How to Cite
Comparative Study of the Education Department of Pakistan with other Departments of the State: A Case Study of School and College Teachers
On September 26 1947, Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared education as a matter of death and life in the guiding principles of national education policy. He said in case of ignorant of education the nation will be wiped out instead of lagging behind in the race for progress.
On the occasion of the first education conference in November 1947, he explained that the future of Pakistan relies upon the quality of education. Likely the constitution of Pakistan, in its article 37, emphasizes the necessity of education and bounds states to provide free education as much as possible ( Mussarat & Zafar, 2003).
In this scenario, the importance of teachers cannot be ignored for building any nation teachers play a significant role in society. Thus for the implementation of educational reforms at the grass root level, the teacher has the position of backbone in society(National Education Policy 1998-2010,p.74).
According to UNESCO, the status of a teacher depends upon the composition of the teaching force and the quality of teaching. In this perception, teachers must have the expertise and be honest in their performance. Here the term status'' for teachers has been defined by UNESCO that in term of status means to give them honour and to involve them in all significant educational tasks. It further elaborates on the status of teachers in Pakistan and that the occupation of teaching should provide dignity, remuneration, social plight, and acknowledgement from the public of both profession of teaching and teachers. For this purpose, teachers must have a solid background in education. He should be acquainted with teaching techniques. The teacher is bound to create a good and free environment with certain limits that the teacher-student relationship should be harmonious.
The features of social status are as follows:
1. The members of the profession must maintain their esteem and not feel proud to be associated with this profession but to guard the standard and interests of their profession.
2. Social status includes powers and authority that help to raise their place in society.
3. The public recognition of the esteem of teachers is demonstrated through national awards and giving them due share in significant national commissions and educational commissions. But unfortunately, in Pakistan, teachers have zero share in developmental affairs, administrative structures and legislative bodies.
The status of a teacher is not restricted merely to legislation, but the good package, teachers' dedication to their work, training, and a good environment are also important factors.
Going through these features, it is observed that people enjoy a lower social status in Pakistan. In contrast to CSP officers, they enjoy no authority and power. The ratio of facilities is also much lower than that of the officer of police, custom, railway, income tax and foreign office departments. It is a tragic fact in Pakistani society that an eleventh-grade police officer holding the office of SHO has more authority than a 17th to 20th-grade. Though being a teacher but holding the office of a gazetted officer does not enjoy any authority. The teacher can be given his rightful place only when they can influence education programs and policies.
UNESCO asserts that teachers must enjoy social status and freedom. In this perception, UNESCO recommends that.,
§ For choosing teaching material and
teaching aid, teachers 'precious opinion is required to be taken.
§ For the development of new textbook involvement of teachers is essential.
§ The will of teachers for choice of textbooks and teaching methods should be given priority over other professions as a teacher is the soul of the education system. Without a pouring source, the Skelton of the education system is lifeless.
But it is regrettable to say that in Pakistan, a teacher's role is too limited in the process of writing academic courses and curriculum development. The selection of course contents is totally dependent upon senior high officials who have never discharged their duties in any school or college.
It has been observed that teachers are expected more. They are supposed to have pious characters, kind, honest, unblemished and equipped with teaching techniques. But the sad fact cannot be neglected that in Pakistan, the plight of teachers is very low as compared to other departments. Here they are honoured less as compared to the workers of other departments. They are less privileged in every aspect, whether it is a matter of their payment of salary, promotion or condition of their working. It seems that the status of teachers is at the lowest ebb in the sigh of government. Teachers are asked to do those tasks that people in other departments are reluctant to do, particularly in health and election campaign. Mainly the position of government school teachers is deplorable. To collect household information, they had to sit on the doorstep. Even the members of the house do not offer them to come inside. This phenomenon clearly shows how teachers are maltreated in Pakistani society. Similarly, on the date of the election, they reach in the early morning at their place of posting. They make entry of voters guide them, and surprising ensure the smooth running of the election. They are responsible to the authorities of other departments instead of their own. After the completion of voting, they had to make the result of the elections, and at midnight up, they had to arrive along with the result and carry ballet boxes submitting all the received election material to the concerned Returning officers, mostly judges. The condition of teachers in Pakistan is so dilapidated that teachers who refuse to do election duties are threatened with handcuffs. Even the officers of grade 19 are also included in the list. They are treated like a puppet who has to carry out the orders of government in all circumstances. Although, like others, they have children, family and parents too, which they prioritize over their professional responsibilities.
In Pakistan, teachers face numerous problems. As such, in rural areas, transport facility is unavailable. Similarly, females feel insecure in remote areas due to outdated culture. Furthermore, in case of transfer government failed to provide them with a residential home. Corruption is too common in the education department that appointments are made in lieu of money, and merit is overlooked. The management of educational institutions is poor. In urban areas, loaded classes with students are a perennial issue. That creates the issue of discipline and impairs the quality of education. Corruption is penetrated into the education system of Pakistan. Pensions are not started yet, the hush money is not received by the department, and the medical reimbursement to the employee is almost an impossible task.
Teachers are considered a jack of all trades. They are employed everywhere. They are considered fit for providing their temporary services in all other departments, such as election, census, health workers etc. During this period, schools are devoid of teachers, and this is a great academic loss to the builders of the nation. But unfortunately, in Pakistan, teachers are not achieving their rightful place as they deserve.
To have a beautiful infrastructure of educational institutions is the symbol of a civilized nation. But unfortunately, in Pakistan, government educational institutions demonstrate ugly pictures. It has been often witnessed that children often study in the rooms which are bereft of walls and children do study in unfavourable weather. (ideas pak, 2018)
In this connection, a questionnaire was set for knowing the grievances of teachers of schools and colleges. The population was comprised of different professionals in the society of Pakistani. Along with teachers, other professionals also participated in this survey. Respondents were asked multiple questions in various directions. The age limit was from 25 to 60 years for respondents. After recording responses, themes were generated.
When respondents were asked to comment on the statement that teachers enjoy their true position in the society of Pakistan like other civilized nations. 88.2 replied negatively, while 11.8 answered positively. This graph shows that teachers do not enjoy their true status which they deserve. This phenomenon ousted Pakistan from the list of civilized nations.
Similarly, respondents in another question were asked to compare the status of teachers as compared to the other workers of the other departments of Pakistan. In response, they replied that except for salaries, they have no other benefits. Neither are they provided houses for residence, even those teachers who are far away from their homeland, nor do they have medical facilities in reputed hospitals. She further added that teachers do not have any medical panels at the reputed hospitals where they can get treatment easily.
Whereas other departments do have. The incidence of diseases in Pakistan has increased to such an extent that for treatment, millions of rupees are spent. But in the name of medical allowance, they are given a few thousand. They have panels only at services hospitals that are not equipped with the facilities like private hospitals.
For conveyance, they are given a meagre fixed amount instead of car facilities given to the officials of other departments. They are given a meagre amount in the name of conveyance allowance that is much lower than the fare of auto for daily out back. One respondent who is the principal of a college holding the office against 20 grade commented that the officers of other departments are given houses and cars at least. But the teachers enjoying 19-20 even are deprived of car. They are a deprived class of Pakistani society.
Respondents commented that Education has the lowest rank in top government priorities. Teachers are in a fixed column...just to teach. Thinking of one professional was beyond the thought that teachers need no power.
The teachers of the local government of Sindh are so despondent that they said they are rendering services for ten years in local government schools on a contract basis with the payment of merely 12000 at an initial stage, while after ten years, they are getting 15000 rupees in the name of pay in the age when inflation has become too much high. One teacher who has done a Masters and has B.Ed. Degree, she said that though the concept of equality is missing in the political skeleton of Pakistan, in our case, all teachers, whether they are intermediate, graduate or masters, all have the same pay. In other words
''Mahmood and Ayaz are in the same line.''
College teachers complained that in spite of having twenty grades. They have to wait outside of the offices of high authorities for their ordinary work. College teachers are gazetted, but they are not offered chairs during the time of wait. There is no waiting area inside the offices. For a long time, they have to wait until higher authorities call them to give ear to their application. Like bureaucrats, they do not enjoy protocol from any segment of society. The status of teachers is as lower as a third-class citizen. The government has always ignored and considered them unproductive entities. Respondents added that It is often said in Pakistani society that the person who fails in achieving his goals becomes a teacher. People take the profession easily and let down the real spirit of teaching. They think that there is nothing difficult about joining the education department. Teaching is a less privileged job in Pakistan. Almost all job seekers do not choose teaching as a career but just a chance. The children of power-sharing classes do not prefer teaching. It's only the job of the lower and lower middle class. That's why it is the last option for unemployed youth. Respondents regretted that the qualified graduates prefer other professions due to attractive benefits naturally regretted graduates joining the education department, and as a result, cannot justify.
When the causes of the sad status of teachers were discovered by respondents, they highlighted many reasons. In their opinion, the most significant reason is that education has not been the top priority of the government. They further added that A very small per cent is allocated for Education Sector in National Budget. Our government spends little on teachers' salaries, and it doesn't provide pieces of training to the teachers for professional development. Lack of facilities, shortage of teachers, political interference during hiring and posting, lack of training programmes, old syllabus, encouraging private schools and colleges, untrained teachers, low income, and the tired and outdated atmosphere of educational institutions diminished the value of teachers. Though knowledge is light, and the knowledgeable person is considered the discoverer of the hidden secrets of the universe in the sight of civilized nations. But the mentality of the people of Pakistan is so low that the people Pakistan opine that one who studies more goes mad. Even worse is the impression that the teacher eventually becomes insane/unsound. In this modern era, the old traditions have come to an end and the fear and respect of teachers have been diminished in the hearts of parents and teachers. In colleges, the attendance of students is short. For increasing attendance, boards and universities don't have any effective policies. Colleges frame rules that the students who have short attendance will not get admit cards. But the students get the admit cards from boards and universities quickly. It seems that boards and universities do not have unanimous policies with college and school administration for enhancing the attendance of students. Less attendance and less dependent upon teachers devalued the status of teachers in the schools and colleges of Pakistan.
Likewise, the situation of Covid 19 impaired the education system of Pakistan. Already teachers enjoy less privilege in the eyes of students and parents in this modern age. The closing of schools further blocked the way of interaction between teachers and education. The position of teachers in the eye of students should be heroic, but unfortunately, this heroic position is enjoyed by our political leaders among students as the government announced off of students from all the educational institutions. One respondent commented that in the west though the pandemic affected more than Pakistan, they didn't close their educational institutions. Pakistan adopted the contrast practice of it. She opened everything but closed schools, colleges and universities. The situation of education is so deplorable that top educational official receives their credit from students in the form of the announcement of off from educational institutions instead of doing fruitful action for the future.
Respondents were asked to share their views about the challenges faced by teachers in Pakistani society. Respondents regretted that teachers are nation builders, but they are not appreciated well. The very low budget is spent on education. Teachers' salary is low. The general thought is found about teachers that they can be given any work even if that task is not worthy of their rank. Funding is made less in schools and colleges. This is the reason that the building of schools and colleges is founded on old and outdated infrastructure. The syllabus is outdated. For years syllabus has not been changed. The curriculum that was taught in our time. The same syllabus is taught in the current time too. They inclined their attention towards the fact that ignorance of the revision policy of the subject creates mental confusion among students. They exemplified this phenomenon that in 1st year English text book a chapter ''The lines from Samson Agonistine '' poem is taught. In this poem, a tribe in Palestine is shown as a villain, while Israelites are regarded as heroes. Samson, a supernatural character, kills Palestine and sacrifices his life by killing Palestinians for the sake of the Israelites (Sindh Text Book, class 1st year). At the same time, the basic principles of our national policy support Palestine and consider Israel a usurper. Respondent added that when this view was discussed with senior colleagues, they said that Palestine and Israel were two different tribes as compared to current Palestine and Israel. The reality is whatever. But the general impression is that using names of these tribes creates theoretical confusion against the foreign policy and the basic principles of Pakistan. Such sort of events shows how our government is negligent towards education.
Apart from this government is failed to reward the actual position of the teacher community. Because innumerable private schools in Pakistan are located on every street corner of the city, respondents regretted that Matriculate teachers are hired in the name of a small amount of salary. At the same time, school owners charge a higher amount of fees and become richer. God knows better how these schools get registration certificates, and the top hierarchy of the education department, before giving them registration, does not ask them what criteria the teachers of these private schools will be appointed and what will be the extent of their salary as par their academic performance. Neither the education department of Pakistan keeps all these details of private schools nor is there any accountability against these Educational business tycoons. Respondents regarded this reason as significant behind the lower status of teachers. The major part of the population of children studies in these neighbourhood private schools. Less qualified teachers are failed to give them quality education. It is the irony of the fate of those weak students who have qualified their matric or middle from these private schools. They are appointed teachers in the same schools until they get any suitable job. So the sad concept is found in our society that those who do not get anything in their life become a teacher. My heart scratches when such kinds of comments are heard against this noble profession. Same students when going at the college level they have very immature and dis courteous behaviour towards their teachers, though college teachers are qualified, and their minimum education is masters.
Those states that are serious about their educational affairs and want to install the best teaching professionals into their educational system. They need to pay heed to the status of teachers. The status of a teacher includes a high salary, dignity from society and the best facilities provided to teachers. The fact of life is not ignorable that everyone wants to choose the best profession. In Pakistan, the cream of the state is the allure to civil service, particularly to bureaucracy or commerce-related jobs, as a particular par trend of the society on the base of power and money, respectively. In this series, Peter Dolton, author of the Global Teacher Status Index, conducted his research and shared his knowledge about the status and rank of teachers in different countries. The research further sheds the light that the performance of a teacher is paramount, and his active, attractive and dignified role is the only panacea to upgrading the standard of education. This principle is being followed in Finland and Singapore. Where high salary is paid to teachers and the most qualified teachers are recruited in the system of education.
In this series, respondents were asked to shed light on the necessity of the dignity of a teacher. Their respondents were recorded in the following lines. Teachers are mentors and guides for the bright future of generations. The progress of society and the state is impossible in the absence of due respect for the teacher. God give a child to parents for physical growth and to a teacher for intellectual growth. A mother gives a child to her nation, but it is a teacher who gives doctors, engineers, soldiers, generals, bureaucrats, politicians, and scientists to the state. They train students to better serve society; if their dignity is compromised, then progress is not possible. The noblest profession is when we learn to understand dignity. It is an exchange program between the state and progress. If we want to progress, we have to barter dignity and progress. A socially satisfied and economically relaxed teacher can elevate society's progress. Respondents affirmed that teachers built society. By undermining the morale of teachers, a healthy society is unable to be built.
There are a large number of recommendations for the improvement of the status of teachers in Pakistani society.
§ It is essential to enhance the salary package of teachers. To make them more viable in their profession, their training programs must be commenced.
§ Teachers must be selected on high merit. Not all and sundry should be permitted to be a teacher.
§ A fixed qualification must be selected for being a teacher. For being a teacher, the qualification of masters level or graduation with a B.Ed should be fixed in all government and private schools.
§ Those private schools that appoint middle, matric and intermediate pass teachers must be banned.
§ They must be given sufficient travelling facilities, including vehicles, petrol and driver. A tired teacher cannot transfer his skills to students.
§ In all reputed institutions, seats for the children of teachers must be reserved with a concession in fee.
§ To resolve the residential issue, teachers should be given home facilities. Like other professions, it is necessary to build teachers' colonies.
§ To enhance the quality of education, teachers must be a considerable part of the formation of education policy.
§ The major part of the curriculum board must be comprised of highly qualified teachers. Content for curriculum should be decided with the valuable opinion of teachers.
§ As this research study revolves around college and school teachers. It is highly suggested that in universities, the allowance for achieving doctorate degree teachers is 25000 rupees, while the same allowance is reduced to 10000 rupees for school and college teachers. This unjust must be redressed.
§ Like other officers and teachers, if enjoying the grade of a gazetted officer, they should be allotted offices in their institutions.
§ To enhance the dignity of teachers, they should be allotted number plates on their vehicles, and they should be free to pay any kind of tax during domestic travelling.
§ Like other occupations for dealing with the cases of teachers, they should not be called to public courts, but special courts like other departments should be established. So as any mischievous activity done should not affect the dignity of the profession.
§ Physical exercise in the early morning should be made essential in all educational institutions for both students and teachers. So they should be physically fit and present a charming look.
§ At the time of retirement, a ceremony should be held in honour of a teacher. And his retirement process should be completed in such a way that he doesn't get any difficulty in his retirement activities and gaining of pension.
Education is the channel of the progress of any country. A nation cannot walk on the way of development whose pilots are tired, despondent and undignified. The occupation of a teacher should be as much ideal and charming as people wish to be teachers, like being CSP/military officers in the society of Pakistan. All other occupations must be kept at the lowest rank as compared to the teaching department, be it of University College and teachers. Only adopting these measures can improve the status of teachers, and the dignity of the teacher is maintained.