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April 24, 2019

Out-of-field teaching common in FDE schools, colleges


April 24, 2019

Islamabad : Though experts are opposed to the out-of-field teaching due to its adverse impact on student learning, lecturers of many government schools and colleges in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) are teaching the subjects, which they are not qualified for.

Complaining about severe staff shortage, the administrations of schools insist that the teachers are taking classes of the courses outside their field of expertise out of necessity and not out of choice.

They blame the problem on the mismanagement of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), which oversees the city’s public sector schools and colleges.

During the 2018-2019 academic session, which concluded lately, the out-of-field teaching remained a practice in intermediate and degree classes of some ICT colleges.

Among such educational institutions is the FG Higher Secondary School for Boys in the suburban Nilore area, where History lecturer Abdul Latif has been tasked by the principal with taking Education and Pakistan Studies classes, while Hafiz Muhammad Saleem, a lecturer in Arabic language, is teaching Urdu and Islamic Studies without undergoing specific training in those subjects.

Ironically, both are college teachers but not only are they posted to a school by the FDE but they are teaching out-of-field as well to their disenchantment.

All this is happening when the Islamabad Model Postgraduate College, H-8, desperately needs a qualified History teacher, while some colleges have Arabic teacher vacancies.

Things are rather bizarre at the H-8 IMPC.

As all the three sanctioned posts of Political Science teachers have been lying vacant for two years, students of the department are taught the subject by a clerk, who holds a degree in Health and Physical Education.

Also, the Islamabad Model College for Girls, I-8/3, is practicing the out-of-field teaching.

The principal has tasked a Biology teacher with teaching the subject of Chemistry besides her own, while a Mathematics lecturer is taking classes of Statistics and her main subject.

Also, a Mathematics lecturer is taking the Education class in the IMCG, I-14/3. Ironically, she’s also doing a clerical job due to the unavailability of non-teaching staff.

Also, the unavailability of subject specialists at only government college for girls (IMCG) in Islamabad’s biggest rural locality of Bhara Kahu, has forced the principal to give Sociology teachers the additional classes of Home Economics and a Political Science teacher that of Pakistan Studies though they don’t possess the degrees of those subjects.

A college lecturer said a teacher taking classes of subjects outside his or her field of qualification or expertise was a round peg in a square hole.

He said the out-of-field teaching was detrimental to the students’ learning.

“The teachers with BEd or similar degrees can take classes in schools but when it comes to teaching courses at the college level, subject specialisation is a must,” he insisted.