Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 218

Full Length Research Paper

Motivating Zimbabwean secondary school students to learn: A challenge

Tafara Mufanechiya1* and Albert Mufanechiya2
  1Department of Teacher Development, Great Zimbabwe University, P. O. Box 1235, Masvingo, Zimbabwe. 2Department of Curriculum Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, P. O. Box 1235, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 May 2011
  •  Published: 31 May 2011



Motivating Zimbabwean secondary school students to learn has been a daunting task for both parents and teachers. The economic and social situation obtaining in Zimbabwe has not encouraged secondary school students to take education seriously and prepare themselves for service and contribution to nation building and self- development. Thus the study sought to understand factors that militate against student motivation and what can be done to motivate secondary school students to learn, soliciting views from teachers, parents/ guardians and students themselves. The research was a case study of five Masvingo urban secondary schools; employing qualitative data collection methods. These participatory data collection methods were used to get insight and tap into the experiences and views of these three stakeholders on how students could be motivated to learn. The research found that the motivational level of secondary school students was at its lowest ebb mainly because of limited employment prospects and other militating factors. The research recommends that each school establishes a tripartite supervision and communication arrangement involving the parent/guardian, teacher and the student to monitor the student’s school work, behaviour and development. The other recommendation is that Zimbabwe as a nation should seriously embrace student empowerment initiatives by having professionally trained school – based counsellors and increased availability and access to career guidance services thus motivating students to drive their energies towards goals.


Key words: Motivation, curriculum relevance, teacher morale, parental involvement, peer pressure.