Hardly any nation may survive and progress without training and equipping those who coach, train and produce the best talent. The developed nations invest heavily in teachers’ training and development through innovative and digital ecosystems, conducive for both learners and the teachers alike. Teachers’ learning and development is a continuous journey to enhance their requisite skills, mastering new knowledge spheres, developing latest proficiencies; which in turn helps in improving students’ creativity and cognitive abilities in classrooms. Many global educationists and researchers have unanimously endorsed the linkage of innovative classroom with ultimate high tech industries and economic growth at national levels. China, Malaysia, Finland, USA, and Germany are a few glaring examples of knowledge-based economies relying heavily on their teachers’ development, both in formal and as well as vocational training sectors. Being the 5th most populous country in the world, Pakistan is blessed with enormous young human capital potential who may bring revolution in our social and economic lives amongst the comity of nations. Unfortunately, Pakistan isn’t the best country in the world for education and skills development due to low per capita spending on education, further exacerbated by poor quality of teachers training and development standards.
Our obsolete education infrastructure demands immediate fresh look in terms of requisite skills required by the teachers of 21st Century infusing skills of digitization, critical thinking and innovation to maximize enrollment as well as enhancing employability. According to World Economic Forum’s Global Human Capital Report 2017, Pakistan ranked 125th out of 130 in a list that ranks countries on the basis of ‘how well they performed in the education and skills development and related infrastructure’. All countries were graded on a scale of 0 to 100 in three sub indexes including capacity, deployment, development, and know-how. Another survey conducted by Alif Ailaan in 2016 revealed shocking statistics nationwide. The report highlighted that almost 58% of the government school teachers have little or no knowledge of the national curriculum, while 73% have not been offered any courses on assessment techniques during their pre-service training. Some 43% government school teachers across the country received no formal training during the past five years, sparking a decline in student enrollments. This sharply contrasts with opportunity to train with the presence of around 150 million mobile phone users with over 86% of the same in the age bracket of 30 years or below (Pakistan Advertisers’ Society, 2018). This offers a huge opportunity for entrepreneurship and infusing technology driven learning in the young population.
The above arguments necessitate the imminent need to ensure that “first time teachers” should undergo mandatory certification programs before being authorized to impart education. There is also a dire need to introduce “teaching license” similar to qualified engineers and doctors. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s education sphere does not have any kind of mandatory certification(s) or even training similar to other fields such as medicine and engineering sectors. ‘EduPloyment’ is an innovative and simple concept to address issues in Pakistan’s education sector. The term coined by Pakistan Institute of Teachers Development (PITD) offers a unique blend of education and facilitation skills as employment pre-requisites in the education sector of Pakistan. Being the pioneer in teachers training in Pakistan, the PITD has offered its digital platform for all those who aspire to become teachers in Pakistan. The platform aims to equip thousands of new to-be teachers entering the job market each year with dreams to serve our motherland with dignity and professionalism. With the exception of obsolete BEd and MEd, there is virtually little or no formal training for the teachers in Pakistani context, especially related to behavioral skills and child psychology. The new toolkit of EduPloyment, representing both employer and employee, is revolutionary. For the first time in Pakistan, the platform equips the prospective and existing teachers to submit their profiles online and start earning more than their existing packages. On the other hand, the platform will equip the existing and prospective employers to hire the best trained teachers through digital platform such as PITD. Additionally, the Institute helps the prospective employers to get the trained resources on especially discounted packages customized to their needs. EduPloyment also entails to have a revolutionary concept of providing part-time teachers for schools, colleges and universities having two-pronged benefits of utilizing talent as well as bringing the overall cost down in subject specialist areas.
The writer is Consultant, Training and Talent at a leading MNC Bank and founding CEO at Pakistan Institute of Teachers Development. He remained as General Manager of Learning and Core Development at the largest MNC Bank and is a triple gold medalist.
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