Punjab school teachers serious shortage
Shortage of school teachers at all levels
Lahore, Nov 8: Public schools at all levels in the
country, particularly those in the districts beyond the main metropolitan
centres, have become dysfunctional due to a serious shortage of teachers. This
shortage is especially severe in the case of science subjects such as physics,
chemistry, and biology.
There are both political and professional
reasons for this situation. It has been reported that several thousand teaching
posts have been lying vacant in the interior of Sindh and the provincial
government has not acted to fill them.
This has been one of the points
of disagreement between the PPP and the MQM. The MQM reportedly wants these
posts to be filled by its supporters. That may indeed be the reason why the
provincial government, led by the PPP, has been reluctant to fill them.
Public schools that do have the requisite number of teachers have to
contend with another problem. Quite a number of their teachers do not want to
put in a whole day's work to earn their salaries, paid vacations and holidays.
They come to work late and leave early. On certain days they stay away simply
because they do not feel like coming to work or because they have something else
When they do make an appearance, they do not want to do much by
way of teaching. They urge students to come to their homes where they tutor them
individually or in small groups and charge hefty fees.
The teachers have
done no more than adopted the seriously impaired work ethic prevalent in the
country's public services. Government employees in most departments shirk honest
work the same way. By contrast those working in private corporations and
business houses work long hours and must show that their employer is getting his
money's worth and possibly more. Teachers in private schools and
colleges do the same. The private sector pays higher remuneration than does the
public, but then it also expects higher levels of performance.
be several reasons for the shortage of teachers in public schools, especially
the ones that employ men only. In the old days teaching was ranked among the
noblest of professions, and in some places it still is. With the increasing
commercialisation of society and its values, that has ceased to be the case in
Pakistan. In spite of their high ranking, teachers were rather poorly paid in
most societies. That continues to be the case in Pakistan.
graduate teaching in a primary school will make considerably less than his peers
working in a corporation do, and probably less than those employed in a
government agency. Teaching is thus not an attractive career for young men when
they have completed their formal education. For most of them it is the last
resort: they will take a teaching job if they have found nothing better.
Teaching and medicine used to be and may still be the preferred occupations for
well-educated young women. This may not remain the case as jobs in other sectors
(including soldiering) open up for them.
The shortage of teachers is
particularly vexing in the rural areas. Villages and small towns are wanting in
many of the basic amenities of life. A young child may have to walk several
miles to attend a middle school while his parents may have to travel farther to
buy groceries, medicines or visit a clinic, not to speak of a movie house. Folks
living in a village may not have access to wholesome food and even safe drinking
It is then not difficult to understand that a college-educated
young man or woman, with a degree in education, will be reluctant to work in a
village primary school unless it is practical for him or her to live in a larger
town and commute to work every day.
Then what is to be done? There is a
financial aspect to the problem, and then there is the matter of educated young
people's willingness to become teachers. The central and provincial governments
have substantially increased their financial allocations for education. But much
of these increases have gone to the expansion and improvement of institutions of
higher learning. As a result, some of these institutions in the public sector
have more money than they can usefully spend.
in Pakistan will not reach high levels of achievement unless the elementary and
middle schools, where a child's educational foundations are laid, are
streamlined. Their infrastructure - grounds, buildings, classrooms and furniture
- and the adequacy of their teachers leave much to be desired. These
shortcomings need to be rectified. The job will require a larger allocation of
There are young people capable enough to have numerous other
options who prefer to be teachers. But many more of them will need inducements,
the most effective of which relate to pay and social status.
in which members of a profession are held depends on a society's values, which
do not change to order or in a hurry. Functionaries who have it in their power
to allow or deny material benefits to people are usually held in higher esteem
than those who lack it. Primary school teachers do not have this kind of power,
and they do not compare well with those who do even if their pay is about the
same as the teachers' - for instance the local patwari (the lowest rung in the
hierarchy of land revenue assessors and collectors) or a police constable. It is
possible that the teachers' social status will rise if their salaries are
increased in order to give them a middle class standard of living.
we do not know whether the government will treat the matter of the primary
school teachers' social status as worthy of its serious consideration and if it
will do anything to enhance it. -Anwar Syed
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War of words over education department 'closed door' policy
Lahore: The Punjab Higher Education Department's 'closed door' policy has finally
resulted in exchange of heated argument between two senior officers.
department's novel policy which had been a matter of serious concern for
visitors coming from far-flung areas of the province has now also started
affecting working of the department's employees as doors leading to upper hall
which houses almost all the sections are locked during the working
On Friday, Additional Secretary (Establishment) Humayun Maqbool
Bhatti and Under Secretary (General) Maqbool Ahmed Ijaz got involved in a 'war
of words' over locking of the doors as latter wanted smooth access of the
staffers which the senior officer denied.
Sources in the department said
the Additional Secretary (Establishment) who was next to Secretary Higher
Education in terms of administrative powers had ordered locking of the doors as
he was annoyed of frequent visitors seeking transfers/postings. During a visit
to the department on Saturday besides some visitors this correspondent observed
dozens of employees standing outside because of locked doors.
are locked in the morning as soon as all the employees get in", said the
employees who were anxiously awaiting opening of the doors. "I had gone to
deliver Daak (official letters/documents etc) but now cannot go inside," said a
staffer asking not to be named.
"This is badly affecting the overall
working," he said adding, "Earlier only the visitors had to face the problem".
He said no other department had adopted such a policy.
An official said
people had to see senior officers as their problems were not being solved. "Why
anyone will meet the officers if his/her problem is solved", he
Another employee seeking anonymity said the access problem
was only for 'ordinary' people adding, "This is not the case with MPAs or MNAs."
"The common people are asked to visit one-window while those in power are always
welcomed," he added.
He said the department was highly understaffed due
to which people had to face delay and suffer. "Besides a number of section
officers (SOs) the department is still waiting for at least two deputy
secretaries (DSs)", he added.
Secretary Higher Education Ahad Khan
Cheema confirmed locking of the doors. "We want to stop interference of people",
he said adding, "The visits help people to establish relationship with
He said, "We have honest people but some people
do offer when they come to get their problems solved."
Mr Cheema said the
one-window was there to help the people due to which they did not need to see
the officials concerned. When his attention was drawn to frequent complaint
about delays through one-window, he claimed that pendency level was almost zero.
Mr Cheema expressed ignorance over exchange of arguments between two
senior officers. He, however, said some employees were resisting the change. He
also confirmed shortage of staff, saying vacant posts would be filled soon. The news
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Nation to pay homage to Poet of the East
Lahore: The 132nd birthday of national poet Dr Allama Mohammad Iqbal will be
celebrated tomorrow (Monday) in a befitting manner.The government has
declared holiday in schools, colleges and courts. The Jail Road traders will
also observe holiday on the day. The newspapers will bring out special
supplements on the poet and philosopher of the East while radio and TV channels
will also air special programmers on Dr Iqbal.
Various literary, social and
religious organisations will lay floral wreath at the mazar of Allama Iqbal
while special meetings to highlight the life and works of Allama Iqbal will also
be held at different places in the City. PU Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran
will lead a big carawan of students and teachers to Mazar-e-Iqbal to lay floral
wreath. They will assemble at Faisal Auditorium, New Campus, in the morning to
proceed to the mazar.
Later a meeting will be held in which scholars will
throw light on the life and works of Allama Iqbal and also singing of
kalam-e-Iqbal. Iqbal Academy Pakistan will organise an Iqbal Day function at
Iqbal Academy, Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex, at 4 pm. Dr Javed Iqbal will preside over
the function. Dr Israr Ahmad, Prof Fateh Mohammad Malik, Iftikhar Arif, Zaid
Hamid and others will address.
Allama Iqbal Medical College will also
organise a special sitting on Allama Iqbal on November 10 at 10 am. Dr Israr
Ahmad will preside over while Ayaz Amir and Prof Muzaffar Irza will address on
the occasion. Nazria Pakistan Trust in collaboration with Tehrik-e-Pakistan
Workers Trust has launched celebraton of the Iqbal Day week till November 9. The
NPT delegation led by its Chairman Majid Nizami will lay floral wreath at
Mazar-e-Iqbal and offer fateha. Later a meeting will be also held at the
Aiwan-e-Karkunan Tehrik-e-Pakistan. The Iranian Consulate General will also
organise a meeting at Iranian Cultural Centre, Gulberg.
The books on Iqbal will
also be displayed at eh centre. Various schools and colleges will also
organise singing competitions on kalam-e-Iqbal.
In Shehr-e-Iqbal, Kainat
Welfare Foundation will organise a special meeting at SARCO Hotel, Cantt, and
Government Girls Higher Secondary School for Girls. A number of literary
personalities will speak on the occasion while students will sing kalam-e-Iqbal.
People will also visit Iqbal Manzil at Sialkot, the ancestral home of the
national poet. The nation
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PPSC appointed five doctors
Lahore: Dr. Rashid Mahmood, has been appointed as Professor of Paediatrics,
Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan by terminating the contract
appointment of Dr. Mubarik Ali Professor of Paediatrics, SZMC, Rahim Yar Khan.
This appointment shall be conditional to his furnishing surety bond to the
effect that he will serve in Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan for a
minimum period of three years.
Dr. Hina Ayesha has been appointed as Professor
of Paediatrics, Rawalpindi Medical College Rawalpindi against an existing
vacancy. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Khan has been appointed as Professor of Paediatrics,
Post Graduate Medical Institute, Lahore against an existing vacancy. Dr. Aftab
Asif has been appointed as Professor of Psychiatry, Sheikh Zayed Medical
College, Rahim Yar Khan against an existing vacancy.
This appointment shall be
conditional to his furnishing surety bond to the effect that he will serve in
Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Rahimyar Khan for a minimum period of three years.
Dr. Khawar Ali has been appointed as Professor of Anaesthesia, Sheikh Zayed
Medical College Rahim Yar Khan against an existing vacancy. This appointment
shall be conditional to his furnishing surety bond to the effect that he will
serve in Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Rahimyar Khan for a minimum period of
Dr. Muhammad Moin has been appointed as Professor of Opthalmology,
Quaid-e-Azam Medical College Bahawalpur against an existing vacancy. This
appointment shall be conditional to his furnishing surety bond to the effect
that he will serve in Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahwalpur for a minimum
period of three years. F.P Report
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Concern over poor conditions at library
Lahore: We are proud of our glorious past but we
should also look into our present and be more concerned about our future, said
Government College University (GCU) Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid
Addressing a function held at the Punjab Public Library in
connection with the 125th anniversary of the library, he showed his concern over
the dilapidated condition of the Punjab Public Library and disappearance of
precious books from there.
He stressed the need for taking substantial
decisions for its improvement. He said resources and technical assistance were
required for conserving the important books of the library. Dr Khalid
Aftab said he would be very happy if he could do something for the library.
He also remembered the days when he used to come to this library with
his uncle Ashfaq Ahmed, a well-known writer and scholar.
He said books
should not be kept in lockers in the library. He also disapproved lengthy
procedures for issuing books to readers. He said there should be one window
operation at all the libraries for it. He said that universities and
public sector libraries should play role in promoting reading culture in
Pakistan. The news
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Gilgit students walk to Lahore on 'peace mission'
Lahore: Two students from the Karakoram University in Gilgit have reached Lahore
on a peace mission after traveling on foot for 30 days during the first phase of
their trip, a private TV channel reported on Saturday.
According to the channel,
Ejaz Ali Romi and Azghal Ali Romi began their journey for Karachi in October and
reached the Minar-e-Pakistan after 30 days. The students were warmly received by
members of the civil society on their arrival in the provincial capital. They
will leave for Karachi on Monday and conclude their walk at the Quaid's
mausoleum. Daily times
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Three students perish in accident
Jhang: Three high school students were crushed to death after the
motorbike they were driving was hit by a speeding bus near shorkot on Saturday
According to details, Tasawar Hussain, Sadam Hussain and Aamir
Hayat, residents of Chak 496, were on their way to their school, Government High
School, Batianwala, where all three of them were 10th class students, on a
When they reached near the school on the outskirts of
Batianwala, a bus coming from the opposite direction hit the motorcycle.
Resultantly, Tasawar and Saddam died on the spot while Aamar Hayat, who was
seriously injured, breathed his last on his way to a hospital. The dirver and
conductor of the bus escaped from the place of occurrence. Dawn
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