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1.1Background of the Problem

In Tanzania, majority of teachers in government schools are suffering from various challenges. One among those challenges is concerning with payments. Teachers are entitled to be paid salary, leave allowances and arrears when they get promotion.

Teachers’ payment problem emerged since the government started to implement Structural Adjustment Programme (SAPs) conditional ties particularly in the mid of 1980s. Prior to the implement action of SAPs conditional ties teachers were paid salaries, leave allowances, transport allowance, rent allowance and teaching allowance. One of the conditional ties imposed by World Bank and IMF through SAPS was the reduction in public spending on social services including education at all levels (Brock Utne, 2006). The reduction of public social services affected teachers’ payments which lead to the challenges to the teachers as follow, rent allowance; motivation, transport allowance and teaching allowances were no longer provided.

The removal of the above mentioned allowances led to financial constraint to teachers, they were forced to depend solely on their salary. This situation affected their standard of living and causes multiple socio-economic problems which have adverse result on students’ learning. Millman (1985) argues that when the teachers who arrive at schools and are insecure about health protection, financial security for their families, and work in poor and cramped working conditions, they are in poor condition to demonstrate their highest level of proficiency. Similarly, Bakahwemama (2010) noted that the motivation for teaching comes from good payment. A good salary helps teachers to meet their basic needs and concentrate on teaching activities while low salary discourages teachers to teach effectively. 

In a study done by Sylvia and Hutchinson (1985) in the USA, among 167 teachers, found that teacher motivation is due to freedom to try out new ideas, assignment of appropriate responsibility levels and intrinsic work elements. The study shows that true job satisfaction is derived from the gratification of higher-order needs rather than lower-order needs that lead to handle their various problems.

According to United Nations (1948) Human rights article 26 of the universal Declaration states that “Everyone has equal right to education regardless of his/her sex, race color, religion and nation”. This statement seemed to be meaningless with the absence of motivation to teachers. Teachers are not paid enough salaries compared to the workload and the duration they stay in the office as the result their morale decline and hence failure of fulfilling educational objectives as well as education policies. When the problems become acute teachers decide to boycott and withdraw entering in the classrooms.

Studies conducted by Glewwe et al (2003) indicate that absenteeism of teachers in

Kenya ranks 20%. Uganda’s absenteeism of teachers is as higher as 26% and Madagascar suffers from the same difficulties. Teacher motivation has become an essential issue given their responsibility to impart knowledge and skills to learners.

Studies revealed that the performance of teachers was good regardless of the fact that their motivation was inadequate. 

In addition, a  number of teachers do their activities with high morale such as reporting early to school, regular testing and examination of pupils and high turn up of teachers in staff meetings and school occasions mention a few. In order to improve teacher challenges and performance at work, the study recommended the increase of salary for primary school teachers to match with the increasing cost of living standard of life, providing of accommodation to teachers, strengthening of management as well as giving prizes for good performance among teachers.

Sumra (2003) who claims that “teachers are facing many and complex problems in

Tanzania. These problems range from low salaries to low status”. Teachers feel that their concerns are not addressed. Since these concerns remain uncertain then teachers feel demoralized and the quality of education including students’ leaning is bound to suffer. 

John (2010) indicates that: Government schools do not offer quality education because teachers are demoralized to work effectively due to low salaries they get, uncertainty system for promotion and poor treatment they are getting from the government. Also the school environment does not motivate students to learn, and the status of the classrooms is not attractive at all this implies that teachers’ commitment to teach effectively is much affected by their payments. However, Fry

(2003), researched on ‘What makes teachers Tick’ his findings revealed that the expenditure of teachers per month are not equal to their salary. HakiElimu and TTU

(2004) conducted a study to investigate teachers’ payment in Tanzania and realized the teachers are earning less than what is required for their human survival. On the other hand John (2010), Bakahwemama (2010) and Davidson, (2005), pointed out the issue of teachers’ payment is one among the factors which motivated teachers to work effectively. 

Moreover, the initiatives of Education Training Policy (ETP) in 1995, Education

Sector Development Programme (ESDP) in 2001 and Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP) in 2002 aimed to assist to offer formal education for Tanzania children, improving teaching and learning environment and improving teacher’s motivation (MOEVT, 2009).  Generally, structure of teacher’s payment shares most of the pervasive characteristics of public sector payment systems in developing countries. In particular, formal education and professional education mainly determine salary levels. The salary scales for both primary and secondary schools teachers are often very flat with very small salary increments awarded on the basis of seniority or experience, with little or no link with actual job performance

(Akyeampong et al., 2007).

To address the problem of teachers and education in the country, some national efforts and strategies have been put in place; for example, in the years 1999, 2005 and 2010 the government implemented Salary/Pay Reform which aimed at increasing salaries among the servants (Lambert, 2004; Mutahaba, 2005; United

Republic of Tanzania [URT], 2010). It was hoped that an increase of salary would lead to the improvement of performance in the education sector (World Bank, 1990). In 2007, the Teacher Development and Management Strategy (TDMS) was also developed to provide a comprehensive, holistic, and an all-encompassing strategy to deal with, among other issues, teachers’ training and recruitment, deployment and motivation (TDMS, 2007). Moreover, in 1997 Education Sector Development

Programme (ESDP) was developed, and also Secondary Education Development

Plan (SEDP) for the period 2004 – 2009 and Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP) for the period 2001 – 2006, 2007 – 2011 were also developed, all with the same purpose of improving the education sector by increasing access, improve equity and quality of primary and secondary schools in Tanzania (URT, 2007).

Under these programmes, the emphasis has been on increasing enrollment,

construction of school buildings as well as teaching and learning facilities schools. In order to cater for the evident shortage of teachers in schools, the government made an initiative to increase the number of teachers in both primary and secondary schools. But the means of accommodating Teachers’ problems were not well affirmed (HakiElimu, 2007).

Therefore, this study seeks to assess thechallenges facing the public primary school teachers in their teaching career together with the ways it affects teaching profession as well as students’ learning in Tanzania, a case of Mbogwe district in Geita.

1.2Statement of Problem 

In Tanzania teachers have complained of government inability to satisfy their needs.

Teachers are not adequately taken care, with regards to normal and on time payment of their salaries and other entitlements. In fact, the primary schools teachers are the last motivated human resources. Their salaries are not paid when month ends on time, their promotion is delayed and when implemented the financial participation is not paid from the time promotion took place. 

Teachers cannot perform their duties of implementation of the curriculum to realize the quality education to the primary school students. These challenges which face the primary school teachers are also observed in Mbogwe District Council in Geita region. These challenges made many of the primary schools pupils in Tanzania to fail to realize the philosophy of education for all (EFA) of 1995 and Dakar education framework for action of (2000); which hold that education is the right of every individual and it should be accessed by all costs and the education provided should be of quality to produce the graduates who are well developed in terms of cognitive skills (academic achievements), creative, royal and innovative.  

To address the challenges that the primary school teachers face in their teaching career in Mbogwe District, there is need of undertaking research to establish the causes of these challenges, the specific challenges facing the teachers in their teaching career and suggest the strategies to improve the teaching condition of the primary school teachers in Mbogwe District.

1.3Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to assess the challenges that face the primary school teachers in their teaching career in Mbogwe District in Geita.

1.4Specific Objectives of the Study

The specific objectives of the study were as follows; 

•      To investigate the causes of the challenges that faces the primary school teachers in their teaching career in Mbogwe District. 

•      To examine the specific challenges that face the teachers in their teaching career and how do they affect the teaching of the primary pupils in Mbogwe District.

•      To analyze the strategies the education authorities employ to improve the working conditions of the primary school teachers in Mbogwe District to realize quality education to primary school pupils.

1.5Research Question

Basing on the research objectives, the following research questions were developed to guide the study.

•      What are the causes of the challenges that face the primary school teachers in their teaching career in Mbogwe District?

•      What are the specific challenges that face the teachers in their teaching career and how do they affect the teaching of the primary pupils in Mbogwe District?

•      What strategies do education authorities can employ to improve the working condition of the primary school teachers in Mbogwe District to realize quality education to primary school pupils?

1.6Significance of the Study

This study helped to inform audience on knowledge and skills about the causes of the challenges that faces the primary school teachers in their teaching career. The study exposed specific challenges that face the teachers in their teaching career and how do they affect the teaching of the primary pupils.  Further the study established strategies that can be employed by education authorities to improve the working condition of the primary school teachers in Mbogwe district to realize quality education to primary school pupils. Moreover the study provided information by giving more reference materials to the interested people, stake holder and other researchers to get deep into this topic by using other approach to overcome the challenges.

1.7Limitation of the Study

The researcher experienced the following problem when conducted this study. Firstly, uncertainty  structure of promotion as challenges that related to financial matters, always are not openly and are associated with individual life, therefore it was difficult for the respondents especially primary school teachers and other  stakeholders administrator to respond directly hence was difficult to expose collect data and information. The nature of this study involved inquiring almost all primary and other education stakeholders. Therefore, the sufficient collection of data needed efficient and effective finance, hence limiting the study. 

Secondly, the time was limited and some of the respondents were not ready to respond some questions as they thought that the research information was just unnecessary. Again it was projected that some of respondents as interviewed were not participated fully and therefore decreased the number of the expected sample.

Use of token for transport for the volunteered respondents and the familiarity in the area assisted me to minimize these limitations and thus I was able to get data for the study. 

1.8Delimitation of the Study

This study was conducted in Mbogwe District council, Geita Region. The researcher assessed the challenges facing the public primary school teachers in their teaching careers in Tanzania especially in Mbogwe District. The study was limited to the causes of the challenges affecting the teachers in their teaching, the specific causes of the teachers’ problems and the strategies that could be used to improve the teachers’ condition in Mbogwe District. Therefore, the results of this study were not generalized to other districts or other Tanzania regions.

1.9Definitions of Terms

Primary school teacher is a person who imparts knowledge to the learner in primary schools using professional skills.

Public schoolsin this study, these are schools that are highly owned by community and supported by the government in terms of salary of the teachers and supplying teaching-learning facilities like books (URT, 2010).

Career is something a little more than a job; it is a profession for some one that wants to be a part of society, who becomes competent in their chosen sector through training, maintains their skill through continuing professional development and commits to behaving ethically, to protect the interests of the public