Saturday July 20, 2024

Experts call for training of primary schoolteachers

By Our Correspondent
July 16, 2020

Lahore: A working group held a virtual meeting with eminent experts in education and discussed the concept paper prepared by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training for the National Curriculum Council. The experts who participated in the meeting are: Dr A H Nayyar, Dr Baela Raza Jamil, Zubeida Mustafa, Dr Khalid Masud, Dr Yaqoob Bangash, Dr Riaz Sheikh, Aanya Niaz, Camilla Chaudhary, Prof Anjum James Paul, Amjad Nazeer and Peter Jacob.

They appreciated the work done by the National Curriculum Council and its efforts to consult with a wide range of stakeholders from the private sector, the federation and the provinces. Giving observations on the concept paper, the working group appreciated that the provinces would be free to adopt their regional language as the medium of instruction in early education.

It will encourage all provinces to utilise this provision to the fullest as numerous studies have conclusively shown that the skills and education are best imparted through mother tongue as medium of instruction in early education.

It acknowledged that a holistic view is now undertaken towards introducing English gradually as a medium of instruction from primary to the secondary level. The step would remove the discrimination on the basis of medium of instruction among schools in Pakistan. It recommended that adequate and rigorous training be imparted to over 700,000 primary schoolteachers. It emphasised that language acquisition with understanding should be the main focus in the initial few years of education. Once adequate language skills are acquired, the students can learn other subjects easily. It underscored that schools must be transformed into creative spaces for foundation learning.

Yearly evaluation of both the textbooks and methods of instruction must be undertaken so that lessons are learnt, processes improved, and decisions implemented. For this purpose, a group of experts be assigned a full time task to monitor the results of such experimentation and innovations rendering evidence on the best way ahead, the working group recommended.