An exploration on the role of financial incentives in retaining rural public primary school teachers in mufindi district

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University of Dar es Salaam,
This study explored the role of financial incentives in retaining rural public primary school teachers in Mufindi district. More specifically, the study sought to establish the status of financial incentives to rural public primary school teachers; the contribution of financial incentives in retaining rural public primary school teachers; and explore the managerial strategies educational managers employ to deal with insufficient financial incentives to retain rural teachers. The study employed a qualitative research approach using a multiple-embedded case study design. Data were collected using interviews, focus group discussion (FGDs), and documentary review. The sample of 52 respondents from which the data were obtained consists of 42 teachers, seven head teachers, one TSD secretary, one TTU secretary and one DPEO. They were selected using purposive and stratified random sampling. Data obtained from interviews and FGDs were analyzed using Miles and Huberman (1994) model of qualitative data analysis where by data were condensed, organized and summarized into descriptive data display matrix and finally drew conclusions, whereas those obtained through documentary were subjected to content analysis. The study established that the provision of financial incentives to rural public primary school teachers were scarce as a result of insufficient funding, lack of priority to teachers, increase number of teachers, lack of teachers’ awareness and lack of solidarity among teachers. Scarce availability of financial incentives led to low teachers’ morale, late reporting at school and absenteeism, increase of teacher turnover, poor academic performance and moon lighting. The study also found that although financial incentives were scarce but increased teachers’ morale, reduced the rate of absenteeism and turnover, attracted teachers to work in rural areas, increased teachers’ status and job satisfaction. In response, the education managers employed the following managerial strategies to deal with insufficient financial incentives: advising the central government on the need to implement adequate financial incentives to rural teachers, use of district own source, parental and community involvement and initiating school economic projects. The educational managers also had to contend with lack of fund and government support, poor response from parents and community members, lack of teachers support on school projects and interference from politicians. The managerial strategies employed were found to be useful in minimizing the problem of scarce financial incentives to rural primary school teachers. On the basis of these findings, the study recommends that, the government should ensure that financial incentives are provided to teachers especially those working in rural areas so as to retain teachers and maintain the quality of education. Also, capacity building programmes for educational managers, teachers, parents and community members should be carried out to ensure that knowledge and skills necessary for addressing the problem of insufficient financial incentives are in place. Furthermore, the government should select competent educational managers who will be able to overcome immediate challenges within their respective areas while waiting for permanent solutions. Also a similar study on the same topic could be done by examining other non-financial attributes on teachers’ retention. Similar study could be conducted using quantitative mixed method.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB2844.T34M69)
Elementary school teachers, Salaries, Incentive awards, Mufindi district, Tanzania
Moyo, C (2017), An exploration on the role of financial incentives in retaining rural public primary school teachers in mufindi district, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam