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Integration of Teachers' Perspectives in Policy Development and Implementation

Connecting the dots

Amima Sayeed and Farooq Akbar

Adult Basic Education Society-Teacher Empowerment Centre, Rawalpindi


March 2007

All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher. ABES is a non-profit organization working since 1971 and serving education both formal and non-formal and working for the welfare of the people without any discrimination of race, gender, religion, caste or creed. A publication of the Adult Basic Education Society-Teacher Empowerment Centre (ABES-TEC)

Mailing Address: ABES Teacher Empowerment Centre 128 Saifullah Lodhi Road Rawalpindi Cantt. Pakistan Tel: 92-(0)51-5581303, 5566101 Fax: 92-(0)51-5519220 E-mail: abestecr@apollo.net.pk www.abeste.org www.cef.abestec.org

5. 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5

TEACHERS ASSOCIATION: EVOLUTION AND PRACTICES 58 AND UNDERLYING ISSUES Context of Evolution 58 Mandate and Memberships 59 Legislative Status and Requirements 61 Role of Teacher Unions/Associations: Current Practices and Perceptions 62 Way Forward: Building a Culture of Collaboration 64 67 69 69 70 71 72

REFERENCES APPENDICES Appendix A: District Profiles for Education Services Appendix B: Raising Teachers Salary: Issues of Clarity and Implementation Appendix C: Reported Promises vs. Actual Intentions Appendix D: International Affiliation of Teachers Association

Acronyms
ABES-TEC ADB AEO AEPAM AIOU BPS CBS CBES CEF DCO DEO DFID EDO EFA ESRA FBS GTAB GTZ ICT LC MDG MoE PESRP PITE PMIU PTC SMC TA UFT Adult Basic Education Society Teacher Empowerment Centre Asian Development Bank Assistant Education Officer Academy of Educational Planning and Management Allama Iqbal Open University Basic Pay Scale Community Based Schools Community Based Education Society Commonwealth Education Fund District Coordinating Officer District Education Officer Department for International Development Executive District Officer Education for All Education Sector Reforms Assistance Programme Federal Bureau of Statistics Government Teachers Association of Balochistan German Technical Cooperation Internet Communications Technology Learning Coordinator Millennium Development Goals Ministry of Education Punjab Education Sector Reform Programme Provincial Institute of Teacher Education Project Monitoring and Implementation Unit Primary Teaching Certificate School Management Committee Teachers Association United Teachers Front

Executive Summary Rationale for Research


Improvement of education in Pakistan is realized as one of the key targets across the public and private sectors as well as the Civil Society at large. Since with a low literacy rate of 53%, further characterized by gender and urban-rural disparities (male literacy: 64 %, female literacy 39%; urban literacy: 69.7 %, rural literacy: 41.6%) 1 , Pakistan is far from meeting the policy targets and also international commitments with respect to literacy levels, access to and quality of education. Interestingly, it is not for the lack of interest or initiatives that has resulted in dismal quality of education in Pakistan as improvement in education has remained a key priority since the very inception of Pakistan in 1947. The analysis offered by policy makers for the phenomenal lack of achievement /improvement in the education sector mainly points at resource constraints or disinterest of stakeholders. For instance, the National Plan of Action 2001-2015) identifies following factors for low quality standards: Lack of facilities including buildings, furniture, tats/mats and basic educational supplies like chalk, blackboard Shortage of teachers especially females in rural areas Low salaries, low status of teacher and weak supervision causing absenteeism of teachers Inadequate pre-service and in-service training and lack of dedication and motivation in most teachers especially when they are appointed on political basis Un-attractive school environment resulting in poor retention and high drop out rates Demand side disinterest i.e., lack of understanding amongst parents & children about the benefits of education

(NPA 2003: p 14) Since diagnostic analysis highlights resource deficiency as the main contributing factor, the initiatives aimed at curing the educational system are also designed on the premise that pouring in more resources will improve the education system at large. For each sector, a major part of the budget is allocated for achieving bricks and mortars and physical targets i.e., construction of new schools, residential schemes for teachers and teacher educators, recruitment of additional teachers, training of given number of teachers, etc. Policy recommendations are often made without acknowledging the ground realities and lessons learned from the implementation of previous policies. For instance, the recent educational policy (1998-2010) aims to increase the number of primary schools by 31% given the fact that many government schools remain nonfunctional with deserted buildings. The processes and frameworks for policy development and implementation need to be reconfigured urgently. It is the distance from field realities and practice that results in poor policy and implementation frameworks the extent to which key actors i.e., teachers are involved in policy formulation is clearly reflective of this gulf.

Focus of Research
This research, supported by Commonwealth Education Fund and Adult Basic Education Society, explored the nature of current educational frameworks and their implications for what goes on in the school and the sentiments of key actors: teachers and learners. The focus of the research thus included: Policy provisions and frameworks for teachers with respect to teacher education, school support, engagement in policy making issues, classroom instruction and learning environment The corollary of educational devolution for teachers, their

Government of Pakistan (2004-05)

performance levels and support structures. Also, teachers involvement and level of autonomy enjoyed by school in post devolution scenario Perception of teachers and teaching practices i.e. their understanding of job and role within and outside school and how they meet it. While gender was a key lens to understand teachers perceptions, teachers approach to learners and learning was also kept as a sub-theme in this inquiry. Mapping out the nature of support networks, associations and unions established for and by teachers was another prime focus of this research. This entailed historical and political evolution of teachers union, the extent to which they represent the bulk of teachers especially females, composition of the associations, the key goals, objectives and mandate for their existence.

This study was carried out in eight districts namely Lasbella, Killa Saifullah, Pishin and Quetta from Balochistan; and Chakwal, Jhelu m, Lahore and Rawalpindi in Punjab. Districts Quetta and Lahore were particularly included to understand and assess the coordination mechanisms where district and provincial authorities are situated in close proximity. In-depth interviews with key educational officials, NGO representatives, field visits and discussions with teachers and members of teachers associations, and document analysis were undertaken to explore the wide scope of this research.

Main Research Findings


Devolution of Education
District education system is left at the discretion of management cadre and political leaders whose priorities as districts may not have educational provision and improvement as their key priority. Even if education

becomes a priority, it is very unlikely that the elected representatives will agree with the rationalized and evidence based plans since the voters aspirations are more important considerations. The underlying assumption of district reform system in Pakistan is that Nazim and DCO will have an indepth understanding of all educational imperatives, dynamics and processes to be able to spearhead the district educational development. Considering that both these positions have at 9-15 departments to lead and coordinate such as health, agriculture, etc., there are very slim chances that DCOs and Nazims will deepen their knowledge of education while being on the job. All power for district development concentrated on two individuals. These include Nazim being the district political officer for education, including proposing the education budget to the District (Zila) Council and, appointing the DCO; and District Coordinating Officer (DCO) who is responsible for coordinating district administration; appointing and reviewing performance of District Officers, including Executive District Officer Prevalent mood in post-devolution scenario ranges between bewilderment, indifference, disillusionment and helplessness especially in schools and education departments. Gaps identified and lessons learned over 6 years of implementation are not incorporated thus quality of education management is hardly addressed. Missing links in the policy and conceptual frameworks have led to poor quality of teaching and learning. There is no focus on identifying aim of teacher education, revolutionizing and contextualizing curriculum and orientations for teacher development, institutionalizing a quality assurance mechanism to assess the quality of

graduates as well as their integration in schools, evaluating the application of professional skills acquired through courses, etc. As a result teaching is perceived as a mechanical task.

Teachers and Teaching: Perceptions, Practices, and Problems


The merit of teacher involvement in policy development is reduced because of token participation. Teachers are not given the time to express, reflect and suggest. A range of inhibitions regarding their job, peer pressure, political forces, respecting orders and hierarchies also hamper the responsiveness and participation of teachers in public forums. Ad hocism and tokenism leaves a lot of resentment amongst the teaching community who feels nothing will transform into concrete actions and consequently question the usefulness of participation in such forums. Teaching profession in Pakistan is paradoxical. On the one hand it is considered as the noblest vocation to be associated with while on the other hand, it is the last priority for the meritorious and capable persons. This is not true for rural areas especially with service-based economies where teaching is still a sought after job for its noble contribution and economic returns both. Multitudes of people mortgage their parcels of land or sell cattle to acquire a teaching position in a government school. Pre service teacher education programmes are the first and foremost source of bad quality of teaching in Pakistan. They do not prepare teachers for facilitating young learners while rote learning is the only pedagogical skill used for delivering PTC. In consequence, mass manufacturing of trained teachers exert undue pressure on

the hiring and selection processes. Since everyone has met the prerequisite, all those who apply, qualify for jobs also. Average ratio of applications per seat ratio is almost 1:50, which declassifies the myth that public school teaching is not a popular career option. Prolonged freeze on hirings, random lifts, superimposed structures, time consuming mechanisms, overwhelming laziness, the alliance between bureaucracy and political forces is at the heart of corruption and adhocism in teacher selection processes. It becomes very difficult for teachers to shed the cast of know-it-all expert and step into the learning domain where it is only natural not to know everything and learn even from their students. This is primarily because of conventional practices teachers were viewed as experts and custodians of knowledge diligently filling in the empty vessels called students. More than the content and pedagogical skills, poor teaching practices emerge from a dearth of learning to learn skills including process skills, critical thinking, application, reflection and research. As a result, teachers do not have the capacity to update their knowledgebase nor interest in self-learning. Classroom practices are reflective of behaviourist approach where 95% of time on task is dedicated to rote memorization, loud reading and copying work in note books, the idea being that children will learn better if they see others doing the same. Focus is on instruction and not learning thus students needs and learning preferences are met with a generic sense of ignorance and indifference. Teachers relationship with students is also instruction focused rather than learning oriented. Students are supposed to follow the instructions and perform their duties which have been assigned to them. Also, students

can be assigned any duties from baby sitting teachers toddlers, cleaning school or running errands for school teachers. The focus of supervision system in Pakistan is more on mechanical functioning of school than academic processes and quality standards. Thus, layers of hierarchies are created to regularize school budgeting, infrastructure, teachers and students attendance, enrolments and admissions, disbursing salaries, distributing textbooks and tats community participation. However, the core aim of setting up a school i.e. ensuring active and effective learning processes is not focused upon. The concept of teachers as change agents in the community is almost absent from the discourse of education officials, school heads and teachers. Similarly, the realization that parents and community can act as sources of learning and support in teaching activities is also extinct. At primary level, teachers have extensive workload not only related to their teaching responsibilities but administrative duties also. A primary teacher has to teach from morning till noon with no non-teaching time that could be utilized for planning or assessment. Similarly, one teacher is supposed to have a decent level of conceptual understanding on 5 subjects and appropriate teaching strategies for them. With respect to non-academic responsibilities, teachers are involved in maintaining school records, catering to random information requests from District Officials, organizing school or district events, election duties, collecting information for census, organizing polio/health awareness camps with health department, and similar activities. Salary structures offered for teaching posts are lower as compared to other cadres such as management and administrative within the government education system.

Paradoxically, salary bands do not appear to be very stringent. For example, a rural primary teacher in BPS grade 7 and 3-5 years of experience would be earning between Rs.10, 000 Rs. 12, 000. This is a fair remuneration for a maximum of a five-hour job which is permanent, pensionable and does not require high qualifications. Prestige attached to teaching especially in rural areas gives another advantage. Almost 90% teachers mentioned that they feel the salary issue is hijacked to meet political agendas because they have more important concerns that no one pays any attention to. Representatives of teachers association maintained that if more money is paid to teachers, they will carry out their responsibilities with diligence and dedication. However, they could not explain why teachers in NGOs, community or private schools are more effective despite receiving much lower salaries, temporary jobs, and negligible exposure to professional training. Issues pertaining to reaching schools from distances is the most genuine and widespread problem that inversely affect a teachers motivation. Female teachers in rural areas or those posted in rural areas are the most disadvantaged. The condition of public transport system in terms of reliability and security is pitiable thus reaching schools located in inaccessible, far flung areas is no mean feat. Transfers and postings are a major source of disgruntlement and disillusionment of teachers. Without rationalized planning and use of information, decisions pertaining to transfers/postings are generally taken which result in overstaffing or understaffing in schools.

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Teachers Associations, their Legitimacy and Representativeness


In the public schools, more than one teachers associations exist because of geographical, religious and ethnic reasons. Although associations for every province are different in constitution and composition, they have created a collective identity also. This is known as Muttahida Teachers Mahaz or United Front for Teachers and Balochistan leads the activities of UFT with provincial participation and consent. Teachers Associations of all sorts have an extremely organized management outfit with regular elections; provincial, district, tehsil, zonal committees, by-laws, mandates, etc. This reflects that teachers who are otherwise considered as incapable of sophisticated management and administration in schools can organize themselves in assertive groups provided it serves their own needs first. Female representation is different for Punjab and Balochistan. While female members are present in Punjab also, Government Teachers Association Balochistan specifies female representation in executive committees also. It is rare for members of teacher associations to come to school and teach like other teachers. The organization mandate is regularly violated in this way. Most teachers vocally opposed the idea of teachers associations and refused to be associated with them. However, they admitted giving monthly and elections funds because they dont want to be bugged by Association representatives. Very negative perceptions and experiences exist about why and how teachers associations determine their priorities. While officials and teachers in Punjab and Balochistan

both have similar experiences, the degree of hooliganism in Balochistan is very high. Senior educationists and NGO representatives maintained that teachers associations are parasitic in nature where education departments own complacency and weak transparency act as the host/food for them. One aspect for which teachers associations are lauded is the updation of service books and pushing for promotion cases. It is widely accepted within and outside education departments that without the pressure exerted by TAs, most education officials will not pay any heed to service book entries and promotion lists.

Research Based Recommendations


Recommendations for Policy Changes and Improvements
To begin with, a comprehensive mapping of all policy research or evaluation especially in the context of devolution needs to be done immediately. Several in-depth qualitative and quantitative studies were discovered while carrying out the document analysis for this research study. Most of them present a crisp view of devolution system, policy provisions along with recommendations. It is however peculiar to note that none of the gaps identified in the early stages of devolution are filled to date. In fact, the gulf between different stakeholders as well as disinterest has widened significantly as the initial excitement and thrust faded away over seven years. Functioning of district, provincial and even federal education departments/ministries is heavily

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influenced by resource projection, allocation, procurement and disbursement. However, decisions pertaining to these functions are not taken on the basis of systematic information and analysis. Top-down and compliance approach is so prevalent that irrespective of which level they are working at, education department officials invariably talk about coordination and fulfilling requirements of higher officials as their key role, or where maximum amount of time and energies are concentrated. Those concerned with school level management, i.e. Head Teachers and SMC members, describe meetings, keeping audit records and deciding about school expenditures as their day job. Annual development plan, monitoring of education development, preparation of education budget and expenditure processes are essential functions for districts and its various sub administrative units including schools. What is integral to the success of educational devolution and school based management, are the focus and basis of planning. Currently, educational planning across the public sector is ONLY concerned with numbers and quantitative targets. It is not to establish that the existing dimensions of planning are not significant, however, the scope of planning is invariably limited when the sole focus is on them. For instance, planning for increased educational access will not be substantial if it is solely based on gross and net intake ratios or gender disaggregated figures for new entrants are taken into account. Other important factors like quality of environment, support to teachers, schools academic programme, expectations and demands of parents, educational needs of the area/community are not taken into account.

The epidemic of transfers and postings of DCOs and EDOs have disabled district governments from playing an active and healthy role for educational improvement. While increase in teachers attendance is reported in some areas due to political leaders frequent visits to schools, all the major learning dynamics remain unaffected. Sloganism and politicization needs to be reduced significantly for three main reasons. First, it provides a perfect excuse to the under performers and inefficient education department officials as they associate every failure to political interference. Second, stability of educational planning and processes in the district is at great risk with a direct impact on school functioning. Third, the level of seriousness and commitment is vanishing fast with the extensive use of rhetoric with little support. For instance, almost 95% district officials said they have no hope from the reforms and solutions offered. One DEO qualified it further saying, Pirha Likha Punjab will become a reality we will see it but only in docu ments and I will be the one giving data for those reports. If they are not interested in listening to the truth, we will eventually stop telling it! Most crucially, the way public education system is structured and functioning needs to be redesigned. There is immense evidence of how the current thrust and strategies of the education system has failed to ensure even the basic prerequisites for learning to take place within school settings. The wisdom of ONLY investing the operational side needs to be questioned when the whole operation is neither meeting its immediate targets nor aligned with the vision for education cited in numerous policies. At the risk of being labeled as rebellious, radicals, anti- education or impractical, it is important to honestly consider and respond to questions like:

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1. How savvy it is to open more schools, conduct more trainings, provide more resources, more infrastructure, more partnerships and participation for provision of resources when there is an overwhelming evidence that none of it works in isolation? How long will the educational planners, policy makers, evaluators and educators only identify with those strategies and indicators of progress and achievement that require more or new resources and infrastructural support? The experiences of 59 years of education in Pakistan, 500 years of subcontinent history, and thousands of years that the world has demonstrated that any resource will be inadequate with flawed understanding of learning concepts and creative application. 2. Why is the public education system solely and obsessively focusing on the DELIVERY and SUPPLY mode of functioning? This merits serious consideration especially when the public sector is losing (if not lost completely) parents and students to other players in the private sector, community, NGO and Civil Society at large. Appropriating and aligning the focus of the public system is imperative for safeguarding the interest of people and children. This could entail more emphasis on facilitation, advisory services, research, and

regulation for all the subsectors and players. Several attempts have and are being made to clarify the roles and responsibilities of various levels across levels including P TSMCs/PTAs/SMCs, Nazimeens, DCOs, EDOs, DEOs, AEOS, ministries and PMIUs, Parents, Teachers, etc. Despite the wide array of training programmes and guides to clarify the confusions (in various languages), no discernable difference can be seen. In fact it will not be wrong to say that the prevalent mood, ranges between bewilderment, indifference, disillusionment and helplessness especially in schools and education departments. This trend indicates that more than the tools, what is immediately required is to revisit the kind of roles chalked out for different players. It is equally important for architects of educational devolution, programme developers and implementers to go back to the drawing board to incorporate the lessons learned over 6 years of implementation and fill in the gaps that were identified even in the initial diagnosis. Over the years, intensive investments are made on ministry officials by ensuring their participation in educational planning courses and degrees all over the world. However, professional qualifications are not put to practice partly because of the way the education system is designed and partly because of no obligation towards them. A massive shift in the focus of the education system will ensure that available capacities are put to an active use. Qualified officers in the education department should play a vital role in overcoming the design flaws of the devolution system.

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Recommendations for Improving Teaching and Learning


Shifting blames to explain the dwindling respect of teachers in society is an exercise in futility. Similarly the reductionist discourse of teachers as victims and education system as perpetrator or vice versa is equally misinformed and counter productive. An honest critique and reflection on changing priorities of teachers and society is required for schools to become learning spaces. Generally speaking, the way teaching happens today has nothing noble to it. It could be a humbling exercise for teachers and all those associated with education if they were to identify their self-learning interests, the personal sense of meaning and relevance associated to what they teach, the kind of bonding they share with learners. Majority of teachers interviewed for this research and elsewhere spend minimal time on their own learning through any means. The same applies to education administrators, policy makers and planners. At best, tools and skills are adopted without much understanding and application. This trend underscores the theoretical underpinning on which the whole system is based. Despite open rejection, the education system is based on behaviourist and racist approach to learning. Anyone lower on hierarchy or social order is considered to be void of any sense and ability hence not allowed to contribute. This is witnessed everywhere - in classrooms where learners need to be filled in with knowledge, in education departments where schools/teachers are not trusted to act responsibly and also in think tanks where prescriptions are prepared for schools and the education sector. Therefore, what becomes an essential first step is to deepen the understanding of learning, education, facilitating and

debilitating factors affecting the process of education and learning. Roles of all players need to be redefined accordingly so there is no mismatch between targets and strategies for education. Since the core focus in the school is on syllabus completion and securing good grades, students experience of skills, attitudinal and moral development is equally hollow and deficient. Consequently, the dropout ratio rises after every few months despite incentivizing education through textbooks, free meals, etc. Paying attention to students perspectives is imperative, which can clarify the myths of schooling, teaching and learning. Children of all ages are intelligent enough to figure out that things which are shoved down in schools are neither interesting nor relevant for them. Also, information explosion has opened new vistas for them to engage in. For teachers to gain students interest and respect, they will have to look into creative and engaging processes of colearning. Project approach, active learning, exploratory activities are few ways through which students can take charge of their own learning with the facilitation of teachers. The fallout of institutional weaknesses crippling the public and even private sector services is immense for learning processes and outcomes. Despite the claims of providing good quality education and high scores in national examinations, falling trends are in three key aspects of students achievements: intellectual competence and skills, attitude and critical thinking, and moral values and consciousness. Research evidence suggests that only 18% of those who complete the primary cycle are numerate and 7% are literate to an expected level of competency. Moreover, 70% of primary and secondary school going students are unable to perform tasks requiring critical thinking and analytical skills as the focus of schools is on rote memorization (Parvez 1995, UNICEF 2003, SPDC, 2004). A drastic change in what and

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how of teaching has to be brought about. Breaking out of unimaginative and factory mode of teacher development takes the central position in educational reform. The aims and curriculum of teacher education needs to be in tune with developments in the academic/research domains as well as learners demands. Alongside the processes where teacher education need to be reconfigured, rote memorization/learning should be reduced if not eradicated completely. Focus on process skills, facilitation, children development and collaborative learning should be increased. Equally, a change is needed in the assessment of teacher education. Though Higher Education Commission does not provide a perfect example, it is important to move towards accreditation of institutions also in the public and private sectors. In Teacher Education Colleges of England, Sri Lanka, America, a mandatory element of certification is to have demonstrated teaching competence in real classrooms for 6 months or more. Supervision of novice and studentteachers are done by the faculty. A similar approach is needed in Pakistan to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Getting teachers with qualifications higher than Matric or PTC will not help, as done in case of Educators/Contract teachers, unless the very process is improved. Depoliticization of education is another crucial measure. This does not refer to a dictatorial and prescriptive approach to education where no one has the right to participate and speak. However, educational processes need to be disinfected from the political influences at any level. This is a tough call and may not be achievable in the short term. The first step needs to be taken and that would begin from dismantling the existing education set-up and reconfiguring it on the basis of clear criteria and indicators. A related strategy would be to revisit the work portfolio of teachers and restrict it essentially to teaching and learning

processes. The much acclaimed Subedars who a senior official called the best and honest HR available in Pakistan should be utilized for election duties. This will be a more effective and sustainable strategy for utilizing teachers as well as Subedars.

Recommendations for Teachers Networks


Conspicuous by its absence is the discourse on learners and learning. It reflects the flawed approach where demand for rights is not equaled by the fulfillment of responsibilities. Any network or association needs to keep learning as the central focus. This will invariably lead to more contentment amongst teachers and creativity in classrooms. Community of Practice is a common and growing phenomenon in various countries and also initiated in Pakistan. The concept of a community of practice (often abbreviated as CoP) refers to the process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate over an extended period to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations. 2 For resolving the pedagogical as well as administrative issues, developing Communities of Practice could be a viable solution. In this way teachers at school, cluster, tehsil, district and above levels will be able to unite and sort out their own problems. As manifested in other countries, strong CoP repels favoritism and complacency because it is not hierarchical in nature. The merit and worth is determined by the nature of contribution and actions. While promoting local dialogues and knowledge is absolutely essential, it does not have to create a xenophobia amongst teachers or their spokespersons. Curbing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_practice

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mistrust and cynicism is only possible when ideas are shared openly. Alongside, understanding and patience towards constructive feedback is equally important. At present, the us versus them feeling is prevalent in education departments as well as teachers association members. This tussle undermines the importance and centrality of teachers issues. The level of scepticism about any possible improvement in teachers association is extremely high. There have been suggestions made that teaching should be declared as an

essential service which in turn would make any associations or unions unconstitutional. Thus, rooting out the menace completely. It is of little merit to comment on the perceptions because they are based on individuals experiences and observations. The reason for highlighting it is that a nave approach to teachers networks and coalitions should not be adopted. Taking account of existing perceptions and then planning for reforms will lead to greater effectiveness of the initiatives.

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1.

Overview and Context of the Research Study

1.1 Rationale and Need for Inquiry


The purpose of commissioning this research was to explore issues faced by teachers and their role in policy making especially at primary level. Anyone remotely informed about the educational discourses in Pakistan would automatically question the relevance, need and utility of this truest approach to research. Given the plethora of research studies, policy documents, public debates, technical and diagnostic analysis of the education system, the question is hardly surprising. Therefore, we deem it essential to explain the uniqueness, nature and utility of this research study, which is commissioned by the Adult Basic Education Society - Teacher Empowerment Centre (ABES-TEC) through the support of the Commonwealth Education Fund for Pakistan. First and foremost, the majority of research studies and diagnostic analysis recently conducted in public, private or NGO sector focus on teachers issues from one aspect or another while not taking account of causal relations. For instance, teachers professional development, role as change agents in communities or their economic and social status are some of the frequent and abundant research foci. More often than not, teaching practices and teachers issues are highlighted on behalf of teachers by institutions working closely with teachers or the education department on various platforms. Direct voices of teachers, if not completely absent, get very limited space in such educational fora and policy debates. On the other hand, academia including universities and teacher education institutions, invariably jargonize or theorize the very pragmatic and real issues in their pursuit of knowledge and truth. While such academic research may still hold relevance for the public sector, its utility for developing evidence-based programmes and bringing about policy reforms cannot be strongly established in Pakistan. The aim of ABES-CEF led project is to bring teachers viewpoint in policy development for Quality Education for All. In case of teachers, possible strategy charted out, was strengthening of teachers networks through which dialogue and interaction between teachers and policy makers is held at various forums. However, pivotal for operationalizing this strategy and gauging its merit and sustainability value was to see the existing context in which teachers function, as well as the historical background and policy parameters of teachers networks.

1.2 Research Focus


As indicated above, the scope of research inquiry cuts across policy development, educational administration at various levels, school management structures and processes, school culture and classroom environment. More specifically, this includes the following areas: Policy provisions and frameworks for teachers with respect to teacher education, school support, engagement in policy making issues, classroom instruction and learning environment The corollary of educational devolution for teachers, their performance levels and support structures. Also, teachers involvement and level of autonomy enjoyed by school in post devolution scenario

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Perception of teachers and teaching practices i.e. their understanding of job and role within and outside school and how they meet it. While gender was a key lens to understand teachers perceptions, teachers approach to learners and learning was also kept as a sub-theme in this inquiry. Mapping out the nature of support networks, associations and unions established for and by teachers was another prime focus of this research. This entailed historical and political evolution of teachers union, the extent to which they represent the bulk of teachers especially females, composition of the associations, the key goals, objectives and mandate for their existence.

Due to the interconnectedness between each strand of inquiry, efforts were directed towards understanding the context and issues deeply and comprehensively. Discussion on analytical framework and methodology will expand on how the study has quarantined the tendency to do symptomatic and superficial assessment. However, it is important to note that ensuing discussions will have overlaps and causal connections drawn between all foci of inquiry.

1.3 Document Map


The report is organized according to key research foci, and every chapter is concluded with recommendations and suggestions for setting the direction clearly and reconfiguring the systems. Before proceeding to that discussion, conceptual framework is presented in Chapter 2. This section shares the details of research design and how it was carried out. Chapter 3 illustrates where and how teachers feature in the policy making circuit. Moreover, the implementation or lack of it is also elaborated while highlighting its implications for teaching and learning. In the same context, educational devolution and current practices of district education management is shared. Exploring the identity of public school primary teachers, Chapter 4 discusses the social, cultural, educational and economic factors that contribute to teachers lives. Moreover, the system of professional development for novice and in-service teachers is analyzed. It also elaborates on how these identities come into play in school settings. The ensuing discussion on roles and responsibilities of teachers is done keeping in view the principles of quality learning and the kind of institutional support available for carrying out those responsibilities. The last Chapter i.e., Chapter 5 is devoted to Teachers Associations their emergence, factors contributing to their existing roles and practices, constitution, representativeness, and other key aspects.

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2.

Research Methodology and Implementation

2.1 Conceptual Framework


Teaching and learning are multi-dimensional processes, which are greatly influenced by what goes on in a school and the broader system of which the school is part of. Furthermore, the cultural, social and economic contexts also play a significant role in shaping the values, perceptions and attitude of teachers and learners alike. Before delving into the practices, policies, problems and potential of the teaching force in Pakistan, the conceptual basis for analysis and recommendations is discussed here. At school level, several factors combine to impact the effectiveness of teaching and learning processes. As depicted in figure 2.1, enabling conditions for effective teaching learning are created by a meaningful interaction between leadership, management structures and the school climate (Govinda, 2004; Williams, 2001; Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991). Proactiveness and vision of the head teacher is the distinguishing feature between successful and unsuccessful schools, it is also true that dynamic policies; spaces for and motivation of teaching staff to reflect, inquire and improve; parental interest and support; innovative and well organized curriculum; resource availability and their thoughtful utilization are the essence of enabling conditions in the school (Williams, 2001; Craig 1995).

Supporting Inputs THE SCHOOL

Childrens Characteristics

Enabling conditions
Management &
Organization

School Climate

Teaching & Learning Processes

Student Outcomes
Figure 2.1.1: Interplay of key factors for School Quality. Source: Adapted from Craig 1995, cited in Williams 2003.

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Externalities to school also come into play with respect to teaching and learning processes and outcomes. These include, but are not limited to, parental and communitys attitude to education, policy priorities and actions for effective educational systems and vision for education, conduciveness of systems and mechanisms for responding to curricular demands, operational support needed for effective learning transaction in schools, and level of adaptability and responsiveness to local and global needs. Amongst the most critical factors are the life experiences and approach of children and teachers. The notions about self, why they are in the school, family background and values, perceptions and aspirations for future influence and shape everything that goes on in the school, and most importantly, the learning process and outcomes for students as well as teachers3 . In the context of Pakistan a comprehensive account of all factors contributing to effectiveness of learning process is essential, even an urgent requirement for any analysis and policy study, mainly due to the fragmented approach to educational reforms and a deficit model for education provision. The massive inputs made in teachers training and textbook distribution clearly illustrate the urgency and inadequacy of such isolated and spurts of support. For example, 99.1% of public school teachers are trained in content and pedagogy (AEPAM 2003-04) 4 while Provincial Institutes of Teacher Education, teacher education colleges, education departments through intermediary organizations and donor-initiatives cater to the in-service training needs on a continuous basis. To name a few, ESRA Initiatives in 12 districts have taken 16,423 teachers through different professional development trainings, PITE Quetta until 2002 graduated 150 teachers every year through Certificate and Diploma in Education, Professional Development Centre in Chitral trains 300 teachers every year and AIOU is setting new records for churning out BEd and MEd graduates. In Punjab alone, free text books have been distributed to approximately 9 million children since 2004 (World Bank, 2006) while Sindh has allocated another Rs. 23million for text provision in addition to the already distributed 16,981,519 books to 3,383,229 students from 1st to 5 th class in August 2006; 5,258,548 books to 5,53,646 students from 6th to 8 th class and 20,29,573 books to 2,69,138 students from 9th to 10 th class free of cost in all the government schools5 . However, these current and previous investments on one aspect of education accounts for very little when teaching and learning practices, students attainment level, or parents satisfaction is studied closely across the public schools. The maximum impact such initiatives have had is a temporary rise in enrolment rates which is cancelled out by gradual dropouts and high repetition rates. To avoid falling prey to the fragmented logic prevalent in the education sector in Pakistan since 1952, this research adopts a systemic approach to exploring teachers issues and their active involvement in programme and policy development. As illustrated in figure 2.1.2, we explore the problems and issues of teachers in the light of fundamentals of educational system i.e., educational vision, research base for policies and review. Moreover, the dynamic aspects which influence the practices and quality of implementation at various levels are also considered as key reference points. Adopting a systemic approach would also allow us to investigate the complex issues of teachers roles, networks and possibilities of policy
3

For many readers, association of learning outcomes with teachers may appear surprising. However, our direct work with teachers and numerous research studies have led us to the conclusion that teachers interest in self-inquiry and learning had more profound effect on their approach to teaching and relationship with learners than professional skills and content knowledge (Sayeed, 2005; Bano, 2005). When teachers value experiential learning and exploration, they tend to provide their students similar spaces for building creative and critical thinking faculties. Furthermore, perils of life-long learning and inquiry nurtures humility and acceptance in teachers that they are neither the best nor the only source of knowledge for their students. 4 Available at: http//: www.aepam.gov.pk/edustat.htm 5 Statement given to provincial assembly by the Minister of Education, Hameeda Khuhru appeared in The News, November 18th, 2006 issue.

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engagement in a cohesive and systematic manner. Ensuing discussion in this report will be organized according to the key domains identified in Figure 2.1.2.
Vision Institutional Capacity Building Parental Involvement Student Learning Outcome/Asses sment School Management &Leadership

Teacher Professional Development

Research & Evaluation

Improving Quality of Education

Community Participation

Policy

School Supervision and Monitoring

Communities of Practice and Networks

Curriculum & Pedagogical Strategies Information Technologies

Practice

Figure 2.1.2: Systemic Approach to Educational Improvement. Source: Rizvi, 2003

2.2 Methodological Framework


The scope of study and conceptual framework determined the methodological framework, which is embedded in the qualitative paradigm of research. The following sections will provide details on the sampling, data collection and source of information.

2.2.1 Sampling Approach and Details


For this study, purposive and maximum variation approaches to sampling were adopted to ensure that (a) perspectives of key players and institutions are covered comprehensively at all levels; and (b) nuances and diversity in contexts and contributing factors is captured. Taking account of multiple perspectives not only displayed the complexities surrounding the research focus but also facilitated in highlighting the existing possibilities that could respond to teachers issues and improve learning conditions. Aligned with the overall ABES-CEF project, the geographic scope of the study covered the rural and urban areas of the Punjab and Balochistan provinces. For each province, four districts were selected while ensuring that they were demonstrative of the diversity and typicality of the province. Owing to the qualitative nature of the study and time constraints, the number of districts could not be increased to more than four. Some of the key criteria used to select districts included:

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Size of the district in terms of the number of administrative units for primary education (schools, talukas, tehsils), its geographic spread and number of primary teachers. Large and small districts were selected for each province with a variation in rural and urban administrative scope. Budget allocation and resource availability for primary education to capture the existing variations and disparities and their impact on school environment and overall functioning of educational system. Selected districts fall on a continuum of financial resources ranging from sparsely to handsomely allocated budgets. Though not in depth, attempts to see causal connections between resource provision and effectiveness of educational delivery are made in the report. Multiplicity of players and interventions for teacher development and/or school improvement to analyze if the nature of teachers issues and extent to which they are heard varies accordingly. This criterion was helpful in exploring the significance of active communities, local and international NGOs in the education sector for the status and role of teachers. Possibilities for follow-up and support in reconfiguration of district with respect to primary education and teachers networks became an important criterion as the very purpose of commissioning this research was to build the project in the light of key findings and recommendations. Hence, in short-listing and final selection of districts, the possibilities and readiness level for implementation were also considered. As expected, more than four districts met the criteria specified above. While also considering aspects relating to accessibility to information, districts selected for this study are Lasbella, Killa Saifullah, Pishin and Quetta from Balochistan; and Chakwal, Jhelum, Lahore and Rawalpindi in Punjab. Districts Quetta and Lahore were particularly included to understand and assess the coordination mechanisms where district and provincial authorities are situated in close proximity. (See Appendix A for district profiles). Primary sources of information included those working in public schools i.e. teachers and head teachers, those working for the schools i.e. education department machinery including District Coordinating Officer (DCO), Executive District Officer (EDO) for Education and Literacy, Planning, Finance, etc; District Officers (DO) Elementary and Primary, District Education Officers, Deputy District Officers, Assistant Education Officers, Master Trainers; those working on educational improvement i.e. representatives from NGOs, Veterans educationists having credibility and influence on educational reforms; and those working on policies and progra mmes i.e. former and current Educational Advisors, director general for planning, curriculum advisors and designers at federal level and directors and assistant directors at provincial level from education, finance and staff development departments. Furthermore, perspectives of those working exclusively for teachers were also included in the study i.e., representatives of various Teacher Unions/Associations across provinces. Within this domain, members holding key profiles at district and province level as well as those working as members or mobilizers were approached for information. Explaining the rationale for including teachers as key respondents would be stating the obvious as this study is aimed at exploring their issues and possibilities of them taking an active role in educational planning. In the sample size of over 150 teachers, it was ensured that a fair representation was done with respect to gender, service years and experiences, and their professional credentials i.e. qualifications, role and responsibilities in school/education department. Inclusion of other categories of respondents for the study was directly influenced by the focus of research and conceptual framework where a variety of factors concerning teachers roles, responsibilities and problems are considered. However, it is important to mention here that the number and representation of district officials varies across districts to a great extent. For instance, in the case of Balochistan, the sample comprised EDOs from all

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four districts however, in Punjab, only two EDOs were accessible. In such instances, it was ensured that gaps are filled in through other respondents or secondary information sources. Students views about the teachers and schools could not be obtained in depth across the eight districts. As discussed in section 2.3, possibilities of interacting with children individually or in small groups in public schools are almost extinct. Both children and staff are unacquainted with the idea of separate discussions therefore quality as well as quantity of information shared is compromised. While only 10 children shared their perspectives mainly in Quetta, Lasbella and Rawalpindi districts, views of students gathered in other engagement of ABES and the consultants has been used for this study also. Students experiences shared in this study are from both government and private schools from provinces other than those covered in the study as well.

2.2.2 Methods for Data Collection


Tools and methods for data collection used in this study are purely qualitative in nature. For teachers, focus groups were conducted of 40-50 minutes duration at an average. During the school visits, school in-charge or head teachers were requested for an interaction with primary and elementary school teachers about their issues, concerns and views about education in general. Not unheard in public schools especially located in rural areas, the request was met by an assembly of all teachers in the school. Usually, heads participating in the discussion as well as AEOs or DEOs, echoed and elaborated on the concerns of teachers. Initially some teachers shied away from a candid expression however, after re-explaining the purpose and gathering courage from their colleagues openness, they gradually took an active part in the discussion. In case of district officials, in-depth interviews were possible which were guided by the core areas of inquiry. A lot of information and insights were shared informally while they were accompanying the researchers to various schools and department offices. Discussions over dinner and casual chats proved to be the most open forum for information exchange. Open ended and structured interviews were also conducted with NGO representatives and educationists as well as provincial members of teachers associations. Though few in number, interactions with children were also informal that took place during their recess time or after school. Document analysis was carried out for collecting information from secondary sources as well as chronological tracking of policies for teachers and evolution of teachers associations. Moreover, early and mid term analysis of fiscal and educational devolution and related ordinances carried out by independent organizations and those in collaboration with the government are also referred to. Screening of print and electronic media was also done for collecting information on new policy declarations and progress reports. Two problems were continuously encountered during data collection and field visits. First, accessibility of district functionaries especially DCOs, EDOs, and also Nazims, posed a huge challenge for scheduling data collection in the absence of functional communication channels. In various instances, phones, faxes and emails were dysfunctional while mobile coverage was not available. Compounding this problem were urgent and unscheduled meetings to which EDOs or DCOs were summoned at short notices. Secondly, the environment of district officials were barely conducive for focused interaction with hoards of people filing or barging in the room with their applications/cases to be catered to. The heavy traffic in the offices also kept the officials away from airing their views and perspectives candidly. In order to ensure the quality and depth of information shared, the meetings were rescheduled several times with implications for timely completion of activities. In one district, the EDO came an

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hour early before the office time and requested his staff to lock the room from outside to give undivided time for the interview. While such situations delayed the course of data collection, it also reflects at the conduciveness of the education department for any serious academic and planning work that form the core responsibilities of senior positions like the EDO. Strategies used for data analysis were also aligned with the qualitative nature of the research. Mapping and case studies were done to organize raw under various themes and see causal links. While some categories were defined by the research focus, others emerged during data analysis process.

2.3 Ethical Considerations


This study was designed and carried out keeping in view the ethical demands of qualitative research. At the onset, the purpose of research was explained while seeking the consent of respondents to participate in the study. While two conditions are explained in greater detail in the following sections, the researchers were in a dilemma as far as the condition of reciprocity was concerned. Two ministry officials wished to see the draft report and were duly sent a copy; however, numerous respondents asked about the utility of the research and its direct benefit for their respective districts. While efforts were made to explain how the research findings and recommendations will feed into a project on strengthening teachers networks, respondents did not always feel satisfied especially where suggestions for reviewing salary scales, effective functioning of the education department and changes in devolved setups were made.

2.3.1 Confidentiality
Complete confidentiality was assured to the respondents at the beginning of any focus group or individual meeting with respect to their identities and educational uses of data. However, after the very first field visit, a feeling of discomfort amongst the respondents could be sensed. In some cases, respondents explicitly asked the research team to put away all tools for recording information or specified off-the-record portions of their talk. Therefore, there was no use of tape recorders for data recording while notes were also taken only when the respondents were comfortable. Moreover, throughout the report, when evidence is directly quoted from interviews, only profession/designations are mentioned along with the province. Names of districts are not specified as it would not be very difficult to identify the respondents given the physical coverage as well as the nature of jobs. Although one essential requirement of this report was to have a complete list of respondents with contact details, however, this will not be published respecting the confidentiality demands of the respondents.

2.3.2 Issues of Representation and Validity6


For this research, validity is ensured through consistency and coherence between different data sets/information sources, the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, expression of views and sharing of lessons through different methods. The narratives provided by different
6

The issues of validity and representation are seen differently in qualitative research, with greater acknowledgement of diversity than resting on conventional measures of validity such as statistical tests to prove or disprove hypothesis or assess the significance or extent to which an experience can be generalized. In qualitative approaches, validity is ensured by presenting solid descriptive data or thick description (Geertz, 1973) and sharing the basis for making causal connections. Moreover, the maximum variation sampling approach helps in generating information on success, failures, processes, perceptions and experiences that are unique, information rich and insightful in one way or another (Davies and Dart, 2005; 67).

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respondents are based on their own experiences, observations and perceptions which thus cannot be labeled objective. However, they are not only instructive with respect to the possibilities but also indicate strong trends and patterns vis--vis prevalent practices and notions in the education sector. Consequently, the findings, ensuring discussions, analysis and recommendations are in no way generic or representative of the entire province. Any such claim will be an exercise in futility, as four districts for each province do not account to even 1% representation. Having said that, thick narratives, trends and patterns are strong enough to suggest what is working and not working and ultimately a solid base for moving towards success and away from failure.

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3.

Discourses in Education: Place and Space for Teachers

3.1 National and Provincial Nexus


3.1.1 Provisions for Teachers
Similar to the need for quality education for all, significance of teachers and their vital role in building the nation is widely and consistently acknowledged in all policies and national commissions on education. For instance, the very first conference on Education witnessed Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah endorsing and emphasizing that the future of our State will and must greatly depend upon the type of education we give to our children, and the way in which we bring them up as future citizens of Pakistan(Proceedings of the Pakistan Educational Conference, 1947, p.5). This was translated into policy directive when the first commission on education presented its recommendation in 1959, what is also considered to be the first education policy. The commission concluded that: no system of education is better than its teachersnone of the reforms we are proposing will succeed unless we are able to recruit to the teaching profession[teachers] should have a high sense of vocation, a sense of service to the nation, a willingness to help in constructive work, a determination to find substance for teaching in the conditions and materials around them without waiting for imported aids and apparatus, and a developed sense of professional ethics and honoura resourceful teacher will turn to whatever is available locally for his teaching aids( Commission on National Education in 1959.p.265). The recognition and policy pronouncements regarding the criticality of quality teaching, teachers equipped with cutting-edge pedagogical skills and rich content knowledge, and an empowered position in the educational processes has only increased since 1959. The most recent education policy, National Plan of Action and Education Sector Reform reiterate that teachers form the backbone of the educational system hence, a major policy priority. The following excerpt from the NEP, 1998-2010 illustrates not only the importance given to teachers but also a need for a comprehensive approach to teachers development and issues: Teacher is considered the most crucial factor in implementing all educational reforms at the grass-root level. It is a fact that the academic qualifications, knowledge of subject matter, co mpetency and skills of teaching and the commitment of teachers have effective impact on teaching learningteacher education system has quantitatively expanded to keep a reasonable equilibrium in the demand and supply situation. On the contrary, the qualitative dimension of teacher education programmes has received only marginal attention resulting in mass production of teachers with shallow understanding of both the content and methodology of educationThe existing teacher education programme is considered not being adequately responsive to the demands for quality education in the school systemThe training program mes have an imbalance among the course pertaining to academic knowledge of the subject content of school curriculum, teaching

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methods, teaching practices and curricular activitiesTeacher training is carried out without a viable policy and planning framework resulting in imbalances between the demands and supply situation The teacher educators are not provided with necessary support services in-service training programmes for teacher educators are almost non-existent (pp.49-50). Some of the priorities articulated in policies are translated into tangible, though limited, actions such as the state provides permanent and pensionable positions for teachers, teachers salary, and also professional development. However, the existing scenario in public schools signifies that even consistency and explicit statement of policy priorities have little impact on the nature and quality of implementation. This lack of implementation can be attributed to more than one factor. To begin with, the strategies chalked out for implementing policy directives are at best fragmented. For instance, providing pre-service and in-service teachers training, almost 227 government and 48 private teacher education institutes were established, many inclusive of residential facilities especially for female teachers. This is exclusive of trainings conducted under long and short-term development projects and the resource centres established for accessible mentoring support. As a result, more than 99% of teachers are trained in the public sector without any discernable effect on the quality of teaching and learning. Another impeding factor is the allocation of funds and its channeling across various levels i.e. from federal to provincial to district and vice versa. A detailed review of post-devolution fiscal transfers and budgeting is presented in section 3.2.2. The following graph illustrates the policy priorities through fiscal allocation where only 1.41 is allocated for teacher education.

Source: National Education Policy, Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan (p.133)

While policies are reduced to political speeches and slogans in different policy documents, little attention is paid to defining the aims of teacher education, revolutionizing and contextualizing curriculum and orientations for teacher development, institutionalizing a quality assurance mechanism to assess the quality of graduates as well as their integration in schools, evaluating the application of professional skills acquired through courses, etc. Most importantly, the dynamism and simultaneity of educational processes is not supported by an equally dynamic and multi-dimensional framework for monitoring and evaluation. In fact, not only the current frameworks are corroded by corruption but are also sporadically implemented which has severely impacted the quality of curriculum transaction and school environment in general. In effect, the credibility of the education system is damaged equally

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amongst the beneficiaries and stakeholders like children, parents, market, national and international institutions. The comprehensive approach to teaching underscored in the 1959 commission has been greatly compromised as policy implementation strategies are limited to hiring of more teachers, providing more training on content, IT, pedagogy; and more buildings as teachers resource centres that eventually close down because financial feasibility was not considered.

3.1.2 Teachers Involvement in Programme and Policy Development


Examples from the Asian Region such as Srilanka (Parera, 2001), State of Kerala, India (Muttohil, 2003), Malaysia (MoE, Malaysia,2004), or even more advanced state education systems like in United Kingdom (McIntyre & Hagger, 2000) and USA establish that effective policies and functional systems have one common element i.e. they take account of experiences and insights generated through implementation. In various countries, evidence based planning has only been made possible through strong feedback systems that include teachers, students and parents voices and concerns. As MacBeath (2004) points out: Any such template conceived at the centre and delivered by stages to the periphery is a degenerating process. It dissipates energy and compromises ownership at each successive stage. It does not address the issues, the questions, the care abouts of the three key sets of players teachers, pupils and parents. (p. 88) While lesson/school auditing is largely unheard of in Pakistan, teachers views are also sparsely taken into account. Not surprisingly, reference to teachers involvement at any level is conspicuous by its absence from policy documents. The NEP (1998-2010) aims at developing viable framework for policy, planning and development of teacher education programmes and educational management in general (p.7) but there is no elaboration on how such frameworks will be made and what and who will decide their viability. The only explicit mention of teachers involvement in design and planning process is done with respect to training needs assessment (ibid, p.31). This disinterest regarding teachers involvement in policy making was aptly articulated by a high-level federal ministry official when he retorted: What do teachers have to do with policy making they are implementers. At best, they can make policies for their school, thats it! It is indeed a positive sign that though such level of indifference is widespread in the policy circles, it is not homogenously found across the board at federal, provincial and district levels. There have been some efforts in the distant and recent past where teachers voices were included in policy making. For instance, Taleemi Ijtema Programme in Balochistan created an accessible and effective platform for teachers to directly interact with the Chief Secretary, Education Secretary, and other senior officials to share their views, issues and suggestions. A follow-up mechanism was also introduced to ensure that insights provided by teachers were integrated in the policy and strategic frameworks. However, this initiative was brought to an abrupt end by various political and bureaucratic directives. Teachers representation, more recently, was encouraged by the Federal Ministry in the Vision 2025 deliberations, and also when the effectiveness of the educational devolution was being assessed. Such exercises are too few in number and rarely go beyond a token participation of teachers. A range of inhibitions regarding their job, peer pressure, political

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forces, respecting orders and hierarchies also hamper the responsiveness and participation of teachers in public forums. A respondent from the Planning Wing elaborates: We reduce the merit of involving teachers because we hardly give them any time to express, reflect and suggest. In half-a-day workshop, how can we expect that all issues will be covered! We dont even scratch the surface. Teachers must be allowed to actively participate in planning and policy making but it doesnt happen that way. An EDO from Balochistan, promoted from his teaching position a few years back, further added, It co mes with heavy personal costs and I am speaking from experience! I used to be extremely vocal and active in bringing issues to the forefront and pushing for solutions. Not anymoreI have two years of service left, and I dont want to get into any trouble. That doesnt mean I have compro mised on my principles. I still tell my DCO and Nazim if they are taking a wrong decision. It is just that now I follow my principles quietlyI am determined to approach my retirement without being dragged into court cases or political corridors. The flawed way of involving stakeholders especially teachers, works like a two edged sword. Those cynical towards teachers participation thrive when significant contributions are not made by teachers. It is typically argued that our teachers are not of that caliber and prepared enough to engage in serious matters like policy making. On the other hand, ad hocism and tokenism leaves a lot of resentment amongst the teaching community who feels nothing will transform into concrete actions and consequently question the usefulness of participation in such forums. Another perspective on teachers involvement was shared by two NGO representatives, with an experience of working with grass-roots and policy makers alike. Government teachers are very perceptive and once you get them talking, they have profound analysis and solutions to share. But it is equally important to see who is representing teachers. Politicization and dogmatization in education is deep rooted so you would be nave to take everything teachers say on its face value. Having said that, it is only through opening up and dialoguing that we have any chance to reach that level of maturity! Collecting stakeholders input is neither a one-off activity nor is it an end in itself. There is an immense need to first understand where teachers input is crucial, how it will be utilized and then gradually institutionalize the processes through which teachers active participation becomes a norm across all levels.

3.2 District Devours and Detours


Benefits of having decision-making powers closer to where the action is taking place are demonstrated over millennia. Substantial evidence comes from studying how traditional communities organized and managed their lives. In case of education, apprenticeship or learning-by doing model were the earliest offerings, which were controlled by individual teachers (McGinn & Welsh, 1999; p. 22). In Pakistan, successive educational policies laid similar emphasis on decentralising the decision-making processes for effective supervision and management of education through providing more powers and facilities to educational management at lower levels (National Education Policy 1960, 1972 & 1992). This emphasis was also punctuated with a realization that:

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The creation of separate sections with considerable autonomy within their spheres of responsibility introduces a concept of devolution that has not received much practical application in our educational administration. We have been quite slow to delegate authority and responsibility effectively. Unless there is a willingness and a conscious effort to decentralise the decision making process, the problems will never be solved rapidly nor the pace of educational progress quickened. (Excerpt from 1959 Report of the Commission of National Education, cited in Govinda, 1997; pp. 208) Pakistan eventually witnessed devolution of powers in 2001 at a large scale with the promulgation of Local Governance Ordinance. Reflective of a change in national reforms and development strategy, five fundamental principles were identified for the local government design including: (i) devolution of power, (ii) decentralization of administrative authority, (iii) deconcentration of management functions, (iv) diffusion of power-authority nexus, and (v) distribution of resources to the district level. An expected outcome of this process was that genuine interests of the people are served and their rights are safe guarded (National Reconstruction Bureau, 2000; p.1). Thus, devolution of education to districts is not only deeply embedded in, but also a direct outcome of the political motives. While this restructuring was a concrete evidence of the presence of political will, it is equally important to consider that the devolution process was not launched exclusively for improving education.
Purposes of Decentralization and Devolution Globally reforms establish that most frequent categories are: 1. Political Motives in most of the worked there is groundswell of enthusiasm for increased participation in public decision by groups that have or claim to have been excluded earlier; Level of funding Motives central governments do not or can not provide the finance of schooling; Efficiency Motives prompted by an argument that more local decision making will reduce the cost of producing a unit of output.

2. 3.

It is also possible that proposed decentralization reform in education is intended to distract attention from the pursuit of other objectives, that is, that no direct change is expected as a result of changes in governance of education.
(Source: McGinn, N and Welsh, T. (1999): Decentralization of Paris,

Education: why, when, what and how? UNESCO IIEP, The following sections of the report discuss the pp.29-30) contours of the educational administration in the post devolution scenario while examining the experiences and struggles of nascent district administrative and political set-ups. The implications of educational devolution on the life of teachers issues and school environment has taken a central place in this analysis7 as the key outcome of devolution was to safeguard rights and serve genuine interests of people. Needless to say, those associated with the school i.e. parents, students, teachers constitute a major portion of what is described as general people in the local governance ordinance.

The report does not discuss system of management, distribution of powers amongst civil and political bureaucracies, etc at length. For detailed documentations, see Multi-Donor Support Unit [MSU] Provincial Workshop and National Technical Groups Reports on Devolution and Decentralization: Implications for the Education Sector; Fiscal Devolution in Education, UNESCO-GOP 2003 and Status of Primary Education after Devolution, HRCP 2004 (Available at: http://www.commonwealtheducationfund.org/downloads/Pakistan%20HRCP%20Status%20of%20primary %20education%20after%20devolution%20in%20.pdf) and Education Budget in Pakistan, HRCP 2004 (Available at: http://www.commonwealtheducationfund.org/downloads/Pakistan%20Financing%20of%20Education.pdf)

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3.2.1 Competing Priorities for District Government


Variations vis--vis development priorities is a natural phenomena in any devolved set up and Pakistans experience of devolution is not an anomaly. Since political overtones were more emphasized, the education system is faced with a new dynamics, where districts may not have educational provision and improvement as their key priority. Even if education becomes a priority, it is very unlikely that the elected representatives will agree with the rationalized and evidence based plans since the voters aspirations are more important considerations. The system introduced for devolving powers to district level has not helped either. Though it is nuanced by rural and urban set-ups as well as by provincial thrusts, all power for district development concentrated on two individuals. These include Nazim being the district political officer for education, including proposing the education budget to the District (Zila) Council and, appointing the DCO; and District Coordinating Officer (DCO) who is responsible for coordinating district administration; appointing and reviewing performance of District Officers, including Executive District Officer (EDO) (Winkler & Hatfield, 2002, p.8) Globally, leadership in educational devolution reforms is never left at the discretion of the management cadre or political leaders; although it is not unusual for the mission of educational improvement to be popular and politically charged. (McGinn & Welsh, 1999; pp. 38, 71) However, the key defining feature remains that professional expertise is sought for developing programmes and gradually communities, parents, teachers, and educators form the locus of power for school improvement. The underlying assumption of the district reform system in Pakistan is that the Nazim and DCO will have an in-depth understanding of all educational imperatives, dynamics and processes to be able to spearhead the district educational development. Considering that both these positions have at 9-15 departments to lead and coordinate such as health, agriculture, etc., there are very slim chances that the DCOs and Nazims will deepen their knowledge of education while being on the job. Quality of governance and its implications for education are further exacerbated by the political influences and capacities of the education departments to manage, support and plan programmes. For instance, concentration of powers on two individuals becomes especially contentious if the DCO and Nazim do not belong to the same political/religious school of thought. Daily functioning in the district becomes a tug of war, which usually results in transfers of DCOs or exertion of political bureaucratic pressures from higher positions like Chief-Secretary or Provincial Minister for Education. Though the same issues trickle down to EDO level also, district education departments are also plagued by other redundancies and diseases. Having been functioning in compliance mode for over half a century, not unusually, very few people in the entire department were ready to take up planning, management and supervision responsibilities. Inadequate capacities at district level is not uncommon across global experiments in devolution, Pakistans case becomes unique because of poor systemic support by district education departments on the one hand, and lack of coherence, blurred vision and brittle educational leadership offered by Nazims and DCOs, where all autonomy is concentrated. We have absolute leverage to act and take initiatives, but sadly DCO-ship does not have powers. If you insist on making use, if the leverage given, you would be transferred the next day to a god forsaken district until you repent! I cant go against the Nazims will and desires, no matter how unprofessional or nonsense[ical] they are (Excerpt from interview with DCO, Balochistan) Impact of devolution on Schools? School based devolution is neither taking place nor targeted ever our devolution is just disempowering the EDO/DO Education and

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empowering DCO and finance EDO! (Excerpt from interview with Senior Official, Planning Wing, Federal MoE) It is not that efforts are not made to strengthen districts. Good Governance and Educational Management Project alone targeted intensive capacity building of 600 EDOs and trained 780. But to what end? A survey was conducted and we found out that the average service period of an EDO in any district is not more than 6 months. (DG Planning, Federal MoE) A strikingly similar trend was seen in the case of DCOs in the districts visited during this study. From data put on display in DCO/EDO offices, the time period for which a DCO worked in a district ranged from 1month to 8 or 9 months maximum. Such trends reflect the inertia-ridden situation in majority of the districts where positions, plans and programmes are dismantled/de-stabilized without adequate time and spaces required for gaining momentum.

3.2.2 Quagmire of Financial Allocations and Impact on Schools


Monetary resources and fiscal processes in the public education system have always generated intense debates highlighting issues of resource constraints, leakages, lack of transparency and accountability, effectiveness and maximization of resource inputs, incentives for staff, etc. The Local Government Ordinance 2000 aimed at distribution of resources to the district level with a greater autonomy for districts to invest resources on the basis of respective needs and priorities. Consequently, formula driven and block grants system was launched for fiscal transfers from federal and provincial levels, of course based on the district development plans. The districts, on the other hand, were also required to raise their own resources through their tax base. The same was applied for Tehsils. They were given the responsibility to manage and utilize the funds on their own. Very early analysis of fiscal devolution by government as well as independent agencies revealed that such autonomy and smooth transfer were possible theoretically. The application was crippled by tapered, bureaucratic and multi-layered business rules and processes already institutionalized in the education system. It was concluded that in fiscal affairs, devolution remains far from complete and the anticipated incentives yet to be attained (UNESCO-GoP 2003, ADB/DfID/World Bank 2004, HRCP, 2004). Our analysis here will not duplicate the findings or recommendations of previous evaluations and research into fiscal devolution in education. Instead it will raise some critical questions about those practices that have a direct bearing on effectiveness of teaching and learning processes. Allocation for Education: As mentioned above, education is not the only service which the district governments are responsible for. T he budgets are presented by each department in a meeting with the District Advisory Council, with the DCO presiding over the meeting and the Nazim as the chair, while tehsil nazims are also there. With all these members, it is seen that budgets were passed in a matter of minutes, suggesting that district-wide issues had not received the attention that they deserve (ADB/DfID/ World Bank, 2004, p. 7.). The reason behind such practices is the dependency of the district on formula and block as majority of districts are only able to give 2-8% tax of the yearly revenue. Consequently, when the available resources are distributed amongst various departments, there is not much room left for projections and planning for new programmes. The key focus becomes continuity of the existing operations, which in case of education, is extremely expanded and huge. For example, the total budget of Killa Saifullah is 320 million out of which 200 million goes to education mainly to meet operational expenses. Other departments

34

are budgeted from the remaining amount although they register protest on lop-sided allocation.

Development vs Recurring Budgets: In concrete numbers, the resources allocated


for education do not appear sparse. Taking the example of Killa Saifullah and Lasbella again 8 , a budget of Rs. 200 million and 300million respectively can hardly be termed as miserly for not more than 1000 schools and 3000 teachers in both districts. Yet the state of schools and education disprove such massive investments made in a decade let alone on an yearly basis. A close look at the sub-allocations reveal that 1-4% of the total is available for development projects while the lions share is spent to meet salary and operational costs. In Lasbella district, only 0.5% is provided for development budgets. This has direct implications on learning conditions and teachers morale, majority of whom reported, we have to spend from our own pockets to get chalk and duster. Fear of audit objections have kept SMCs and Heads alike from spending school funds accumulated under SMC grants, Faroogh-e-Taleem funds or the like. In Punjab, recently a notification has been issued which exempts SMCs from audit processes for any expenses made under Rs. 500, 000 to deal with this issue. However, in all the districts, none of the school heads, teacher association members or district officials seemed aware of this major change.

Imbalance in Development and Recurring Budgets A Snapshot from Killa Saifullah Main Budget Sub-heads Fund Allocated (in Rupees) Heads 411 Total salary for 913 posts 49547658 Administration Establishment charges 92500958 Regular Allowance (e.g. home rent, special allowance, etc Other Allowance (excluding TA/DA) Repair of Goods Total Commodities POL Transportation Transportation of Goods TA government Communication Utilities (i.e. electricity bills, hot and cold weather charges, office stationary, etc) Reading and Writing Material Sports Tats Costs of Chalks and Dusters 42953300 10, 000 10, 000 15,000 140, 000 5,000 120,000 12,000 65,000 65,000 20,000 200, 000 100, 000

415 Primary Education

Exact budgets for Punjab districts could not be obtained .

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It was reported that for the last two years, the district received only 150million out of the allocated 200million budget which was entirely used for salaries and operation costs. Pishin received its development budget after 4 years, only salaries were provided for fiscal years 2002-2006. Many district officials especially the EDOs and DEOs sulked, all departments take turns in sacrificing. Usually education department has to bear the brunt because a huge amount is allocated as salary budget. For other things, there is no hope9 .

Burgeoning of Work Portfolio and its Implications: The existing allocation


patterns and processes lead to more pressing questions: what is the reality of bottomsup budget making and development planning at school level? While teachers and head teachers spend numerous hours in providing data, the AEOs and DEOs spend considerable time in compiling information and projecting school budgets before the next district plans have to be submitted. When the higher district authorities are well aware of the resources limits and their play field, it indeed merits serious consideration why so many hours are spent on an exercise, futility which is well established. Feelings of resentment and disillusionment are running high amongst school staff and district officers, as they do not see any productive outcome of all the paperwork. Proclamations that planning capacities need to be built and district officials are being empowered are also met with scorn since they have yet to see any tangible evidence of its significance or application.

Funding under Development Projects: In the devolved set up, de jure roles of
federal and provincial levels have been defined as that of spear heading and facilitating the districts with respect to funds disbursement, professional development and governance support. This however is not true for provinces like Punjab where PERSP is being implemented under the auspices of the provincial government. In most instances, district departments have to play a role of extra limbs for the provincial government and almost 50% of time is spent on ensuring that provincial demands are being met. The joint study conducted by ADB, DFID and World Bank aptly captures the implications for district autonomy and management:

Another facet of the resource management problem is the degree to which local officials must respond to program goals and priorities that they have no hand in defining. More than half the Annual Development Plan (ADP) represented com mitments to vertical programs effectively controlled by federal and provincial agencies. Since the funds do not co me from local sources and it is difficult to access information about their performance, local citizens have little reason to monitor spending closely. Similarly, local supervisors nazimeen and their staff have limited leverage over the size of the transfers, the services they support, or the efficiency of their use. (ADB/DfiD/WB, 2004 p. 7).

3.3

Possible Strategies for Maximizing the Policy Potential

Based on the analysis of policies and their implementation directly or indirectly impacting the teachers, some strategies are suggested here:

Actual words in Urdu were zila council meeting mein ek doosray say poochtay hain is dafa qurbani kaun dey ga. Zyada tar education department hi bhugutta hai kyoun key salaries ki mud mein hi sab say zyada paisa waisay hi mil jata hai. Baqi ka koi aasra nahin hota.

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To begin with, a comprehensive mapping of all policy research or evaluation especially in the context of devolution needs to be done immediately. Several indepth qualitative and quantitative studies were discovered while carrying out the document analysis for this research study. Most of them present a crisp view of the devolution system and policy provisions along with recommendations. It is however peculiar to note that none of the gaps identified in the early stages of devolution are filled to date. In fact, the gulf and disinterest between different stakeholders has widened significantly, as the initial excitement and thrust has faded away over seven years. Functioning of district, provincial and even federal education departments/ ministries is heavily influenced by resource projection, allocation, procurement and disbursement. However, decisions pertaining to these functions are not taken on the basis of systematic information and analysis. Top-down and compliance approach is so prevalent that irrespective of which level they are working at, education department officials invariably talk about coordination and fulfilling requirements of higher officials as their key role, or where maximum amount of time and energies are concentrated. Those concerned with school level management, i.e., Head Teachers and SMC members, describe meetings, keeping audit records and deciding about school expenditures as their day job. Annual development plan, monitoring of education development, preparation of education budget and expenditure processes are essential functions for districts and its various sub administrative units including schools. What is integral to the success of educational devolution and school based management, are the focus and basis of planning. Currently, educational planning across the public sector is ONLY concerned with numbers and quantitative targets. It is not to establish that the existing dimensions of planning are not significant, however, the scope of planning is invariably limited when the sole focus is on them. For instance, planning for increased educational access will not be substantial if it is solely based on gross and net intake ratios or, gender disaggregated figures for new entrants are taken into account. Other important factors like quality of environment, support to teachers, schools academic programme, expectations and demands of parents, educational needs of the area/community are not taken into account. The epidemic of transfers and postings of DCOs and EDOs have disabled district governments from playing an active and healthy role for educational improvement. While increase in teachers attendance is reported in some areas due to the frequent visits of political leaders to schools, all the major learning dynamics remain unaffected. Sloganism and politicization needs to be reduced significantly for three main reasons. First, it provides a perfect excuse to the under performers and inefficient education department officials as they associate every failure to political interference. Second, stability of educational planning and processes in the district is at great risk with a direct impact on school functioning. Third, the level of seriousness and commitment is vanishing fast with the extensive use of rhetoric with little support. For instance, almost 95% district officials said they have no hope from the reforms and solutions offered. One DEO qualified it further saying, Pirha Likha Punjab will become a reality we will see it but only in documents and I will be the one giving data for those reports. If they are not interested in listening to the truth, we will eventually stop telling it!

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Most crucially, the way the public education system is structured and functioning needs redesigning. There is immense evidence of how the current thrust and strategies of the education system has failed to ensure even the basic prerequisites for learning to take place within school settings. The wisdom of ONLY investing the operational side needs to be questioned when the whole operation is neither meeting its immediate targets nor aligned with the vision for education cited in numerous policies. At the risk of being labeled as rebellious, radicals, anti- education or impractical, it is important to honestly consider and respond to questions like: How savvy it is to open more schools, conduct more trainings, provide more resources, more infrastructure, more partnerships and participation for provision of resources when there is an overwhelming evidence that none of it works in isolation? How long will the educational planners, policy makers, evaluators and educators only identify with those strategies and indicators of progress and achievement that require more or new resources and infrastructural support? The experiences of 59 years of education in Pakistan, 500 years of sub-continent history, and thousands of years the world demonstrate that any resource will be inadequate with flawed understanding of learning concepts and creative application. Why is the public education system solely and obsessively focusing on the DELIVERY and SUPPLY mode of functioning? This merits serious consideration especially when the public sector is losing (if not lost completely) parents and students to other players in the private sector, community, NGO and Civil Society at large. Appropriating and aligning the focus of the public system is imperative for safeguarding the interest of people and children. This could entail more emphasis on facilitation, advisory services, research, and regulation for all the sub-sectors and players.

Several attempts have and are being made to clarify the roles and responsibilities of various levels across levels including PTSMCs/PTAs/SMCs, Nazimeens, DCOs, EDOs, DEOs, AEOS, ministries and PMIUs, Parents, Teachers, etc. Despite the wide array of training programmes and guides to clarify the confusions (in various languages), no discernable difference can be seen. In fact it will not be wrong to say that the prevalent mood, ranges between bewilderment, indifference, disillusionment and helplessness especially in schools and education departments. This trend indicates that more than the tools, what is immediately required is to revisit the kind of roles chalked out for different players. It is equally important for architects of educational devolution, programme developers and implementers to go back to the drawing board to incorporate the lessons learned over 6 years of implementation and fill in the gaps that were identified even in the initial diagnosis. Over the years, intensive investments are made on ministry officials by ensuring their participation in educational planning courses and degrees all over the world. However, professional qualifications are not put to practice partly because of the way the education system is designed and partly because of no obligation towards them. A massive shift in the focus of the education system will ensure that available capacities are put to an active use. Qualified officers in the education department should play a vital role in overcoming the design flaws of the devolution system.

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4.

Teachers Identity, Roles and Issues: Multiple Perspectives and Realities

The dominant discourse on teachers in Pakistan is usually binary in nature where on the one hand, the poor attainment in education is blamed on the inadequacy of teachers or lack of commitment to the profession. While on the other hand, teachers are portrayed as the victims who not only get the raw deal from the system but also have to face the wrath of parents and communities. In this chapter, an effort is made to look beyond the simplistic dichotomies that are created and consumed in relation to teachers identities and issues. It is important to note that a lot of analysis presented here is teachers own contribution once the initial reluctance was over come, teachers deeply analyzed their own roles, responsibilities, issues and possibilities with great clarity and depth.

4.1 Snapshot of Teacher Profiles, Preparedness and Preferences 4.1.1 Socio-cultural Identities of Teachers
In Pakistan, the paradox of the teaching profession is that it is considered the noblest vocation to be associated with, while also being the last priority for the meritorious and capable people. This does not hold true for servicebased economies especially in rural areas because teaching provides for very stable and long-term employment opportunities. Also, holding a government job attracts a lot of attention and prestige in such communities. Another prevalent perception is that teaching is a female dominated profession whereas table 4.1 illustrates that the gender disaggregated figures for primary school teachers is roughly equal even though the number of female teachers has increased considerably since 2003 (Economic Survey of Pakistan 2005) 10 .
10

Primary School Teachers in Public Schools 450


408.9 432.5

413.9

433.5

400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0

366.4

180

183.5

191.7

195.3

127.2

2000

2001

2002
Years

2003

2004

Total Teachers

Female Teachers

According to EFA Country Assessment Report (2000)total number of teachers both in public and private schools are 0.344 million against 0.120 million (35%) female teachers. The highest percentage of female teachers is in Islamabad Capital Territory i.e. 73% followed by Punjab 43%. Balochistan, FATA and FANA ratio of female teachers in these areas is very low i.e. 24%, 27% and 28% respectively. The same is the case in the interior of Sindh having only 28% female teachers. The

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It is yet to be empirically established that such perceptions counter or perpetuate gender imbalance. However, it is true that most parents and communities encourage females to become school teachers because it is half-day job with stable income and thus allows females to give equal attention to their family lives also. Interactions with teachers approached for this study and elsewhere reveal that most of the public school female teachers in urban areas come from middle-income families and they take up jobs to add to the family income or take care of personal expenses. A cursory observation makes it obvious that female teachers put considerable effort on their appearance and are in sync with latest trends. This reflects on the importance they associate with themselves and their on-the-job image. As far as urban male teachers are concerned, their prime reason for joining the teaching profession is to respond to their immediate financial responsibilities. Most of them take up teaching jobs in the evening/morning at private schools, tuition centers while in some cases, they start taking odd jobs like driving rickshaws, etc. Although there is legal restriction on government employees to be associated with institutions other than their own, this condition is commonly flouted to meet the economic demands. The scenario in rural areas cannot be generalized as reality is more nuanced than in urban areas. Contrary to the common perception, teaching is still a sought after job for both its noble contribution and economic returns. The most concrete evidence is offered by numerous instances where villagers mortgage their parcels of land or sell cattle to acquire a teaching position in a government school. Given the value of cattle or land in rural-aggregarian society, this will qualify as massive investment and risk for an employment position. Not surprisingly, such risks are more often taken in the case of males. Another trend is prevalent especially in those communities of Punjab and Balochistan which are under the patronage of a feudal landlord, Nawab or political personality. Male teachers work as their bodyguards or electoral campaigners for these personalities while the teaching job is either not a priority or another platform for political campaigning. Female teachers though less politically involved, have social reasons to opt for the profession as it not only brings economic stability and independence but also adds to their prestige and influence in the community. More recently, increased prospects for matrimony also drive females towards this profession. Several respondents mentioned that educated and employed women are pursued more because of obvious social and economic benefits. Forming a very tiny portion are people who join the profession purely for the love of teaching and because they have been inspired by their own teachers. The commitment level in such cases is unwavering and regardless of status quo. However, a sense of self-righteousness/superiority can be spotted as they tend to be boastful about their association with paisha-e-paighambari, roughly translated as vocation of the prophets. In spite of the rhetorical overtones, such parallels also reflect that teaching is not only seen as a universal and eternal good but also has didactic elements in it.

4.1.2 Selection and Preparedness of Teachers


Typically, 10years of education and 1 year of pre-service training is the pre-requisite for becoming a primary teacher. Upon attaining these qualifications, a person is eligible for a BPS Grade 5 position, which is the first rung of a long hierarchy. For understanding the merit of the requisite qualifications, it is important to understand the general context of education in Pakistan.
number of teachers working in rural schools of the country is 0.268 million (78%). During the present decade the overall number of teachers has increased 10% against 7% female. The highest increase in percentage terms is FATA 100%, Balochistan 50% and NWFP 45%. In Punjab and Sindh increase in number of female teachers is 8% and 6%.

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With rampant use of unfair means, the credibility of the examination system is definitely questionable. Furthermore, quality of teaching in public schools (with marginal difference in private schools) provides little hope for strong conceptual understanding. People graduating from a corroded system eventually take up the teaching positions. The following factors further exacerbate the teacher selection processes: Experience of Pre-service Training: The idea of pre-service teacher education is to develop skills, attitude and practical understanding of pedagogy in aspiring teachers so they are ready for teaching. However, there are major flaws in the design and implementation of PTC and other pre-service training programmes. First, the content of P TC does not take account of Early Childhood Education and Development processes. Thus it does not prepare teachers for facilitating young learners. Second, the way teacher education programmes are implemented is no different from public exams. Also, as revealed by an elementary college teacher, rote learning is the only pedagogical skill used for delivering PTC. Educators have kept the notes of a position holder student and year after year, they dictate the same in P TC, CT and BEd classes. The teaching practice sessions are also lecture based. There is absolutely no connection with schools although many elementary colleges share their walls with model schools. Mushrooming of private teacher training institutes as well as Allama Iqbal Open University Courses has played a negative role. While the argument of access to teacher education especially for females at their doorsteps can be put forward for defending these initiatives, how they are contributing to the improvement or destruction of the education department needs careful examination. The largest number of graduates are churned out by AIOU in Pakistan thus creating the HR base for teaching profession whereas the quality assurance mechanisms are extinct. A DEO, also nominated for assessment of AIOU P TC, pertinently points at the gaps: there is a whole mafia and tutors are forced by AIOU faculty to give away marks and pass graduates. Just have a look at the panels they have for professional invigilators, superintendents and examiners I can challenge that they havent changed in years! They have money deals with students, teacher association and others and ensure that they pass! I was asked by my EDO to work with AIOU, I was asked to assess the term papers. I spent an hour on each paper reading and making sure I do a good job. I didnt give marks where the work was not good. But I was forced to change them, when I refused to do it, they pressurized me immensely at job and personal fronts.

Selection System: In consequence, mass manufacturing of trained teachers exert undue


pressure on the hiring and selection processes. Since everyone has met the pre-requisite, all those who apply, qualify for jobs also. The disproportion of prospective teachers and actual position is sizeable. For instance, in Pishin, 100 posts were announced and 4000 applications were received. Similarly in Islamabad 300 posts were announced and more than 15,000 applications were received. An average ratio of applications per seat ratio is almost 1:50, which declassifies the myth that public school teaching is not a popular career option and regardless of the fact that the selection system is neither streamlined nor corruption free. For instance in Balochistan the selection responsibility is being shifted from the District Education Department to Provincial Secretariat to Federal Public Service Commission involving the High Court. As a result, there are increase in delays, disconnects and of course, disputes amongst key players and leakages in transparency. A prolonged freeze on hirings, random lifts and superimposed structures have also contributed significantly to this issue. A recent example comes from Punjab where there was a freeze on new hirings for several years. To fill the need, 4500 educators at primary

41

level and 5500 secondary level teachers were hired on contract basis. However, immediately after appointing contract teachers/educators, ban on regular hirings was lifted. Such decisions have adverse implications for teachers morale, job security and the smooth functioning of schools/education system. Political and Bureaucratic Entanglements: As indicated above, politicians and professionals alike consider educational improvement as the panacea for all economic and social problems. While the education system and sector generally interests power players, this becomes more evident in the case of teacher selection and placement. From political perspectives, getting more people selected from the respective constituency not only makes the leader more popular but ensures long term benefits given that polling in-charge are teachers. Vested interests within the education system also negatively influence the selection processes. Other than the time consuming mechanisms and overwhelming laziness, the alliance between bureaucracy and political forces is at the heart of corruption and adhocism. Two examples from Balochsitan and Punjab illustrate the deep rootedness of this issue. In Balochistan, 1000 posts were approved in 2004-05 budget out of which 400, 272 and 145 posts were allegedly reserved for treasury, education and other senior ministers respectively. Since the same figures were quoted by Teacher Associations, numerous District Officials and NGO representatives, at least the internal validity of these claims is proven. Similarly, according to senior AEPAM official, 1600 posts were created for Islamabad but only 300 were advertised since various quotas had to be sorted out first.

4.2 Academic Realm of Teachers: Facilitative and Debilitative Factors 4.2.1 Technical Competence and Capabilities
As elaborated in preceding sections, supported by research evidence, a vast majority of teachers possess a very weak knowledge base. It is also reported that teachers perform worse than their students on the same test items in Mathematics, English and Science (SPDC 2003, GTZ/PITENWFP, 2001). However, teachers approached in this study did not subscribe to the research findings claiming that they possess adequate knowledge of subject and pedagogical content to carry out their responsibilities effectively. On further probing, many conceded that understanding and teaching English is particularly difficult and they need more trainings on the subject since they never studied or taught English at primary level. Mathematics subject content was also termed a little problematic especially those exercises given in the recently introduced textbooks. Discussions with teachers and classroom reveal that inquiry-based teaching is extinct at primary level whereas it is restricted to science labs in secondary schooling. While there are administrative and logistic constraints for adopting activity based, learner centered approach in public schools, teachers admitted that initiative and continuous effort is lacking on their part. However, it is not the inadequate content knowledge that is of prime importance nor lesson implementation is an issue. Experiencing the information explosion at a rapid pace in todays world, any content will soon become redundant and thus teachers and students need to upgrade themselves continuously. What is critical is to acquire learning to learn skills including process skills, critical thinking, application, reflection and research. Since schooling is synonymous with rote memorization in Pakistan, the discipline and approach required for creative and independent learning is not developed. This hampers not only their effectiveness as teachers but also creates insecurities veiled by self-declarations about their in-depth knowledge. Cultural factors also hamper and restrict the level of openness to learning from peers and students. Conventionally, teachers were viewed as experts and custodians of knowledge diligently filling in the empty vessels called students. Unfortunately for Pakistan, these are the basic assumptions forming teachers identities and schooling system in Pakistan. Hence, it becomes very difficult for

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teachers to shed the cast of know-it-all expert and step into the learning domain where it is only natural not to know everything and learn even from their students. In the absence of a genuine and intrinsic need to learn, majority of teachers do not indulge in selfdirected learning or activities that can widen their perspective.

4.2.2 Facilitation of Learning


When probed about how learning takes place, 99% of teachers and education officials (previously teachers) responded that children do what they see. In effect, teachers are the role models and children copy what they see their elders doing. This unanimous answer draws attention to two critical points: (a) no teacher/education official could clearly explain how children learn. (b) the main understanding of learning is embedded in behaviourist approach thus the extensive drilling and copying exercises done in class. Classroom practices are also reflective of behaviourist approach where 95% of time on task is dedicated to rote memorization, loud reading and copying work in note books, the idea being that children will learn better if they see others doing the same. When teachers were asked to describe a typical day in school, it came out that most of the time is spent in delivering a lesson, disciplining and managing students so they do not make noise and complete the writing work, and completing ad ministrative chores. When probed further, it was found that they rarely interact with students on topics other than textbook or school work. Few teachers mentioned that they ask students about what they did at home in the morning but no other discussion takes place. It will not be incorrect to conclude that focus is on instruction and not learning thus students needs and learning preferences are met with a generic sense of ignorance and indifference. The limited understanding of learning amongst teachers does not come as a shock. The more disturbing aspect is how little focus is given to the fundamental element of the educational system when schools and education system are cluttered with new programmes, funds, policies, material, literacy and media campaigns, textbooks, training courses, follow-up strategies, etc. Research, academic and policy discourses are void of any discussion on learning and efforts to understand how it takes place in various settings and contexts.

4.2.3 Mentoring and Supervision


Academic supervision and mentoring are crucial yet complex aspects for quality learning and teaching to take place. Globally researchers, academicians, practitioners and policy makers have been struggling to find best possible options for contextualized and effective support for teachers. While it is true that there is no perfect formula, certain principles and tools have been found to be effective across contexts. The Sri Lankan education system provides the perfect example of working on principles consistently and eventually reaching a workable model. The case of Pakistan can be termed as the stark opposite of global or regional models and research evidence. Even countries faring poorly on political economy indices have been more successful than Pakistan in aligning their academic supervision system with the aims of education. The focus of supervision system in Pakistan is more on the mechanical functioning of the school than on academic processes and quality standards. Thus, layers of hierarchies are created to regularize school budgeting, infrastructure, teachers and students attendance, enrolments and admissions, disbursing salaries, distributing textbooks and tats community participation. However, the core aim of setting up a school i.e., ensuring active and effective learning processes is not focused upon. Lowest in the administrative ladder but most accessible to teachers are the school heads. The role of head teachers is considered to be pivotal in guiding and facilitating academic staff while leadership potential, ability to take initiative, strategic planning are some of the key

43

attributes and skills for becoming a school head. However, in government primary schools, positions of school heads are not created instead a senior teacher is made the in-charge of a school. Such decisions are taken on the basis of qualification, longevity of services and annual performance record, none of which takes account of the leadership abilities of a person. Moreover, professional degrees of BEd or MEd may often be irrelevant as they have little or no focus on management leadership in education.

4.2.4 School Culture


School culture is a broad term with multiple connotations and definitions. We are using this term to refer school ethos and values, physical and psychosocial environment for staff and spaces available for professional development, self-learning, planning and reflection. While public schools have a long way before they become learning organization, data suggest that schools are not interactive or living places for teachers and students alike. The excitement and rush to reach home is perhaps reflective of their eagerness to connect with the living world. The dominant culture across schools in Punjab and Balochistan is bureaucratic with obvious power roles and structures. The relationship between the school head and teachers vary from dictatorial to collegial mainly for administrative and operational purposes. Some District Officals as well as heads hinted at the negative implications of cliques and networks amongst teachers formed to cover each other up in case of emergencies and leave sanctions. Teachers reach office and routinely deliver lessons without focusing on learners/students. Barring a few exceptions, lesson planning or any discussion on teaching strategies does not take place at primary level. When teachers were asked about if they have time for joint planning, teachers replied that they get time to talk about it over tea when all the staff is together. It will be a rarity if a culture of professional development and reflective practice is seen in the schools.
Head: Aap nay phir 3 pankhay chala liyay hain jab kay mein na aap ko mana kiya tha? Teacher: Miss garmi bahut ho rahi hai aur class mein 90 students hain, ek pankha kaafi nahin hota. Head: Tu bijli ka bil kahan say bharein gey? Aap apni tankhaw say dein gi. Band karein yeh pankhey foran aura ab mein na dekhoun kay teen pankhay chalay howay hain!. Excerpt from field notes of Chakwaal School Visit. Giving a clear picture of prevalent school culture, this exchange took place in front of the research team, two DEOs, 90 students and 3 teachers.

Teachers relationship with students is also instruction focused rather than learning oriented. Students are supposed to follow the instructions and perform their duties, which have been assigned to them. Also, students can be assigned any duty from baby sitting teachers toddlers, cleaning school or running errands for school teachers. During a school visit, two, grade 5 students were spotted who were missing their lessons because they were asked to sit at the school gate and ensure no outsider enters the school. When inquired, the school in-charge informed the duties are assigned on rotational basis because the position of a watchman was not sanctioned. Out of the numerous schools visited, only one school defined that they encourage students to take up small projects so they can develop a sense of service learning and responsibility. In this particular school, students were supposed to collect their own Faraogh e- taleem fund11 and play an active role in renovating their classes. The staff assured that the time table was designed in such a way that spaces for such activities are kept aside without hampering a students participation in classroom activities. Clarity in articulation and purpose are both commendable, however, very few to be considered a norm.

11

Promotional Fund for Education collected by charging Rs. 1 or Rs. 2 from students on a monthly basis.

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Gazdar (2005) pointed out that parents, especially in rural contexts, were keen to send children to public schools because they compared the physical environment with their own living conditions and found it better. However, the physical environment of the school is neither appealing nor welcoming in the current scenario. More than the deteriorating infrastructure and physical resources, the upkeep, cleanliness and utilization of spaces demonstrate an uncaring, lethargic and indifferent culture in the school. Dust covered and broken furniture, dirty floors, heaps of litter in and around the school, puddles of water in the school ground, torn and faded displays, etc., are common sights in a primary school. It is perplexing as to why efforts are not made to improve the physical conditions particularly where female teachers are in majority. Notwithstanding the gender stereotypes, ability to create a pleasant, clean and welcoming environment in sparse resources is a widely acclaimed quality of Pakistani women. During school visits, it became obvious that the lack of planning and interest in the improving school situation had a direct bearing on children and learning conditions. For instance, a katchi class with almost 100 children was set up under a tree, without any tats for children to sit on. Textbooks and a blackboard propped on two chairs were the only teaching aids. In the same school, there was a huge science laboratory that was only used once in 15 days and remained locked otherwise. There were 3 cupboards filled with NCLC teaching aids as well as ECE curriculum and Pehla Taleemi Basta prepared for Katchi classes. While the resources were not used because Katchi class was set up under the tree, teachers and the head teacher could not explain why the store room and science lab could not be used for Katchi class even temporarily.

4.2.5 Parental and Community Relations


In public schools, teachers are not frequently interacting with parents and community. It was reported that parents only came to schools during and after examinations asking for their childrens promotion or increment in marks. Many teachers expressed their disgruntlement that parents do not give any heed to what they have to say about students progress and other issues. Interactions with community other than parents are limited to SMC activities where the head teacher is more involved. In boys schools, teachers and community members also meet on other social or political events; however this is not common in case of females. The concept of teachers as change agents in the community is almost absent from the discourse of education officials, school heads and teachers. Similarly, the realization that parents and community can act as sources of learning and support in teaching activities is also extinct. It was interesting to note that the educational improvement initiatives involving the private sector, NGO or communities extensively focus on home-school relationships and partnerships. One contributing factor could be that not all public school teachers are residents of the same communities, thus they may not be interested. However, it merits serious consideration as to why parental and community involvement does not feature as a core component of educational improvement programmes.

4.3 Organizational Support for Teachers: Facilitative and Debilitative Factors 21.1.1 Allocation of Teachers and Workload
The average student teacher ratio in primary schools of Pakistan is estimated to be 1:48 or 1: 50. It is however important to note that credibility of such estimates is questioned because they are done on generic basis i.e. total number of students is divided by total number of teaching posts. Therefore they do not separate subject teachers, physical instructors and head teachers from the total count. Recent development plans and policies mention a standard formula teacher allocation

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according to which one teaching position would be sanctioned to per 50 children. Not debating on the validity of the very formula, the most critical issue is that this formula does not apply on preprimary classes. Since Katchi classes are not regularized across Pakistan, students admitted in Katchi are not entered in the general register. Consequently high enrolments in katchi or ada m dakhla classes and multiple sections are not considered while sanctioning the position. Though insufficient teaching posts, delayed hirings and large class size are frequently identified as key issues surrounding quality of teaching in public schools, many critical contributing factors are not brought into analysis. At primary level, teachers have extensive workload not only related to their teaching responsibilities but administrative duties also. A primary teacher has to teach from morning till noon with no non-teaching time that could be utilized for planning or assessment. Similarly, one teacher is supposed to have a decent level of conceptual understanding on 5 subjects and appropriate teaching strategies for them. The ever-growing emphasis on understanding and meeting the individual learning styles and needs of children makes teaching more demanding and intensive. With respect to non-academic responsibilities, teachers are involved in maintaining school records (such as enrolments, admissions, drop outs, attendance, GR, etc), catering to random information requests from District Officials, organizing school or district events, to name a few. Government teachers also engaged in those tasks that have no connection with schools or teaching include election duties, collecting information for census, organizing polio/health awareness camps with the health department, and similar activities. Very often a parallel is drawn between todays teachers and those teaching in the 1950s, however, the equation is not balanced because expectations have skyrocketed while requisite institutional support has plummeted with matching speed. It is true that a vast majority of teachers do not meet even 10% of their responsibilities but flaws in practice cannot justify the unrealistic expectations and workload created for teachers.

4.3.2 Financial Status and Provisions


Financial returns of teaching jobs have been a source of concern since long. Although a lot depends on the nature and level of jobs, it is true that salary structures offered for teaching posts are lower as compared to other cadres such as management and administrative within the government education system. Paradoxically, salary bands do not appear to be very stringent. For example, a rural primary teacher in BPS grade 7 and 3-5 years of experience would be earning between Rs.10,000- 12,000. This is a fair remuneration for a maximum of five-hour job which is permanent, pensionable and does not require high qualifications. Prestige attached to teaching especially in rural areas gives another advantage. Almost 90% teachers mentioned that they feel the salary issue is hijacked to meet political agendas because they have more important concerns that no one pays any attention to. All 150 teachers agreed that their demands for salary increase are mainly because of increasing inflation; otherwise it is a decent pay scale. The research team posed a rather difficult question to teachers but their response was surprisingly unanimous and honest. When asked if they put in efforts worth the money being paid to them, the majority of teachers confessed that (cited in their words): There are individuals and exceptions but collectively, we do not put half the effort required by our jobs. It is difficult to accept it but we dont really earn what we get. Co mplacency has crept in all of us and there are several factors. When you see that you are nothing makes a difference no change, no improvement, no appreciation, no encouragement for being dedicated and hard working, very soon you also acquire the same attitude. We are not exonerating ourselves from the responsibility but no one asks here, no one is bothered about things so we dont feel any pressure to deliver our 100% (Excerpts from focus group discussions with teachers in Balochistan and Punjab).

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Other perspectives were offered by district officials and teachers union representatives while not agreeing with teachers perspective on the salary issue. District Education Officers, especially in Punjab, maintained that monitoring committees, super-imposed structures, and people supposedly working for the improvement of government schools are making a fortune at the expense of government teachers and schools. In comparison, teachers and regular government employees are denied of their rights. To establish their stance, they offered examples of District Monitoring Officers getting a minimum of Rs. 40, 000 with 1000 CC car and Subedars receiving Rs. 12,000, motorcycles and Rs. 8,000 as fuel charges for the same responsibilities which they are expected to fulfill without any such provisions. Representatives of teachers association maintained that if more money is paid to teachers, they will carry out their responsibilities with diligence and dedication. However, they could not explain why teachers in NGOs, community or private schools are more effective despite receiving much lower salaries, temporary jobs, and negligible exposure to professional training. Instead, the concept of contract teachers was labeled as governments vicious strategy to weaken the teaching force. A group of respondents comprising of district education officers and supervisors in Balochistan demanded that teachers receive subsidies and be treated like officials of the armed forces. Also special schemes be introduced for housing and social welfare. They argued, When defenders of a country can be supported, why are builders of a nation ignored.

Source: Andrabi, T., J. Das and A. Khwaja (2002). The Rise of Private Schooling in Pakistan: Catering to the Urban Elite or Educating the Rural Poor? World Bank and Harvard University.

4.3.3 Job Motivation and Incentives


The dwindling motivation and interest of teachers in their jobs is reflected in the general state of schools and learning while the contributing factors and reasons for a low intrinsic motivation is

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discussed in Chapter 2 and Section 4.2 of this chapter. Extrinsic motivation factors are also analyzed.

Promotion and Move-over: More than the salaries, extremely bureaucratic and confusing
mechanisms for promotions are a source of dissatisfaction for teachers. Many respondents said, they entered the system as a primary teacher and will die being one. Continuously changing policies and more inconsistent implementation has created a sense of uncertainty and disillusionment amongst teachers. One teacher shared her annoyance with the set-up as:

It is so difficult to find out what are the requirements of a move over. I was hired as a JV teacher, 10 years have passed but I still have the same grade although I have acquired BEd and MEd also. When I was expecting that a move over will take place, I heard that policies have changed and now they have increased the service years needed for the next post, so I will have to wait for another 5 years before I qualify! Another teacher from Balochistan reflected on how teachers having longer years of service are disadvantaged: They have announced posts for SSTs. I cant apply because I have crossed the age limit and also fresh graduates are preferred. What is the hope for me? Should I wait till I reach the last five years of my service to become a head teacher? Even if I accept that as the only option, there is no guarantee that I wont be transferred to a school where more senior teachers are queuing up for the post. Why cant the educationists, policy makers and research solve these issues? Is it that difficult? Then we are told to be committed to our jobs how can they ask us to be co mmitted when they cant commit to anything themselves? There is no dearth of announcements and notifications issued by the Ministry of Education promising long-term and strategic solutions to these problems. The more recent example is 20062007 budget approval for raising salaries by Rs. 500, Rs. 700 and Rs. 1000 of junior, middle and high school teachers respectively on acquiring trainings. However, such notifications are neither clear nor implemented fully (See Appendix B & C). On the contrary, senior academicians and educationists maintain that ill-conceived incentive schemes can be counter productive, opening a new channel of political interference and corruption. For instance, this particular notification was labeled a wasted opportunity because the government has decided to reward something that is already a pre-requisite for a public job but also heavily financed by them. As a senior educationist from Balochistan explained, All primary teachers have to receive pre-service training. It is a precondition, Why has the government announced to give trained primary teachers an increase of Rs. 500? The same is the case with middle teachers. They could have incentivized additional qualification, classroo m teaching, attendance, etc., instead of attaching the salary raise with professional training!

Recognition and Encouragement: Another reason identified by teachers for their low
motivation is the lack of encouragement from school heads, peers, parents and the education department for any of their hard work and ordeals faced in teaching. They maintained that teachers are always the first to receive the blame for poor quality education, but the last one to receive any credit. Elaborating further, teachers quoted instances where their subject result was 100% or they maintained full attendance and punctuality but were never appreciated by the higher ups verbally or in writing. The concerns registered by teachers indeed stem from their experiences and lead to low job satisfaction. However, it is important to go beyond surface interpretation here and

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look at the notion of recognition and its various indicators. Building on existing research, it is typical that job dissatisfaction is principally associated to work overload, poor pay and perceptions of how teachers are viewed by society. Likewise, the main factor cementing teachers sense of achievement and satisfaction is working with children, nurturing warm relationships with pupils, intellectual challenge and autonomy enjoyed in teaching (Spear et al., 2000; Farber, 1991; Friedman and Farber, 1992; Kyriacou, 1987; and Mykletun, 1984). Interestingly, teachers responses do not suggest that they derive a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from the factors mentioned above but they related to all the factors resulting in job dissatisfaction. Clearly, the notion of encouragement is based on external factors like regular praises by the head, certification, acknowledgement etc.

Transportation: Issues pertaining to reaching schools from distances is the most genuine
and widespread problem that inversely affects teacher motivation. Female teachers in rural areas or those posted in rural areas are the most disadvantaged. The condition of the public transport system in terms of reliability and security is pitiable. Thus reaching schools located in inaccessible, far-flung areas is no mean feat. Not faced with mobility or security restrictions, male teachers can hitch a ride with another colleague/community person or buy motorcycles to reach schools. Females, however, are left with public transport as the only option. There is tremendous amount of difficulty faced every single day by countless female teachers to reach schools. In many cases, teachers ask a male family member to escort them to the school since they have to leave early in the morning to reach schools on time. The prime reason for teacher absenteeism, lack of punctuality and leaving school early is the absence of affordable and efficient transport facility. Teachers were quick to identify the root cause that made transport availability a huge factor. They maintained that if they had postings in schools close to their houses, it would not have been an issue. One respondent elaborated further saying that: Had it been a matter of 3-4 years, I wouldnt be so resentful of postings in far-flung areas. But there is no light at the end of the tunnelall I know is that I a m stuck in a deserted place which eats up 5 hours every day to com mute to. There used to be a rotation system, at least there was a flicker of hope that after 4-5 years of extensive travel, I may get posted to a more accessible school. Now that option is out too! Some evidence is available which impress that the government realized the genuineness of this issue. For instance, a few years back MOE Balochistan took a concrete step by purchasing a fleet of buses through project money. As significant percentage of maintenance costs was included in the recurring budget and the rest was borne by the teacher. Although this could not be scaled up across Balochistan, this strategy is still effective and functional in many areas. However, the frequency and scale of governments efforts is too limited to address the deep-rootedness of the issue. In fact, it seems that the governments recent modus operandi is too cure the symptoms and not the cause. Constitution of Monitoring Teams in Punjab provides an illustrative example where a brigade of retired army subedars is contracted and equipped with tools (motorcycles, reporting sheets, etc.) to monitor teachers punctuality but no effective measures are taken to remove the root cause. Consequently, teachers distrust in the education system and apathy increases when they are penalized for actions on which they have no control.

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4.3.4 Postings and Transfers


Adding to the transport crises is the most contentious issue of teachers postings and transfers. The opinions expressed by a cross section of key stakeholders indicate two opposing perspectives. On the one hand, teachers are held responsible for exerting political pressures and using associations to get posted to a school of their liking. Transfer reasons range from relocation after marriage, moving to urban areas, proximity to hometown, and political alliances, constituency clout, etc. Allegedly, no power channel is left to get the transfer or posting orders issued. Very often, this leads to a tussle between political groups, officials and levels of education functioning i.e., tehsil, district and province. Consequently, transfer/postings for one teacher may be issued, cancelled, reissued several times over even by the same signing authority under the influence of the most powerful group. Many cases are reported where teachers have not only refused to hand over the charge but also do not come to school for months. On the other hand, education departments and architects of education reforms are criticized for not developing a strategic and transparent implementation system. Without rationalized planning and use of information, decisions pertaining to transfers/postings are generally taken which result in overstaffing or understaffing in schools. For instance, a school consisting of five grades and total enrolment of 70 students could have seven teachers posted in it because of duplications and inaccurate information. Similarly, it was reported that process transfer/posting cases are processed illicitly if commissions are paid to clerks and senior officials. Again tactical measures were adopted by education departments including ban on transfers, freeze on postings, salary-stoppage on teacher absenteeism; however, these tactics adversely impacted the flow of functioning. For instance, the number of teachers posted from their hometowns raised dramatically in a span of three years. Moreover, vested interests and political forces found ample opportunities to pressurize threaten and malign the education department while also flourishing the culture of corruption. A recent initiative of Project Monitoring and Implementation of PERSP seems promising where a comprehensive and interactive information management system is developed to ensure evidence-based decision planning on all accounts. Through mindful use of technology, PMIU aims to provide instant information to decision makers so data on vacancies, sanctioned posts, teachers profile could be extracted within minutes to ensure there are no duplications or misinformed postings and transfers. With a prime objective to improve efficiency and quality of decisions, the project is running a beta version and will soon institutionalize it across district and provincial departments. As an official elaborated, technology has to be integrated, as the magnitude of work does not allow even the most diligent HR to manage every record manually. However, institutionalization will not be possible until redundant mechanisms currently in place are dismantled. Moreover, internalizing the value of careful planning and rigorous implementation is crucial. Otherwise, the political tussles and backstopping will reduce the success and sustainability of such initiatives.

4.3.5 Ad-hoc and Non-participatory Decision Making


The complexity of change process especially in the education sector cannot be overemphasized. Amongst the many factors, involvement of stakeholders, change management, time available and strong review processes play a vital role in achieving the set targets/desired impacts. Ironically, none of these have been witnessed in the education sector of Pakistan where one after the other reform has been introduced without open consultation and debates. Teachers and school management has been deeply affected by the process in many ways. First, they consider them as insignificant and not worthy enough to be informed/contribute as they are treated merely as a cog in the wheel. During this study, various teachers expressed this view. Regarding devolution and

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consequent changes in the mechanism/curriculum, etc., many said they know about devolution through newspapers but have never received any orientation from education authorities. Second, high levels of resistance are experienced since the understanding of the whole picture and its logic is not developed or facilitated. A classic example is provided by the PERSP initiative of constituting School Monitoring teams. There is immense resistance amongst education departments, school heads and teachers for the monitoring visits for various valid and invalid reasons. Teachers are outraged with this initiative, as they believe it is challenging the dignity and sanctity of the teaching profession. They have expressed their resentment over the fact that some one less qualified and totally unaware of education has been given authority to monitor them. District officials are equally disgruntled and so is the majority of educationists, academicians and researchers. The former believe it is duplication of work and encroachment of their territory; while the latter group disagrees in principal as educational ethics are violated and sustainability becomes a concern. PERSP however, maintains that it is a temporary arrangement with compliance as a main focus, academic supervision and autonomy is not touched upon. Moreover, it is believed that the observations/recommendations of monitoring teams have no implications for individual teachers or schools as PERSP only focus on district wise analysis. Leaving aside the legitimacy and ability of monitoring teams, the process is focused to illustrate this point. Because of partial sharing of information, PESRPs intention is not widely known while experiences are resulting in a very negative perception on the ground. Also, there is no mechanism instituted to collect information on perceptions and efforts to correct them. The grass-roots situation questions PERSP conviction that it is not affecting individuals. Every single teacher and education department official interviewed in this study cited examples from their personal experience or that of a colleague where the monitoring team members have misbehaved and bullied the school staff or misreported the real situation. Also incidents were shared where misinterpretation or misreporting has caused problems for individuals as they were issued notices from the EDO/DCO or Nazim. Even if these are ill-founded perceptions, they have a serious existence and need to be accounted for. Lastly, imposing reforms without taking key stakeholders into confidence not only creates distrust but can also lead to wrong strategies since feedback/input from grass-roots players i.e., teachers is not sought. Again an example from Punjab illustrates how good intentions can turn into disastrous programmes. Corporal punishment, one of the most heinous practices in schools, is rightly banned from all schools in Punjab. It was also decided to empower children so they could report any incident of corporal punishment directly. As the implementing strategy, the government put up boards in all schools stating the Maar Nahin Pyaar notification with telephone numbers of Special Secretary, Schools and Literacy to ensure direct access. The strategy backfired as the negative implications of corporal punishment are not understood but teachers are sulking over the ridicule and threats they have been subjected to by parents and students alike. Moreover, direct access is abused by community members who mis-report, to settle personal scores with teachers. In one case in Chakwaal, a fight between two students and bruises that one child developed was reported as a result of teachers beating. Instead of creating harmony in schools, strategy for Maar Nahin Pyar has resulted in increasing animosity between teachers, students and community. Such exclusive reforms and their abrupt implementation are invariably counter-productive and further add to teachers issues and complaints from the system.

4.4

Rights and Responsibilities: Steps Towards Harmonizing the System

This chapter studied the range of issues, perspectives and practices associated with the teaching profession and practice. Keeping in view the existing situation, following are key points that are essential to be considered if any constructive change in the state of education is targeted at.

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Although the issues highlighted here are fundamental in nature, solutions and suggestions are not prescriptive by any account. Shifting blames to explain the dwindling respect of teachers in society is an exercise in futility. Similarly the reductionist discourse of teachers as victims and the education system as perpetrator or vice versa is equally misinformed and counter productive. An honest critique and reflection on changing priorities of teachers and society is required for schools to become learning spaces. Generally speaking, the way teaching happens today has nothing noble to it. It could be a humbling exercise for teachers and all those associated with education if they were to identify their self-learning interests, the personal sense of meaning and relevance associated to what they teach, the kind of bonding they share with learners. Majority of teachers interviewed for this research and elsewhere spend minimal time on their own learning through any means. The same applies to education administrators, policy makers and planners. At best, tools and skills are adopted without much understanding and application. A good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known. Such a system would require the application of constitutional guarantees to education. Learners should not be forced to submit to an obligatory curriculum; or to discrimination based on whether they possess a certificate or a diploma. Nor should the public be forced to supportthrough a regressive taxationa huge professional apparatus of educators and

buildings which in fact restrict the public's chances for learning to the services the profession is willing to put on the market.
Ivan Ilich, A special supplement: education without school: how can it be done; Volume 15, Number 12

This trend underscores the theoretical underpinning on which the whole system is based. Despite open rejection, the education system is based on behaviourist and racist approach to learning. Anyone lower in hierarchy or social order is considered to be void of any sense and ability hence, not allowed to contribute. This is witnessed everywhere - in classrooms where learners need to be filled in with knowledge, in education departments where schools/teachers are not trusted to act responsibly and also in think tanks where prescriptions are prepared for schools and the education sector. Therefore, what becomes an essential first step is to deepen the understanding of learning, education, facilitating and debilitating factors affecting the process of education and learning. Roles of all players need to be redefined accordingly so there is no mismatch between targets and strategies for education. Since the core focus in the school is on syllabus completion and securing good grades, students experience of skills, attitudinal and moral development is equally hollow and deficient. Consequently, the dropout ratio rises after every few months despite incentivizing education through textbooks, free meals, etc. Paying attention to students perspectives is imperative, which can clarify the myths of schooling, teaching and learning. For example, a drop out from school (in Balochistan) who defined her own learning paths asked: Where a m I in this whole thing? It is about teachers, buildings, furniture, tats, monitoring attendance, districts, provinces and politics but where is the learner/student in the discourse? What is done for us in schoolwe are never asked about what we want to learn? Why should I spend time there when I am not important!

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Children of all ages are intelligent enough to figure out that things, which are shoved down in schools, are neither interesting nor relevant for them. Also, information explosion has opened new vistas for them to engage in. For teachers to gain students interest and respect, they will have to look into creative and engaging processes of co-learning. Project approach, active learning, exploratory activities are few ways through which students can take charge of their own learning with the facilitation of teachers.

Through their natural gift of guessing, children

learn the meaning of words, which we cannot explain. But it is just at this critical period that the childs life is brought into the education factory, lifeless, colorless, dissociated from the context of the universe, with bare white walls staring like eye balls of the dead. The children have to sit inert while lessons are pelted at them like hailstones on flowers. Rabindranath Tagore

The fallout of institutional weaknesses crippling the public and even private sector services is immense for learning processes and outcomes. Despite the claims of providing good quality education and high scores in national examinations, falling trends are in three key aspects of students achievements: intellectual competence and skills, attitude and critical thinking, and moral values and consciousness. Research evidence suggests that only 18% of those who complete the primary cycle are numerate and 7% are literate to an expected level of competency. Moreover, 70% of primary and secondary school going students are unable to perform tasks requiring critical thinking and analytical skills as the focus of schools is on rote memorization (Parvez 1995, UNICEF 2003, SPDC, 2004). A drastic change in what and how of teaching has to be brought about. Breaking out of an unimaginative and factory mode of teacher development takes a central position in the educational reform. The aims and curriculum of teacher education needs to be in tune with developments in the academic/research domains as well as learners demands. Alongside the processes where teacher education need to be reconfigured, rote memorization/learning should be reduced if not eradicated completely. Focus on process skills, facilitation, children development and collaborative learning should be increased. Equally important change will be in assessment of teacher education. Though Higher Education Commission does not provide a perfect example, it is important to move towards accreditation of institutions also in the public and private sectors. In Teacher Education Colleges of England, Sri Lanka, America, a mandatory element of certification is to have demonstrated teaching competence in real classrooms for 6 months or more. The faculty does supervision of novice and student teachers. A similar approach is needed in Pakistan to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Getting teachers with qualifications higher than Matric or PTC will not help, as done in case of Educators/Contract teachers, unless the very process is improved. Depoliticization of education is another crucial measure. This does not refer to a dictatorial and prescriptive approach to education where no one has the right to participate and speak. However, educational processes need to be disinfected from the political influences at any level. This is a tough call and may not be achievable in the short term. The first step needs to be taken and that would begin from dismantling the existing education set-up and reconfiguring it on the basis of clear criteria and indicators. A related strategy would be to revisit the work portfolio of teachers and restrict it essentially to teaching and learning processes. The much acclaimed Subedars who a senior official called the best and honest HR available in Pakistan should be utilized for election duties. This will be a more effective and sustainable strategy for utilizing teachers as well as Subedars.

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5.

Teachers Association: Evolution, Existing Paractices and Underlying Issues

Teachers Associations and their role have not featured as core priority in the policy discourses and debates in Pakistan at any level in the public sector. Although some research on school and teachers have pointed at their existence, the documentation available is far from comprehensive. Only recently, banning of Teachers Association in Sindh province has generated media attention and speculation over the role of teachers association. On the contrary, the associations have acquired an organizational identity with their contribution widely recognized and valued such as Society for Pakistan English Language Teachers or Professional Teachers Association Network. However, some lesser known associations have also acquired regional memberships leading to greater exposure to different countries. In the following sections, we would zoom into the nature of Teachers Associtation, purposes of forming alliances, constitution and existing practices and perceptions about Teachers Association. The project under which this research study is commissioned focuses on strengthening civil society participation in the design and implementation of national and local education plans, especially through the support for broad based national alliances and coalitions. Under this objective, it was considered important to look at the existing networks and alliances especially for teachers.

5.1 Context of Evolution


The existence of teachers revolution can be traced back to pre-partition days when teachers gathered to resist the curricular reforms and ill-treatment under British Raaj. However, as an organized and large scale body, teachers association established its identity in 1952 when several demands were put forward to the education authorities including pension and leaves. Historically, Balochistan has played a vital role in organizing teachers resistance movements which were then taken up by other provinces. The first association was also formed in Balochistan namely Balochistan Government Teachers Association which had teachers and government officials as its members. An oriental teacher Mr. Sarwar Ayobi was the general secretary of the association until he was retired and a school inspector was the convenor. During that time the core mandate of the association focused on improvement of teaching conditions. The ensuing work included active campaigning and dialoguing about teachers rights while ensuring that teachers are fulfilling their responsibilities and developing professionally. Reminiscently, one of the respondents who was amongst the founding members, said: All of us were very active in the associations work I was teaching at that time but even directors were involved. The rift occurred in 1969 when teachers belonging to different schools of thoughts argued over the way of registering our protest on teachers salaries and postings. They wanted to stage a street demonstration for protest but many of us opposed it because we were not convinced of the strategy. We refused to resort to violence and measures of ignorant people. The pen is mightier than the sword so we didnt want to throw stones we were representing teachers and not some labour union. The protest took place but only 20 teachers took part. We felt that we didnt have the right leadership and demanded new elections.

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In the election, the head teacher of Pinjgore was elected. Unfortunately, it was the worst thing that could have happened to us. He never set his foot inside the school after getting elected and hired two goons for escorting purposes, so no one in the education department dared to ask him about his absence from school. That was just the beginning of teachers union turning into a mafia. I still regret voting for a person who destroyed the very values we stood for! (Excerpt from an interview with the founding member BGTA, Primary Education Consultant) The Teacher Union representatives in Punjab narrate a different history where they mark street protests as a key strategy as early as 1857 and claim to have attended the first educational conference in 1947 where curriculum reforms were suggested. Also, pension and municipal control over schools were amongst the first issues for which teachers resigned in protest in 1958. However, with the Martial Law imposition that campaign lost its momentum (Ahmed, 2006). While the history of teachers movement may be convoluted, there is a consensus on the factors contributing to their flourishing presence recently. Irrespective of the affiliation and designation, the respondents agreed that the current form of Teachers Association is an outcome of educational bureaucracy and inefficiency. It is the impolite attitude and never-ending channels that force teachers to take refuge in teachers associations.

5.2 Mandate and Memberships


In the public schools, more than one teachers associations exist because of geographical, religious and ethnic reasons. For instance in Balochistan, some eight associations are present and some of them have a very low base of supporters. The situation in Punjab is not very different. Although associations for every province are different in constitution and composition, they have created a collective identity also. This is known as Muttahida Teachers Mahaz or United Front for Teachers (UFT) and Balochistan leads the activities of UFT with provincial participation and consent. For this research, Punjab Teachers Union and Government Teachers Association Balochistan were studied more closely owing to their broad base in respective provinces as well as the national level, while cursory analysis of other small-scale associations was also done. The mandate of these associations can be summed up as: Constitutional protection of teachers rights vis--vis postings, transfers, promotions, retirement, gratuity and pension, suspension and termination, etc. Collaboration between education officials, teachers and community members for creating improved implementation of education Participation in efforts for improving the state of education at all levels and sharing of teachers experiences Active struggles for improving the social and economic conditions of teachers Inculcation of Islamic values and patriotism in students Promotion of spirit of volunteerism and discipline amongst teachers so they perform their duties with diligence Development of positive self-concept and sense of responsibility amongst teachers Fighting against the social ills including bribery, deception, nepotism and violation of laws

The extent to which the stated mandate is brought to practice will be discussed later in this chapter. It is significant however, to note that the mandate does not include teachers professional development nor does it focus on learning. Further, analysis of the Dustorul Amal i.e., manifesto, informs that the strategies to achieve most aspects of the mandate are not articulated in the document. It highlights that street protests would be organized at all levels and

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all members will have to join any struggle launched/supported by the Association while elaborating on the by-laws and operational details. One exception from this general trend was Tanzeem Assatza Pakistan 12 . Reportedly, the association organizes regular professional development courses for its teachers and has designed a separate curriculum for this purpose. A member of the association, also an EDO, elaborated: Our core aim is to revive the sense of self-accountability and activism a mongst teachers. Islamic teachings become our reference point as no one offers an exa mple as perfect as the Prophet Moha mmad (P.B.U.H). Our analysis tells us that all these trainings and programmes are not working because they only touch the surface. That is what we want to change with our efforts, reviving connections of spirit and heart is crucial for concrete improvement. Any teacher working in a public school can become a member of the association upon signing an affidavit to formalize his/her agreement with associations mandate and mission. Upon becoming a member, a monthly donation of Rs. 10 needs to be paid by every member. Failure in doing this for three consecutive months could lead to suspension/termination of membership. Aside from general body members, there are executive councils and committees formed at provincial, divisional, district, sub-district and sub-divisional levels. Post devolution, divisional level committees have been removed. In the 10-14 member committees at various levels, generic categories which can be found in all associations include: President, Senior Deputy President, Deputy President, General Secretary, Information Secretary, Joint Secretary, Finance Secretary, Treasurer, Coordination Secretary. Roles, responsibilities and scope of authority for each position at provincial, district, tehsil, circle/markaz level are clearly documented in the associations manifesto. Similarly, the number of meetings, reporting mechanisms, utilization of funds, audit requirements and operational procedures are minutely described. Female representation is different for Punjab and Balochistan. While female members are present in Punjab also, Government Teachers Association Balochistan specifies female representation in executive committees also. The position of Junior Deputy President is allocated for females at all levels with responsibilities including: Collecting information on female teachers issues and resolving the problems on her own or in collaboration with the cabinet Visiting any female school in the jurisdiction and taking up issues/dialogues with female education officers Convening and presiding over the sessions of female teachers as and when necessary Compelling female education officers for resolving teachers issues

However, in practice, female members are usually very active at their own school and at best, other schools located in close proximity of their own. They explained that their family responsibilities act as a barrier for extensive involvement in Union activities especially those requiring travel. Male members also empathized with the situation maintaining that the environment in the district education offices is not conducive for females since they cannot wait around for long hours.

12

The name can be roughly translated as the Teachers Association of Pakistan. However, the word tanzeem here, has the connotation of: organized according to religious principles of Islam.

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5.3 Legislative Status and Requirements


Varied opinions and information is available on the legal status of teachers associations. Interestingly, semantics play a key role in establishing the legislative existence. For instance, government employees cannot participate in any Union as they do not work under labour laws but can form Associations. According to 1979 Grades and Rules, every cadre can have a separate association i.e., each for primary, secondary, tertiary levels. Also, these associations could upgrade into federation and confederation by forming a coalition under the 1969 conduct and service rules. However, at present the terms associations and unions are used interchangeably in Pakistan.

Place in the Constitution


The ban on the teachers' association activities is in clear violation of Article 16, 17, 19 and 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan, which guarantees and protects citizens' freedom of association and assembly, freedom of speech and expression and non discrimination. In addition, this violates the standard of the Charter of the United Nations to which Pakistan is a member. It is very disappointing that the Pakistan government, which was elected as one of the members to the UN Human Rights Council in May 2006, allows violations of such fundamental rights of citizens rather than taking genuine action to protect those rights. It is also shameful that the Pakistan government has yet to ratify several major international conventions including the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Asian Human Rights Commission 2006

Looking at the legislation, any association of government employees cannot organize itself on the lines of a Union and be legally registered. Also, they cannot be registered as associations under the http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2006/1935/ Societys Act of 1967 as it calls for institutionalizing the mechanisms and meet all demands of the Societys Act. Contrary to the legalities, most prominent teachers body in Punjab is called Union and is registered under the Trade Unions Act of 1926, clause 72. On the other hand, the Government Teachers Association of Balochistan openly says that it is not registered under any act or legislature. Yet, it is considered to be a representative body and also leads national movements for teachers.

The legalities are not common knowledge nor accessible easily. Ignorance about the legislatives are even reflected in the actions of education ministries. For instance, the Sindh Government was in the news for banning something, which does not have a legal existence. Obviously, the notifications issued for banning their activities will have little legal value. On the other hand, the federal minister for education, prime minister and president of Pakistan have recently endorsed the otherwise illegal existence of teachers union by having a series of meetings with their representatives.

5.4

Role of Teacher Unions/Associations: Current Practices and Perceptions

The situation on ground is extremely polarized as far as practices and perceptions about teachers association are concerned. The following is the synopsis of information shared by various respondents including the committee members of the teachers associations:

Fairness of Representation: Teachers associations basic mandate reflects protection of


teachers rights as their core priority but it does not specify which teachers will be given priority. In Balochistan, only the cases of senior teachers are paid any heed to because of rewards associated with it. A retired government officer, also frequently consulted by GTAB members claimed that a primary teacher has never been helped out irrespective of

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the genuine needs as it is beneficial for GTAB and its trade union and political allies to get senior teachers either in education departments or as school heads. Even teachers said that they do not want to be identified with associations as they resort to use of unfair means and force spreading a culture of hooliganism, money extortion and favouritism. When probed why they still pay Rs. 10 on a monthly basis and Rs.100 during election time when they cannot identify with TA, one teacher retorted: We give money as charity so that we can easily get rid of them. They never deliver what they promise but have the nerve to co me back next year for more money and more support!

Fulfillment of Professional Duties and Teaching Responsibilities: It is rare for members


of teacher associations to come to school and teach like other teachers. The organization mandate is regularly violated in this way. In Balochistan, this culture is more predominant with extreme examples like Loralai where the GTAB forced the schools to close down after the Nazim illegally dismissed the EDO. Lasbella is perhaps the only district where all members of TA regularly come to schools and carry out any activities after school hours. Also, Tanzeem Assatza Pakistan takes strict notice if any member has refused to fulfill his/her teaching responsibilities. Punjab is a mix of these extremes with individuals making their own choices. In District Jehlum and Chakwaal for instance, TA members are punctual in schools.

Many teachers and government officials offered a simple litmus test to verify the claims. They encouraged us to ask any teacher association member about the name of the school in which they are currently posted, and they will stammer because they dont even remember when it was the last time they stepped in their school let alone the class. One of the executive council members asserted that they ensure every teacher is present in the school by rotation. However, he conceded that Not everyone is following this because we have so many responsibilities. Combating for different teachers issues dont leave enough spacealso we will go to school when all teachers follow that. People point fingers at us but do not look at those teachers who serve as body guards to ministers and are attached to other officials. If everyone is following the rule, then we will too.

Relationship with the Education Department and Political Representatives: Very


negative perceptions and experiences exist about why and how teachers associations determine their priorities. While officials and teachers in Punjab and Balochistan both have similar experiences, the degree of hooliganism in Balochistan is very high. The members of teachers associations have occupied 8 rooms in the primary education directorate and declared a large school in Quetta as their head office. The physical condition of the head office is antithetical to the classrooms and school premises as it is lavishly furnished13 . The members shared that the Secretary Education has allotted these rooms, however, numerous respondents shared that TA members forced their way in by beating up additional directors and throwing out their belongings.

With respect to Nazims and other political representatives, TA members as well as education department officials revealed that TA keeps political representatives at an arms length because they keep on shifting their commitments and priorities.

13

An opposite depiction of the Urdu phrase, makhmal mein taat ka paiwand, this office is a velvet piece in a rag.

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One of the respondents encapsulated the modus operandi of teachers association saying they have deep connections with media, trade unions, political parties and department and ministry officials. They operate like a mafia, using one set of connections to exploit and manipulate others. The majority of designated officials or teachers are scared of union members because their own record is not clean. They cant afford to disagree with association members. Senior educationists and NGO representatives maintained that teachers associations are parasitic in nature where education departments own complacency and weak transparency act as the host/food for them. One of the respondents said that unruly growth of TA and mafia culture is education departments own doing the day it improves its implementation and services for teachers, TA mafias will die their own death.

Openness to Innovation: Although teachers associations cannot be blamed solely for


having this approach, more often than not objection for the sake of objection has been the case if any innovations/improvements were planned for teachers/education. For instance, teaching through phonics at the primary level was stopped in Balochistan simply because teachers didnt learn language in this way and thus do not see the relevance of the methodology with quality of learning outco me. While academic merits and demerits could be offered for using phonics, the rationale offered by teachers association does not seem logical. Similarly, teachers assessment and consequent professional/competence development was violently opposed by teachers association. When probed further, the president of GTAB pronounced all our teachers are good and we will not support any assessment at all. The education department first needs to clean itself from all the corruption. However, it was also made clear that teachers association will not do anything to help improve the education department because we are not sure about the com mitment level. There are no guarantees.

Such statements bring the objectivity and commitment of teachers association into question because it defies logic and principles of continuous professional development and criterion referencing. However, retired education officials also consulted by teachers unions reckon that association members are slowly realizing the value of strategic and programmatic reforms. Although TAs are reluctant in openly accepting these propositions, however, they want to institutionalize processes of advocacy and professional development. The main reason behind this growing realization is the mushrooming of private and professional associations, which is making mere slogans and use of force unpopular and ineffective.

Role as Pressure Groups: One aspect for which teachers associations are lauded is the
updation of service books and pushing for promotion cases. It is widely accepted within and outside education departments that without the pressure exerted by TAs, most education officials will not pay any heed to service book entries and promotion lists.

5.5 Way Forward: Building a Culture of Collaboration


There is an immense need for collective representation and action for and by the teachers. While the pros and cons of numerous teacher associations and their legal existence is highly questioned and debatable, it does not indicate that facilitation of teachers in professional, procedural and personal matters is not required. Following are some reference points which could be used for reconfiguring and reviving teachers networks. Conspicuous by its absence is the discourse on learners and learning. It reflects the flawed approach where demand for rights is not equaled by the fulfillment of responsibilities. Any

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network or association needs to keep learning as the central focus. This will invariably lead to more contentment amongst teachers and creativity in classrooms. Community of Practice is a common and growing phenomenon in various countries and also initiated in Pakistan. The concept of a community of practice (often abbreviated as CoP) refers to the process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate over an extended period to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations.14 For resolving the pedagogical as well as administrative issues, developing Communities of Practice could be a viable solution. In this way teachers at school, cluster, tehsil, district and above levels will be able to unite and sort out their own problems. As manifested in other countries, strong CoP repels favoritism and complacency because it is not hierarchical in nature. The merit and worth is determined by the nature of contribution and actions. While promoting local dialogues and knowledge is absolutely essential, it does not have to create a xenophobia amongst teachers or their spokespersons. Curbing mistrust and cynicism is only possible when ideas are shared openly. Alongside, understanding and patience towards constructive feedback is equally important. At present, the us versus them feeling is prevalent in education departments as well as teachers association members. This tussle undermines the importance and centrality of teachers issues. The level of scepticism about any possible improvement in teachers association is extremely high. There have been suggestions made that teaching should be declared as an essential service which in turn would make any associations or unions unconstitutional. Thus, rooting out the menace completely. It is of little merit to comment on the perceptions because they are based on individual experiences and observations. The reason for highlighting it is that a nave approach to teachers networks and coalitions should not be adopted. Taking account of existing perceptions and then planning for reforms will lead to greater effectiveness of the initiatives.

14

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_practice

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ADB/DfID/World Bank. (2004) Devolution in Pakistan- an overview. ADB/DfID/World Bank. Islamabad ANTRIEP. (2000). Improving School Efficiency: The Asian Experience. Report of Asian Network of Training and Research Institutes in Educational Planning: UNESCO-IIEP: Paris Andrabi, T., J. Das and A. Khwaja (2002). The Rise of Private Schooling in Pakistan: Catering to the Urban Elite or Educating the Rural Poor? World Bank and Harvard University Craig Helen (1995). School Effectiveness and School Improvement in the Pacific: Policy Planning and Focus on the School. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, Boston, Mass. Dart, J. J. & Davies, R.J. (2003), A dialogical story-based evaluation tool: the most significant change technique, American Journal of Evaluation 24, 137155. Education Sector Reforms Assistance Program. (2006). Report on First Inter Provincial Conference: Taking Stock, Moving Ahead. Islamabad. RTI Available at: http://esra.rti.org/esra/resources/index.cfm?&catID=0&cType=0&showall=Yes Fry, L. (2000), What makes teachers tick?: a policy research report on teachers' motivation in developing countries. London. Voluntary Service Organization (VSO) Garrett, R.M. (1999), Teacher job satisfaction in developing countries. Educational research supplemental series (G), No. ED 459 150, ERIC Document Reproduction Service. Geertz, C. (1973),The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books, 1973. Government of Pakistan (1947). Proceedings of the Pakistan Educational Conference, Ministry of Interior (Education Division): Karachi Government of Pakistan (1959). Report of the Commission on National Education: Ministry of Education, Islamabad. Government of Pakistan (1970). New Education Policy, Ministry of Education: Islamabad. Government of Pakistan (1972-80). Education Policy, Ministry of Education: Islamabad. Government of Pakistan (1979). National Education Policy, Ministry of Education: Islamabad. Government of Pakistan (1992-2002). National Education Policy, Ministry of Education: Islamabad. Government of Pakistan (1998-2010). National Educational Policy, Ministry of Education: Islamabad. Government of Pakistan with UNESCO. (2003) Fiscal Devolution in Education: Case Study Reflecting Initial Responses, Islamabad. Govinda, R. (ed.) (2004). Instructional Planning: Concept and Processes. Presentation made in School Management Workshop. AKESP: Karachi Govinda, R. (ed.) (2002). Role of Headteachers in School Management in India: Case studies from Six States. ANTRIEP: Paris HRCP. (2004). Status of Primary Education after Devolution. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan: Lahore HRCP. (2004). Primary Education and Funding in Pakistan. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan: Lahore

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Lockheed, Marlaine, and Adrian Verspoor (1991). Improving Primary Education in Developing Countries: A review of policy options. Oxford: Oxford University Press. MoE (2004): Aspiring for School Excellence: The Malaysian Case. Institut Aminuddin Baki, Ministry of Education Malaysia, April 2004. Developed for ANTRIEP Report on Successful School Management: IIEP: Paris. Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNESCO, 2003, National Plan of Action on Education for All (2001-2015) Pakistan, Islamabad, Government of Pakistan Ministry of Education. 2003. Education Sector Reforms Action Plan 2001-2005 Summary. Islamabad: Government of Pakistan Multi-Donor Support Unit [MSU] (2001a). Devolution and Decentralization: Implications for the Education Sector: Balochistan. Provincial (Balochistan) Workshop Report, Quetta, Pakistan. MSU (2001b). Devolution and Decentralization: Implications for the Education Sector: NWFP. Provincial (NWFP) Workshop Report, Peshawar, Pakistan. MSU (2001c). Devolution and Decentralization: Implications for the Education Sector: Punjab. Provincial (Punjab) Workshop Report, Lahore, Pakistan. MSU (2001d). Devolution and Decentralization: Implications for the Education Sector: Sindh. Provincial (Sindh) Workshop Report, Sukkur, Pakistan. MSU (2001e). Devolution and Decentralization: Implications for the Education Sector. National Technical Group Meeting, Islamabad, Pakistan. Patton, M. Q. (1990), Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA. SPDC, 2004. Social Development in Pakistan 2002-03: The State of Education in Pakistan, Karachi: Oxford University Press. Williams, James. H, (2001) School quality and attainment in developing counties. Paper presented at UNHCR workshop on Refugee Education in the Developing Countries: Policy and Practices. Washington. Vandenberghe, R. and Huberman, A.M. (1999), Understanding and Preventing Teacher Burnout, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Winkler, Donald R. and Hatfield, Randy. L (2002). The Devolution of Education in Pakistan. The World Bank: Islamabad. Zembylas, Michalinos and Papanastasiou Elena. (2003), Job Satisfaction among School Teachers in Cyprus, Journal of Education Administration, Vol. 42, 3, pp. 357-374.

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Appendix A: District Profiles for Education Services Balochistan


Key Quantitative Educational Indicators 2003-2004 (Source: AEPAM) Districts Enrolment at Katchi and Primary Level Number of Primary Teachers Number of Primary Government Schools Male Female Urban Rural Total Male Female Urban Rural Total Male Female Mixed Urban Rural Lasbella 15129 10827 7934 18022 25956 562 176 157 581 738 362 125 70 417 Killa 12178 8066 1139 19105 20243 442 131 10 563 573 289 112 7 394 Saifullah Pishin 28785 16786 10108 35463 45571 794 341 181 954 1,135 446 152 69 529 Quetta 34850 35990 36794 34100 70840 839 647 697 789 1,486 249 148 97 300 Districts Budgetary Allocations for Education (In Millions of Rupees) Development ESR Allocation Total Allocation for Total Utilization in Rupees %age of Utilization Allocation from Education District Resources Lasbella 5.043 5.049 174.064 169.152 97% Killa Saifullah 1.749 2.243 135.932 135.932 100% Pashin Nil 4.532 260.928 260.928 100% Quetta Punjab Key Quantitative Educational Indicators 2003-2004 (Source: AEPAM) Districts Enrolment at Katchi and Primary Number of Primary Teachers Level Male Female Total Male Female Total Chakwal 51,459 48,335 99,794 1,156 1,296 2,452 Jhelum 46,022 40,026 86,048 1,150 1,046 2,196 Lahore City 35,180 36,003 71,183 707 595 1,302 Lahore Cantt 55,735 41,704 97,439 1,322 784 2,106 Pindi 92,689 92,554 185,243 2,444 2,995 5,439 Number of Primary Government Schools Male 433 357 164 302 782 Female 466 411 173 307 994 Total 899 768 337 609 1,776 NA on AEPAM Site

Appendices

Total 487 401 598 397

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Appendix B
Raising Teachers Salary: Issues of Clarity and Implementation

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Reported Promises vs Actual Intentions


NO. F 1-2006-DD GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Islamabad, June 2, 2006 PRESS RELEASE(Available at:www.moe.gov.pk/mediacell.htm)
UNITED TEACHERS FORUM TO SUPPORT EDUCATIONAL REFORMS All Pakistan Teachers United Forum had assured of their full support to the ministry of education in its endeavors in revolutionizing the countrys education sector by implementing the reforms at the grass root level. The assurance was extended by the 7-member office bearers of the All Pakistan Teachers United Forum who met the federal education minister, Lt. Gen (R) Javed Ashraf, at his office, here today. The delegation strongly supported the steps taken by the ministry by reviewing the National Education Policy, updating the National Curriculum, introduction of new examination reforms, teaching of Islamiyat from class 3 instead of class 4, etc. and assured the minister that the teaching community, as a major stakeholder, warmly welcomes and strongly supports the initiative of the ministry. The delegation also rejected the false claims of the politico-religio elements that teaching of Islamiyat has been deleted from class 1 and 2 and Pakistan Studies had been distorted in the National Curriculum. The education minister, while addressing the delegation told that the present government had assured the proposal of substantial increase in the salaries of the teaching community, besides a special teaching allowance, which would be announced in the coming budget. He maintained that both the President and the Prime Minister had fulfilled their pledge by enhancing the pay structure of the teachers and added that he would personally pursue the case with the countrys leadership for getting the time-scale promotions for all the teachers approved, which would be linked with the performance. The minister told the delegation that it was due to his personal efforts and persistent follow-ups with the countrys financial managers that the government has in principal agreed to raise the salaries of the teachers along with a special teaching allowance. The teaching allowance would be merged into the salaries according to the basic qualifications of the teachers. He also maintained that the federal government had also agreed to his proposal for raising the basic scale of teachers from BPS 7 to BPS 9, which was evident of the governments resolve to accord priority status to the teaching community. The delegation, consisting of the President of PUTF Haji Ghaffar Kadazai, Hafiz Ghulam Mohammad, Hafiz Abdul Nasir, Dr. Sager Alam, Hamad Lodhi, Muzamil Tarnabi, Abdul Munaf, Sardar Gul, Abdul Rasheed and Allah Bux thanked the minister for pleading their cause at the highest forum and assured their maximum support in implementing the reforms of the government in the education sector.

Appendix C

NO. F 1-2/2006-DD GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Islamabad June 3, 2006 CORRIGENDUM
It has been erroneously reported in the press release of the Ministry of Education issued on 2nd June 2006, that the government had agreed to raise the pay of the teachers by a certain amount along with a special teaching allowance in their salaries in the forthcoming budget. As a matter of fact, these are the recommendations forwarded by the Ministry of Education for the increase in salaries of the teaching community for approval and acceptance by the government. The final decision has yet to be intimated. However, the Prime Minister has indicated increase in the salaries of the teachers in the forthcoming budget during his meeting with the teachers delegation.

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International Affiliation of Teachers Association


Teachers Associations have developed affiliations with regional and international organizations as well. The following is the excerpt from the Educational International Website where four associations from Pakistan are have become the Asia Pacific Affiliates. These include: By becoming the affiliates, these associations have agreed to the By-laws of EI, that demand educational input By-Laws of the Asia Pacific Region 1. Name The Regional structure of the Education International in Asia-Pacific shall be named Education International Asia-Pacific (EIAP). 2. Co mposition The Education International Asia-Pacific (EIAP) shall be composed of the member organisations of the Education International in the Asian-Pacific region as defined by the Executive Board of the Education International. 3. Functio ns The function of the Education International Asia-Pacific (EIAP) shall be: (a) to advise the Executive Board of the Education International on policies and activities to be undertaken by the Education International in Asia-Pacific, and to assist in the implementation of these policies and activities; (b) to promote the aims and principles of the Education International in the Asian-Pacific region; (c) to promote regional cooperation and collective action to protect and advance the rights and interests of teachers and education employees, and of education at the Asian-Pacific level; (d) to cooperate with the COPE, ACT and STF; (e) to participate in the formulation of EI policy at the world level with particular regard to the World Congress. 4. Regional Conference (a) The Regional Conference shall be the supreme authority of the Education International AsiaPacific (EIAP). (b) An ordinary session of the Regional Conference shall: (i) adopt its rules of procedures and agenda; (ii) elect the Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons and other members of the Regional Committee; (iii) determine the policies, principles of action and program of the Education International AsiaPacific (EIAP); (iv) approve the activity report, the financial report and the proposed budget; (v) determine the supplemental membership fees. (c) Subject to approval by the Executive Board of the Education International the Regional Conference shall have the authority to amend the By-laws by a majority vote. (d) The Regional Conference shall be composed of delegates representing member organisations and of the members of the Regional Committee. (e) Each member organisation shall be entitled to one delegate and one additional delegate for every 20,000 members, or a part there of, with a maximum of 25 delegates. (f) Votes shall be allocated to each member organisation whose membership fees have been paid in full prior to the Conference in accordance with the following scales: up to 1,000 members,1 vote and more than 1.000 members, 1 additional vote for every 1,000 members, or a part thereof. (g) Member organisations shall receive provisional notification by the Regional Committee of the number of delegates and votes to be allocated to them. A credentials Committee to be appointed by the Regional Committee shall verify and determine the allocation of delegate credentials and

Appendix D

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voting rights for each member organisation. No roll-call voting shall take place until the Regional Conference has adopted the report of the Credentials Committee. (h) The venue, date and provisional agenda regional Conference shall be determined by the Regional Committee. Notification of the convening of the Regional Conference shall be given at least six (6) months prior to the scheduled date. (i) The Regional Conference shall meet at least once every three years. 5. Regional Committee (a) The Regional Committee shall direct the affairs and activities of the Education International Asia-Pacific (EIAP) between the Regional Conferences. (b) The Regional Committee shall: (i) draft the agenda for the regional conference; (ii) review implementation of the resolutions and decisions of the Regional Conference; (iii) initiate policies and actions in accordance with the resolutions and decisions of the Regional Conference, and with the aims and principles of the Education International; (iv) review and approve financial statements and submit a budget of the Regional Conference; (c) The Regional Committee shall be composed of fifteen (17) members as follows: (i) Chairperson 1 (ii) Vice-Chairpersons (one man and one woman) 2 (iii) One man each from SAARC, ASEAN, Pacific, Central Asia and North Asia sub-regions 5 (iv) One woman from each of the sub-regions 5 (v) Open seats 4 No affiliate shall have more than one seat on the Regional Committee except in case of being elected to the EI Executive Board. (d) EI Executive Board members in the Region shall also be the members of the Regional Committee (e) The General Secretary of the Education International, or his/her representative, shall be exofficio member of the Regional Committee without voting rights. Elections shall be carried out as follows: (i) No election shall be carried out until a minimum member of candidatures has been nominated which satisfy the requirements of this article. (ii) Where the number of candidates is greater than the number to be elected, each member organisation shall receive a ballot paper on which shall be indicated the number of votes allocated to that organisation. (iii) The first election shall be for the office of Chairperson. Where ballot papers are issued, member organisations which choose to vote shall vote for one candidate. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes will be declared elected. (iv) The second election shall be for the office of Vice Chairpersons. Where ballot papers are issued, member organisations which choose to vote shall for two candidates. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. To fulfill the requirement of the Article 5 (c) (i) one woman receiving the highest number of votes amongst the women candidates shall also be declared elected. The third election shall be for the fourteen (14) committee members. The organisations which choose to vote shall vote for one man and one woman from each of the five sub-regions and for the four candidates under the open seats as mentioned in article 5 (c) (i). The candidates with the highest numbers of votes under each of the category shall be declared elected. (g) The term of office of each member of the Regional Committee shall be three years and shall expire: (i) at the end of the Regional Conference; or at such time as an organisation to which the member belongs is no longer a member of the Education International. (h) A member of the Regional Committee who retires in accordance with paragraph 5(g)(i) shall be eligible for election.

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(i) Article 10 (e), (f), (g), of the Constitution of the Education International shall be applicable to members of the Regional Committee. In the event of removal the member concerned shall have the right to appeal to the Regional Conference. (i) In the event of a vacancy, the Regional Committee may appoint a replacement. If the vacancy occurs: (i) in the position of Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson shall be appointed as Chairperson until the next Regional Conference; in the position of Vice Chairperson, a member of the Regional Committee shall be appointed until the next Regional Conference; For other vacancies, the Regional Committee shall seek a nomination, to which it shall give strong consideration, from the national organisation of the member being replaced. The Regional Committee shall meet at least twice between Regional Conference. 6. Functio ns of Chairperson and Vice-Presidents In the absence of the Chairperson, one of the Vice President shall: (i) chair the Regional Conference; (ii) chair the meeting of the Regional Committee; (iii) maintain liaison with the Executive Board of the Education International between meetings of the Regional Committee 7. Secretariat The Secretariat and financial administration shall be provided by the General Secretary of the Education International. 8. Finances (a) Supplementary membership dues to be paid by the member organisations shall be determined by the Regional Conference on a per capita basis in accordance with by-laws 20 of the Education International, The supplementary dues shall cover all expenses related to the regional Committee and other regional activities. Supplementary dues shall be paid to the Education International before June 30 of each year, and shall be computed on the membership reported as of 31 December of the preceding year. Any organisation which is more than twelve (12) months in arrears of the payment of its supplementary membership dues, without the approval of the Regional Committee, may, at the recommendation of the Regional Committee, be suspended by the Executive Board of the Education International in accordance with Article 7(b) of the Constitution. If a member organisation is unable to fulfill its financial obligations, owing to extraordinary circumstances, the Regional Committee may recommend to the Executive Board of the Education International, in accordance with Article 19 (c) of the Constitution, to grant a delay, a temporary deduction or, in extreme cases, a temporary exemption from the payment of such supplementary fees.

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