This was just among the several findings of the study on teachers in Pakistan, especially government school teachers, about whom very little is known, especially when it comes to the challenges they face and the support they need to do their jobs well.
The Voice of Teachers, the study on Pakistani teachers, highlights the struggles of men and women who are charged with the task of educating this country’s children, often under the most difficult circumstances.
Conducted by the Society for the Advancement of Education (SAHE), in partnership with Alif Ailaan, the study is based on an extensive survey of more than 1,250 teachers and head teachers in government and private schools across the country.
The survey interviewed 1,264 teachers (823 teachers and 441 head teachers) from 634 government and private schools in 15 districts, covering urban and rural areas in all four provinces. Its findings challenge many of the myths surrounding Pakistan’s teaching workforce.
The study also delves into issues that have received public attention in recent years: political interference, the role of teachers’ associations, recruitment, transfers and postings. Here too, what teachers have to say is surprising. Most government teachers state that they were hired on merit, with just 20 per cent reporting that their recruitment did not follow official procedures and just one per cent using political influence.
Among the issues that hamper a teachers’ ability to perform effectively are overcrowded classrooms, multi-grade teaching, poor quality textbooks, and the lack of facilities and equipment. For government school teachers, non-teaching duties are a major concern. Teachers in the survey claim that they spend an average of 53 days a year on non-teaching duties.