Education department’s rundown
Talking to an official new agency, Advisor to the Chief Minister Minster Khyber Pukhtunkhwa on Education ZiaullahBangash gave a rundown of achievements in Elementary and Secondary Education. The list included appointment of 20000 teachers to overcome the shortage of teaching staff; imparting IT skills to the newly recruited teachers; establishment of computers labs in schools; strict monitoring of teachers to ensure 100 percent punctuality; successful enrolment drives; and ensuring attendance of all enrolled students.
There is no denying the fact that it was previous PTI government which implemented the education sector reforms of 2006 in Elementary and Secondary Education. The system of absolute transparency in the recruitment of teachers has enabled the highly educated and talented youth to get appointment strictly on merit while competing for the SST, CT, PST, TT and DM cadres. The new lots of teachers are instilling knowledge in the minds of student skillfully with devotion, zeal and zest. The teaching skills of these teachers are further refined and enriched under the induction programme of on-the- job training.
There are about 50000 vacant posts of different categories of school teachers and the government has planned to recruit 20000 teachers till March 2020. Even in the Capital city of Peshawar there is acute shortage of SST and CT teachers in High Schools and Higher Secondary Schools. Because of financial constraints the recruitment process is done in piecemeal which results in accumulation of backlog of highly educated candidates. Last month in the district of Peshawar thousands of candidates appeared in the written test for 12 SST vacancies, six each in Biology/Chemistry and SST General Cadres. Likewise, the number of repeaters is swelling every year. Moreover, the completion of recruitment procedure takes about seven months. In 2018, written test was taken in April but the issuance of appointment letters was started in December which was completed in March 2019. The induction programme for this batch of teachers is yet to be started. The procedural mechanism for the appointment of teachers needs to be streamlined.
The performance of the monitors of Independent Monitoring Unit is marvelous as it has ensured punctuality of school teachers and even the standard of pedagogy. The students of higher education institutions want such a strict monitoring system to be put in place for public sector universities, where the faculty members enjoy total immunity from accountability.
No doubt the provincial government is anxious to equip the students of government schools with the IT tools like MS Office, and Power Point but the computer labs have been set up in limited number of High and Higher secondary Schools in urban areas. In the schools of rural areas this facility is yet to be provided. The young teachers who have been appointed in the past few years have full command over these skills of informatics and they cover both the theoretical and practical aspects, while teaching the students about the use of IT. However, the Old Guard of school teachers needs training in this technology.
It is worth appreciation that Advisor on Education will be holding open Kacheries in all districts of the province to accommodate the suggestions of educationists and people for the completion of reforms process in Elementary and Secondary Education. Although curriculum has been updated but the material in the text books is included on copy and paste basis from the stuff downloaded from internet. Original content generation is not done. The compilers and reviewers of the course contents, who are engaged by the Text Book Board, are not following the standard procedures to ensure production of quality books. This year the number of text books which were supplied to government schools fell short of the number of enrolled students. The academic session is halfway through but text books of some subjects of primary and secondary classes have not been reprinted and supplied to government schools and book shops. Hopefully, the inefficiencies that still exist in the system of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be addressed on priority basis.