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Islamabad

October 13, 2017

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‘Teachers are repository of knowledge’

‘Teachers are repository of knowledge’

Islamabad :Teachers are the repository of knowledge, deliverable to the youth for making the better world, said Dr Shehzad Ashraf Chaudhry, president of Islamabad chapter of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), said.

According to a press release, he said Unesco rightly declared “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers” as the theme of this year’s World Teachers’ Day.

He said the twofold theme is essential for extending the generation an education to instigate the learners’ inquisitiveness for knowledge and lifelong learning. Teacher must exercise her freedom to teach students in ways deemed necessary to make them participate in the learning process.

One-size-fits-all strategy cannot cope with the dynamic learning process, he said, commenting on policies of universities managements and the authorities dealing with higher education sector. Therefore, teachers must be trusted to adopt the methods deemed appropriate themselves, he said.

Teachers must also be empowered to devise the strategies and advocate for the support and resources required in the learning process, he said.

Education, specifically higher education, in Pakistan is confronting many significant problems including contemptable funding, the lack of academic freedom, the skimpy infrastructure and most importantly the governing structure lacking teachers’ empowerment, he said.

The decisions about funding of higher education sector are done at government level, not at institutional level. The current budgetary allocation for education is less than many South Asian countries, he said. Out of the low allocated budget, 56% new development projects in the higher education sector have failed to get approval while universities remain devoid of critical infrastructures such as establishing new labs, academic blocks, and hostels, he said.

Unlike developed countries, teachers are not consulted during budget allocation in Pakistan, he said. Lack of involvement of stakeholders, specially the faculty, has diverted the attention towards quantity from quality, he said. The government is more interested in point scoring through establishment of new universities and provision of laptops for students instead of strengthening the existing universities, he said.

Many universities are facing financial crunch causing the delay in salaries as well, he said. “What positive can anyone expect from a teacher having fear of salary?” he questioned. Vice-chancellors/presidents/ rectors, dean and chairpersons are partaking of high powers, faculty complains of lack of motivation due to irregular appointments/promotions, waning academic freedom and poor resources for teaching and research, he explained.

Instead of putting their efforts outside university for funding, vice-chancellors behave like bosses to the faculty and seek money generation, which is weird, he said. Universities are being run in a bureaucratic way, where faculty is treated as employees to management, he said.  Chairpersons and deans tend to be the representatives of management to the faculty instead of representative of faculty to the management, he lamented.

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