Education system for socio economic development

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Introduction

Education provides the base for socio-economic development. An educational system which is of poor quality should be considered one of the most important factors hindering poor and developing countries from growing. In Pakistan, education is always considered of great importance as documented by almost every regime but still quality of education lacks, in terms of better schools, trained teachers, good infrastructure and needs improvement. This improvement is necessary in spite of the fact that the governments past policies have initiated drastic measures in uplifting the quality of education. It has been observed over the years that in spite of all the incentives that the government is offering to the education sector, there's an increase in overall enrollment rates but the quality of teachers is still not very impressive and does not come up to a decent standard. While, education for all is of great importance as mentioned by many reports and surveys, equality in education for both male and female, for adults and primary education is also extremely important and thus should be included within the main objectives of any education system. The government of Pakistan realizes the importance of Education for All (EFA) and the priority has been given to basic education of children since 1995 (Memon, 2007) and (World Bank, 1996). Many articles and reports encourage education since it encourages higher returns. It provides better health, lower fertility and most importantly higher productivity of the population (World Bank, 1996), ( Mirza, 2003), (Aslam, 2003).


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After the partition in 1947, Pakistan faced many issues and problems in the development of the economy. One of the major issues was the quality of education. Pakistan consists of multiethnic groups including Muslims, Hindus and other minorities. In 1947, a large number of Hindus migrated to India of which many were those working in the education sector. Due to their migration, many schools and universities were shut down (Anzar, 1999), (Khan, 2006). Ever since then, the government of Pakistan has started to focus on the development of the education sector. Despite all efforts since that day, Pakistan's population remains largely illiterate. There are many issues and concerns pointed out by different authors regarding the initiatives and policies that the government of Pakistan has adopted. In Pakistan, the poor educational system and poor performance of the educational institutes is thought to be because of two broad reasons (Chowdhury, 1995), (World Bank, 1996). Firstly due to a less and weak demand for education by the households especially in rural areas and secondly because of insufficient, low and poor quality of the supply of education in rural areas.


One of the main features reported as a deficiency in the education system is the poor quality of teachers. Some articles point out that it was observed over the years in Pakistan that “those who can't do anything….. they teach” (Muralidharan, 2006, pg :1). Teaching was considered to be a simple and easy job that anyone could do without much effort. This general behavior and attitude towards teaching adversely affected the quality of teachers and their performance. Due to this misconception about teachers, good and motivated teachers are also being overlooked by the education sector. They were not recognized and rewarded for their good performance which again in return adversely affects the teaching system of Pakistan (World Bank, 1996). Quality of teachers especially in Pakistan is still questionable. Teachers' performance and their training is very important. Through training and improving basic skills to teach, we can transform the whole teaching system which will eventually lead to a better education system (Aslam, 2003). “It is evident that without teachers' transformation we cannot transform the education system for improving the quality of education” (Memon, 2007, pg: 50 ).


In Pakistan, there is an increasing concern regarding education for all concerning both access to basic education in all the provinces and the quality of education. Quality of education as mentioned is highly dependant on the quality of instructors. Some authors defined quality of education in terms of measureable learning outcomes especially in literacy and essential life skills (Chiristian, 2006), (Farah, 1996). They further elaborate the quality in terms of learning needs of teachers, trainers and students. Teachers' quality and their performance are very important factors, while accessing education quality. A general argument appeared to be on how to evaluate teachers' quality. Despite the growing concern about quality of education and teachers, its crystallized definition is somewhat difficult, (Mirza, 2003), largely because of the complexities of teaching and their learning process. Teachers' daily practices and their learning attitude should be observed continuously to determine the factors affecting their performance which will also help in defining the quality of teaching. For that purpose firstly, one has to be precise about the definition of quality education? How will it be measured? Can we generalize the definition of quality? Secondly, Is there any link between quality of education and quality of teachers? If yes, than how can we define the quality of teachers'. How will it be measured? Does the measurement standard apply to every developing country and in every situation? What measurement tools to be used to measure the quality of teachers'? Some authors were also in debate of defining the quality in terms of teachers' performance. For them quality is a descriptive measure that may vary from time to time (Alderman, 2001). Answer to all these questions is important in understanding the concept of quality education and teachers as stated by Farah (1996), Aslam (2003), Khan (2006) and Aslam (2007).


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The World Bank (1997) on Pakistan has also laid emphasis on the quality of education and quality of teachers. A similar report by Farah (1996) supports the World Bank and its emphasis on teachers' quality. Where parents decide to send their children to school is dependant on the quality of education that they get in school and the return to their investment, which in turn depends on teachers quality, their professional attitude and school infrastructure (Aslam, 2007), (World Bank, 2003).


The World Bank (1997) report states:


“The best way to improve access is to improve quality which would make coming to school or staying in school a more attractive option from the perspective of parents as well as children. Moreover, effort to improve quality will tend to increase the efficiency of the public expenditure and will encourage parents to contribute to children education.”


In an attempt to define the quality of education, World Bank (1997) raised the importance of setting standards for a better education system. According to the World Bank, the quality of education can be assessed through policies which make a difference in a society overall in form of high productivity of labor and professionals, well trained teachers, better infrastructure, comparability of programs, and accountability for meeting the targets. It has been observed over the years that it is difficult to come up with a general definition of “quality education”. It is not possible due to the socio-economic differences between countries, to apply or generalize the definition for a good quality education system. Quality of education itself consists of a wide range of components which may vary from country to country and from time to time (Mirza, 2006), (Aslam, 2007). Some authors define quality of education through a better schooling system. Some are in debate of teachers' performance as the main component, some reports support that better infrastructure means better education. Due to a wide range of variables that do affect the education quality it is difficult to generalize and point out only one feature as the most important one, as the situation changes from time to time and from country to country. This literature review attempts to show that education reforms have taken place over time and may have possibly stimulated growing enrollment rates in Pakistan; however, deficiencies still exist in school quality due to poor teacher performance. Four main reforms and policies targeting teachers' performance are discussed for Pakistan in the process of reviewing literature in this knowledge field.


Now the problem is how to define a “good teacher”. Many developed nations, such as the USA and education donor agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worked in this context to define quality of teachers, in an attempt to target the main factors that affect the performance of teachers.' From this they realized the importance of education history and international standards that can be used for setting up a target for evaluating teachers' quality and performance (Lavy, 2001).


The policy makers in the decision making policy procedure were in agreement that there is a need to set forth a target for teachers. Their quality can then be evaluated. But it was observed as mentioned by Aslam (2003), that the policies and the decisions taken by the government were inconsistent. It was also observed that there is a gap between the policies and their actual goal. Policy makers are not aware of their actual aim and that is one of the major problems in the education sector (Khan, 2006). Some policies are very general and are not specifically addressing the main aim which is to improve education quality (Mirza, 2003).


In the case of Pakistan, (Aslam, 2007) in an attempt to improve the education system it has been observed that over the years policies that were targeting teachers' quality and performance come out to be more effective as compared to other policies. In Pakistan, to improve education quality it is critical to focus on improving teachers' performance. This notion is also supported by Mirza (2003), Farah (1996), and Christian (2006). Teachers' performance in affected by various factors such as teaching skills, their professional attitude, attendance and motivation towards learning and teaching (Healey, 1997), (Mirza, 2003). Teachers' quality and performance needs to be evaluated and invested in on a continuous basis. Now how should we evaluate teachers' quality is another issue. For evaluating teachers' performance one has to come up with a precise definition of teachers' quality performance. It has been observed that it is difficult to come up with a specific definition of teachers' quality performance as it is consisted of many attributes and varies from region to region. According to some authors, quality of teachers can measured through their efficiency in class, attendance and teaching skills like communication ability and paying individual attention to each student.(Memon,2007) and (Glewwe, 2004). Some past literature viewed quality performance of teachers through the learning outcomes of students and there achievement scores at the end of each term. Assessing student's scores at the end can be used as a tool for measuring how effective the teacher is and any teacher targeting policy after its implementation (Harold, 2001). Different parents and schools set forth different achievement goals for their children. The goals may be higher or lower depending on school type and teachers characteristics. For example, private schools have higher objectives and try to maintain their standards by hiring qualified, well experienced teachers. However, government schools have a different approach and may go for less expensive and less qualified instructors (Mirza, 2003).


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As also pointed out by Aslam (2003), Pardhan (2009), Aslam (2007), World Bank (1996), Chowdhury (1995) and Hussain (2004), the quality of teachers' performance and its output all depends on how one is evaluating, monitoring and assessing their performance. Monitoring and evaluation at each level, from policy making to the implementation process is of great importance. This is explained by Mirza (2003) in a presentation which was presented to World Bank, in an attempt to highlight the importance of assessment and monitoring at each level of policy making procedure. The following diagram was presented in that forum, which contributed in understanding and realizing the importance of assessment and monitoring. This diagram aims to emphasize that assessment and monitoring is important at every stage of the education process. Inputs are the policies and incentives that the government takes to improve teachers' performance. Process is explained as the procedure and channel through which these policies were implemented. And the product is the result of these incentives. At each and every stage monitoring and assessment is very important.


Source: Model of Quality Control in Education (Mirza, 2003, p. 10)


Characteristics of Teachers' Performance

For any policy to work out there is no doubt that assessment and monitoring at each level is very important. At the same time one should not forget the goal and the main objective of the policy, because assessing and evaluating policies that are not targeting teachers' performance will result in no gain. Even before designing the policy that intends to target instructors, one should know what is the necessary teachers' quality standard. Age, gender, qualification, school distance and school type employment are important characteristics of teachers and contribute to their performance (Healey, 1997), (Aslam, 2003), (Mirza, 2003), (Chowdhury, 1995). All these characteristics of teachers are important in order to establish a standard in teaching for better education and good quality schools.


The first characteristic that is widely considered by parents is the gender of instructors that will interact with their children. In Pakistan, as reported in literature (Hill, 1995), gender bias in schools lowers female educational achievements and lowers their chances of completing education. For a low income household it is important to save income than to send their children to school (Alderman, 2001). Further, in case of girls' education, such low income households are more biased. Parents generally prefer those schools where there is female staff in case of their girls' education. Enrollment rates are lower for girls as compared to boys in all parts of the country (World Bank, 2003) and their average drop out rate in early stages is also very high. Many studies and policies (Anzar, 1999) and (Duflo, 2007) have therefore started targeting female-teachers and gender based education system schools to encourage parents to send their girls to schools.


Many authors in this context are debating in order to answer the following questions. To what extent do the preferences of parents reflect this issue? Do low enrollments reflect a lack of availability of single-sex schools or teachers? Is there any obvious difference in parents' choices for girls than boys when it comes to schooling? Findings suggest that gender bias definitely exists in rural areas of Pakistan and there is high demand for female teachers in these rural areas consequently (Aslam, 2003). Other studies (World Bank, 2003), (Khan, 2006) on Pakistan reflected on this issue and discuss that parents choice for girls education is highly dependant on teachers' gender. Teacher shortages are very common in rural areas and incentives are required to encourage female teachers to work in remote regions (Chowdhury, 1995). Females constitute roughly half of Pakistan's population, but are still given less priority, because of socio-political, economic and cultural problems. In literature it is shown that investing in girl's education is more beneficial than boys, as they become teachers that will ultimately effects the gender-bias issue within the country (Hill, 1995).


Another important feature of teacher's performance is their qualification and family background which is mentioned in many studies. Monazza Aslam (2003) pointed out in her article that teachers' family background also is a main contributor to their performance and qualification. If a teacher comes from a well educated family he or she will be definitely trained and will probably prove to be a good teacher. Teachers' family background is as important as any other variable in education process. If a family has an educational background, parents literacy rate is high, such as mothers and grandparents are educated and will positively affect the teacher's performance. Moreover it was observed that in developing countries such as Pakistan, families with high educational background encourage their children to select teaching as a profession (Aslam, 2003), (Khan, 2006), (World Bank, 1996). Also any help provided to teachers at home has a positive affect on achievement rates in schools (Aslam, 2007). Teachers' working in government schools generally belong to a different family background. As in case of Pakistan, most government school teachers do not belong from a well educated family and have consequently never being through any sort of training for teaching. For these individuals, teaching is just a job which earns them a reasonable amount. Whereas, in private schools it is observed that teachers were from educated families and in majority cases, their parents were also in the same teaching profession (Aslam, 2003), (Khan, 2006).


This leads to the idea that school type is another important characteristic in teachers' performance. Some schools are private and some are government owned schools. Generally, most Urdu medium schools are owned by the government while private schools are mostly English medium (Farah, 1996). Parents may prefer to send their children to an English medium school and teachers also prefer to teach in English medium schools owned by the private sector because they will be paid more as compare to public schools (Aslam, 2007) Teachers in English medium schools are more efficient and have more learning on a day-to-day basis as compare to Urdu medium schools. A study by the World Bank (1996), showed that students performance is also related with school type. Mostly what has been seen in Pakistan is that private schools are more motivated towards students' achievement and scores. They provide better education and highly qualified teachers. Government schools go for a low, medium qualified teacher because of the higher cost attached with a better qualified teacher. Another study showed that incentives in private schools are more as compared to government schools that will motivate teachers to work hard, no matter what qualification they have at the time of their appointment. That is the case found in Lahore, in a comparison study conducted by the World Bank in 1996 on government and private schools in relation with teachers' qualification (Alderman, 2001).


Basic skills and training for teaching is necessary to maintain quality education and is sadly absent in many parts of Pakistan (Glewwe, 2004), (Gujjar, 2007). A simple matric or 10th grade qualified teacher may be beneficial at the primary level schooling but for higher education more experienced and qualified teachers are required. Without proper training and diploma in teaching, one can not prove to be a good teacher (Hill, 1995). Some government schools hire teachers on the basis of their experience in the field, while overlooking the required qualifications for that post. Moreover, there is a higher salary cost attached with highly qualified teachers. To attract more qualified teachers, schools have to pay higher salaries resulting in less qualified individuals being hired, hence the lack of qualified instructors.


School infrastructure is another feature of schools that may attract better teachers to come to schools. In Pakistan government schools have a poor infrastructure due to which the absenteeism rate of students and teachers is high (Alderman, 2001). Distance from schools is another important characteristic which is related with school infrastructure. Better infrastructure of a school includes a good attractive building, better facilities and services, new methods of teaching and equipment and reasonable access to school (Glewwe, 2004). Teachers' preference to teach in a school is highly affected by the distance to school. Even well qualified teachers avoid going far away from home for teaching. They prefer to teach at schools nearby unless and until one is offered an attractive salary and benefits package. School distance affects a teachers' decision for a school as well as for students. One study showed that increased distance to school decreases enrollments compared to the other schools (Hussain, 2004). Many parents and teachers consider the time as an opportunity cost that they have to forgo in case of a further situated school. In that case then they go for nearby schools no matter what the quality and standard of the school is (Enge, 2007).


International Policies and Incentives

When discussing literature on teachers' performance, it becomes important to include and consider international policies that target better performance and quality. It is also important to consider how various international influences have affected Pakistan in managing teachers' performance. Many developing countries such as India and Bangladesh are following strategies that were implemented by developed nations to improve teachers' performance. In Pakistan it has been observed that over the last decade there is an increase and improvement in the education sector, as the policy makers are now setting forth their targets in the right direction and adopting international strategies and incentives that were used to improve teachers' performance. Pakistan started launching these policies by first looking at the international standard of quality education and then formally introduced these incentives. The most popular incentives that were used were training for teachers' and giving them rewards for better performance (Aslam, 2003).


U.S schools and policy makers have introduced a policy termed as “Scale-up Movement” (Akbar, 2007). This “Scale-Up” program was aimed to change and motivate teachers for training and learning and to improve their skills, by offering them monetary benefits. The program changed the usual educational practices, and pointed out that, teachers' performance and their behavior towards teaching can be influenced by training and by offering them different benefits and rewards.


Many aid agencies and donors have also launched some educational programs in developing countries including Pakistan to contribute to developing the education system. One of the most active donor agencies still operating in many developing countries is the “United States and International Development” (USAID). In 2003, this agency has structured “Pakistan's Interim Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2004-2006”, (Enge and Akbar, 2007). One of the main objectives of the plan was to increase knowledge, training and infrastructure to improve the quality of education for females and males throughout Pakistan. Under this broad objective, it was also realized to improve the capacity of teachers, trainers and education administrators. The plan set forth the following objectives to improve overall quality of teachers. The first objective is to increase the number of teachers and administrative trainers in schools and education facilities. Second objective is to increase the percentage of trained and well-qualified teachers. These two objectives were structured to meet the third objective which was to lead to good scores of students.


The World Bank introduced another program for education for many developing countries including Pakistan. In Pakistan, the plan is known as the “Pakistan Teacher Education and Professional Development Program” (PTEPDP) that was structured based on the international standards. It was a three-year project implemented between June 2003 and 0ctober 2006. The program was designed to increase the base and improve the teaching methodology of teachers and trainers by introducing teachers' training colleges in Pakistan. Faculty from different US universities was invited to visit Pakistan in December 2005 to assist the three selected training institutes in Islamabad. The following institutes participated in this initiative: the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) for English language, the National Institute of Science and Technical Education (NISTE) for science, and the Federal College of Education (FCE) for math (Enge and Akbar, 2007). The purpose was to assess these training institutes and to suggest recommendations on further improvements that could be made to improve their performance.


One of the most popular international policies was developing training courses, conducting workshops for teachers, and giving them incentives to attend these seminars and training workshops. Some international policies were in favor of increasing salaries of more qualified teachers so it would motivate the existing staff to work hard and improve their qualifications. Unfortunately, it has been observed that almost all international school reform policies as mentioned above by many authors, were focusing and targeting on an already good well established schools rather than on weak schools or poor performing schools (Pardhan, 2009), (Mirza, 2003), (Farah, 1996), and (Enge and Akbar,2007).


All the international policies that were used to improve performance proved that it is very important to maintain a specific and focused aim. Donor agencies are effective only if their resources are handled wisely on building facilities, developing curriculum and textbooks, and providing library instructional materials for teachers and equipment. Use of multimedia, speakers and computer based management programs for teachers through online portals that were used internationally in schools is a good approach to be followed (Mirza, 2003). The World Bank and USAID are internationally well known organizations, involved in developing and improving the skills of teachers' through many techniques such as using videos showing successful teaching techniques that can act as a tool for guidance to school staff (Aslam, 2003). In other internationally launched policies by many donor agencies, monitoring and assessment was pointed as an important factor while implementing any policy (Chang, 1996). Monitoring of the training programs and institutes is also important, evaluation of trainers and staff at each level could be used to assess the effectiveness of any policy and for future recommendations. It was also observed and recognized internationally that besides training of teachers, the work environment and relations with other staff members is also very important in developing and encouraging a learning attitude among teachers.


In schools in the US, to avoid cheating during examination and assessment procedure, different innovative devices were used such as hidden cameras and soft wares to check plagiarism. Also at the end of each term, parents and teachers meetings were held in schools to discuss their child status and teaching practices at school (Healey, 1997). It was also realized and mentioned internationally by the donor agencies such as World Bank and USAID that students' feedback and evaluation is very important and it should be monitored by the authorities themselves. Use of successful head-teachers and training programs for the trainers was widely used in developing countries. This strategy was also adopted by Pakistan but has been funded at large by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) (Akbar, 2007).


Over the years it has been observed that all the above mentioned strategies that were used internationally showed a positive result in teachers' performance and school quality, however the problems of implementation of these policies and how to evaluate their results still exists and needs further research (Aslam, 2003), (Healey, 1997). All the successful strategies were adopted throughout the world in many developing countries including Pakistan. However, there are some problems and shortcomings of these international policies that can be corrected through evaluating and monitoring these policies on regular basis (Healey, 1997). Teachers' class room practices with respect to their student achievement scores can be used as a tool to assess the effectiveness of any policy (Akbar, 2007). Some of the lessons were learned and internationally recognized from these policies and incentives are discussed by (Healey, 1997), (Farah, 1996), (Hussain, 2004). They have discussed that although teachers' training plays a vital role in development but the training institutes do not know their main objective. Another main drawback was that all policies were developed keeping in view teachers' own self interest rather than acting as a tool for improvement.


Another main issue that was recognized internationally by the policy makers was the quality of training institutes and trainers'. Some of the institutes were not effectively operating in improving teachers' performance because trainers' themselves do not know what they are supposed to teach (Chang, 1996), (Aslam, 2003). Another shortcoming of these policies was the absenteeism ratio of trainers and teachers from training classes and seminars. As a result many teachers continued to lack technical and required skills even after attending these training programs. It was then realized by the international agencies, World Bank and USAID, that irrespective of all the efforts, the result of these policies is not very impressive, so they highly recommended monitoring and evaluating training institutes and trainers (Aslam, 2007). Random evaluation and assessment of each policy is very important especially in case of developing countries (World Bank, 1996).


Teachers' Qualification and Years of Experience

As mentioned earlier in this paper, qualification and years of experience in teaching are important factors that cannot be overlooked. Many articles and reports in past literature discuss the importance of teachers' qualification and educational background. According to Mehrotra (1998) and Aslam (2003), years of experience and qualification of teachers is extremely critical in attaining the goals for a better education system. A study conducted by the World Bank (1996) showed that teachers' salaries are directly related with their qualification and years of experience. A well experienced teacher is paid higher as compared to an inexperienced teacher. Many schools employ a simple policy of determining salaries using years of experience. However, years of experience is not the only criteria which should determine pay of an instructor. This encourages further discrimination and discourages morale (Christian, 2006). Salaries should be structured so that they encourage individuals for gaining further skills in teaching and alter their attitude towards learning. However, the cost of this strategy is higher than basing salaries on years of experience alone. A fundamental problem that this refers to is accurately stated as “Teachers cost too much and earn too little” (Thering, 1987, pg:24 ). Highly qualified teachers also mean a high cost as they do expect higher wages but as mentioned by some authors at the same time it is important to ensure their productivity (Muralidharan, 2006). The result to this type of investment can be traced in the long term by looking and observing the overall improvement in students' achievement scores. The article also argued that the return to this type of investment that is hiring more qualified teachers is less as compared to their cost (Duflo, 2007).


Regarding the cost issue of hiring more qualified teachetrs', there were many studies and articles discussing how to manage the high cost while at the same time how to gain maximum benefit out of this policy. In a study on managing costs and quality of teachers by (Mehrotra, 1998), mentioned the evidence on the relationship between teacher qualification and their demand for high salaries. In 1980s, in many developing countries including Pakistan hiring of highly qualified teachers and well experienced staff in schools went up. The government recognized that instead of going for less qualified teachers it is better to increase the number of well experienced qualified teachers as they will contribute in development and showed better results (Aslam, 2007). This is how the schools can manage their costs related to teaching by reducing the number of less qualified teachers and hire qualified ones. The marginal rate of hiring a qualified teacher is higher as compare to less qualified teachers (Glewwe, 2004). Developing countries conclude that “Teachers should be paid as much as is necessary to attract and maintain people with desired qualification” (Mehrotra, 1998 ,pg: 11 ). This is an another important point that is not only to attract more qualified teachers but also to retain the existing ones, it is essential to offer them higher salaries. It will also result in attracting and promoting new teachers to improve their qualification. This will increase and motivate the less qualified teachers as well to improve their qualification and work hard to compete in the market. There are certain costs attached to this approach. As to study and improve their qualification, higher studies from well equipped foreign universities are required which is no doubt expensive. The argument that was raised by many authors is that the rate of return to this investment is high. As more qualified teachers are being paid more as compared to less qualified teachers.


It was also observed that substantial savings for teachers' education can improve their utilization, and more efficient teachers can be developed by just focusing on their qualification (Mehrotra, 1998). Despite all the above mentioned points there were some articles with a different proposition. According to those authors hiring of an average qualified teacher is better as in this case, greater proportion of teachers are on the low side of salary scale, reducing the overall cost. They are in favor of training an average qualified teacher as it will minimize their overall cost and the saved amount could be reinvested in their training and development (Lavy, 2001).


Overall, one could say that a qualified and a well experienced teacher is beneficial only if they are being hired at a reasonable amount. Although many studies have mentioned this approach but none of them have shown empirically any positive result. These policies are found to be less effective in determining factors that will improve teachers' performance (Thering, 1987), (Enge, 2007).


Teachers' Training

Next, literature considers on-the-job training in schools as a significant contributor to improving teachers' performance. On-the-job learning of teachers affects their performance more aggressively as compared to other incentives. Furthermore, if monetary benefits are attached with such incentives the output is even much better in form of quality teaching.


The quality of training institutes and the distance to the schools were found as the two most important factors that may adversely affect the program and objectives of such a policy. One study showed that on-the-job training is the most cost effective way to train teachers. In this case, distance to school matters a lot to teachers, or distance to the training institutes. Distance to school and the time spent on training adversely effects teachers' performance especially in the case of female teachers living in rural areas. This is true because it was observed that female teachers absentiseem rate from the training classes was much higher as compared to male teachers (Muralidharan, 2006). Female instructors have higher opportunity costs and hence prefer going to schools that are near to their homes. When it comes to training in schools, again women consider the time that they would have to spend extra in school. All these various issues in turn affect their decision of taking part in the learning process, which impacts their ultimate teaching performance.


Regardless of these hindrances, training is an extremely effective contributor to teachers' performance. On-the-job training as a mandatory condition for teachers, is recommended by various studies in improving quality of teaching (Glewwe, 2004), (Mirza, 2003). In Pakistan, administration of many training institutes is a provincial responsibility of the government (Chaudary, 2004). The federal government is also involved in encouraging training of teachers. Government primary school teachers are being trained through government colleges, such as the case of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and Government Colleges for Elementary Teachers (GCETs). Majority of the other training institutes are owned by the private sector. Graduates from these training institutes receive the primary teaching certificates (PTC) after the attendance of one complete year (Memon, 2007).


Most of the private and government training institutes made on-the-job training classes and workshops as mandatory for teachers. In training classes, the use of more technical measures in teaching were explained to teachers, such as using well equipped teaching kits, that included computers, multimedia, online slides for students, various materials, text books and instructor manuals (Akbar, 2007). During the training, teachers were taught by international videos instructing how to conduct class practices, how to deliver lectures and conduct class discussion sessions. It was also emphasized by the training institutes that the interaction of parents and teachers is important (Mirza, 2003). For this purpose, various seminars and workshops are conducted to train teachers in dealing with parents and provide satisfaction to parents of the quality of teaching. Using parents' feedback, it becomes possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the training the instructors receive and the capabilities of the instructor too. Trainers conducted learning games to teach teachers dealing with disciplinary issues, introducing new topics and different ways of assessing pupil achievement.


Trainers also would meet with administration after each class to provide feedback and follow up on the progress of the instructors' training. Here, it was also realized that if some incentives were attached with this policy such as promotions, salary benefits, revision of salaries after attending training classes, the instructors' motivation could be increased for further improvement of skills. Incentives for attending training classes, in the form of extra bonuses to teachers could also help in reducing the absenteeism from training classes. Another way to provide training is through mobile training services at home especially for female teachers (Akbar, 2007), (Mirza, 2003).


The policy of training in schools and after school timings is a less expensive policy as compared to training in training colleges and institutes. However, certain costs are still incurred with this policy such as cost of developing training classes and seminars, cost of training trainers, providing teaching kits to trainers, and most importantly the opportunity cost recognized by female teachers as they have to spend extra time after school for learning (Chowdhury, 1995). All these costs are high but when it comes to policy making, many authors recommend this policy as a cost-effective way to improve teachers ‘performance (Aslam, 2007), ( Akbar, 2007), (Mirza, 2003). To determine whether this expenditure on training programs is worthwhile, one could look at the test scores achieved by the students at the end of each course (Lavy, 2001). The result of this approach proved that student's achievement scores in their results are high as compared to the cost and spending of the institutions on teachers' training. Another argument is that these programs can also be supported by the private sector; for example, a number of NGOs are working internationally to train teachers free of cost. Their services were also used in Pakistan in 1980s (Aslam, 2003) and was of great help in determining the major factors affecting teachers' performance. In 1992, the Community Support Program (CSP), in rural Baluchistan was formed by an NGO, their job was to establish a training system inside schools to promote and encourage teachers to participate and learn basic skills required for teaching (Anzar, 1999) (World Bank, 2003). Although the initial cost related to this program was high, as it was a door to door convincing strategy under CSP, to convince teachers to come and attend workshops on teachers training. But this cost was ruled out with a drastic increase in overall enrollment rates of students in schools with trained teachers. It was also observed that the total cost of these institutes for training a teacher is actually decreasing; as more and more teachers' are getting educated and learning how to improve their performance in class. At the end of the term these student teachers themselves became trainers' of the same institute and majority of them are working free of cost (World Bank, 2003).


Looking at all the literature on the topic, one could say that teachers' training on the job is essential for improving the quality of teachers. Keeping in mind the costs and how to manage these costs is important. Another important issue is trainer qualification and motivation. It was observed over the years that one of the drawbacks of these training programs is the trainers' motivation itself. (Chowdury, 1995). If a trainer acts as an inspector or supervisor to evaluate the teaching performance instead of acting as an instructor to guide how to teach, in that case the policy will be of no use. Administration should also keep a check on these trainers and training institutes to ensure quality output of the training. Along with all the other above mentioned benefits, this process helps in monitoring and evaluating teachers' learning which is hard to trace in other policy incentives. Furthermore, on-the-job training helps in management of classrooms and establishing essential relations with students and parents (Gujjar, 2007), (World Bank, 2003).


Pay-For-Performance Approach

Another approach to improving teachers' performance is by employing the policy known as the “pay-for performance” approach which has also been employed internationally. As stated in a report by Muralidharan (2006), this approach aims to improve teachers' performance by giving them extra benefits such as bonuses to improve their qualification and class results. An example of India's education system was given in this report. In India it was observed that after launching this policy of teachers' training programe; a number of teachers' started attending seminars and workshops on teachers' training and also spend time in improving their qualification by participating in online studies and courses that were available. According to this report, offering high salaries in academia more attractive as an incentive is clearly a part of the solution to the problem of attracting quality faculty. It has been observed that good quality teachers expect higher wages and are willing to work in schools where they will be paid better. Muralidharan (2006) also pointed that over the years it was observed that qualified and good teachers were being paid less as compared to the salaries of their students in the job market. He argued that this will lead to a socially tragic situation in which teachers will be adversely affected by the policy. This will also de-motivate teachers to work hard, to learn and improve their skills.


As mentioned before a well educated and qualified teacher expects higher wages as compared to other less qualified staff. If they are not being rewarded for their skills it will de-motivate them to learn and will also de-motivate the less qualified teachers to improve their skills. If the state offers good monetary terms and fixes the selection criteria in the teaching system, this will further lead to higher competition among teachers and will increase their motivation to work hard. This approach discussed that if the government offers rewards and bonuses for showing better performance it will definitely encourage teachers not only to improve their qualification but at the same time to work hard (Lavy, 2001 ).


This approach has some disadvantages as well mentioned by Khan (2006) and World Bank (1996). According to these articles in some countries including Pakistan this approach showed some negative responses from teachers' within the country. It was observed that if the governments' attach monetary incentives such as bonuses or promotions with respect to performance of teachers it may work adversely under certain circumstances. This policy may have a negative impact if in a society teachers have monopolies and social contacts with the administrative authorities (Pardhan, 2009). In that case, the decision making authorities will be biased. This may lead to misuse of these incentives. Also supported by Aslam (2003), she states that teachers' wages appeared to be a bad and poor indicator of teachers' quality. Their performance should not be ranked on the basis of their pay skills as it may not present a true picture.


Regarding salaries and wages another main factor that was realized, was that the increase in salary should be enough to boost teachers' performance and motivation level otherwise the policy is of no use. At the same time, the success of this policy also depends on the procedure or the selection criteria on the basis of which high salaries are given to teachers (Kremer, 2005), (Muralidharan, 2006). Thus if the policy makers want to ensure the effectiveness of this policy they have to keep the above mentioned issues in mind while evaluating teachers' performance. It is necessary to think about how compensation and salary incentives should be given to teachers to achieve a continuous high quality output (Aslam, 2007), (Muralidharan, 2006).


As stated by (Muralidharan, 2008, pg: ) “Teachers should certainly be paid better, but it's also essential to ensure that they deliver superior output on research and teaching”. Research in their respective fields along with teaching was pointed out to be very important. It was observed internationally that in every good institution all the well qualified teachers can teach better if they conduct research at the same time (Mirza, 2003). Bonuses and promotions were given in international universities for conducting research in their respective fields. This will improve teachers' quality of teaching, as they can begin incorporating real life field examples in their lectures. In general salary based incentives where introduced by the government of Pakistan showed that it was a good attempt to attract teachers to learn and improve their performance. All of these monetary incentives such as bonuses and rewards may work to some extent in motivating teachers to do research in their area of subject and to work hard, learn and improve their teaching skills (Aslam, 2007).


It was also observed that although this is one of the sound approaches that the policy makers may use, to improve teachers' performance but this is not the sufficient condition (Akbar, 2007). Meaning that to ensure the quality of teaching and performance even after giving training and monetary incentives to teachers is questionable. There are many issues and problems related to this approach as well as in case of other approaches. One of the biggest constraint is the attitude of teachers' themselves and their reaction towards such incentives. One may argue that a teacher may feel de-motivated and wrongly evaluated when they are being ranked on the basis of their pay (World Bank, 2003), (Hussain, 2004). In case of Pakistan it was observed that it is not necessary that a highly paid teacher is a good quality teacher as well because in Pakistan, teachers are facing these monopolies and unions of teachers. Teachers are being paid high due to their influential contacts (Healey, 1997). Feudal lords are biased, and they have high contacts with the administrative bodies that can influence any teacher's performance adversely or positively. Secondly, one other major cost attached to such incentives is the financial cost. Government has limited resources and it is difficult to promote such incentives and schemes on a continuous basis. Furthermore, agencies and donors are in favor of giving training and building training institutions rather than allotting money and grants to the state. Performance and quality is affected by many other factors, that are more significant as proved empirically by many studies, such as training in schools, seminars and workshops, random check on teachers are examples of better output in terms of evaluating teachers' performance.


By looking at all the literature regarding Pakistan that talks about the results of the individual merit pay measures and rewards, theoretically it all appeared to be very attractive, while in practice the empirical evidence on its effectiveness is vague. There are two major problems attached to this incentive as pointed out by (Christain, 2006). First problem are the monetary benefits such as high pay and bonuses that may interfere with the schools' effort to promote good teacher performance through leadership, encouragement and to improve teachers' morale. Secondly, such incentives may create an opposite and bad atmosphere in schools, giving leverage to the politically strong persons to dominate and to get maximum advantage of these incentives.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Discipline is very important, of teachers along with trainers and training institutions. In the article by Kremer (2003) it is stated that irrespective of all the incentives and policies the state is enforcing, for a better result and implementation of these policies an effective monitoring mechanism is required. As Khan (2003) and Aslam (2003) point out, it is not very difficult to trace out the problems in teaching practices, the difficulty lies in the process to improve it. It is hard to monitor the trainers and their attitude towards their jobs. As stated earlier that trainers act as supervisors and inspectors for evaluating teachers' performance rather than as instructors to guide them (Chowdhury, 1995). Number of NGOs in the private sector has invested in this approach to ensure quality of teachers and trainers. All the efforts and planning will be of no use if there no monitoring of the policies and their implementation. Resources and their allocation in the right direction and on the right time is very important (Chaudhary, 2004). Monitoring and assessment are also taken seriously by the international bodies such as United States and international Development (USAID) and Pakistan Teacher Education and Professional Development Program (PTEPDP). They realize it is the most important factor without which any incentive or scheme will not work in the long term.


There are many ways in which monitoring can be taken up such as administrative monitoring by the ministry of education officials, school administration policies and checks on daily routine basis, students feedback evaluations, parents meetings and their feedback (Thering, 1997). All of these formal and informal monitoring techniques are essential at each stage. Another way to monitor the standard of education is through the average level of learning of students within a society or schools. If parents are also well educated in that case, they may better know about the quality of schooling and teachers, and can assess their performance. In that case they may also have more power to influence the system and recommend features for quality improvements.


A study by Chaudhary (2004) pointed out on the basis of empirically tested data that more senior and so called good teachers are likely to be absent since they knew that they won't be monitored and questioned. The study showed these results on the basis of primary data collected through a survey in which the enumerators reported whether teachers were present or not during unannounced visits. The data was collected for some nationally representative sample of schools on two developing countries Bangladesh and India. The absence rate and calculations were reported on direct physical verification by the evaluators rather than on log books and interviews. It was reported that the most important issue is teachers' absentiseem which should, hence, be monitored by the parents and administrative bodies of the schools. It was also realized that these evaluations and reports by the parents should be formally reported to the concerned authorities. There should be a proper feedback mechanism to transfer these notifications by the parents and students to the officials (Chaudhary, 2004).


In another article, Healey (1997) stated that teachers' performance is highly affected by the environment they are working in. Their attitude is strongly related with their school activities and activities of their co-workers. For that purpose their activities should be monitored continuously to ensure a standard conducive environment. Successive reforms and policies should not be seen as something that is accomplished; they should be evaluated and assessed on annually basis. As it was also observed that each successive reform and incentive is dependant over the previous successive policies and their feedback. For that purpose continuous feedback and assessment is required for learning lessons from past policies.


Farah (1996) too emphasized on the procedure and the way to monitor any policy or reform. According to this report it was realized by the policy makers to give allowance and freedom to students and parents to speak and contribute in policy making procedure. It was also realized by many other authors such as Hussain (2004) and Glewwe (2004) that the procedure of implementing any policy is very important. If a policy is successful but not properly implemented and reinforced by the administrative authorities then it may not be that much effective. Non government organizations (NGOs) were recommended as an inspector to supervisor, monitor and evaluate the implementation of any policy and to identify the problems related to any reform as they are the ones investing in these institutes and are in close coordination with the administrative bodies of any school (Alderman, 2001).


Another important proposition was that if one has to be rewarded for his/her good work, it has to be based on some evidence that he/she was performing well. The question is how the result can be formally investigated (Hussain, 2004). Monitoring at each level of policy implementation is required. There should be a government or private owned institute to evaluate each step of any policy even before it is formally introduced. Institutes should act solely in order to assess each step by evaluating the policy randomly. For example, the policies that were introduced by USAID were also assessed before being implemented. Those reforms were evaluated randomly through different techniques such as unannounced visits in training institutes, monitoring the time spent by teachers and their trainers in class, evaluating their class discussion assignments etc. All these above mentioned techniques are successful examples for quality assurance. This will also encourage the hard working teachers to prove themselves as good teacher (Hill, 1995), (Aslam, 2007), (Farah, 1996) and (Mirza, 2003).


These authors also laid emphasis on inspecting and evaluating the policy on the right time that is even before it is formally introduced. As they realized that quality input indicators are dependant not only on the procedure of the policy but also on the time at which the policy or reform is being introduced.


Other Policies Targeting Teachers' Performance

Other than all the above mentioned policies, there are some other internationally well known incentives and reforms that were introduced and showed positive results. As reported by Mirza (2003) cultural characteristics of schools contribute directly and affect teachers' performance. According to this article, the author recommends to look in detail the differences among elementary, middle and secondary schools as they affect teachers' decision for teaching in a specific school. The author recommends for further research and to view these schools in a community context to identify the type of a good school where teachers' prefer to teach. Another recommendation was on the relationship between accountability and teaching incentives. According to the author, “direction without support and support without direction must be avoided” (Thering, 1987,pg; 24). All incentives should be based to motivate teachers' in a right direction that is to improve their quality of teaching and performance and to increase their morale rather than affecting their performance adversely. Lastly, equality of incentives within a state was realized another effective reform in improving teachers' performance. It was observed that in districts, where these incentives are inequitable the policy is ineffective. Because if the same policy offering same incentives vary across districts this will be unjustified with those getting less benefits from these policies. This would have a negative impact over the society.


So to have a positive change it is very important to look at the distribution and redistribution of incentives within a district and also between schools within a district. In case of inequitable distribution of these incentives, this may de-motivate teachers in certain cases to work in schools with lower incentives (Hussain, 2004).


Recommendations and Conclusion

Based on the discussions above, there are some definite steps that the government and policymakers can take to promote education and improve teachers' quality. A wide range of policies are in an attempt to improve teachers' quality. Every policy seemed to be effective at the start but a long term impact does not seem to exist. Each policy and reform are in debate of improving the quality of teachers by targeting and focusing at the basic characteristics of teachers such as age, qualification and years of experience. On-the-job training of teachers' and at the same time utilizing the limited resources of schools is another well known approach encouraged by many developed nations. Giving monetary benefits to teachers (bonuses and high salaries) to work hard and improve their qualification is another successful and well acceptable approach in many developing countries including Pakistan. Monitoring and assessment on routine basis is very important. Keeping check on teachers' performance and their quality, at the same time monitor training institutes is another important aspect, as these training institutes play a major role in developing and improving teachers' quality. The relationship between teachers' characteristics and on-the-job training is important. It can effectively improve the quality of teaching as it has been the subject of many articles, but few have looked at the impact of these policies and how they can be monitored. Also regarding training it is very important to check the trainer who is to train and the institutes that are giving training to teachers. Monitoring will keep them alert and motivated towards their aims. Monitoring through cameras and random class visits, as in case of USA schools, is a good example that should be followed. In case of Pakistan there should be training colleges and access to those training institutes should be available to everyone. These institutes should not be considered for only less qualified teachers but for everyone in this profession.


Overall one could suggest that all the policies and incentives that have been taken so far are appropriate in different circumstances but to have a long term impact the policy has to be consistent. It should be evaluated annually or so in order to find loop holes and identify all possible drawbacks.


Furthermore, I think that the schools should be encouraged by the administration to run learning programs. This will increase the competition in schools among teachers. This will also help in motivating the senior teachers' to participate in learning practices. Active learning methodologies and approaches should be formally introduced into the curriculum of regular school and for training institutes. Schools that are successful and have a better quality of teaching should be awarded by some appreciation certificates from the government, in order to increase the awareness and motivation to perform well among different schools.


Also what I think is this literature lack research orientation. Research gives rise to curiosity and a desire to look and find better solutions and explanation for whatever goes wrong. Research will give us a clear picture why in certain cases policies are ineffective and what else is required.


I think that if one could do further research in this field by using empirical data on different schools of Pakistan over the years. This could help us in identifying the main reason why irrespective of an increase in enrollment rates in schools, the quality of education is still not very impressive especially the quality of teachers. Research will also help in determining the factors that will motivate teachers to gain benefits from these incentives and reforms that has been introduced in Pakistan. This issue is being overlooked due to lack of funding and inadequate facilities for further research. The government should provide funds to facilitate research work as it is essential to determine and recommend how to improve teachers' performance.