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INTRODUCTION AND A BRIEF HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN:
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 government's 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 upto 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 are also extremely important and thus should be included as the main objectives of the education system. The government of Pakistan has realized the importance of education for all (EFA) and priority to basic education to children has been given since 1995 (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), (Munawar, 2003), (Monazza Aslam,2003).
In 1947, Pakistan faced two major challenges; first one was multiethnic groups and a large number of Hindus migrated, who were working in the fields of economics, commerce and education. Many school and universities were shut down, while the rest were under the possession of refuges. (m.fayyaz,2006). 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. One of the main features reported as a deficiency in the education system is the poor quality of teachers. 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 (Monaza Aslam, 2003).
“It is evident that without teachers' transformation we cannot transform the education system for improving the quality of education”. (Ghulam, 2007).
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. Now the question is how to evaluate their quality? For that purpose one should understand the concept and a general definition of quality. Quality of education is related and linked with quality of teachers, for that many articles showed an attempt to give a general description about what is quality education and how will it be affected by the quality of teachers. To come up with a general definition of quality education many developed nations, such as U.S.A and education donor agencies World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) is putting effort in this context. It has been observed and realized that to define quality education, one has to first set forth its standards and a bench mark. From this they realized the importance of education history and international standards that can be used for setting up a target for improving education quality. (dr. iffat,1996).
The ministers and all participants in the decision making policy procedure were in agreement that there is a need to set forth a target for education system and how can one achieve that goal. A gap between the true effects of the policies and their actual goal is being observed by many authors (Monaza Aslam, 2007), (M. Fayyaz, 2006). Some policies are very general and are not specifically targeting the main goal which is to improve education quality (Munawar, 2003).
As mentioned earlier in this paper, for that purpose one has to be precise about the definition of quality education? How will it be measured? Can we generalize the definition of quality? 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? Answer to all these questions is important in understanding the concept of quality education and teachers as stated by Iffat (1996), Aslam (2003), Fayyaz (2006) and Aslam (2007). This literature review attempts to show that education reforms have stimulated growing enrollment rates in Pakistan; however deficiencies still exist in school quality due to various reasons and one of the most vital reasons is poor teacher performance.
The World Bank (1997) on Pakistan has also laid emphasis on the quality of education and quality of teachers. A similar report by Iffat (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 (Munaza Aslam, 2006), (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 (Munawar, 2006), (Monaza Aslam, 2007). Some authors define quality of education through a better schooling system. Some are in argue 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.
In the case of Pakistan, (Monaza 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 Munawar (1996), Iffat (1996), Jang (2006). Teachers' performance includes various factors such as teaching skills, their professional attitude, attendance and motivation towards learning and teaching (Henery, 1997), (Munawar, 2006). 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. Some past literature viewed quality performance of teachers as 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. 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 (Munawar, 2006).
As also pointed out by Aslam (2003), Pardhan (2009), Aslam (2007), World Bank (1996), Kowsar (1995) and (Harold,2009), 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 Munawar (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.
CHARACTERISTICS OF TECAHERS:
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 (Henery, 1997), (Monaza Aslam, 2003), (Monawar, 2003), (Kowsar,1995). All these characteristics of teachers are important in order to establish a standard that is required of inctructors for better education and better 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, 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. 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 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 (Monaza Aslam, 2003). Other studies (Borld Bank, 2003), (Fayyaz, 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 (Kowsar, 1995). Females constitute roughly half of the Pakistan's population, but are still given less priority, because of socio-political, economic and cultural problems. In past literature it is proved 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 (Anne, 1995).
Another important feature of teacher's performance is their qualification, which is mentioned in many studies. Basic skills and training for teaching is necessary to maintain quality education and is sadly absent in many parts of Pakistan (Monaza Aslam, 2003), (Iffat,1996). 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 (Anne, 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 les qualified individuals being hired , hence the lack of qualified instructors.
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. 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. Teachers in English medium schools are more efficient and have more learning on 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 (Fayyaz, 2006).
School infrastructure is another feature of schools that may attract better teachers to come to schools. In Pakistan, as the previous studies showed that government schools have a poor infrastructure due to which the absenteeism rate of students and teachers is high. 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 (Monaza Aslam, 2003). 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 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 (Munawar, 2003). 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 the nearby schools no matter what quality and standard of the school is (Harold, 2009).
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 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. For that purpose they started with adopting the international definition of quality education. And than observed for how long it can be generalized in case of Pakistan (Monaza Aslam, 2003).
According to the Dakar framework of action 2000, and Munawar (2003), they defined quality of education as in terms of measureable learning outcomes especially in literacy and essential life skills. The article further elaborates the quality in terms of learning needs of teachers, trainers and students. Teachers and their life experiences are of great help in understanding the main problem in teaching system. The U.S school reform movement launched a program named as “Scale-up Movement” that has been adapted into the policies of the Pakistani government to achieve a higher standard in education (Shahid Akbar, 2007). The “Scale-Up” program intended to change how to motivate teachers for training and aiming to improve their skills by giving monetary benefits. The program changed the usual educational practices, and pointed out that, teachers' performance and their behavior towards teaching can be improved by training and learning.
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 in Pakistan is the United States (USAID). It has structured “Pakistan's Interim Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2004-2006”, (Kjell Enge and Shahid 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. 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.
In Pakistan another plan known as the “Pakistan Teacher Education and Professional Development Program” (PTEPDP) was structured based on international examples. 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 ESL, the National Institute of Science and Technical Education (NISTE) for science, and the Federal College of Education (FCE) for math (Kjell Enge and Shahid 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.
Some studies also suggested developing training courses, conducting workshops for teachers, and giving them incentives to attend these seminars and training workshops. Others are in favor of increasing salaries of more qualified teachers so it will motivate the existing staff to work harder and improve their qualifications. Unfortunately, it has been observed that almost all international school reform policies were largely focusing on an already good schooling system rather than on how to create a good school (Henery, 1997). The following strategies were recommended based on international standards supported by (Dr. munawar,2003), (Dr. iffat,1996), and (Kjell Enge , Shahid Akbar,2007).
As learned and observed by the international school reforms, 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. Multimedia such as speakers and computer based management through online portals also can be assisting facilities for instructors. Developing the skills of teachers can be done through many techniques such as using videos showing successful teaching techniques that can act as a tool for guidance to school staff. Monitoring of training programs is also important, evaluation of trainers and staff at each level could be used to assess the effectiveness of the policy. To motivate teachers to participate in training and learning programs their contracts and terms for teaching should be revised after at least each programe. The work environment and relations with other staff members is very important in encouraging learning amongst teachers. Examination and assessment procedure should be more technical while using different innovative devices to avoid cheating. Parent-teacher and school community meetings should be held on a monthly basis. Students feed back and evaluation should be considered by the authorities in helping the education system. Successful head teachers and training programmes for the trainers should be introduced in schools. At each of these steps, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can participate in maintaining standard and providing different important resources .
All the above mentioned input strategies that were used internationally showed a positive result in teachers' performance and school quality, however the problems of implementation and how to evaluate the results still exist and needs further research. Some of the possible issues and problems related to the above mentioned strategies are still debated by many forums such as USAID, Asian Development Bank and World Bank (Henery, 1997).
The following diagram is a better representation of the forces and problems in educational reforms faced by many organizations internationally:
Source: framework for scaling up reforms , by F.Henery (1997).
Problems and short comings of training programs can be assessed through teachers' class room practices and student achievement scores. Some of the lessons learned and the shortcomings of the training programs that were operating in Pakistan are discussed by Henery (1997), Iffat (1996), Kjell Enge and Shahid Akbar (2007). They pointed out that many training institutes do not know their main objective. What they state is a general objective, which was infact teachers' own self interest objective rather than learning objective. Another main issue raised by these authors was that trainers in these training institutes were not aware of what they are supposed to teach. Their preparation and discussion session assignments showed that still there is a gap which exists between their target and their current actions. Trainers themselves are not qualified for training others. Most of the teachers that were trained in these institutes ended up adopting the same teaching style as of their trainer. Hence, many teachers continued to lack technical and required skills even after attending these training programs. It was also observed that there was no participation by the students in discussion sessions. Teachers were not encouraging questions from students that again reflects a weakness in the education of the students. There was no follow up on these programs and no monitoring was taking place. Here comes another important factor that is teachers' absentiseem from schools and from training classes. Trainers' absentiseem rate was even much higher than teachers that also contributed in the poor outcome of the programe.
All these problems along with many other issues as indicated earlier showed that irrespective of what the educational system has done so far to improve the quality of teachers and their trainers, the result is still not very impressive and satisfactory. These results then motivated the policy makers to adopt some other incentives such as revised salaries of teachers on the basis of their performance and their achievement in training institutes (Henery, 1997). Another policy was pointed out is of great importance is monitoring and evaluating past policies and incentives. And on the basis of past experience new policies were made (Monaza Aslam, 2003).
As mentioned by the (World Bank, 1996), Pakistan's poor educational system and poor performance of the educational institutes is thought to be because of two broad reasons. 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 teachers in rural areas. Some articles pointed out that it was observed over the years in Pakistan that “those who can't do anything….. they teach” (Fayyaz, 2006).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 affect the quality of teachers and their performance. Because of this misconception about teachers, good and motivated teachers were also being ignored by the education sector. They were not recognized and rewarded for their good performance which again in return adversely affectsthe teaching system of Pakistan.
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 (Monaza Aslam, 2003), (Fayayz, 2006), (World Bank, 1996). Also any help provided to teachers at home has a positive affect on achievement rates in schools (Monaza Aslam, 2003). 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 been 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 (Monaza Aslam, 2003), (Fayyaz, 2006). Similarly, students with a well educated background have higher rate of return as compared to illiterate parents' children.
THEME1: TEACHERS' QUALIFICATION AND YEARS OF EXPERIENCE:
As mentioned earlier in this paper that qualification and year of experience in teaching is an important factor that cannot be overlooked for improving teachers' performance. Many articles and reports in past literature discuss the importance of teachers' qualification and educational background. According to (Santosh, 1998) and (Monaza Aslam, 2003) years of experience and qualification of teachers is extremely critical in attaining the goals for a better education system. A study 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 (Santosh, 1998). 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” (ADEA, work shop, 1998). Many studies show that while highly qualified teachers result in higher costs, it is not necessary that positive outcomes result immediately instead they appear in the longer term. The immediate effect of pay based incentives is hard to evaluate and monitor. Secondly, many authors argued that the return to this incentive to hire more qualified and well experienced teacher is less and on the low side (Santosh, 1998).
Regarding the cost factor of this policy 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 (santosh,1998), mentioned the evidence on the relationship between teacher qualification and their salaries. In 1980s qualifications of the trained teachers in many developing countries including Pakistan went up, because of these incentives such as on the job training and learning, monetary terms benefits were given to highly qualified teachers. At the same time a large number of new teachers were appointed, because of lack training in formal professional qualification for teaching. Developing countries conclude that “teachers should be paid as much as is necessary to attract and maintain people with desired qualification”.(santosh,1998). This approach is applicable today as it attracts more and more teachers to improve there qualification that will help in improving their teaching skills as well. Some argued that “teachers' salaries as incentives are not the same as teacher costs”, it was observed that substantial savings in teacher costs can improved their utilization, and more efficient teachers can be developed by just focusing on their qualification. Another proposition was that to hire average qualified teachers so that a greater proportion of teachers are on the low side of salary scale, reducing the overall cost and than trained them by offering monetary incentives.
Overall, one could say that qualification of teachers and their year of experience are found to be less effective in determining teachers' performance. Training and on the job learning of teachers affect their performance more aggressively as compare to the previous incentive. Furthermore, if monetary benefits are attached with such incentives the output is even much better in form of quality teaching. (Monaza aslam,2007),(World Bank,1996).
THEME2: ON THE JOB TRAINING
Next, literature considers training and on-the-job training in schools as a significant contributor to improving teachers' performance. 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 (Monaza Aslam, 2003). 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 (Monaza Aslam, 2003), (Munawar, 2003). In Pakistan, administration of many training institutes is a provincial responsibility of the government. 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 (AIOU) and (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 (Ghulam, 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. 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. 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 evalutate 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.
The policy of training in schools and after school timings is a less expensive policy as compared to some of the other policies introduced so far . However, certain costs are still incurred with this policy as well such as cost of building, 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 (Kowsar,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. 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 (Angrist, 2001). The results showed that student's achievement ratio is high as compare to the cost of teachers training programs. 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 (Monaza 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 (World Bank, 2003). Although the initial cost related to this programe 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 enrollment, better attendance and higher achievement scores attained by students. It was observed that overall per unit cost of training a teacher is actually decreasing (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. If a trainer acts as an inspector, instead of a trainer than the policy is 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 relation with students and parents (Kowsar, 1995), (World Bank, 2003).
THEME3: 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 Karthik (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 a number of teachers started attending seminars and workshops on teachers' training, at the same time improving their qualification by participating in online studies and courses that were available. According to this report, making 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. Karthik (2006) also pointed out that this was not a good example for the state to pay teachers' low salaries as compare to their students after their degree completion. This will lead to socially tragic situation as in present time almost every developing country is doing through. This will de-motivate teachers to learn and improve their skills. A well educated and qualified teacher expects higher wages as compare 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 benefits and fix the selection criteria in the teaching system, this will further lead to high competition among teachers and will increase there motivation to work hard.
However, in some countries including Pakistan this approach showed some negative responses from teachers in the country. It was observed that monetary incentives were workable only for those teachers who wanted to earn more as compare to other staff members' but did not necessarily result in better quality of teaching. It was realized that the increase in salary was not just enough to boost their performance and motivation level. At the same time, it depends on the procedure or the criteria on which high salaries are given to teachers and their contracts are being revised (Fayyaz, 2006), (World Bank, 2003), (Karthik, 2006). Thus if policy makers want to ensure the quality of teachers this policy will not be effective alone. It is necessary to think about how compensation and salary incentives should be given to teachers to achieve a continuous high quality output (Monazza Aslam, 2003), (Karthik, 2006). As stated by (Karthik, 2007)
“Teachers should certainly be paid better, but it's also essential to ensure that they deliversuperior output on research and teaching”.
Research with teaching pointed out to be very important. 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. Attending workshops and seminars, showing better performance in class room activities will result in higher wages and promotions that were given to teachers. All the above monetary incentives 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. This is one of the sound approaches that the policy makers may use, to improve teachers' performance but this is not the sufficient condition. Meaning that to ensure the quality of teaching and performance even after giving training and monetary incentives to teachers is questionable. For that purpose one has to monitor and keep on checking these policies, their drawbacks and shortcomings, to ensure better output. 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 manipulated when they are evaluated on the basis of their pay (World Bank, 2003), (Shaukat Hussain, 1998). Due to the social and political culture of Pakistan, it is not true in all cases that a highly paid teacher is a good teacher. Teachers can be paid highly due to their influential contacts or due to various social reasons. 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. It has been observed in Pakistan that higher salary does not mean that the teacher is giving a good quality service. 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. Supported by Aslam (2003), she states that teacher pay, appeared to be a bad and poor indicator of teachers quality.
By looking at all the literature regarding Pakistan that talks about the results of the individual merit pay measures and rewards, theoretically appears 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 Jaag (2006).
- Monetary benefits such as high pay may interfere with the schools' effort to promote good teacher performance through leadership, encouragement and to improve teachers' morale.
- It may create an opposite and bad atmosphere in schools, giving leverage to the politically strong persons to dominate.
THEME4: MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT:
Monitoring and discipline is very important, of teachers along with trainers and training institutions. In the article by the World Bank (1996) 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 Fayyaz (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 they act as inspectors towards teachers and their quality, rather than as trainers. 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 (Nazmul Chaudhry, 2004). Monitoring and assessment as also realized by the international bodies 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. 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 education in the community. More educated parents may be better informed about the quality of schooling and teachers, and may also have more power to influence the system and to force quality improvements. In a study by (Nazamul, 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 wont be monitored and questioned. It was pointed out that the most important issue is teachers' absentiseem which should, hence, be monitored by the parent committees. There should be a feedback mechanism to transfer these notifications by the parents and students to the officials formally.
In another article, Henry (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. Administrative bodies and policy makers should monitor if a policy is not working or not showing any positive results. Then they should go for some other policy and keep on tracking its output (Monaza Aslam, 2003). Successive reforms and new policies should not be seen as something that is accomplished, after a given targeted time period. They should be monitored on yearly basis. Furthermore, as seen in past that each successive reform and incentive is dependant over the previous reforms and situation. Information and feedback is required for learning lessons from past. That is possible only if there is some one who is monitoring these reforms and incentives.
Another way to monitor the policy and the approach is to increase the “voice” capacity of those being served (Henry, 2004). That is on a routine basis, a formal feedback from the students, their parents and from teachers on their training is necessary for follow up procedures. (Dr. iffat,1996) reported in an article the importance and relevance of the monitoring system in Pakistan. According to him, qualified and well experienced trainers should be monitored as a tool for identifying the major indicator and the determinant of teachers' performance. NGOs and other community based organizations should give a follow up of these training programes, as they are in close coordination with the system and are more likely to understand and point out the problem.
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. Follow up and monitoring is required on regular basis. This will encourage the hard working teachers to prove themselves as good teachers. If one knows that no matter what they do they wont be recognized this will adversely effect there performance. Fayyaz (2003), Aslam (2007), Iffat (1996) and Munawar (2003), in an attempt to trace the indicators for a better performing teacher, also laid emphasis on the monitoring system. Quality input indicators and there implementation on the right time is essential in order to gain a positive result. One of the most highlighted input factors comes out to be the monitoring and evaluation of teachers' performance.
Some lessons were learned internationally, in this context to ensure output and what else is required to cover the gap between different policies. One could conclude by saying this that all polices and incentives are useless, if are not evaluated and being monitored properly. So this is the most important factor in improving teachers' performance.
Based on the discussion above, there are some definitive steps which 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 the long term effects are still missing and untraceable. Some are in argue of improving the quality of teachers, by targeting and focusing at the basic characteristics of teachers such as age, qualification, year of experience. On the job training and utilizing the limited resources of schools while at the same time giving training to teachers is another well know approach. Giving monetary benefits to teachers (bonuses and high pays) to work hard and improve their qualification. Monitoring and keeping check on teachers' performance and on training institutes is another important aspect. 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. Overall one could suggest that all the policies and incentives that have been taken so far are appropriate in different circumstances but to trace a long term affect of a policy is difficult. It should be evaluated after a year or so in order to find out the loop holes and all the possible drawbacks. None of the above policies can be effective unless and until it is revised and monitored.