Problems of School Teachers & Students in Pakistan
SULTAN MUHAMMAD ALI
Education is the backbone in the development of any nation. It is a fact that countries that have an effective system of education also happen to be the leaders of the world, both socially and economically. In short it is education, which can turn the population of any country from a burden to human resource.
The key to development is good education system, which is solely based on negligible problems for both the teachers and the students. In this article we will be discussing the problems being faced by both the Teachers and Students in our education system.
Problems of teachers.
It is a fact that Pakistan is one of those very few countries where the system of education has constantly eroded since independence. The situation at present is so worst that the government has officially declared our system of education to be almost collapsing and is employing all possible ways and means on emergency basis for the speedy uplift of our educational system.
Till this day all the studies has shown that with the passage of time the problems being faced by both the teachers and students multiplied. During this period no one paid any attention to them and instead wasted almost all the energies and resources on improvement of buildings and changes in curriculum. One of the key indicator of the above is the fact that since independence a lot of socially un-acceptable professions had achieved social acceptance, whereas it teachers who have lost their social acceptance.
1. Respect in Society.
The first and foremost factor in choosing a profession anywhere is the respect that it gives to a person who joins it. As already touched above teaching is constantly loosing its respect. The situation is so bad today that qualified people opt for other professions and majority of persons joining this profession are of quit a low caliber.
2. Financial problems.
The other most important factor, which in majority of the cases is as important as social respect that a profession commands is the financial benefits which a person, derives from it. The salary of our teacher is quite meager and is not enough to lead a decent life and support a healthy family. Dues to this majority of teachers resort to a number of ways and means to supplement their income. This not only diverts the attention of the teacher but also brings a bad name to this once the most respected profession. If it is ensured that a teacher gets enough financial benefits with which he can lead a decent life, he will then be in a position to invest all his energies in doing justice to his profession.
3. Frequent Transfers between schools.
It has been observed that majority of the teachers are not only posted away from the cities/villages they belong to but are also subjected to very frequent transfers. It is a human nature that it takes time to accustom to any new environment. By posting teachers away from their native cities/villages and then subjecting them to frequent transfers, they never get accustomed to the schools & students, which greatly diminishes their productivity. This also has another angle i.e. the students too needs time to get to know a teacher and it is only when they understand each other they can communicate positively.
Frequent transfers also have a negative effect on the family life of teachers especially the education of their children.
4. Unavailability of Accommodation:
Accommodation is a major irritant in the sound family life of teachers. Due to absence of official accommodation majority of the time of a teacher is spent in finding an accommodation, which he can afford. It has been observed that when finally a teacher finds an accommodation his next transfer is almost due. This keep the teacher greatly disturbed, normally they are away from their families most of the time. According to teachers this is one of the major factors why the children of teachers on the average are poor in their studies.
5. Transportation. Transportation is related to accommodation. It has been seen that in majority of the cases teachers reside at distance from the schools. Also they can afford decent transport due to which they are reported to come late and leave as early as possible. Due to recent hike in transportation costs it is reported that the cases of unreported absence from duty has also become very common.
6. Training and education qualification: It is a fact that once teachers are inducted in our education system they are seldom provided any training of substance. Due to lack of training they are not aware of challenges of the future and hence are unable to prepare their students to play their due role.
7. Political and social problems:
Since independence all the institutions of our society have become very politicized. Teaching profession is no exception to this. Majority of the induction is on political grounds. A teacher inducted through this system is not liable to merit but to the political interest of the political force that has inducted the person and so commits all kinds of blunders to favor them. The negative impact of politics is so great that who ever wants to uphold merit is punished severely.
8. Teacher headmaster relation: As already discussed above that the negative influence of politics in education is deep rooted. Due to this factor only those persons who work for the political forces get to the top. Persons who reach to the top using their political influences pay no attention to developing cordial relations with their staff. Good relations of headmaster and his teachers are very important in improving the over-all performance teachers.
9. Grouping in school.
As already discussed above our educational institutions are greatly infected with negative politics. The number of groups within an educational institution is equivalent to the number of political parties in our country. These groups fight among themselves the way our politicians fight on the national scene due to which they are never able to play their positive role. This in majority of cases engulf the student community too, which makes things worst.
10. Over Crowded Classrooms:
Due to lack of realistic investment in our educational institutions since independence, the pressure on schools has increased many folds. On the average a single teacher teaches at least sixty students in a classroom which was basically meant for thirty students. The scene of multiple classes being taught in a single room by a single teacher is very common in our primary schools. It should be kept in mind that it is here that students require maximum personal attention. In our educational system mostly the teacher is unable to recognize his student, the question of personal attention cannot even be imagined.
11. Communication problem:
Our system of education lacks communication between teaching staff, parents, headmasters, and the concerned higher authorities. Due to this they are unable to coordinate and make consolidated efforts for the uplift of the educational system and end-up blaming each other.
12. Medium of instruction:
Due the existence of multi-medium of instruction as well as ever changing medium of instruction confuses both the giver and the recipient. The absence of proper orientation confuses the teacher so greatly that they lose interest in their profession. What can be expected from a teacher who has lost his interest?
13. Inefficient and insufficient teachers.
As already discussed above majority of our teachers are inducted through political connections who lack ability to teach. On top of this they are never provided training, which can transform them into good teachers. These coupled with the fact that they are made to face an overcrowded classroom, which even a qualified teacher cannot face, makes a nightmare of the whole situation. As already discussed in majority of our primary schools, a single teacher not only teaches multiple classes under a tree or in a shabby room but also administers/ manages the school too. In case the teacher goes on leave the school is closed till the teacher returns or another teacher is posted.
14. Absence of qualitative teacher training programs:
As already discussed once a teacher is inducted he seldom goes through any training. In case a teacher is fortunate enough to go for training it never ever is of any quality and hence there exists no grooming facility for a teacher.
15. Absence of proper physical facilities and educational instruments and appliances.
In order to impart proper education a teacher requires a number of aides to achieve this goal. These include a variety of audio visual aids also known as teaching kits etc. In the absence of these aids a teacher fails to explain all the concepts theoretically and mostly ends-up confusing the students.
16. Absence of maintenance of pupils` cumulative record cards:
Due to lack of facilities, training of teachers and burden of work our teachers never maintain cumulative record cards. Their absence on the one hand makes it difficult for the school staff to analyze a student and on the other hand each and every teacher assesses a student himself, which at times is misleading too.
17. Lack of co-ordination among schools of the same type or with other school:
Where their exists no coordination inside a school, how can coordination among schools be imagined. Due to this lack of coordination, discussion of mutual problems never takes place and hence no collective and positive measures can be taken towards the resolution of these problems.
18. Response from different Govt of Pakistan’s line agencies:
It has also been observed that different line agencies of the Govt. of Pakistan such as Education Department, WAPDA, C&W, District Administration etc. whose job is to supplement the efforts of school teachers has failed to respond to the genuine needs of the school teachers. Since these agencies do not take them seriously due to which the teachers have stopped to approach them, hence a door towards improvement has also been closed almost permanently.
Problems Of Students:
In Pakistan the problems being faced by students are as numerous as that being faced by teachers if not more. These mainly includes the following:
1. Lack of guidance.
Our student is the most unguided student in the world. Neither the parent due to their ignorance nor the teachers due to lack of professionalism are able to guide them. Lack of guidance is very serious problem which student face in our country; in Pakistan education maximum parents are uneducated so they can’t guide their children. Due to which they cant chose proper subject and proper filed as well as they cant get good marks because no can help them in home work. While on other side those students who have proper guidance they get good marks.
2. Poverty and Financial problem.
Pakistan is an underdeveloped nation, majority of our people are living on the poverty line who can barely make their both ends meet. They cannot afford even the negligible fees being charged in the government institutions, let alone the books and uniforms for which they are to pay from their own pockets. Majority of our young ones are child labor, they indulge in child labor not only to feed them selves but to support their families too.
3. Lack of Trained teachers:
There are no trained teachers in our education system. The purpose of early/primary education is to induce in to the students an interest of education but children are exposed to untrained teachers in their early stage of education they lose interest in education and results in early dropouts.
4. Lack of proper learning aids and laborites.
Our schools are devoid of proper laborites and learning aids. Due to this students are bombarded with theoretical concepts, which in the absence of the required audiovisual learning aids and laboratories confuses the students. As a result of this the students lose their interest in education after which either they drop out or rely on practices like cheating, bribing teachers etc.
5. Fear complex
To camouflage their inability teachers grow a fence of fear around them selves. They resort to indiscriminate punishments resultantly some of the students run away from schools and the rest become docile with no interest in education but to spend time aimlessly.
6. Psychological problems.
Students due to high expectations of their families and absence of guidance for both the parents and students experience a lot of psychological stress, which has a retarding effect on their growth.
8. Transfer of teachers.
Frequent transfer of teachers leaves no room for the development of mutual understanding and respect for each other. The moment they start to understand each other, the teacher is transferred. Once this process is repeated a few times with a student, the student closes himself to teachers in future.
9. Socio-economic condition.
Due to bad socio-economic conditions of majority of our students they are not very attentive to what is being imparted to them and neither can they practice it at homes.
10. Biased and traditional measures for evaluation of pupil:
Students are evaluated in our institutions not on the basis of their abilities but on the basis of their class. This disheartens students who have weak financial/social backgrounds. Also our examination system evaluates students not on the basis of their cognitive abilities but is more of a rote memory test. All this is simply due to the fact that modern evaluation techniques are not applied.
11. Absence of appropriate textbooks.
Students are subjected to inappropriate textbooks, which in the absence of appropriate reference books makes the situation worst. School libraries are filled with irrelevant books majority of which being story books, which too are kept under lock & key out of the reach of students.
Students are physically stressed due to the fact that they start early in the morning and walk long distances to schools, on reaching schools they are subjected to physical punishments and when they return they are given substantial amount of homework for which they have no guidance. I addition to this they are short of time as they have to take care of different home related chores such as feeding cattle, bringing fodder etc.
Due to mental stress and too much work students have no time to develop social relations and the feeling of loneliness overtakes them. This leads to depression and mental sickness, which is taken by society as being under the influence of spirits. To cure this they are taken to different shrines which majority of times results into partial mental disability.
14. Communication problem:
Their exists a lot of communication gaps between students, teachers and parents. Due to this gap neither the teachers nor the parents come to understand the students, resultantly they enforce upon them their wishes. This enforcement develops a rebellious or a docile nature in the students, which retard the positive abilities.
15. Medium of instruction:
Our students are subjected to very frequent changes in the medium of instruction. In the process the best they can do is to learn to read one of the languages. Majority is unable to understand what is written in the text. They memorize the text and recopy it in examination, which kills the basic aim of education.
16. Classroom environment:
The class rooms are over-crowded due to which the students are unable to take personal attention of the teacher resultantly they are unable to communicate to the teacher their problems, resultantly their problems never get resolved.
17. Lack of facilities for Co-circular activities:
Their exists no facilities for co-curricular activities of the students. Very few schools have playing grounds, which due to wrong planing of the school management are very overcrowded in school breaks (since the whole school is given a break at the same time) provide no space for any kind of sport. Also there are no provisions for sport goods due to which children run aimlessly in school breaks. Which inculcates in them an aimless attitude/behavior.
18. Drug addiction. Due to non-serious attitude of the teachers and school management students at a very early age get exposed to menaces like smoking and use of snuff, which according to psychologists are a gateway to more serious additions such as hash and heroin. It has also been observed that it is in fact the teachers and parents of the students who use these things openly in front of students and hence work as a role models for students on their way to getting into the habit of smoking and use of snuff.