Low teacher motivation and its detrimental effect on student achievement are central problems of many education systems in Africa. Using standardized data for student achievement in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d`Ivoire, Madagascar and Senegal, this paper analyzes the empirical links between various policy measures, teacher job satisfaction and primary education outcomes. It appears that there is only very limited evidence for the effectiveness of intensively debated and costly measures such as increasing teachers salaries, reducing class size, and increasing academic qualification requirements. Other, more simple measures such as improved equipment with textbooks are both more effective and less costly. It also appears that teacher job satisfaction and education quality are not necessarily complementary objectives. Especially those measures ensuring control and incentive related working conditions for teachers, significantly increase student achievement while reducing teacher job satisfaction. In addition, teachers` academic qualification beyond the "baccalauréat", while beneficial for students` learning, tends to lead to a mismatch between teachers` expectations and professional realities, and thereby reduces teachers` job satisfaction.
teacher job satisfaction student achievement Africa