Are the teachers motived to provide quality performance?


Analytical commentary, December 2019,


We chose primary education as the subject of the analysis due to the weaker results of Slovak pupils in comparison with other EU countries. A necessary precondition for increasing the quality of basic education is the growth of the attractiveness of the teaching profession, while several documents point out the low attractiveness of the teaching profession in Slovakia. A well-established remuneration system is important for the growth of the teaching profession attractiveness. We have therefore decided to take a closer look, in particular, at whether teachers in primary schools are sufficiently motivated to perform better through merit in remuneration.

In the period from 2012 to 2018, the share of non-claimable wage components in the total wage of pedagogical employees of primary schools stagnated, resp. decreased slightly (from 10.4% in 2012 to 9.8% in 2018). While the share of rewards stagnated, the share of personal allowance decreased every year. These trends are well illustrated by the changes expressed in absolute numbers - while the average monthly wage has increased by EUR 406.3 (by 50.9%) since 2012; the average monthly amount of the personal allowance has increased by EUR 7 (by 22.3%) over the same period. The level of merit in remuneration varies from region to region. While in the Bratislava region in 2018 the share of remuneration and personal allowance represented on average almost 12% of the total salary of pedagogical employees, in the Trenčín region it was a value of 8.3%.

Almost half of the schools (45.2%) paid on average a lower sum of bonus and personal allowance in 2018 than in the previous year; in 2018, 4.9% of schools did not pay any bonus to their teaching staff and 13% of schools did not pay any personal allowances. We recommend that measures be taken to identify and eliminate the causes of this condition.

In 2018, pedagogical employees of primary schools earned on average 74% of the wages of persons with a university degree. The wages of pedagogical staff in the Bratislava Region lagged significantly behind the average wages in the region (61% of the wages of persons with a university degree). Among other things, this fact is important from the point of view of the additional need for manpower. While in the Bratislava Region schools are already struggling with a shortage of teachers, by 2024 it will be necessary to fill 1 240 additional jobs in the whole region by pedagogical and professional staff and primary school teachers.

In the most regions, the average wage of pedagogical staff lagged behind the average regional wages of women with a university degree only minimally, in the case of men these are much more abysmal differences. In 2018, pedagogical employees in the Bratislava Region earned on average only 50% of the average regional wage of men with a university degree. Even in the case of most of the remaining regions, the values ??were relatively low - from 64% in the Trnava region to 73% in the Banská Bystrica region.

One of the significant limitations in the creation and interpretation of the results of analyses concerning teacher remuneration is the fact that in addition to teachers also school principals, tutors and teaching assistants are included in the group of pedagogical staff. The resulting values are not real values ??for teachers - they are distorted. In addition, for the same reason, the remuneration of school principals or other categories of teaching staff cannot be analysed. For the needs of detailed analyses, we recommend collecting and reporting data separately for all categories of teaching staff.

Another such limitation is the unavailability of data on salary and its components at the level of individual teachers. As a result of working with averaged data for individual schools, we can only estimate the numbers of teachers who are paid below-average salaries, bonuses or personal allowances. We would only be able to reach the actual numbers by working with individual data. For the same reason, it is not possible to assess the extent to which the payment of bonuses and personal allowances is differentiated within individual schools. We also do not know whether school heads award bonuses and personal allowances in a targeted, objective and transparent manner, and whether they are linked to the quality and performance of teachers.

The full text of the analysis about this issue in Slovak language is available here.