Package for Punjab teachers
Lahore, Sep 4: THE long-awaited package of teachers' salaries and
allowances, announced by Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi at Lahore on
Sunday, is a commendable step that should provide them considerable relief.
According to some reports, the financial and career benefits that will accrue
from it even exceeded their otherwise modest expectations. The package will add
Rs 33.90 million to the province's annual budget on education and entail a
one-time expenditure of Rs 500 million on the grant of one advance increment.
The drive towards 'parha likha Punjab' under which at present 600,000 students
in private schools are getting free books and free education will be stepped up
to cover one million such students. Besides, the government is adopting the idea
of integrating teachers' training and to work out the nitty-gritty a high-level
committee has been formed.
That brings up the vital question of educational
standards. It hardly needs pointing out that the standard of teaching in the
country, thanks to poorly qualified, incompetent and indifferent schoolmasters,
has fallen extremely low. The situation in higher institutions of learning is
not much better either. Coupled with this, the outdated methods of teaching and
learning and the pervasive student indiscipline, have wrought havoc with the
final product: the stuff that comes out of traditional schools. The package
should serve as an incentive to teachers to deliver their part of the bargain.
That would earn them respect in society that they traditionally enjoyed.
is unfortunate that over the years indiscipline among students has become
widespread, not only contributing to the declining educational standards but
also making for disrespect to the teacher. Things have reached such a pass that
educational experts should put their heads together to look into this unhealthy
phenomenon. Whether it is a result of blindly aping the Western practices or an
outgrowth of the prevailing social trends and pressures in the country, it is
time to set things right. There is need to make the parents more mindful of
careful handling of their wards in the early years of their lives that neither
inhibits their instinct of taking the initiative nor give them too much freedom
of choice that could lead them astray. The nation