QAU contract professors | Education for teachers
QAU contract-based professors asked to apply afresh
Islamabad, May 11: The QAU syndicate, the highest decision-making body of Quaid-i-Azam
University has decided that professors and associate professors appointed on
contract basis would have to apply afresh with other candidates for the same
posts when they are advertised.
The syndicate of the university met on
Saturday after 7 months and discussed 71 various issues. Secretary Education
Abdul Rauf, Higher Education Commission Executive Director Sohail Naqvi, PPP
Information Secretary, Fauzia Wahab and QAU Vice Chancellor Qasim Jan also
attended the meeting besides other members.
The contract-based professors
have termed the decision as unjust since they have been performing their duties
with utmost dedication and sincerity.
In the light of the above decision
three senior most professors of the university would also have to apply again
for the appointment despite that they have been servings for the last five or
six years and had been appointed according to the rules following a proper
procedure on leave vacancies.
It has been learnt reliably that the National
Assembly Standing Committee on Education has also recommended the university
even not to take up the issue of these three professors at the Syndicate
Though the body discussed the issue but gave its decision against
the professors. It has also been decided that there would be five working days
in a week and two days (most probably Saturday and Sunday) would be off days on
the campus. The syndicate meeting also sent back the issue of GRE test (a
condition for Ph.D. scholars) to academic council despite the fact that earlier
the council had proposed to abolish the test. The Nation
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Education for teachers
All quarters of society lay great emphasis on the need for a qualitative
improvement in education. The quality rhetoric usually focuses on a new
curriculum or an improved education policy.
Therefore, each new
government embarks upon curriculum reforms as a first step. Although the
curriculum is an important factor in education, the key players who execute it
in classrooms are teachers. It is a teacher's interaction with students,
teaching tools and the school environment that gives birth to a real and vibrant
The notion of quality education is thus incomplete without
the empowerment of teachers as quality education is hugely dependent on what
goes on in class. The professional development of teachers is considered pivotal
for the profession. In Pakistan, a number of teacher education colleges offer
degrees and diplomas, such as M.Ed., MA Education, B.Ed., and others at
different levels. But in the last six decades, although a large number of
teacher training degrees have been awarded, the impact of trained teachers
Besides the ineffectiveness of conservative
teacher-education programmes, the phenomenon of private schools has emerged in
the last two decades that made these lessons fairly redundant. In a number of
so-called elite English-medium schools, teachers are hired on the basis of their
proficiency in the English language. These schools have their own short-term
training courses that focus on limited, point skills and usually miss the
broader aspect of professional development.
Why are teachers' education
programmes unable to empower tutors to contribute towards educational change?
This is a question that needs to be raised in order to improve these courses. My
experience as a teacher trainer tells me that a majority of these schemes are
removed from indigenous realities as they are bookish in nature and are based on
imported theories, which may be effective in other contexts but are irrelevant
in Pakistan. Most programmes advocate foreign ideas which have long been
abandoned by educators in other countries. Their lack of relevance to the
context makes the processes of teaching and learning boring and ineffective.
In a typical teacher-training college, students are exposed to maximum
bookish knowledge and the teaching practice is dovetailed in one module as a
peripheral activity. The practice lessons are arranged in an artificial
environment and are of little use in real classrooms. It is important to observe
that most of these colleges follow a conservative mode of teaching based on the
transmission of knowledge. Another major problem in teacher-education
institutions is the gap between professed ideas and actual practices - an
educator may preach fashionable jargons such as participatory approach,
communicative method, reflection in action, collegiality, but if the
individual's own practice is the opposite, these sermons are bound to backfire.
The 'disconnect' between theory and practice is a major problem in our
teacher education. Either trainees are bombarded with foreign theories or given
some teaching tips, which renders the initiative incomplete and misleading. It
is important to understand that theory and practice have a two-way relationship
as they inform each other. Just giving tips or strategies won't make good
teachers as they must understand and appreciate the rationale behind their
performance in class.
This approach, which is in vogue in most
teacher-education courses, emerges from the underlying assumption that teachers
are merely consumers of knowledge and the thinking aspect should be left to
others. As a result, budding teachers feel helpless and obliged to do as
instructed. Therefore, teachers in most mainstream public and private schools
act as mere technicians who carry out prescribed activities and go by a script.
There is an urgent need to revisit our teacher-education system; the first and
foremost change requires a re-conceptualisation module, which is crucial if
existing educational notions and beliefs of participants are to be undone.
Teacher educators need to eliminate any gaps between what they profess and what
they do in a classroom. Second, these programmes should make use of indigenous
knowledge and examples to help teachers see the relevance of what is taught in
school. Also, special efforts are required to inculcate a spirit of enquiry,
which is imperative in this profession. Teachers should be reflective
practitioners who are able to deconstruct stereotypes.
Then there is the
issue of bringing about a major change in attitudes in teacher-education
colleges - a more expressive approach makes teaching interesting and effective.
A good teacher is sensitive towards students and respects them and their ideas.
Paulo Freire in his book, Pedagogy of Freedom, rightly considers humility as an
important attribute of a teacher. Finally, teacher-education programmes need to
work towards bringing about educational change, beginning with preparing
teachers to return to their schools and strategise in order to cope with
potential challenges. It must be remembered that merely churning out 'trained
teachers' in a stereotypical manner will not attain desired
By Dr Shahid Siddiqui, the writer is a director at Lahore School of Economics and
the author of Rethinking Education in Pakistan. firstname.lastname@example.org (Dawn)
"UsSlmoAlkm, I read your comment and deeply believe the reality what you have mentioned. We desprately need improvement in our teaching procedures. I came back from Canada after 35 years and feel very sorry about this situation and offcource the whole situation. I am settled in Pakistan and associated with a foriegn business consulting firm. They also established a high profile intitution for professional skills. I wish to provide you further deatils, if you can help us in making intitutions and teachers understand the core value of your comments. jazkallah for your time. "
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan
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NWFP primary schools summer vacations from June 1
Peshawar: The summer vacation for NWFP primary schools would
start from June 1 to 31st August. This was already decided by the Elementary and
Secondary Education Department NWFP while setting schedule of vacation for the
year 2009-2010 for all the schools within the province. According to detail, the
summer vacation will be started from June 1to 31st August (for primary level)
and June 15 to August 31 (for middle and above level). Moreover, winter vacation
will be observed from Dec. 25 to Dec. 31. Similarly, in hilly and snowy areas
summer vacation will be observed from July 1 to July 31, while winter vacation
will be observed from Dec.25 to Feb. 28, 2010. F.P. Report
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Pak students develop first-ever hovercraft
Islamabad: When it comes to the talent, we Pakistanis don't say it rather
mean it. When you talk of proficiency; we stand distinguished and dignified
Even lack of resources and deprivations; cannot
deter our way, when we are determined to achieve any milestone. Our talented
chaps can vigorously reach the target and win prestige and distinction for the
This time the laurels were won by Mohammad Naeem Khan,
Zaki Hussain and Mohammad Qasim - the second-year students from Sir Syed Science
College, Rawalpindi, by developing country's first-ever hovercraft. A project
sponsored by Intel under 'Intel ISEF Awards', made these students to excel in
the field of technology to develop this machine having capability to lift weight
upto 350 kilograms.
Jubilant to be inventor of the first-ever hovercraft,
they feel proud to be Pakistanis.
"We are happy. We feel pride to win
laurels for our country and becoming forerunner in this field," they expressed
unanimously, manifesting the same spirit that made them achieve this
"Now we are preparing to visit United States to participate in
the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). We would enlighten the
world of the talent, we Pakistanis have," they added.
students will be exhibiting their project at the fair later this
ISEF happens to be the only global science competition for
students in grades 9-12. This year's programme will include a record number of
1,557 high school students from 51 countries presenting 1,241 projects. The
finalists are selected annually from more than 550 affiliated fairs around the
world. Each affiliated fair can send its top two individual projects and one
team project to the fair.
"We see great potential in our youth. It is
just the matter of harnessing it," the optimist inventors observed whose
achievement has validly been lauded by experts.
Hammad Hassan, speaks
volumes of these guys. An expert over the subject, Hammad defines their work as
a great job. "These students have done a brilliant job. It was not an easy task,
as there were a number of essential designs and construction principles they had
to adhere." "But with some good guidelines or instructions, some handiness with
tools, time and patience, success is guaranteed. Of course, you can always buy
one instead of developing a new one," he added. The News
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