By Marwa Mehboob.
In today’s world where the education system has widened its network and it is more important than it has been in half a century. The importance of building proper training institutes for teachers has become a necessity.
Unfortunately, the education system in our country has worsened because of the inappropriate flow of knowledge through the hands of the majority teachers that lack the potential to meet the challenges of the modern times.
Achieving the ultimate goal of success requires those concrete pillars of education which needs to be controlled by the institutions significantly made up of well-educated people who are aware of the contemporary system of education being practiced in developed countries of the world which undoubtedly stimulates active learning and inspires imaginations. This can only be a reality when the transformative power of education is fully realised. In contrary our children would leave school without learning anything of value.
There is marked evidence that teachers are the most important factor in determining learning outcomes, second only to what children bring to school. Yet if we see it globally there remains a marked deficit in both teacher numbers and teaching quality, which has a huge impact on learning outcomes for children. However, parents are still unconditionally willing to spend every penny on their child’s education in order to achieve the maximum results from their financial investment. But most lamentably the scenario here is mostly adverse and does not meet the expectations of the parents.
This is a matter of deep concern especially in countries with low income rate where education systems have expanded rapidly and teachers themselves may not have sufficient subject knowledge or appropriate skills because of poor quality and inadequate teacher training institutes. Often, this is compounded by reduced qualifications for entering into the teaching profession. This inadequacy of subject knowledge presents teachers with difficulties in understanding and breaking down the curriculum for their students resulting in the collapse of the education system which aggravates the element of negligence between the student and the teacher by further limiting their confidence and consequently their teaching and the learning outcomes for children. Woefully, such evidence is rarely considered by governments and educational institutions while erecting education policies and deciding resource allocation priorities.
The challenges that we need to look upon requires great level of interest devotion and sincerity towards the enhancement of such institutions which are capable of promoting those teachers who are fit for the specific job and are responsible for the induction of the right people to become teachers. So, by preparing teachers with the right skills will help them getting equipped with knowledge and teaching skills that can provide relevant guidance to promote effective practice and support improvement for the overall education system. On the other end such continuation of low levels of education and poor training would leave the teachers graduating from teacher training colleges without the core subject knowledge and pedagogical skills to deliver the best possible instruction for every child. Diploma containing substantial material required for the enhancement of the teaching profession should be mandatory. In order to achieve these objectives teacher education institutions must be fully resourced with complete support of the government and developmental organisations which will open opportunities for the teachers professional development.
Another factor which is very demoralising for the teacher’s community is related to the salaries they are offered which are quite low and has a detrimental effect on teacher’s personal lives and their ability to perform well towards their jobs, as they look elsewhere for part-time work to supplement their incomes. Low salaries also mean that teachers cannot afford to pay tuition fees for further education for themselves, nor can they bear the costs for their children’s education. Attracting well-trained and effective teachers needs greater investment. Beside financial incentives, teachers have been reported being motivated when they are well supported by school leadership and have professional development opportunities with adequate teaching and learning materials, their voice is heard and have safe working environment. The above mentioned factors are important in sustaining teachers, their professional identities, job satisfaction, and commitment to the profession. The government should work on the equitable distribution of well trained teachers both in the rural and urban areas so that the disequilibrium in the channel of education is maintained.
The entire system of transferring right knowledge through the hands of right people can be easily achieved with the strong integration between the government and developmental organisations working to bring those people together with right expertise, knowledge and skills. This way forward can easily serve as a vanguard of tackling the existing crisis in our system of education.
Marwah Mehboob writes on social issues and is a media analyst. She can be reached at Twitter @marwahmehboob