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Motivation is an essential component in the successful educational of an individual right from the onset when one begins the system in the kindergarten school to the highest level of education that one can possibly attain. The contemporary society has ranked education as one of the basic needs that an individual person should strive to access to be successful in life. Therefore governments and the stakeholders of any society are actively playing their parts in ensuring access to education for all its citizens. Thus it receives a major portion of the finances that are allocated in the annual budgets in both developed and developing countries (Svinicki, 2004).
However, it is a hard task when one has access to education as a precious commodity but has a low drive towards learning. Education aims to eradicate illiteracy in a bid to empower the citizens to have the capacity to tackle common societal problems that include poverty, unemployment and to cope with the fast growing technological world. It is therefore a worthy course and citizens should be encouraged to pursue it to the highest possible levels that one is able to have access to. This means therefore that an individual should be receive maximum motivation towards education right from the kindergarten schools to the university doctorate, masters or PhD levels (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 2003).
The society has marginalized women and children in the area of education owing to the cultures and traditions that have prevailed overtime. However, in this age of liberation, governments have promoted access to education for women and this has gone a long way in helping them attain education just as their male counterparts despite the family responsibilities that they have.
With such circumstances such as early marriages, various forms of abuse and violence and also gender discrimination, many women do not seem to have a genuine drive towards attaining their educational ambitions and more often than not, they settle for ordinary jobs like secretaries, clerks, administrative assistants, receptionists among others as a way of achieving a balance between their professional, marital lives respectively. This puts one on a fix, leaving them with two options regarding their educational pursuits; either give up on it altogether or arrange for evening classes, which is only possible on condition that her family role suffers (at times ending up in divorce and separation from the husband) as a result of her continual absence.
For some that are already pursuing their degrees, they are forced to defer their studies due to the overwhelming involvement with little or no assurance of completion (Svinicki, 2004).
Such is the scenario in the contemporary industrial society where skills and qualification is the in thing for one to achieve his or her life dreams and ambitions. This makes it crucial for women to excel in the education field therefore necessitating appropriate strategies to ensure they are motivated and encouraged to make concerted efforts to pursue higher education to help them alleviate the common problems that women face in the contemporary society.
This section will focus on the various motivational theories and how they are applicable to the higher education field. Research has shown that motivation is something that every individual needs in all spheres of life to be happy and successful. These needs are seen to tackle the several aspects that include acceptance, approval, encouragement, achievement, sense of value among others. Therefore the motivational theories are meant to address these areas as they apply to education (Svinicki, 2004).
Motivation in education has a crucial role in facilitating learning among students. In essence, it is meant to create a positive drive in a student that can manifest it in the following forms: making efforts towards certain desired goals promote hard work and increase enthusiasm, development of a personal initiative towards excellence, increased resilience and improved performance.
The type of motivation should incorporate reinforcement and rewards to positive achievements, exposure to challenging environment like encouraging the spirit of competition, enlightenment on the varieties of fields leading to appropriate specialization based on current societal needs, ones professional interest and avenues for funding such programmes as well as appropriate understanding, skills and inborn talents and capabilities. Higher education should be aimed at empowering individuals to be able to fit in the society with the basic assumption that one who has accessed education up to this level has already fully understood the field or area that he/she wants to specialize in.