The Development Of Professional Skills Education Essay

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One of the major drawbacks in the criteria used for the promotion of college faculty is that it is neither objective nor subjective. The kind of data that is used for the evaluation of college teaching is not based on teaching performance of the teachers in the classroom. Arreola (1986, 1989) argues that a complete definition of teaching should include three broad dimensions: content expertise, instructional delivery skills and characteristics, and instructional design skills.

Every institution of higher education has its own mechanism and criteria for promoting its faculty. The word "Promotion" as defined in Punjab Civil Servants Act 1974 means appointment of a civil servant to a higher post or cadre. Promotion not only implies advancement to a higher post but also involves shouldering higher responsibility. But in Government Colleges, being the teaching institutions, the seniority-based evaluation of the faculty footed on a loosely defined concept of teaching is used as a criterion of promotion of the faculty.

Another drawback in the whole process of performance evaluation in Government Colleges is the lack of integration of professional development opportunities with it. Professional development is foundational for Faculty's continued success in the areas of teaching, service, and leadership. As such, faculty should attend seminars, workshops, conferences, webinars, and college/university classes; pursue degrees and certifications; and engage in individual research in the areas of specific disciplines, pedagogy, leadership, technology, assessment and retention, diversity, and technology. Professional development as applied scholarship provides opportunity for teachers to demonstrate 1) how such activities are applied in a meaningful way, and 2) how dissemination of knowledge takes place.

Higher education also suffers from certain anomalies including not having a valid and reliable policy of hiring and promotion of the faculty working in universities, affiliated colleges, private and public, and professional colleges of medicine and law. On the job experience, supposedly, plays a vital role in the development of a professional. But it may not be accepted as a rule of thumb. Because the statistical link between teacher experience and education and student achievement is tenuous at best because Bill Gates said in a speech to the Council of Chief State School Officers' annual policy forum in Louisville "Experience in teaching doesn't matter much, nor do advanced education degrees". Therefore policymakers and education researchers need to find alternate measures of teacher quality that are associated with improved student achievement. The nature of job differs from profession to profession. In most of the professions a person has to perform duties he/she has not been trained/qualified for. In others, the job does not go beyond the daily routine. In still others, the mismatch between training and work is so evident that the questions of job satisfaction and job identification become serious issues particularly in case of the under-employed. In these cases the nature of job experience is hard to define. It is often obscure and directionless.

Different criteria have been adopted by Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the promotion of the faculty working in these institutions of higher learning. Sometimes on the basis of the length of service seniority lists are maintained and, in others, a certain number of publication of research articles is must for the promotion of the faculty.

The present promotion policy in public sector colleges is based on seniority. There are 6,000 teachers in 127 male (15 Postgraduate and 112 Degree colleges) and 70 female (5 Postgraduate and 65 Degree) public sector colleges.

Most of public sector colleges are short of skilled teachers since there is no proper policy for training of teachers. The department arranges different training programs for teachers, but many usually avoid it as it has no bearing on their promotion. Almost all government departments had make different trainings at different levels mandatory for promotion of their employees in order to build their capacity. But there is no comprehensive program of in-service or pre_service training for the professional development of these teachers.

Under the 18th amendment of the constitution education was devolved to provinces. Department of Higher Education initiated program of reorganization and restructuring as part of preparation for undertaking additional responsibilities & implementation of Education Policy 2009. The following targets were set:

BS 4 Years Program

Training linked to promotion

Significant increase in enrollment

Increase in shifts

PhD scholarships

Endowment fund

Increase in number of universities & DAIs (competition for establishment of sub campuses)

Highly motivated and education supportive administration & management.

Project Management Unit

HE Management Information System (HEMIS)

College-wise sanctioned strength of teaching faculty in BPS-20, 19, 18, and 17 of male colleges are 30, 483, 1130, and 3841 and in female colleges are 12, 206, 502, and 1129 respectively.

Promotion policy of college teachers is based on the criterion of seniority i.e. on the length of service in a certain pay scale. Lecturers are appointed in BPS-17 and five year service is necessary for their promotion in BPS-18 as Assistant Professor. For the promotion from BPS-18 to BPS-19 as Associate Professor, the required length of service is twelve years: five years in BPS-17 and seven years in BPS-18. Similarly seventeen year service is necessary for the promotion from BPS-19 to BPS-20 as Professor i.e. five year in BPS-17, 10 year in BPS-18, and three year in BPS-19. . No proposal for promotion is entertained unless the condition of the prescribed length of service is fulfilled. Service in the lower pay scales for promotion to BS-18 is counted as follows. Half of the service in BS-16 and one fourth in Basic Scales lower than 16, if any, is counted as service in Basic Scale-17. Service rules in the Higher Education department have recently been revised. Mandatory training has been linked with promotion to every next grade. A panel of two senior most officers shall be placed before the PSB for each vacancy of promotion to BPS-18 and B-19. Similarly a panel of three senior most officers shall be placed before the PSB for each position in respect of promotion to B-20 and B-21. The maximum aggregate marks for promotion to various grades would be 50, 60, 70, and 75 for BPS-18, 19, 20, and 21.

Under Section 9 of the NWFP Civil Servants Act, 1973, a Civil Servant possessing such minimum qualifications as may be prescribed shall be eligible for promotion to a higher post for the time being reserved under the rules for departmental promotion in the service or cadre to which he belongs. Promotion to the posts in BPS-2 to BPS-16 is made on the recommendations of the appropriate Departmental Promotion Committee and to the posts in BPS-17 and above, on the recommendations of the Provincial Selection Board as provided in rule 7 of the NWFP Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion & Transfer) Rules, 1989 and with the approval of the Competent Authority as given in rule 4 of the rules.

The annual performance evaluation is a component of the promotion. The most important document used for the promotion of these faculty members and rest of the government servants is PER or Performance Evaluation Report previously known as ACR or annual confidential report. Performance Evaluation Report is a system of evaluation of the Govt. servants on the prescribed forms. It is written annually. However, the period of three years is also required to be written when it becomes due. It is the most frequently used documents in the service career of a Govt. servant. It is used for promotion, for training and deputation purposes. PER for government servant is to be written in the first week of January of the preceding year. To be finalized by 31st January each year.

Forms are filled in duplicate. Part- i and Part- ii of the PER is filled by the officer and dispatched to the reporting officer not later than the 15th of January. The reporting officer forwards the same reports to the countersigning officer within two weeks of the receipt after giving his/her views in part- iii and iv. The countersigning officer (CO) finalizes his comments in part v within two weeks of the receipt PERs.

A perusal of this document shows that PER lacks the very standards of performance to be evaluated in the first instance. Secondly, in part iii and iv of this report the reporting officer is required to assess whether the officer under report is intelligent, confident, responsible, reliable, social, helpful, knowledgeable or able to make decisions. In most of the cases the reporting officer is not competent enough to assess the officer under observationThirdly, nothing in these PERs is directly related to the teaching performance of college faculty. Fourthly, part v and vi where the countersigning officer has to take certain decisions in the light of the remarks given by the reporting officer is the person who never comes across to the officer under consideration.

Usually two types of PERs are in use. One type of PER is used for BPS-17 and 18 while the other type is used for BPS-19 and 20. But except the difference in colors i.e. the first one is of yellow color and the second one is of pink, the contents of these reports are almost same.

The issues at hand are

Job experience at college level of education is so monotonous that it does not result in the development of 'the professional skills' among the faculty and this monotony of job does not change with the change in grades.

'The professional skills' is an elusive phrase at tertiary level and it generally represents a mixture of Teaching skills, administrative skills and research skills, supposed to be automatically developed among the faculty after spending a specific time in the profession.

Time spent in any one of the three capacities (Teaching, Administration, and Research) make the faculty eligible for performing new role in the next grade in any of the above capacities.

"Teaching/research" experience used in the policy documents show that they are interchangeable.

Teaching/research experience is used for

The promotion of teaching faculty

The promotion of administrators (Principals, HODs, Deans, VCs)

The promotion of research scholars

The sole determinant of salary structure

Compensation system (House rent and Health facilities etc)

Monitory benefits associated with perks and emoluments during the service and after the retirement (pay and pension).

Promotion of teachers in primarysecondary, and higher education is currently linked to number of years served rather than professional capability and performance, undermining motivation for improvement.

Higher Education occupies a unique place in our educational system. Almost every institution of higher education states somewhere that the primary purpose of the institution is teaching. This is particularly true for Government colleges because they are exclusively teaching institutions. Although theoretically all the decisions making regarding the promotion of faculty depends upon the teaching effectiveness but there is no comprehensive, valid, reliable, and multidimensional method for the evaluation of teaching followed in these institutions. It is also true that no universally accepted definition of effective college teaching exists even though countless attempts have been made to identify the characteristics of effective teaching using a variety of theoretical perspectives and a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Many occupations recognize employees' years of experience as a relevant factor in human resource policies, including compensation systems, benefits packages, and promotion decisions. The idea is that experience, gained over time, enhances the knowledge, skills, and productivity of workers. In education, teacher experience is probably the key factor in personnel policies that affect current employees: it is a cornerstone of faculty promotions; prioritize seniority; and it is commonly considered a major source of decision making. It may be the underlying assumption that experience promotes effectiveness. But is this really the case? Do students attain higher levels of achievement when taught by more experienced teachers? What is the relationship between teacher experience and teacher productivity?

1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This study evaluated the role of experience in the development of professional skills, a criterion used for the promotion of faculty at college level.

1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The objectives of the study were the following:-

To study the effect of experience in the development of professional skills of the faculty at tertiary level.

To investigate the rationale of using experience as the sole criterion of promotion of the faculty.

To evaluate the policy regarding faculty promotion in government colleges.

To develop guidelines/suggestions for policy reforms.

To suggest further researches and the improvements in educational planning and practice.

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will be significant for policy makers at federal and provincial level associated with educational system in Pakistan and a source of understanding for the higher authorities on the adoption of a more performance based criteria for the promotion of faculty at college level

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