Universities’ deans call for adopting comprehensive strategy to improve teaching quality

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ISLAMABAD: Universities’ deans, directors and eminent educationists have underlined the need for adopting a comprehensive strategy at the national level to improve teaching quality.

At their joint forum, organized here by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) they made a number of recommendations for upgrading teachers’ education and their recruitment policy.

During the day-long deliberations, they discussed various aspects of planning for teacher education reforms, post-reforms scenario, quality concerns and recruitment policy. It was the first meeting of the forum that was presided over by the AIOU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui.

They also deliberated upon the existing teacher training programs designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom and school as professionals.

It was emphasised that the training should help to make them fully responsible for classroom practice. It was pointed out that in all developed countries such as Australia, America and the United Kingdom, pre-service teacher training is considered an essential part of teaching licensure.

It was further emphasised that the prime focus of the training should be to familiarize the new inductees with the particular culture of the institution and to prepare them by aligning their already possessed knowledge, skills and dispositions with the requirements of the job.

According to AIOU Dean Education Dr Nasir Mahmood, the evolution of teacher education in the country took place in the form of PTC, CT, B.T, then B.Ed, B.S.Ed, M.Ed and recently into ADE and B.Ed four-year degree programs.

Endorsing the status of teaching as a profession National Professional Standards were introduced in 2009 which specified three dimensions of the teaching profession. The three dimensions outlined include knowledge, skills and dispositions.

The forum’s participants represented various universities of the country and emphasised that teacher education institutions and provincial departments of education need to be on the same page for a common cause of improving teaching quality.

Dr Shahid Siddiqui in his opening remarks emphasized for reformation and transformation of teacher education and teaching in Pakistan. He highlighted the value of ethical and dispositional discourse within teacher preparation. Teachers are the important component of quality education, he said. They needed to focus on knowledge, skill and attitude to leave a good impact on the students for their proper brought-up, he added.

Teachers should be role-models before their students and should enrich the available curriculum through better performance and conduct in the classroom, he said.