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Background to the study

Accomplishment of the goals of education and the objectives of teaching is possible when teachers are competent in teaching and do have satisfaction in their profession. These two variables of competent and satisfaction are conceptually independent but practically interactive. However, in the past fifteen years or so, a number of crises bedeviled the secondary school system that escalated a number of personnel problems ranging from economic crisis that manifested in galloping inflation and the depression of workers’ wages. This led to mass exodus of teachers from the teaching profession to other sectors of the economy. Rao (2003) rightly pointed out that the quality or effectiveness of a teacher is considered to be associated with his attitudes towards his profession, his satisfaction with his values and adjustment in the job and professional interest. In fact, the relevance of job satisfaction of teachers is very crucial to the long-term growth of any educational system around the world.

Ololube (2006) emphasized that there is an assumption that teachers’ agitations and demands are beyond the resources of the Ministry of Education or the government. As a result the government in Nigeria and the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) are in a constant stand-off over the increase in salaries, benefits, and improvements in working conditions of teachers. The federal and state governments have argued that the present economic realities in the country cannot sustain the demanded increase in salaries, benefits, and improvements in working conditions of the teachers. Specifically they argue that teachers’ demands are beyond the government resources.

There is a problem in the government’s position concerning the job performance of the teachers. They accuse the teachers of negligence, laziness, purposeful lethargy, and lack of dedication and zeal to work. They further argue that teachers’ levels of efficiency and effectiveness do not necessitate the constant request for salary increase, incentives and better working conditions. While teachers on their part argue that the existing salary structure, benefits and working conditions do not satisfy their basic needs in as much as other sectors of the economy have bigger structure, better motivation and enhanced working conditions. They feel the economy is not properly balanced and managed, hence, their demands. But teachers’ argument is in line with Adams’ (1963) equity theory of motivation. Adams’ Equity Theory calls for a fair balance to be struck between employees’ inputs (e.g., hard work, skill levels, tolerance, and enthusiasm) and employees’ outputs (e.g., salary, benefits, and intangibles such as recognition). According to the theory’s tenet, a fair balance serves to ensure a strong and productive relationship with the employees, with the overall result being satisfied and therefore motivated employees. The theory is built-on the belief that employees become demotivated, both in relation to their job and their employer, if they feel as though their inputs are greater than the outputs. Employees can be expected to respond to this in different ways, including de-motivation (generally to the extent the employee perceives the disparity between the inputs and the outputs exist), reduced effort, becoming disgruntled, or, in more extreme cases, perhaps disruptive.

To note is that the National policy on education from the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2004) stated that since no education system may rise above the quality of its teachers, teacher education shall continue to be given major emphasis in all educational planning and development” (FRN, 2004). According to World Bank Special report on Education, standard of education in Africa is threatened by the industrial conditions of the teaching staff. World Bank Report (1988) records that despite the tremendous gains made by African government over the past 30 years in increasing access to education, both at lower and tertiary level, greater challenges lie ahead if the goals of higher education are to be achieved. Stressing further, the report highlights fiscal crises, academic instability, and poor industrial relation emanating from poor conditions of service within the education system, as factors responsible for falling standard of education. The emphasis of the report is that teaching staff of the educational system should be provided with satisfactory job conditions if the objective of the educational system is to be realized. Teachers are expected to render a very high level of job performance, and the Ministry of Education is always curious regarding the job performance of its teachers. A very high measure of loyalty, patriotism, hard work, dedication and commitment is always demanded by the Ministry (Ubom & Joshua, 2004). They also stressed that the roles and contexts of educations’ motivational methods and tools cannot be overemphasized because high motivation enhances productivity which is naturally in the interests of all educational systems. For our educational system to be something to reckon with, all the stakeholders in education should embrace the job satisfaction of its employees.

Job satisfaction, as an organizational pheonomenon has been cocneptualised from an array of perspectives such as vocational needs, and instrinsic and extrinsic job rewards (Lewin 1994). Atikson (1995), from the vocational need perspective, viewed job satisfaction as the internally or externally aroused desire or urge to act in a vocational setting in order to produce an effect, which is expected to prove very beneficial to the actor. He further emphasized that there may be individual differences which may influence interest and the extent of job satisfaction in a given setting which therefore represent a test of the third preposition of the adjustment theory. According to Lewin (1994), adjustment theory states that satisfaction is a function of the correspondence between the reinforced system of the work environment and the individual’s needs provided that the individual’s abilities correspond with the ability requirements of the work environment.

Crites (1994) conceptualized job satisfaction from the intrinsic perspective as the pleasant stimulus that is obtained upon the successful performance of a task. Also, as is the case with all white-collar positions, there are intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect a teacher’s job satisfaction (Marianne & David, 1997). Intrinsic satisfaction can come from classroom activities, daily interactions with students, student’s characteristics and perceptions, autonomy and freedom of the teachers, participative management, recognition and praise, career advancement, belongingness, achievement and job significance. Extrinsic factors on the other hand refer to salary, perceived support from administrators, school safety and availability of school resources, comparison of outputs, job expectation, job security and performance appraisal (Bobbitt, Leich,   Whitener & Lynch, 1994; Choy, Bobbit, Henke, Medrich, Lieberman, & Horn, 1993). While intrinsic factor force may motivate people to become teachers, extrinsic conditions can influence their satisfaction in this position and their desire to remain in teaching throughout their career.

The proponents of intrinsic determinants of job satisfaction argue that the satisfiers of an employment situation are psychologically regulated. Pelz and Andrew (1987) elaborated that individual employees have emotional structures, which must be maintained before an individual can function effectively in any situation. They argued that every emotional response reflects a dual value judgment, which portrays the discrepancy or relation between what the individual wants including how much he wants it. Like early psychologists noted, the inability of an individual to realize these emotional demands may invariably distort his ego and the job satisfaction in a given employment situation. Okoye (1995) stressing further on this point asserted that the satisfaction of the ego has much to do with the psychological devices and motivational behaviour of an individual. Job satisfaction, which has been formally related to motivation, can therefore, be conceptualized as the psychological dispensations of an employee to engage in a given job as a result of the total or partial fulfillment of the intrinsic psychological demands on an individual. To some extent, intrinsic factors may also relate to physical factors in situations where the physical demands tend to influence intrinsic motivation in an employment situation. This is because there is a close relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the extrinsic factors tend to exert a powerful effect on intrinsic behaviour.

In their bid to discover what keeps teachers happy in the teaching job, it was reported by Tanja and Emily (2003) that gender, among other factors, does not have a significant bivariate relationship with teacher satisfaction, but at the same time, teaching force is gradually becoming more feminized, as evidenced by the fact that among younger teachers, female teachers are in the majority. Okpara (2003) noted that the Nigerian women are now assuming greater responsibilities in the management of business organizations. Despite the barriers militating against their full participation in the labor market, the economic climate in the country requires women to augment the earnings of their husbands and parents. Therefore their contributions to the nation’s economy cannot be overlooked and should be assessed in the level of their satisfaction in the job they do.

From a generalized view point, Morse (1993) defined job satisfaction as effective response of an individual or employee toward liking or disliking his present occupational position. It may be regarded as an internal predictor of job satisfier equivalence, representing the individual’s appraisal of the extent to which the work environment gratifies his needs. Job satisfaction as used in earlier context refers to the extent personal wants both material and psychological are realized by the individual while performing a task. In other words, Sharma and Jerran described job satisfaction in Metu (2009) as an effective reaction to an individual’s work situation. It can be defined also as an overall feeling about one’s job or career in terms of specific facets of the job or career e.g. compensation, autonomy, co-workers, and it can be related to specific outcomes such as productivity (Rice, Gentile, & Mc Farlin, 1991).                                             Teachers’ satisfaction with their career may have strong implication for students’ learning, as supported by Ossai (2004). He further stated that a teacher’s job satisfaction with his career may influence quality and stability of instruction given to students. Adelabu (2005 ) exploring teacher motivational issues in Nigeria showed that teachers are poorly motivated and are dissatisfied with their living and working conditions with the following key reasons: low wages when compared with other professionals, low status in the society, mass promotion of teachers ( promoting teachers ‘en masse’, without basing it on an evaluation mechanism linked to job performance has also been found to de-motivate many teachers in Nigeria), lack of career advancement opportunities, high teacher-pupil/students ratio, inadequate fringe benefits and irregular payment of teacher salaries. According to Adelabu, these conditions are responsible for low teacher morale and the difficulty in attracting and retaining quality personnel into the teaching profession.

Maslow (1954) in his framework of the hierarchy of needs specified that the categories of needs in any organization are arranged in a hierarchy ranging from physiological, security, social, esteem and self-actualizing needs and satisfying the basic (physiological) needs called lower level needs is important in order to avoid unpleasant feelings or consequences. Maslow further noted that an individual’s behaviour and feeling of satisfaction within an organizational framework is always influenced negatively if these needs remain unfulfilled. The consequence of unfulfilled needs of teachers for secondary education is the occurrence of tension within the teachers populace regardless of the level at which the need occurs. Strike, lack of dedication to duty and unaccomplishment of the aimed goals of secondary education may be bi-products of unfulfilled needs.

The importance of an efficient and well integrated teaching service in the development of any nation can be hardly overemphasized. Uka cited in Enemuo (2006) supported this assertion when he declared that on the health of the teaching profession depends the health of the nation. Education is perhaps the ministry with the largest number of employees in Nigeria and teaching service and welfare of teachers need to be taken more seriously if lofty objectives of education are to be achieved. There is no gain saying that every industrial concern has the responsibility for fulfilling the three conditions that make the progress of an establishment namely; to increase productivity, to promote employee satisfaction and adjustment to work and curtail industrial strife.

Rao (2010) noted that the successful running of any educational system depends mainly upon the teachers, the student, the curriculum and the facilities. Of these, the teacher is the most important one and is the pivot on whom the entire educational structure rests. Today, though along with other professions like medicine, law and engineering, teaching is also considered as a profession. It is said to be the noblest of all professions but people do not think of the teacher as a professional worker in the same sense, status and reverence in which they consider the doctor, the lawyer and the engineer. Why is this so? It is because teachers are poorly paid and their income is low. Also, other professionals can easily take up teaching as a job to manage when there is no other work in their fields but teachers on the reverse cannot be assigned to operate where a doctor or lawyer should be. Or is it because the majority of the teachers are from the poor sections of the society?  Or is it because teachers have failed to impress the society about the importance and the dignity of their work? (Ramakrishnaiah, 2003).Ramakrishnaiah further emphasized that a large number of teachers of the present day have no interest in their profession but they continue in the profession only as mechanical wage earners. The facilities and incentives offered in this profession are so meager that many of the talented persons do not think of becoming but seek positions elsewhere.

Good working condition and efficient management of teaching service ensure successful implementation of the educational policies of any state. Rao and Ramakrishnaiah (2004) remarked that a better understanding of the causes for job satisfaction/dissatisfaction of teachers is desirable not because it will enable them to be made completely satisfied but because it may help the administrators to relieve that intense and painful dissatisfaction which injures both the individual and the society in which he lives. The teacher has a powerful and abiding influence in the formation of the character of every future citizen. He acts as a pivot for the transmission of intellectual and technical skills and cultural traditions from one generation to the other. Therefore teachers should be allowed to face their work with zeal and dedication.  The cry of teachers has been turned into the slogan that teachers reward is in heaven. The slogan seems to have negatively affected the teachers demand for improved condition of services and greater representation in formulating matters affecting them.

In the same vein, Adelabu (2005) reported that Nigeria has a highly decentralized system of education due to its federal system of government which led to the absence of a single tier of government to have absolute control of public education. This therefore made it unclear who is solely responsible for payment of teachers’ salaries. In the past, the payment of teacher’s salaries was rotated between the federal, state and local government. According to the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), this uncertainty has affected teachers ‘morale. Adelabu further noted that one respondent commented that it is common to see advertisements for houses to rent with the added remark, “not for teachers”. There have also been occasions when teachers’ salaries have been diverted to meet expenditures in other sectors of government. Consequently, teachers have been forced to engage in other sources of income as male teachers go into farming even working as labourers on farms owned by the parents of their students while their female counterparts resort to small trading enterprises. The pity is that it is only teachers that can be treated this way. A Ministry of Education official corroborated the view that uncertainty about who the true employers of school teachers are has lowered job satisfaction and motivation but also noted that the situation is improving. The fact is that teachers should have lush morale on their work because morale is a function of job satisfaction which increases spirit and appreciation of the work they render to the society. It is a function of belongingness, rationality and identification. Ibiam in Metu (2009) said that in every society, the teacher is number one; without the teacher, there would be no doctors, lawyers, no engineers etc. So the teacher should be seen and considered first. In his care lie the children and youths of the society.

Ololube (2007) asserted that because of the central position occupied by teachers in the educational system, the need to explore their job satisfaction is very crucial. According to him, the major factor that is associated with teachers’ decision to leave or remain in the teaching profession is their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The individual feelings of satisfaction may arise as a result of several factors such as financial and professional security, a feeling of belonging, pleasant working conditions, recognition of the work well done, involvement in policy formulation that affect one and impartial treatment among others. With teachers, satisfaction with career may have strong implications for student learning. Some studies argue that teachers who do not feel supported in their work may be less motivated to do their best work in the classroom and that highly satisfied teachers are less likely to change schools or to leave the teaching profession than those who are dissatisfied with many areas of their work life (Ostroff, Choy & Bobbit in Colette 2009).

In view of the fact that teacher’s level of job satisfaction correlates positively with teacher’s classroom effectiveness (Ololube, 2007), and in view of the fact that teachers’ classroom effectiveness correlates positively with students achievement (Ibiam, 1995), there is the need to investigate the factors that determine teachers’ job satisfaction. Even though it has been well acknowledged that issues pertaining to job satisfaction and productivity of secondary school teachers have been well researched by researchers, it must also be appreciated that the validity of most of these research findings in secondary school teachers’ job satisfaction has been inherently questionable. This is because of the paucity of a standard measuring instrument for secondary school teachers job satisfaction. And because of the fact that these teachers are of varying characteristics in terms of gender behaviour of employee, ownership status of school taught, teaching experience of the teacher, professional interest and attitude of the teacher, motivation of the teacher in teaching, students per teacher ratio, teaching in different communities and different school sizes, etc., it may be argued that the responses of the secondary school teachers on teachers job satisfaction scale may be influenced or even be dependent on these variables.

Considering the current emphasis on effective teaching for an enhanced academic performance of the students and for the realization of the objectives of secondary school education, it has become obviously necessary that a valid and reliable job satisfaction instrument be developed. This will make studies in teachers’ job satisfaction more feasible and locally-oriented.

Statement of the Problem

In spite of government efforts to improve secondary school education, much seem not to have been achieved in the area of teacher satisfaction.  The high level of industrial conflicts, poor job adjustment and psychological maladjustment among secondary school teachers in Nigeria and mass exodus of the teachers to other sectors of the economy were observed in the recent past and these are issues of great concern to the nation. Some state governments who agreed to pay the minimum wage of N18000 have also planned to indirectly take back such increased money through heavy taxation of civil servants including teachers. The purported Teachers Salary Scale (TSS) proposed by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has become a day-dream that has failed to be actualized. This among others brought industrial actions and agitations of teachers thereby disrupting academic activities in our secondary schools. Many teachers are now less dedicated to their duties and double as petty traders or politicians or big time businessmen and women during official hours while some desert the profession. This can easily be evidenced by uninformed visit by the inspectors of the schools to our secondary schools. Low level of productivity and ineffectiveness has been leveled on the secondary school teachers by some stakeholders in education. This was clearly remarked by the Registrar of the National Examinations Commission (NECO) when he said that teachers should add quality to their teaching and produce good results, while reacting to questions on why students performed poorly in the 2011 NECO examination. Students’ poor performance in both internal and external examinations and the alleged falling standard of education in the country have been blamed on teachers. The characteristics of the situation highlighted seem to suggest that teachers are not satisfied with their job in Nigerian Education System.

Following from the fact that job satisfaction of teachers, classroom effectiveness of teachers and students’ achievement correlate positively among themselves, it is therefore appropriate that in the development of secondary school teacher job satisfaction instrument, and certain variables appear relevant. These include the ownership status of a school (Federal, State, and Private), teaching experience of the teacher, professional attitude and interest of the teacher, varying characteristics in terms of gender behaviour of employee, students’ population, motivation of the teacher in teaching, school sizes and communities taught, etc. As reported by Eke (2001), school ownership status correlates highly with the level of job satisfaction among teachers in favour of federally owned school teachers whose level of job satisfaction has been found to be higher compared to those of State or Private school teacher counterparts; and this is considered as a factor of interest in this study.  Another factor of interest in the study is the influence of varying characteristics of teacher gender behaviour in the level of job satisfaction. With paucity of instrument for measuring job satisfaction as a problem situation and considering school ownership status and characteristics of teacher gender behaviour, the problem of the study therefore is: could an instrument be developed and validated to measure secondary school teachers’ job satisfaction?

Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to develop and validate an instrument to measure job satisfaction among secondary school teachers in Niger state. Specifically, the study intends to:

1          Develop a job satisfaction instrument for secondary school teachers.

2          Determine the reliability coefficients of job satisfaction scale for teachers (JSST) through the sub-scales of JSST.

3          Determine the internal consistency (reliability index) of job satisfaction scale for teachers.

4           Find out the influence of teachers’ gender on mean job satisfaction using the job satisfaction instrument developed.

5        Determine the influence of school ownership status (Federal, State or Private) on mean job satisfaction using the job satisfaction instrument developed.

Significance of the Study

There is no doubt that the education sector in Nigeria is ailing. The high rate of candidates’ failure in public examination is a proof that the sector is in crisis and requires urgent attention. Recent results of public examinations conducted across the country are worrisome. In the same vein, teachers are reported for collecting unauthorized fees from students, payment of teachers salaries are delayed and other fringe benefits of teachers denied. In most cases, good teachers are difficult to recruit and almost impossible to retain as they pursue other well- paid jobs because the rewards of teaching do not outweigh the frustrations. All these factors have serious impediment on the students’ overall academic performance. The need to improve the quality of secondary education in Nigeria is indispensable. This is because if the base being the primary and the secondary education is not deep-rooted, tertiary education in Nigeria which trains efficient high-level manpower cannot achieve its aim. It is therefore explicitly necessary to periodically assess the level of job satisfaction of secondary school teachers. By so doing, the following will benefit: the teachers (and other employees), the students, educational administrators, stakeholders in education, the general public and other researchers. The relevance of this study will therefore be viewed from two significant perspectives.

From the theoretical perspective, Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory says that in order to motivate your employees, you need to take care of all hygiene factors first and by that you ensure them safe work environment and enable them to start dreaming and once that is done, you can start thinking about motivator factors (things that will motivate your workers to work even better). This theory suggested that there were specific conditions of employment that are job satisfiers (motivators) while other conditions act as job dissatisfiers (hygiene factors). This shows that teachers and every other employee feel satisfied with their job when basic necessities of job satisfaction are provided. Based on this, it is therefore justifiable that a valid and reliable instrument should be developed for an effective measurement of teachers’ satisfaction with their job so that they will maximize their output.

From the practical significance, this study is also undertaken with the intention that the instrument will be used to measure the degree of satisfaction that the Nigerian teacher has in his job. For instance the outcome will help to create a better working condition for the teachers by the stakeholders in education thereby helping them to satisfy their basic needs, without extortion. The teachers will reciprocate by maximizing their output. In this case, the secondary school students would benefit from the study because when the teachers are made happy, much input will be added to their duties that will pay off in better performance of students.

The study will also help educational administrators, other stakeholders in education and the general public to discover consistent trend to employ so as to improve the job morale of Nigerian teachers and as such provide also a better working environment for the teachers to perform better.

The study will also explore the effect of the gender of the teachers on the instrument. This includes the reliability of the instrument with regard to the construct being measured and other major predictors that may affect employee behaviour.

Empirically, the effectiveness of the developed instrument will provide a lasting tool that can be used by other researchers in some other research studies of the like. This they can do by adaptation or adoption of the instrument.

Scope of the Study

The study was carried out in Niger State. It was limited to the development and validation of a reliable instrument to measure job satisfaction of secondary school teachers. The study also investigated the influence of school ownership status and gender of the teacher on job satisfaction.

Research Questions

The following research questions were posed to guide the study.

  1. How valid are the items of the job satisfaction scale for teachers (JSST) in terms of their factor loading?
  2. What are the reliability coefficients of the various sub-scales (clusters) of the JSST?

3          What is the magnitude of the coefficient of internal consistency of the JSST?

4         What is the influence of gender of the teacher on mean job satisfaction as

measured by JSST?

5          What is the influence of school ownership status on mean job satisfaction of teachers as

measured by JSST?




The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at .05 level of significance.

1   There will be no significant difference between the mean job satisfaction scores of male     and female secondary school teachers as measured by JSST.

2    There will be no significant difference among the mean job satisfaction scores of teachers of the respective school ownership types as measured by JSST.



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