Researching Teacher Work Motivation in Ghana through the Lens of COVID-19
2. Study Background
3. Literature Review
3.1. Teacher Work Motivation
3.2. Types of Teacher Work Motivation
3.2.1. Intrinsic Motivation
3.2.2. Altruistic Motivation Factors
3.2.3. Extrinsic Motivation
4. COVID-19 and Teacher Work Motivation
5.1. Research Design
5.2. Participants, Sampling, and Data Collection
5.4. Ethical Issues
5.5. Data Analysis
6. Results and Discussion
6.1. Antecedents of Demotivation
6.1.1. Theme 1: Online learning
“In my school, we are not used to online education. When there were school closures, we attempted to try that but it didn’t work until we were cleared to physically return to school. You know, the online education can be frustrating. My school did not provide teachers and students with the tools to use and we did not have any WIFI. Our ICT lab is also not in good shape”—John
6.1.2. Theme 2: F2F COVID discrimination
“Sometimes, when you return from school, people think you have the virus because you went out. They are afraid to even come close to you. For me, I live in a compound house so you can imagine. I used to feel sad because of that but it was not a big problem for me because I knew I did not have the virus. I come home to rest and then go back to teach”—Benjamin
6.1.3. Theme 3: Psychological stress
“Because even the health experts were unsure about the nature of the virus, it brought a lot of anxiety. You always see the death toll and the number of infections on television. I was afraid for myself and my family. The government wanted us to go to school to teach in person so it was a concern for me. The teachers also had to take care of students at school”—Samuel
“No, I wasn’t provided with any psychological counselling”—Angela
6.1.4. Theme 4 School resources
“In my school, we had a sick bay but there were not enough beds for all the students who were sick. Some of their peers were afraid a friend might have the virus if they were sick. So teachers had to deal with the situation and calm things down. When any problem arises, it comes back to teachers. You have to always maintain order and make sure no one is afraid. I think the school needs to build more sickbays or expand the current one”—Lucy
“Availability of teaching materials in Ghana is very low. At times you have to buy the teaching materials yourself. Maybe, the COVID-19 affected the distribution of funds or resources to the schools. I’m not really sure. But this has always been the case”—Bright
6.1.5. Theme 5: MTYRE-induced burnout
“I understand that the double-track was in a way helpful because we could maintain social distancing and teach both groups of teachers. But teachers suffered because of this. There was an increased workload. Immediately you finish teaching one group, the other group also returns to school and you have to teach the same thing all over again using less time. It brings pressure”—Julius
6.2. Support Systems
6.2.1. Theme 6: Government support
“Because we were preparing final year students for their exams and the pandemic set up, we were called back to school to teach. Maybe they could have found a better way to help us prepare the students instead of calling us to school all of a sudden. It endangered our lives because we were also afraid of the virus by then. Even in the past, school policies have not been favourable to teachers at all. Student discipline is even a problem because of some new policies that restrain teachers. You have to find a way for students to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols”—Martin
“Oh, as for face masks and sanitisers, the government brought some to our school for teachers to use. But it was not enough. You had to buy some personally too. But at least, it was good on the part of the government”—Joyce
6.2.2. Theme 7: Institutional support
“Even though I was not given any motivation to teach, I understand the system very well so I was willing to do my work without letting the attitude of the educational system affect my delivery of lessons in the classroom”—Elisha
“I am disappointed with the system but I do not let this affect my work. I have equal qualifications as some of the teachers or even better but I learnt some of the teachers received some kind of motivation while I did not receive any. I used to teach the pupils during the COVID-19”—Audrey
“As for the online learning, everything was fast. We didn’t receive any formal orientation about it. That explains why we had to stop that idea. But when we returned to school to teach in person, we had a staff meeting where we were informed about the health restrictions and guidelines to prevent a mass spread of infection at school”—Austin
“I didn’t receive any training. About the training, only one teacher and the head were trained in my school”—Francis
6.3. Retention and Attrition Intentions
6.3.1. Theme 8: White-Collar Jobs
“Because teachers’ salary is too small, people don’t respect teachers. I don’t have plans to retire from this profession. Even your pension payments will be small. As I said earlier, the job is very tedious and the salary is meagre. It is too burdensome. A lot of hardship. Your salary will not even meet your demands. So I wish to enter into a different profession if I get the opportunity”—John
“Yes, and no, If I find any other lucrative job which is better than the teaching profession, I will quit. But if I don’t get I will also remain in it till retirement. That is why I said yes and no”—Joyce
6.3.2. Theme 9: Further studies
“Yeah, if I get the chance I would like to top up. You are more respected and get more leadership roles when your qualifications are high. Although the working situation is poor, some people in higher positions are relatively okay. So, I plan to top up one day”—Martin
6.3.3. Theme 10: Promotion
Higher qualifications and teaching experience can ensure that you have higher chances of promotion. So, I intend to stay and get promoted. I’ve already worked for close to fifteen years, so why not stay and get promoted? As for the hardship, we are used to it … yes, the COVID-19 affected all of us but for me, I am used to such problems”—Bright
6.4. Navigating Pedagogical Pathways
6.4.1. Theme 11: Intrinsic motives
“Ok. I saw that it is an alternative way to render my service to people. That is why I chose to be a teacher in Ghana. I had wanted to be in the health sector to also help people. What keeps me motivated to teach every day is that intrinsically, I have decided to use teaching as an alternative way to render my service to people. So, what motivates me is to assist people and help people acquire knowledge. So even during the COVID-19, I was prepared to teach wholeheartedly”—Belinda
“What keeps me motivated to teach every day is inner passion. My inner passion can keep me in the profession for a long time or till retirement. Sometimes too you meet lovely kids, so for the sake of the students. I also chose to be a teacher because it is a noble job”—Gifty
6.4.2. Theme 12: Altruistic motives
“Why I teach social studies is, teaching people to understand their citizenship, the needs and the responsibilities of society makes me feel the teaching of the subject is important. Yeah, so when I teach and make people feel that they are responsible for their own behaviour and everything concerning the environment, for them to understand the pros and cons of their actions affecting society... If they’re able to understand it makes me very happy … I used the opportunity to talk about the need to protect the body against infection during the pandemic”—Robert
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Interview Guide
Part I-Personal Information
- How do you perceive online instruction during COVID-19?”
- What major challenges did you face during the instruction?
- How did you perceive your professional identity during the pandemic teaching?
- Share with me some of your experiences during the face-to-face instruction.
- Probe: How do you perceive the double-track system and its effect on your teaching?
- Tell me some of the main psychological stressors you experienced with teaching.
- What kind of school resources was available to assist you in your job during the pandemic?
- What were the main support systems for teachers during the pandemic?
- Probe: Please, talk about both government support and school initiatives to help your well-being and teaching.
- What impact has COVID-19 and its after-effects had on your turnover and attrition intentions?
- How you do navigate through the challenges?
- What are the main reasons why you endured the challenges and instructed students?
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|RQ1. Antecedents of demotivation||Lack of ICT tools, network lag, no data bundle.|
|Societal discrimination and low professional identity|
|Anxiety about physical safety and family health, Dealing with student safety|
|Lack of facilities (e.g., sickbay) and teaching materials.|
|Lack of holidays, pressure|
|RQ2. Support systems||Education policies, PPEs|
|Professional development, motivational package.|
|RQ3. Retention and attrition intentions||Banking sector, social work, secretary of firms.|
|Apply for master’s|
|Stay in the job for upgrade|
|RQ4. Navigating pedagogical pathways||Passion, feelings of responsibility and self-respect|
|Contribution to society and helping students|
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Adarkwah, M.A. Researching Teacher Work Motivation in Ghana through the Lens of COVID-19. COVID 2023, 3, 301-319. https://doi.org/10.3390/covid3020023
Adarkwah MA. Researching Teacher Work Motivation in Ghana through the Lens of COVID-19. COVID. 2023; 3(2):301-319. https://doi.org/10.3390/covid3020023Chicago/Turabian Style
Adarkwah, Michael Agyemang. 2023. "Researching Teacher Work Motivation in Ghana through the Lens of COVID-19" COVID 3, no. 2: 301-319. https://doi.org/10.3390/covid3020023