1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In recent time, Job satisfaction has been a crucial problem for all organizations no matter whether in public or private organizations or working in developed or developing countries. One of the purposes for this degree of interest is that satisfied personnel are reported as committed workers and commitment is an indication of organizational output and effectual operations (Robbins & Coulter, 2005:370).
More so, considering education as the most valuable tool for human building and development of any nation, the relevance of job satisfaction therefore is very crucial to the long-term growth of any educational system around the world. In recognition of this, FRN (2004) make it clear that government recognizes education as the greatest investment that the nation can make to bring about civilization, modernization, development and socioeconomic progress. Thus, one of the most crucial factors in the attainment of this goal is the role of teachers. It is widely acknowledged that the most valuable asset of a country is its teachers. They build fortune of the nation. Teachers are said to be the builders of the nation. According to Fredriksson (2004), teachers hold the responsibilities to lift up the school effectiveness because they have actual power to make a difference in students’ human capital development during teaching and learning process. Hence, teachers’ commitment is a critical aspect in determining the success of education reform and school effectiveness.
It should be noted however, that teachers today are buffeted by many challenges all of which jointly operate to dampen their morale and lower their motivation to perform affectively on their jobs.
According to McLaughlin et.al (2003) many of the well-publicized shortcomings of the elementary and secondary education system in the United States are, to an important extent, due to inadequacies in the working conditions, resources, and support afforded to school teachers. Proponents of this view hold, for example, that teachers are underpaid, have too little say in the operation of schools, are afforded too few opportunities to improve their teaching skills, suffer from a lack of support or assistance, and are not adequately rewarded or recognized for their efforts. The key to improving the quality of schools, these critics claim, lies in upgrading the status, training, and working conditions of teachers in furthering quality of teaching profession.
As elsewhere, many factors affect teachers’ motivation and job satisfaction levels in Nigeria. Adelabu (2005) classifies these factors into three main categories, namely job context, job content, and reward system. In the aspect of Job context, Adelabu noted that public schools in Nigeria are a collection of dilapidated buildings, many without toilets and other basic facilities. The schools are staffed by tired and frustrated teachers and attended by poorly fed, disenchanted pupils. This environment does not engender high job morale. On Job content however, he observed that teachers’ particularly in elementary schools, are seriously overworked. A typical government teacher is required to teach between seven to eight periods each day to classes, which frequently have more than forty pupils. Teachers are also expected to assist with other school-based activities that are sometimes labour-intensive. He equally stressed that the reward system in terms of pay packets of teachers does not appear to have job motivation as its goal.
In tandem with Adelabu’s classifications, a considerable number of researchers have reported that the teachers’ job satisfaction was related positively to the teachers’ salaries (Gates & Mtika, 2011:430-431; Ingersoll & Smith, 2003; Liu & Meyer, 2005; Perie, et al., 1997; Shann, 1998). According to these studies, an increase in salary was followed by a considerable raise in the teachers’ job satisfaction. In their study of administrative support and its mediating effect on US public school teachers, Chang, et al. (2010:6) also demonstrated that the teachers’ satisfaction with their salaries was a significant predictor of their job satisfaction and commitment. An increase in the teachers’ satisfaction with their salaries was followed by an increase in their report of their job satisfaction, and their intent to stay on in the teaching profession.
Similarly, Nielsen and Smyth (2008:1932) found that, among other things, employees (e.g., teachers) who selected a job because of a satisfactory salary were more likely to have higher levels of job satisfaction.
On the contrary, other studies show that the provision of low salaries can seriously impair the teachers’ job satisfaction. In their study on the job satisfaction among school teachers in India, Jyoti and Sharma (2006:355) indicated that many (more than 90%), of the teacher participants’ level of satisfaction with their pay was below average, and most of them believed that they were not earning what they deserved. Thus, teachers had to turn to providing additional private tuition to meet their financial needs.
Furthermore, a study by Akiri and Ogborugbo (2009:55) that examined the teachers’ satisfaction with their careers in public secondary schools in Nigeria found that the majority of the teachers (about 72%), were generally dissatisfied with their salaries. If the employees of an organisation, such as a school, perceive the different levels of their salaries as unfair, they may be dissatisfied (Kim, 2005:668). The low and unfair teacher salaries increasingly make conditions difficult to fulfill in their basic needs, and to cope with their financial obligations and the expectations from their families. Hence the teachers become frustrated, and therefore dissatisfied with their careers (Akiri & Ogborugbo, 2009:55)
As outlined above, it is thus seen that satisfaction with their teaching career not only plays an important role in the lives of the teachers themselves, but also in the lives of the students and the parents, and for the sustainment of quality education at large. Studies indicated that the quality of education depends on the professionalism and devotion of the teachers. It is impractical to realise positive changes in the schools without the teachers’ commitment and participation in reform. The quality and morale of the teachers are essential to the success of any educational reform (Kim, 2000:35).
Against this background, the thrust of this research study is to critically investigate the effect of pay satisfaction on teacher’s commitment in some selected secondary schools in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state, Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The main objective of the secondary school education is to train individuals to read, write and be numerically literate Nakpodia, E. D (2011). In recent times, it was noticed that many secondary school leavers can neither read nor write accurately. Judging from the products of the Nigerian secondary school, there is a big question mark on level of performance and the productivity of their teachers.
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