Teacher Support and Motivation Framework for Africa: Emerging Patterns

How can African countries facilitate the growth of well-motivated teachers with the mind-set, attitudes, competencies and conditions to provide quality education?

This question is precisely the impetus behind UNESCO-IICBA’s effort for developing a Teacher Support and Motivation Framework (TSMF) for Africa.

In order to ensure that the TSM Framework was situated on solid theoretical, research and policy ground, UNESCO-IICBA and partners have undertaken a year-long research planning process that included a consultation workshop on 23-24 January 2017 with African Union’s Human Resources, Science & Technology Department, Education International, International Labour Organization, Association for the Development of Education in Africa, and Forum for African Women Educationalists.

In meeting a key objective of the workshop, UNESCO-IICBA has just released a critical review and analytical framework titled Teacher Support and Motivation Framework for Africa: Emerging Patterns. With this publication, IICBA is widely disseminating the initial phase of its research project, now in its pilot stage, with the ultimate goal of developing a Teacher Support and Motivation Framework (TSMF) for Africa.

The commitment, drive, satisfaction and motivation of African teachers, are essential to achieving national, continental and international goals. However, motivation among African teachers is low, serving as a barrier to meeting 2030 SDGs and 2016-2025 AU CESA objectives. Whether it is low-pay, difficult working conditions, and/or inadequacy of teacher qualifications, understanding the challenges of the profession are vital to increasing the pool of quality teachers. To the same end, it is also important to understand what draws teachers in and what conditions are necessary for their engaged persistence and retention.

This new publication offers added value by contributing a comprehensive synthesis of research, literature, policy and practice on teacher motivation in Africa. It also moves beyond the typical focus on salaries and professionalization to a broader debate on the extrinsic and intrinsic factors impacting on teacher’s motivation and well-being. In addition, the unique challenges facing teachers in rural, remote and crisis affected areas, and the contextual and systemic obstacles faced by female teachers are also considered. Indeed, by breaking down the factors into different categories (context, system, school, teacher), the review and analytical framework moves the discourse on Teacher Motivation beyond usual policy level solutions to identify school and local level support strategies that could impact on raising teacher morale ‘in-situ’ and that could be fundamental in building country support frameworks.