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October 26, 2020

Shortage of teachers to impact students’ academic performance

Islamabad

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APP
October 26, 2020

Islamabad : Students of the educational institutions working under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) have been suffering due to the severe shortage of teachers at the time when students have been divided in sections to ensure COVID-19 Standards Operating Procedures (SOPs) by maintaining distancing and other safety measures.

The students have already suffered from the disrupted educational routine this year due to the pandemic lockdown and have few months to cover up the syllabus.

The role of teachers is very crucial at this time for enabling the students to cover up their syllabus and promote to the next class.

A number of the teachers have been serving at FDE for which they were not appointed, leaving the education system in jeopardy at the time when their services are direly needed.

According to the parents, non-availability of teachers at classrooms is a sheer violation of children’s legal right to acquire free and quality education as stipulated under the Article 25-A of the Pakistani Constitution brought out in 2010.

A Principal of a college said, ”It’s a bad year for the students of the session 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The classes have been divided into many sections under the prevailing circumstances of Covid-19, therefore, more teachers are needed to complete the syllabus. It is a sorry state of affairs that the teachers are involved in non-teaching works at FDE due to which the educational institution suffers the most. Many teachers have got the lucrative positions at FDE on the basis of favouritism, whereas there is a severe shortage of teachers in schools and colleges,” she added.

According to an official source, Aftab Tariq an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Islamabad Model College for Boys (IMCB) F-8/4 has got two lucrative positions at FDE.

On the one hand he is working as Area Education Officer Urban-II and on the other hand he has also succeeded to get another lucrative position of Director Model Colleges. Similarly, Safina Insaf Lecturer in English at Islamabad Model College for Girls I-8/3 is holding the charge of Deputy Director Colleges at FDE.

Her college is suffering as there is only one teacher in the subject of English for over 1,200 students.

Sadia Adnan who is Principal of Islamabad Model School for Girls (VI-X) F-7/2 got the position of Director Quality Assurance and Monitoring. Principal of Islamabad Model School for Boys (IMSB) (VI-X) G-6/4, Abdul Waheed is also holding the charge of Director Schools.

Likewise Dr. Ehsan Principal IMSB (VI-X) I-10/1 is holding the charge of Area Education Officer Tarnol sector. Muhammad Ali lecturer in English at IMCB F-10/4 is enjoying a position of section officer at Ministry Federal Education and Professional Training besides the shortage of teacher in the subject of English in his college.

Similarly, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Tariq Masood is holding an executive position at Ministry of Science and Technology. The list of those teachers who are appointed at various departments for non-teaching duties is very long. The practice of deploying teachers for non-educational purposes is undesirable. This considerably affects the results of the students.

An official at FDE said, “Teachers should not be engaged in activities other than those related to direct teaching and professional upgradation. For activities of at FDE, separate trained staff should be deployed.” A female teacher of a model college said, “A large number of sanctioned posts of female teachers are still vacant and instead of appointing permanent teachers, the junior sections of model colleges are being run by the daily wage teachers. We are not in a position to manage the huge number of students as the teachers are missing. Consequently the academic work gets hampered.”

When contacted, a senior official of the FDE informed this agency that it is the fact that institutions were facing shortage of over 2,000 teachers. But the shortage of teachers was not due to those around 50 teachers who were working on deputation in various departments. The reason for the shortage is non-creation of posts by the Finance Ministry. “If we repatriate even those 50 teachers, this would not serve the purpose of overcoming the shortfall of over 2,000 teachers".

"We are in efforts to repatriate fewer of those working on deputation but it is not that simple as it required consent of those departments also where the teacher is bound to serve for a specific period", the official said. About the recruitment on the existing around 800 teachers’ posts, he said whenever the directorate intends to recruit teachers against the existing posts; the daily wagers get stay orders from the court as they want regularisation of their services first. He was of the view that the enrolment of the students has registered a significant increase as compared to the teachers’ strength which is still the same like in 90s. The only solution to overcome the shortage is rationalization, creation of required posts instead of repatriation of few teachers and resolution of daily wage teachers’ issues.