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Simbachawene: teacher motivation matters

George Simbachawene, Minister – President’s Office: Regional Administration and Local Government says a good foundation in education will determine the learning outcomes of students throughout their educational careers.

He said this at Hazina Dodoma last week during an event to award teachers cash bonuses, part of an initiative called KiuFunza – thirst to learn. KiuFunza is a randomized control trial around cash on delivery or performance pay for teachers.Teachers who improve pupil learning outcomes in Mathematics and Kiswahili in grade 1, 2 and 3 are rewarded with a cash on delivery incentive.

KiuFunza, awarded 788 Standard I, II, and III subject teachers and 135 head teachers for their 2016 test performance.

The preliminary results shows improvements in learning outcomes as a result of these incentives.

“Twaweza ... motivate[d] teachers in 21 districts and the impact is positive, now imagine this was done in all 184 districts, what could have been achieved?". He offered encouraging indications that there would be a possibility to scale KiuFunza up accross the country: "It is not a question of resources but how you maximise the use of those resources."

The Minister went on to speak about the importance of motivation for work. He admitted that the low learning outcomes prevalent in the Tanzanian education system are most likely influenced by low teacher motivation. And he was positive about the role of cash incentives in inspiring this motivation.

“You can pay a teacher 10 million shillings as their salary and they will tell you straight away why it is not enough money. But when you give that same teacher one hundred thousand as a reward for their performance, you will inspire them to do more and better."

He went on saying that a good working environment, functioning systems and respect at work may be taken lightly but they are very valuable and they can motivate and encourage employees to work harder and smarter.

Simbachawene applauded Twaweza for working hard to collect and present scientific evidence around the practicability and the importance of teacher motivation through KiuFunza’s cash on delivery scheme. And he committed that the government would work with Twaweza to take the initiative further and wider.

The video of the full speech is available (in Kiswahili).

Learn more about KiuFunza tearchers' awards.

Read more: basic education tanzania learning outcomes

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