World’s Teachers’ Day – The status of Teachers Must be Improved!

This Teachers' Day lets honor the profession of our mentors and nation builders whose place this society has forgotten. The sheer hard work and dedication that they give to build up the lives of their students is amazing! Pakistan must improve its infrastructure to better facilitate the teachers in the country.

In every society, teachers play a pivotal role and considered as the nation builders because the role of the teacher in any society both significant and valuable. Teachers who educate children deserve more honor than parents. A good teacher is like a candle that consumes itself to light others. A mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, the great teacher inspires. Highly skilled teachers with having sound professional attitude and training are very important to raise the standards of Education.

Teachers are responsible for the training and development of the students; they polish their personalities and make them responsible citizens. These are the only teachers who mold the minds of the students in order to make them self-confident, self-supportive and self-motivated individuals of the challenging world. In Islam, the teacher’s role is considerably more important and has been equalized with that of Prophets. This profession is so imperative and sacred that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W) affirmed as it is a major part of his personality and Prophet Hood.

If teacher realizes the significance of his Job, the critical responsibility he is shouldering, the role he has in the future development of the nation and as therefore the accountability he will have to face in the henceforward he will at once quiver with the idea of facing the grave consequences of any negligence on his Part.

Teaching and learning are fundamental elements of human societies. The desire and necessity for education are inherent in all human beings and modern societies have established schools to facilitate this process. In fact, the very survival and advancement of humanity depend on the ancient and noble profession of teaching. The development of an effective education system in Pakistan has been marked by a slow growth pattern. There are many reasons for this though an important one is that the pivotal role of teachers as key players in the development of a quality education system has not been sufficiently recognized.

It is true that there are a lot of issues that exist in the Pakistani education system but is it fair to place all the blame on the country’s teachers

Unfortunately, teachers have not been regarded as an essential factor in the quality of education and the prominent and respectable position that teachers once held among the masses has been undermined. Whilst it is accepted that there are many hard-working and dedicated teachers in schools in Pakistan, the situation is that their efforts are largely unrecognized because the overall status of teachers is low.

From a historical perspective, there has been a continuous downgrading of the status of teachers in Pakistan over the past thirty years or so. Nowadays, teaching in Pakistan is generally characterized by low efficiency and weak performance due to low self-esteem, inadequate salary structures, shortage of teachers at all levels of education, an over-crowded curriculum and lack of subject content knowledge. Inadequate preparation of prospective teachers is a major issue in maintaining standards and ensuring the quality of education.

There are about 22 million teachers working in moreover 131000 Public schools and 203800 Private Schools of Pakistan. About 7 million teachers are working in Public schools and 15 million in Private Schools of Pakistan. But unfortunately, Some 49 percent of government school teachers and 86 percent of private school teachers across the country received no formal training during the past ten years, sparking a decline in student enrolments.

All Pakistan Private Schools Federation’s survey has shown — both in the public and private sectors — that almost 58 percent of public school teachers and 78 percent private school teachers have no knowledge of the national curriculum and also have not been offered any courses on assessment techniques during their pre-service training. Despite having better-qualified and more experienced teachers, public schools fail to match the education quality of private schools.

Read more: Pakistani teacher wins world’s “Most dedicated teacher award”

The situation has now changed, and many factors are responsible for it. The teacher’s invisible contributions to the betterment of individuals and thus betterment of society are not being appreciated enough nowadays. Direct and visible material contributions, even by those less qualified, attract more recognition. This has meant diminished importance and, hence, diminished pay for teachers. The fact that this societal injustice is recognized by those in power does not help.

To call him a nation builder and keep him in both material and social poverty, on the one hand, and publicly condemning black marketeers while still maintaining their social prestige and official patronage, on the other, has affected the attitude of the teaching community. Neglect of this community has produced a shortage of teachers at both the primary and secondary levels. The low status of teachers has resulted in a situation where those who are usually unable to find employment elsewhere join the teaching profession.

blank

The importance of teachers cannot be overestimated. They are the ultimate key to educational change and school improvement. Besides inviting foreign donors as experts who are far removed from the realities of the context, deliberating the restructuring of schools, the composition of national and provincial curricula, and the development of benchmark assessments. However, all these things are of little value if they do not take the teacher into account. It is important to understand that teachers do not merely deliver the curriculum. They develop, define and reinterpret it too.

It is what teachers think, what teachers believe and what teachers do in the classroom that ultimately shapes the kind of learning that young people get. This is the reason why there is a growing need to place the status of teaching at the top of our research, policy studies and improvement agendas. Policy-makers often have superficial, stereotypical, and one-dimensional views of the work of teachers. They can become so obsessed with neat and tidy reform programs in teaching strategies or in curriculum content, that they overlook all the complex, messy and multifaceted aspects of teaching, working, organizing and caring that are both integral to and unavoidable aspects of a teacher’s day.

A person who always taught the student the lesson of respect, esteem and patience became criminal in the eye of the police.

The life of difficulty, the dedication, the complexity, the busyness, the messiness, the agony, the ecstasy and sometimes the sheer rib-cracking hilarity of teachers’ working lives needs to be understood by policy-makers. Improving teaching is a matter of developing better teaching methods, of improving instruction. Training teachers in new classroom management skills, in active learning, co-operative learning, one-to-one counseling and the like is the main priority because educational conferences recommend such to successive governments in Pakistan.

These things are important, but we are also increasingly coming to understand that developing teachers and improving their teaching involves more than this. The quality, range, and flexibility of teachers’ classroom work are closely tied up with their professional growth – with the way in which they develop as people and as professionals. Most teachers do not think about teaching as a career, therefore professionalism lies only with a few committed persons.

blank

The multiplicity of educational problems that exist in Pakistan are put on the shoulders of teachers. It is true that there are a lot of issues that exist in the Pakistani education system but is it fair to place all the blame on the country’s teachers? Sadly, the discourse on education within the country attributes to teachers everything that is wrong with the system. However, don’t we need to hear the teachers themselves before we reach any grand conclusions?

We have heard a lot about teacher absenteeism and some teachers shirking work but have we heard the accounts of millions of others who are dedicated to their jobs and show up to school in dismal conditions every day? We can grill them unendingly for the low learning outcomes in students but we do not stop to think about imparting quality training to them. Without any thought to their professional development, do we really know anything about the teachers’ own perceptions of the jobs they set out to do every morning? An answer to these questions will only point to the multifaceted shortcomings within our system, which fail our teachers every day.

Read more: Cambridge University Press Searches for ‘World’s most Dedicated Teacher’

Teachers are the most inspiring source for a student. They teach them so many things each day and prepare them for their life ahead. Teachers are the epitome of strength and patience because they never give up on their students and always keep working on them for their better lives. Teachers are a cheerful lot, even on a meager salary. The profession indeed is a noble one as it molds young minds with knowledge, values, and creativity, and there was a time when a teacher was highly respected in society. This respect was born not only of the fact that teachers knew more than their pupils but out of overall mindsets. It was considered a privilege on the part of those in authority to give recognition and social status to a teacher. His status in society was higher than many a highly paid official.

In unfair situations in society, automatic adjustments take place that is usually are not in the best interest of society. If society is unfair to teachers, they too, in turn, have come to do less and less for society. The possibilities of this mutual give and take, and adjustments for the benefit of the new generation have to be examined and quick action taken as we cannot afford to wait any longer. A person who always taught the student the lesson of respect, esteem and patience became criminal in the eye of the police.

Those who are the pillar of nation proceeded before court as a culprits, regret is also on this that human rights organizations are just spectators and do not resist on the worst work of police, even question is also raised on educational, sensible and literate men that they could not concern themselves with injustice and did not cry against. Another accident happened at Lahore where a teacher was arrested, violated and punished by National Accountability Bureau and he died under the NAB custody, his handcuffed dead body is also a question mark itself that the respect and reverence of teachers have ended in the society of Pakistan.

Has the time of conscience awareness not come yet? Why humans are spiritless that they can not see the violence and maltreatment of police with women and children and do not try to be a support for them and do not rub their tears? Why the lost value of the teacher can not be in the right place?

Read more: Doing more with less: The challenge of higher education in Pakistan

The government should take steps for the accurate status of this prophecy and pious profession of teaching and should be stopped unfair with them and those who maltreat with a teacher should face hard ways and be sentenced so that there should not be another victim. Let’s join hands together to raise the status of teachers up in our society and carry out their esteem and reverence.

As we are coming to understand these wider aspects of teaching and teacher development, we are also beginning to recognize that much more than pedagogy, instruction or teaching method is at stake. Teacher development, teachers’ careers and teachers’ relations with their colleagues along with the conditions of status, reward and leadership under which they work all affect the quality of what teachers do in the classroom. The status of teachers in Pakistan must be improved!

Kashif Mirza is the President All Pakistan Private Schools Federation and can be reached at: presiden@pakistanprivateschools.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

Latest news