While presiding over a high level meeting, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan announced to recruit 12,000 new primary school teachers, further streamline the monitoring system of teachers’ attendance in the schools of tribal districts and reducing the burden of books in school bags of students of primary classes. The reforms package in Elementary and Secondary Education had been finalised in 2006 but it had been put on the backburner in the previous ANP government to implement their agenda of merit violation.
Credit must be given to the previous PTI government for bringing the education sector reforms to the front burner and staring the implementation process with the appointment of school teachers strictly on merit, updating and upgrading of contents schools’ text books. The recruitment criteria of teachers determined by the NTS test score plus academic quantification and eliminating the merit manipulation practices by allotting zero marks to interview made possible the entry of highly talented candidates as school teachers. Masters and M. Phil degree holders, who possess brilliant academic record, have been appointed during the past five years as PST, CT and SST teachers in government schools. The newly inducted teachers teach the students with devotion and dedication as compared with the old guard.
The reformed and transparent procedure of teachers’ appointment needs further refinement. NTS tests are held on time and results are announced as per the standard procedure of testing agency. But the appointment process consumes almost one year. Previously, NTS tests for different cadres of school teachers were conducted in 2017and their results were provided to the respective District Education Officers by March 2018. However, interviews and scrutiny of academic record started in October last year. The appointment letters to SST teachers were issued in December and to CT teachers on January 29, 2019. Likewise after abnormal delay, the appointment orders of PST teachers were issued in April this year. After the NTS test results the process of completion of other codal formalities need streamlining. In case of PST teachers’ appointment successful candidates are deferred for appointment because the locality wise residential address mentioned in the domicile certificate and CNIC were different. People change their residences in the same city because of compelling reasons, therefore, the district mentioned in the domicile certificate and CNIC should be considered the yard stick.