, 1997). Apart from intrinsic and extrinsic factors, there are also other
factors that affect motivation such as monetary rewards and training (Tella et
al., 2007). According to Akintoye (2000), salary can be considered as the most
significant factor in motivating employees. In 1911, Taylor claimed that monetary
rewards are used as a
motivational strategy in a bid to enhance performance, commitment, productivity
and ultimately satisfaction (Tella et al., 2007).
Furthermore, many researchers came forward with various theories of motivation
and job satisfaction which have served as a springboard for studies in the field of
education and also to explore the factors affecting teachers motivation and job
satisfaction (Stemple, 2004). Theories of motivation are classified into three groups
namely content theories, process theories and finally reinforcement theories (Bartol
et al., 2010). Although these theories are not complete or entirely relevant in todays
world, they have somehow contributed considerably towards the understanding and
shaping of the concept of motivation at work (Robbins, 2005).
Recent studies showed that teachers suffer more than other professional groups
from the occupational lack of motivation ( Jesus and Lens, 2005, p. 119). Thus, to
be able to gain an extensive understanding of teacher motivation and to identify
what factors subvert teacher motivation, an adequate framework is required. Many
researchers have developed several integrative theoretical frameworks to explain the
complexity of job satisfaction and motivation ( Jesus and Lens, 2005). They are useful
in the sense that these two concepts can be studied in all its dimensions through the
lenses of various motivational theories integrated in one single model. As Esteve
(1992, p. 30) puts it, what is required is a comprehensive vision of what is actually
taking place in the practice of teaching. For the purpose of this study, the integrated
cognitive-motivational model for the study of teachers professional motivation by
Jesus and Lens (2005) was found the most appropriate to explain the problem of lack
of motivation and job satisfaction among public primary teachers in Mauritius. This is
because among the different integrative motivational frameworks developed by
researchers, the integrated model by Jesus and Lens was the only one which focused
on primary school teachers lack of motivation. In addition, one important
particularity of
the model is that it determines teachers professional engagement [which] constitutes
the best index for teacher motivation ( Jesus and Lens, 2005). Hence, this model was
used as a theoretical guideline for the study and it was also taken into consideration
while formulating the questions of the questionnaire for the survey.
The integrated cognitive-motivational model for the study of teachers
professional motivation by Jesus and Lens (2005, p. 125) seeks to explain teachers
lack of motivation
by integrating factors from different cognitive theories of motivation namely self-
efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977) and intrinsic motivation theory (Deci, 1975; Deci
and Ryan, 1985). The model demonstrates teachers belief in their abilities to
generate an assigned level of performance (Bandura, 1994). According to Jesus and Lens
(2005, p. 125),
IJEM teachers, basically, make use of two kinds of attributions to explain their
27,4 success and failure namely internal and stable attributions for example: lack of
ability or skills, and second external and unstable attributions for example: nice
coincidence or chance. They also claimed that the degree of efficacy teachers
possess will greatly influence their performance. According to Bandura (1994)
quoted by Jesus and Lens (2005, p. 125), teachers who have a high sense of
450 efficacy, strongly believe in their competency and they are more likely to undertake
any challenges. He also asserted that
even when teachers are sometimes faced with disappointing situations or failure, they
sustain their efforts in order to overcome them and ultimately, they successfully
recover their sense of efficacy. Thus, these teachers have more control over the
teaching environment compared to those who have a low sense of efficacy ( Jesus
and Lens,
2005). As described in the cognitive-motivational model of Jesus and Lens
(2005), success expectancy will be influenced by both control expectancy and
expectancy and since the inborn ambition to teach is related to personal capability,
efficacy expectancy thus gives rise to intrinsic motivation. According to Jesus
(1996) and Nuttin (1980, 1984, cited by Jesus and Lens, 2005, p. 125), the greater the
desire to continue in the teaching profession, the greater the intrinsic motivation.
Therefore, intrinsically motivated teachers are not only self-determined to excel in
their teaching activities, but they are also willing to sustain their efforts to achieve
goals ( Jesus and Lens, 2005). The model also depicts another case where teachers
who perceive themselves as unsuccessful teachers, view the teaching profession as a
source of stress (Kokkinos, 2007; Conley and Woosley, 2000). Irrespective of the
amount of effort that these teachers put in, it seems that this has no improvement in
the teaching process
as well as on pupil behaviour in class which implies a goal failure ( Jesus and Lens,
2005). Therefore, they dwell on their personal deficiencies, slacken their efforts and
give up quickly in the face of difficulties (Bandura, 1994). Once teachers recognize that
there are
other factors that influence goal success, intrinsic motivation and the perceived goal
value of teaching activity return back to normal state ( Jesus and Lens, 2005).

3. Background of the educational system in Mauritius

Nothing is static in education. So is the education system of Mauritius. Over the past
years, there have been many evolutions in the field of education. With globalization,
liberalization and competition, there have been an increasing number of divergent
views on the Mauritian education system (Ministry of Education, Culture and Human
Resources, 2009). Hence, the Mauritian education system has always been subject to
substantial debates, especially as far as educational reforms are concerned
2004). The competitiveness of Mauritius depends largely on its valuable assets which
are knowledge and skills that can only be acquired through innovations in the
education system and also through emphasis on quality education (Ministry of
Education, Culture
and Human Resources, 2009). Education in Mauritius is growing in importance and
the Ministry of Education is investing massively in order to achieve its educational
goals for the country, that is, to make Mauritius become a knowledge hub (Ministry of
Culture and Human Resources, 2009). For instance, as per the budget 2011, Rs 9.8
billion was allocated to expenditure on education (GIS Newsletter, 2011) and
according to the latest budget brief 2012, the Government has decided to allocate Rs
500,000 to every
public school which is found either in Mauritius or Rodrigues (Grant Thornton,
The Mauritian education system consists of four main stages namely the pre-
primary, primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. As per the Mauritian law, education
is obligatory up to the age of 16 and education is free at all levels, that is, from
to tertiary level (The Ministry of Education and Scientific Research, 2004). As far as Motivation
primary education is concerned, it was made compulsory in 1992 (Ministry of
Education, Culture and Human Resources, 2009). The primary education phase among teachers
usually lasts for six years, excluding repetitions. The Overall Goal of Ministry in Mauritius
for primary education is to sustain equitable access to quality education, ensuring
that all learners attain high levels of achievement in Literacy, Numeracy,
Information and Communications Technology and essential Life Skills as the
basis for lifelong
learning (Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources, 2009). The Mauritius
Institute of Education provides professional and academic training to primary
(Tertiary Education Commission, 2007). According to March 2011 statistics, there are
319 primary schools in all including Rodrigues and most of them are run by the
Government while the remaining schools are run by private entities (Statistics
Mauritius, 2011). They are mostly dispersed in five educational zones (Statistics
Mauritius, 2011).
In Mauritius, there are many competing trade unions in the primary education sector
and the Government Teachers Union (GTU) is the largest trade union among others
2004). It represents public primary teachers in particular the General Purpose
Its role is to fight for their rights and improve their working
As indicated earlier, the primary education sector of Mauritius has regularly
undergone reforms to better address its complexity. One of the major reforms has
the abolition of the ranking system at the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE)
examination in 2002 because of the bottleneck situation constraining access from
primary to secondary education (Ministry of Education and Scientific Research,
2001). Pupils who sat for the CPE examinations were subject to extreme competition
to a rat race in order to secure a place in star secondary schools (Ministry of
Education and Scientific Research, 2001). The competitive nature of the CPE ranking
system perverted its real purpose by placing focus on passing merely four subjects
rather than on the holistic development of the pupil (The Ministry of Education and
Scientific Research, 2004). Significant stress and pressure were imposed on children as
well as their parents and thus taking private tuitions became a necessary evil.
According to Bah-lalya (2006), 90 per cent of pupils who had recourse to private
tuitions passed their CPE examinations and 50 per cent who did not, simply failed.
Since the rate of failure at CPE level continued to rise significantly around 30-40 per
cent (Bah-lalya, 2006), the teaching competencies of primary teachers were questioned
and they somehow felt demotivated because their efforts were fruitless. Hence, in
order to ease the pressure faced by pupils and parents, a national consensus was
eventually reached to substitute the ranking system by the grading system
(Ministry of
Education, Culture and Human Resources, 2009). With the construction of numerous
secondary schools, elite schools were converted to Form VI colleges and a system of
regionalization was implemented so that pupils do not have to travel a long distance,
whereby before, the ranking system ignored the residential factor for admissions
(Ministry of Education and Scientific Research, 2001). However, despite this reform,
access to mainstream secondary education is still bottlenecked (Bah-lalya, 2006) as
the rate of failure at CPE level is still high, for instance, 31.2 per cent in 2011
(Statistics Mauritius, 2012). Besides, private tutoring remains a controversial issue
as on one hand, it is a supplementary income for primary teachers, whereas on the
other hand,
where education is supposed to be free, private tutoring becomes an inevitable
financial burden for parents (Hollup, 2004). Moreover, admission to primary schools,
which is normally based on the catchment area residence factor, is another indication
of the mad race taking place in the primary education system (Foondun, 1992).
IJEM Parents are ready to get out of their way by falsifying their residential address to get
27,4 their child admitted in the best primary schools, renowned for their brilliant CPE
performance, even if they live far away from the primary school (Foondun, 1992).
Other prominent reforms in the primary education sector comprised of mainly the
introduction of the Mauritian Creole Language as an optional language in the school
curriculum, the enhancement programme, the introduction of the Summer School
452 (Roojaishan, 2012) and the setting up of ZEP (priority education zones) primary
in less developed areas of Mauritius where additional means such as a better school
infrastructure, regular medical check-ups and daily food are provided to children
emanating from poor families, thus increasing access to education and reducing
inequity (Mahadeo and Mahomed, 2008). New learning and teaching techniques are
also adopted in ZEP schools and the progress of pupils is closely monitored against
some goals set by teachers (Pintrich, 1999). The Sankore project, which consists
of digitizing the school curriculum, is another landmark for Mauritius in the
whole African region (Roojaishan, 2012). Furthermore, it is very disappointing for
primary school teachers to note that many children are incapable of writing or reading
a simple word or sentence after having spent six to seven years at school (Ministry of
& Human Resources, 2006). Therefore, the Literacy and Numeracy project has also
been implemented in a bid to ensure that every child leaving the primary cycle have a
good educational foundation (Ministry of Education & Human Resources, 2006). With
new projects being implemented, the workload and responsibilities of primary
teachers have increased considerably. According to Hollup (2004), primary teachers
are not paid sufficiently and for many years, trade unions like the GTU have
repeatedly been
claiming to the Pay Research Bureau to align the salaries of primary teachers with
that of secondary teachers so as to motivate primary school teachers.
Recently, during the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers
the Minister of Education and Human Resources of Mauritius laid emphasis on the
emerging role of the teacher in the changing and new education order (GIS, 2012).
According to Ingersoll and Smith (2003), the retention of teachers is one of the
challenges of the education sector. The Minister of Education and Human Resources
of Mauritius also added that there is a need to redefine the role of teachers in this
fast- changing new era by empowering them with better conditions of work,
incentives and
adopt innovative policies so that in turn, they are more motivated and keen to
provide quality education, demonstrate their professionalism and equip children
with the necessary skills to face various challenges of this competitive world (GIS,
4. Methodology
4.1 Objectives of the study
The main objectives for this study are as follows:
to determine the factors that affect public primary teachers motivation;
to analyse the motivational level among public primary school teachers;
to assess the overall level of job satisfaction among public primary school
teachers; and
to investigate if there is any relationship between teacher motivation and job
satisfaction in Mauritius.
4.2 Method
For the purpose of this study, a survey research has been undertaken whereby
primary data has been collected through a structured self-administered questionnaire.
The latter was divided into four well-defined sections and was designed in such a way Motivation
that respondents can sustain a systematic sequence of thoughts by selecting one or
more of the pre-stated answers. As far as the content of the questionnaire is concerned, among teachers
most of the questions were mainly derived from the literature review as well as from in Mauritius
the sector profile. Section A included mostly questions related to the professional
qualifications of primary teachers while section B dealt with questions pertaining mostly
to teachers work experience, their career choice and their attitudes towards the
teaching profession. In
addition, section C assessed the factors that motivate primary teachers in their teaching
profession and to what degree these factors act as motivators and at last section
sought all information about the demographic profile of respondents. In order to
uncover unanticipated shortcomings such as problems associated with the ordering or
structure of the questions or response statements, a pilot testing was conducted among
fifteen teachers before the final questionnaires were ready to be self-administered
among public primary
teachers through a survey. Much prominence was put on the validity and reliability of
the responses. For instance, as far as the face validity of the questionnaires is
concerned, the questions were derived from reliable sources of the literature review and
the questionnaires
were pilot tested to ensure they are measuring what they are supposed to measure. In
order to measure the reliability of the scales, Cronbachs a test was performed on the
15-piloted questionnaires. As such, the scales of the questionnaires were all higher than
the minimum
of 0.70 which demonstrated that the research instrument had a relatively strong
The sample population for this study consisted solely of public primary school
teachers that are members of the GTU because they represent a diverse population
since they come from all the four educational zones of Mauritius. Their demographic
profile varied in terms
of gender, age, monthly income, academic qualifications, subject taught, school zones
and number of years of service in the teaching profession as shown in Table I.
Hence, questionnaires were hand-delivered to respondents of nearby primary schools
while others were mailed to respondents in stamped and self-addressed envelopes so
that respondents do not incur any expenses at their end when sending back the
Simple random sampling method was used to select 250 public primary teachers
out of a population of 4,300. The sample size (250) chosen was slightly less than the
appropriate one due to financial constraints. In total, 222 public primary teachers
responded to the four-part questionnaire. However, only 201 questionnaires were
considered valid for analysis which accounts for a response rate of 80.40 per cent.
Data collected through the survey were analysed using SPSS 17.0 and Microsoft
Excel 2003 whereby frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations were
computed. w -test was used to test the hypotheses.
Various constraints were encountered during the course of this study namely time
and financial constriction, sample size, self-report biasness, reluctance to participate in
the survey and many more. Nevertheless, constructive measures were taken to
minimize the possible risks of biasness and to ensure greater objectivity. Besides, great
emphasis was put on ethical dimensions while conducting the research and dealing
with the constraints. For instance, the respondents were clearly made aware of the real
purpose of the survey through the covering letter of the questionnaire. They were not
coerced to participate in the survey. Instead, they were convinced in the most ethical
way. Moreover, the responses were kept in strict confidentiality so that the selected
teachers remain anonymous and no kind of embarrassment or harm is caused to them.
Finally, the findings were not distorted or manipulated to fit the purpose of the study
as this would have led to the biasness of the final conclusion. As such, the results were
reported objectively and honestly.
IJEM Demographic variables Frequency (n) %
Male 113 56.2
Female 88 43.8
Age (years)
454 o20 0 0.0
21-30 69 34.3
31-40 70 34.8
441 62 30.8
Monthly income (Rs)
o7,000 0 0.0
7,000-9,999 2 1.0
10,000-14,999 78 38.8
15,000-19,999 31 15.4
20,000-24,999 50 24.9
X25,000 40 19.9
Academic qualifications
School certificate 18 9.0
Higher school certificate 72 35.8
Diploma 96 47.8
Undergraduate 15 7.5
Postgraduate 0 0.0
Subject taught
General purpose 180 89.6
Asian language 21 10.4
School zones
Zone 1 (Port-Louis/North) 57 28.4
Zone 2 (Beau Bassin/R-Hill/East) 41 20.4
Zone 3 (Curepipe/South) 28 13.9
Zone 4 (Quatre-Bornes/Vacoas-Phoenix/West) 75 37.3
Length of service in the teaching profession (years)
o6 33 16.4
6-10 51 25.4
11-20 61 30.3
Table I. 420 56 27.9
demographic details Note: n 201

5. Results
Respondents were asked to express their opinions with regard to one or more
statements based on a five-point rating scale for all questions of section C, whereby
1 to a very low extent/strongly disagree/poor and 5 to a very high
extent/ strongly agree/excellent. The first two questions of section C of the
questionnaire provided the required answers to the first research question, that is, the
factors affecting the motivational level of public primary school teachers.
For question 1, respondents were asked to state to what extent the following ten
factors listed in Table II motivated them in their teaching profession by circling a
number on the five-item Likert scale which best correspondents to their opinion.
For the purpose of an in-depth analysis of the statements, descriptive statistics,
that is mean and standard deviation of the respondents scores have been used. The
higher the value of the mean, the more motivating the factor is in nature.
among teachers
in Mauritius

Statements Meana SD

(a) Promising career prospects, i.e. chances of getting promoted in the near future 2.20 1.158
(b) Potential for improving your professional skills 3.13 1.008
(c) An adequate salary 2.69 1.286
(d) Attractive incentives and fringe benefits 2.58 1.362 Table II.
Note: 1 to a very low extent, 2 to a low extent, 3 neutral, 4 to a high extent, 5 to a very Mean score for factors
(e) Ability to communicate with pupils and impart knowledge 4.12 0.785
high extent affecting motivation
(f ) Develop social relationships 3.79 0.938
(g) The status associated with teaching and getting the deserved respect from
students and members of society 3.11 1.132
(h) Senseon the responses and
of accomplishment obtained
pride youfrom the successful
get from sample of 201 respondents, it can be
performance that promising career prospects motivate primary teachers the least 4.30 since0.885
factor yieldedtowards
(i) Progression the lowest mean
the goals you score
set for(2.20) compared to other factors that
yourself 3.66were 0.881
to assess
( j) The motivation.
responsibilities Likewise,
associated the sense of accomplishment and3.39
with teaching pride 1.048
primary teachers mainly get from the successful performance of their pupils was
found to be biggest motivator since this factor has yielded the highest mean score
(4.30) among all other factors.
Furthermore, question 2 of section C of the questionnaire assessed the inner drive
that makes teachers adopt a goal-directed behaviour and hence be motivated. Public
primary school teachers of Mauritius were asked to what extent they agreed or
disagreed with the following statement: I sometimes feel it is a waste of time to try to
do my best as a teacher.
Based on the results presented on the pie chart (Figure 1), it is alarming to note that
there is a small minority (5.5 per cent) of primary teachers who strongly agreed that it
is actually a waste of time to try to do their best as a teacher and 20.4 per cent of them
simply agreed with that statement. However, the majority of respondents (31.8 per
cent) disagreed with this statement whereas 26.4 per cent of them strongly disagreed.
On analysing the mean score of the responses given for question 2, which is 2.47, it is
pleasing to observe that the trend is towards a disagreement with this statement. Thus,
it can be deduced that a large majority of primary teachers are willing to deploy extra
efforts for the academic success of their pupils.
5.5% Strongly agree
20.4% Agree

Figure 1.
Rating of the statement
I sometimes feel it is a
Strongly disagree
15.9% waste of time to try to do
my best as a teacher
IJEM Another fundamental question in the survey questionnaire is question 3 of section C
27,4 which accounts for the determination of the current level of motivation among public
primary school teachers. The latter were asked to rate their level of motivation at
Based on the pie chart results (Figure 2), the findings demonstrate that more than
half of the sample population (52.2 per cent) claimed that their motivational level is
456 good while only a small minority of the respondents (2.5 per cent) acknowledged that
their motivational level is poor. It can be deduced that the overall motivational level
primary teachers can be rated as good.
The purpose of question 4 of section C of the questionnaire was not only formulated
to determine the overall satisfaction of teachers in relation with their job, but also to
demonstrate whether there is any significant relationship between teacher motivation
and job satisfaction through hypothesis testing. Thus, the mean and standard
deviation of the respondents scores were computed and based on the mean score of
3.67 which indicates satisfaction, it can be deduced that despite teachers needs are not
completely met, they are still satisfied with their job.
As far as the testing of the hypotheses is concerned, the purpose of the hypotheses
presented below consisted of showing possible relationships between level of
motivation at work and overall degree of job satisfaction:

H0. There is no relationship between teacher motivation and job satisfaction.

H1. There is a relationship between teacher motivation and job satisfaction.

Past research has shown that both job satisfaction and motivation are inextricably
linked to one another and to derive a relationship between these two concepts is quite
complex (Dinham and Scott, 1997). Therefore, the hypothesis was developed to
investigate whether there was a relationship between motivation and job satisfaction.
Subsequently, data pertaining to the overall motivational level and overall degree of
job satisfaction of respondents were cross-tabulated as shown in Table III.
In order to find out if there is a relationship between level of motivation and job
satisfaction, a w -test was carried out as shown in Table IV. Pallant (2005, p. 290)
explains that if you have a 2 by 2 table, then you should use the value in the second
row (Continuity correction). presented in the column labelled Asymp. Sig. (2 sided) to
reject/accept the null hypothesis.
As the asymptotic significance (two-sided) for continuity correction is 0.071 in
Table IV, it can be concluded that the relationship is insignificant and the null
hypothesis (H0) should not be rejected. Hence, it can be deduced that there is
no significant
17.4% Very good


Figure 2. 6.0%
Level of motivation 2.5% Poor
at work
Level of motivation at work
Good or better Satisfactory or worse Total among teachers
in Mauritius
Degree of job satisfaction
Satisfied or better
Count 105 41 146
Expected count 110.4 35.6 146.0 457
% within degree of job satisfaction 71.9 28.1 100.0
% within level of motivation at work 69.1 83.7 72.6
% of total 52.2 20.4 72.6
Neutral or worse
Count 47 8 55
Expected count 41.6 13.4 55.0
% within degree of job satisfaction 85.5 14.5 100.0
% within level of motivation at work 30.9 16.3 27.4
% of total 23.4 4.0 27.4 Table III.
Total Cross-tabulation showing
Count 152 49 201 possible relationship
Expected count 152.0 49.0 201.0 between level of
% within degree of job satisfaction 75.6 24.4 100.0 motivation at work and
% within level of motivation at work 100.0 100.0 100.0 overall degree of job
% of total 75.6 24.4 100.0 satisfaction

Asymptotic Exact Exact

significance significance significance
Value df (2-sided) (2-sided) (1-sided)

2 a
Pearson w 3.971 1 0.046
Continuity correctionb 3.271 1 0.071
Likelihood ratio 4.280 1 0.039
Fishers exact test 0.064 0.032
Linear-by-linear 3.951 1 0.047
No. of valid cases 201
Notes: 0 cells (0.0%) have expected count o5. The minimum expected count is 13.41. bComputed
Table IV.
only for a 2 2 table w2-tests

relationship between level of motivation at work and overall degree of job

satisfaction. Hence, the findings of this study seem to be in line with that carried out
by Garrett (1999) who claimed that there is no relationship between teachers job
satisfaction and motivation in developing countries as in the Mauritian context also,
since no relationship has been found between job satisfaction and motivation.

6. Discussion of major findings

The first objective sought to identify the factors that affect the motivational level of
public primary school teachers. Therefore, based on findings and analysis, it can be
deduced that the factors that motivate public primary teachers to a high extent are
sense of accomplishment and pride a teacher gets from successful student
performance (mean score: 4.30);
I . n 9);
2 a s .
progression towards the goals one sets for oneself (mean
b c score: 3.66);
i o
l r
the responsibilities associated with teaching (mean score:
i e 3.39);
t : .
potential for improving their professional skills (mean
4 y 4 score: 3.13); and
t .
o 1
the status associated with teaching and getting the
deserved respect for students and members of society
c 2
(mean score: 3.11).
o )
m ; On the other hand, however, promising career prospects,
m . i.e. chances of getting promoted in the near future, an
u d adequate salary and attractive incentives and fringe benefits
n e were among the likely factors that demotivate teachers. As far
i v as salary is concerned, the findings of the study are
c e contradicting with what Akintoye (2000) claimed, that is,
a l salary can be considered as the most significant factor in
t motivating employees because from the results obtained, it can
be noted that an adequate salary, hardly motivates primary
e p teachers.
w s In addition, with reference to the integrated cognitive-
i o motivational model for the study of teachers professional
t c motivation, the results in Figure 1 reveal that a large majority of
h i primary teachers are willing to do their best as a teacher. This
p a is mainly due to the fact that they believe in their capabilities
u l and they are ready to strive hard to demonstrate high level of
p r performance. Likewise, Bandura (1994) claimed that teachers
i e who have a high
l l sense of efficacy, they strongly believe in their competencies
s a and they are more likely to undertake any challenges. The
a ti degree of self-efficacy teachers possess will greatly influence
n o their performance and also impact on the achievement of their
d n students (Caprara
i s et al., 2006). Despite the fact that causes of job dissatisfaction and
m h lack of motivation were identified among public primary teachers
p of Mauritius, the latter claimed that they have a good
a motivational level and they are also satisfied with their job. This
shows that primary
r s teachers are willing to persevere even if they are subject to poor
t ( working conditions. This finding is also in line with what Jesus
k m and Lens (2005) acknowledged whereby he claimed that even
n e when teachers are sometimes faced with disappointing
o a situations or failure, they sustain their efforts in order to
w n overcome them and ultimately they successfully
l s recover their sense of efficacy. Thus, these teachers have more
e c control over the teaching environment compared to those who
d o have a low sense of efficacy. The analysis of the findings has
g r also pointed out the fact that the progression towards the
e e goals primary
( : teachers set for themselves motivate them to a high extent. This
m 3 is so because intrinsically motivated teachers are not only self-
e . determined to excel in their teaching activities, but they are also
a 7 willing to sustain their efforts to achieve personal and ultimately
7. Conclusion Motivation
Teachers are considered as the pillars or linchpins of the educational system
(Neelofar, 2009). According to Hean and Garrett (2001), teachers are professionals among teachers
with different complex needs and happier teachers are better teachers. Thus, in Mauritius
identifying the sources of demotivation among teachers and eventually improving
their working conditions should not be considered as an optional extra, but a key
component of the educational system. Hence, this paper has attempted to critically 459
analyse the factors that affect the level of motivation of public primary school
teachers in Mauritius. On the whole, the findings have proven to be very helpful in
the sense that all the four objectives that were set at the outset of the study have
been met successfully. The first objective consisted of identifying the factors
that motivate primary teachers. Based on the data collected from 201 public
primary school teachers, the overwhelming majority of them indicated that
the most
motivating aspect of their profession was the sense of accomplishment and pride
that teachers get from the successful performance of their students. For the second
research objective, which was aimed at determining the current level of motivation
of primary teachers, the results from the study reported that public primary
teachers have a good motivational level in relation to their jobs. Furthermore,
for the third objective of the study, with a mean score of 3.67, primary teachers
that they were satisfied with their job. Finally, the fourth objective of the study
sought to determine if there is a significant relationship between motivation and
job satisfaction or not. The hypothesis testing confirmed that there is indeed
no significant relationship between job satisfaction and motivation which is similar
to the findings of Garrett (1999) who claimed that there is no relationship between
these two independent variables in developing countries.
Hence, in the light of what has been discussed, it is clear that more needs to be done
in terms of maximizing teachers motivation. The findings of the survey will
undoubtedly be beneficial to all stakeholders of education as the paper will provide
them with valuable information from which they can derive appropriate measures to
be taken. Improving on the level of motivation and job satisfaction of public primary
school teachers could help to increase the student pass rate at the CPE level and
reduce the need for private tuition. The Ministry of Education of Mauritius can
ponder on
teachers grievances and also in terms of reviewing and formulating new conditions of
work for teachers. Besides, focus should not be placed exclusively on the Education
Triangle, that is school, teachers and parents (Ministry of Education, Culture and
Human Resources, 2012) for the development of the Mauritian education system.
Instead, a more far-sighted approach should be taken up by adopting the multi-
stakeholder strategy (Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources, 2012)
whereby problems pertaining to education are not left solely to educational
stakeholders. For instance, Mauritius can participate more in regional as well as
international conferences. The 18th CCEM is an example of a platform where
countries who are members of the Commonwealth discuss critical issues concerning
and viewpoints related to debates on educational reforms and future challenges are
shared (GIS, 2012). This conference has proved to be beneficial to Mauritius as it also
included a teachers forum and factors such as teacher shortages, retaining teachers,
poor conditions of work and professionalisation which affect access to quality
education were discussed (GIS, 2012). Finally, head-teachers and school inspectors
should be encouraged to acquire instructional leadership skills so that they can
promote teachers professional engagement and growth in the most effective and
IJEM efficient way (Blase and Blase, 2000). However, owing to the complexity of the topic
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ed., Part of Thomson Oozeer, A.,
d i
I Lowt
s t
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4 ed., H
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Har a
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Z a
Jour g
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of m
Edu e
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onal t
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Vol. r:
42 F
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