Paucity of science teachers

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DECLINING STANDARDS of elementary as well as secondary education in Pakistan has always been the point of grave concern for the stakeholders. Though science education and mathematics in particular have reached their lowest ebb, yet this grave situation has failed to move the relevant authorities who are criminally unwilling to lend a listening ear to this national dilemma. The acute shortage of teachers particularly science specialist teachers, poor and ill-equipped laboratories and curriculum, over-emphasis on teaching to the test and overcrowded classrooms are continuously pushing the elementary and secondary education standards to down. Undoubtedly, education is conceived as a powerful agency, which is instrumental in bringing about the desired changes in the social and cultural life of a nation. And a teacher plays a pivotal role in any system of education. At the same time, teacher has a challenging profession and only those teachers can shoulder the heavy responsibilities of nation building, which are adequately prepared and have sound professional attitude. It has been strongly observed that the developed world has put an extra focus on elementary as well as secondary education. Policy makers in these states have not only set highly professional criteria for teachers recruitment at schools but also they are comparatively well paid. However, it is point of regret that this approach is non-existent, rather no effective teachers training programmes in Pakistan. Here the low level of educational qualifications required to become a primary school teacher has never drawn the attention of the authorities concerned. Defective curricula, dual medium of instruction at secondary level, poor quality of teachers and cheating in the exams have heavily impacted the education at schools. It has been established through various studies that pupil achievement is closely related to the number of years of formal schooling of teachers. However, teachers appointment in schools has never been free of interference from local interest groups seeking to place teachers of their choice within their areas, thus making the whole education system vulnerable to corrupt practices including teachers absenteeism accentuated by the absence of an effective supervision system. It is highly recommended that every primary school should have a science specialist teacher and to enable this, the number of science specialist teachers must triple as the more science teachers are recruited, the better results would come. Teachers professional training must be emphasized upon. At the same time, professional scientists and engineers should come forward and mobilise support for school science teaching and celebrate students achievements in science subjects. The government should also focus more on science teacher training which will ensure quality education to the youth and also help a lot in the promotion of science culture in the country.


Published in: Volume 04 Issue 30

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