Although this study is focused on the role of efficacy in making in making an academic setting more effective through its' impact on teaching and learning, the reader should understand completely the wider context in which this study takes place, because "by linking the specific research question to larger theoretical constructs or to national policy issues, the researcher is showing that the particulars of the study serve to illuminate larger issues and, therefore, are significant" (Basit, 1995:7).
With a vivid realization that this study is merely a "glass of sand" (Researcher's Handbook, 2011-12) on a sandy beach, this research is carried out with the intention of adding to the wider body of knowledge to benefit the country and with the hope that this will open doors for future research in the HE sector of Pakistan---a neglected area. I have, hence, put my study in the wider context of education in Pakistan. Furthermore, as the discussion moves around higher education in particular, I have briefly examined the development of HE since the creation of Pakistan in 1947. As my research is carried out in a private university, so an introduction of the public and private HE sector is provided, followed by the differences between the both. Later is an introduction of efficacy and its significance for teaching and learning. It is worth mentioning here that there is high potential of research in HE sector, both public and private, in Pakistan. It is not only rich with unexplored areas, it is also the need of the time to do research for the development of this sector.
The HE sector in Pakistan has recently attracted attention of the policy makers and researcher so not much research was found in the area, let alone anything on efficacy of teachers and learners. For a review of literature, research on efficacy in the West became my focus but the indigenous literature was lacking. To fill in the gap and to introduce and place my research in context, many newspapers, PhD thesis in local university libraries and internet resources were consulted to gather relevant information. As related literature was reviewed, it became evident that though so much has been said, little has been done to improve HE in Pakistan. This chapter will discuss the hurdles in this process, areas to improve and, finally, where my research lies. As mentioned earlier, the entire knowledge presented in this chapter is essential in understanding my study and research findings.
HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN
To understand the context of the study, it is essential to know a brief profile of Pakistan. It will then be easier to place my study not only in the wider body of knowledge, but also to value its uniqueness, owing to its originality.
Pakistan traces its history of education to the advent of Islam and Islamic/Arabic culture to the Indian subcontinent with the invasion of Muhammad bin Qasim in Sind in 712 A.D.. By that time, the Arabs had already distinguished themselves not only as conquerors and administrators over vast territories in the Middle East and North Africa but even more significantly as creators of a culture replete with literature, art, architecture, and religious studies. With the establishment of Muslim rule at Delhi in 1208 A.D., the Islamic culture made extensive inroads on the subcontinent, converting a quarter of its population to Islam over the next five centuries.
With the advent of English rule in the sub-continent and the fall of Muslim empire in 1857, Hindus took more readily to the new education than did the Muslims. The traditional school system had been the mainstay of education among Muslims of the subcontinent from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries until the rise of the British power beginning in 1757. Increasingly, some leaders of the Muslim community, notably Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, urged the Muslim youth to join the modern educational system initiated by the British. In 1857 three universities were established in the "presidency" cities of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras, producing not only the subordinate bureaucrats as intended but also hundreds of university graduates wanting to take up higher education in the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. Muslim leaders such as Sir Sayyid saw the danger that their co-religionists would fall behind the Hindus and be kept out of the bureaucracy if they did not prefer the modern educational system over the traditional. Under Sir Sayyid's leadership, the Anglo-Oriental College (later upgraded to Aligarh Muslim University) was founded in 1875. It did not eliminate the traditional system of education, but there is no doubt that it seriously undermined its standing and standards. The Anglo-Oriental College provided higher education on the British pattern (more particularly that of Cambridge University) and produced a remarkable leadership for the Muslims of the subcontinent for educational, social, and legal reform and promoted the Muslim nationalist movement, which eventually led to the partition of the subcontinent and the birth of Pakistan in 1947. It also produced brilliant graduates, who went to England for higher education, some of them serving in the Indian Civil Service, which prided itself in being the iron framework of the British imperial edifice in India. The medium of majority of HE institutes of science and technology in Pakistan is English which traces its history back to the efforts of Sir Syed. English is used from the beginning as a national language for official purposes. Though the 1956 constitution limited its use for 20 years, the 1973 constitution stipulated a 15-year period during which Urdu would completely replace English for official purposes. This has not happened.
In Pakistan, the ideological base that governs the life of the majority is Islam. So education for life must provide the growing citizen full opportunity to be exposed to an unbiased and progressive code of values driven essentially from the religion (Aly, 2007: 46). Pakistan's education system now needs to keep abreast with the pace of knowledge advancement all over the world so that students do not feel the need to go abroad to study, and thus the brain drain is stopped and the economy stabilized. Curriculum, in particular, should have the flexibility to accommodate local requirements and opportunities so that children are able to develop appropriate and relevant skills. Aly (2007) has very explicitly elaborated teh purpose of education system in Pakistan according to the needs of the country. He emphasises that the professional degrees need to be sensitive to the requirements of the market, especially where there is space in the market to absorb new entrants. Industry linkages, in turn, are essential to improve management in institutions, to make curricula relevant to the job market, to improve the qualifications and quality of employees, to create career and employment opportunities, and to respond to changes in technology affecting industry. Effective industry linkages would focus on employers' active involvement in improving and reforming education, instead of launching limited projects.
A critical examination of the modern formal education system extending from primary to the university levels by experts ranging from the World Bank to those in research institutes in Pakistan has found the colleges in the country "sub-standard, bureaucratic, government-controlled, poor and inefficient (World Bank, 2000). Such criticism, however, fails to explain how the several hundred thousand Pakistani graduates who have migrated to the West, notably to Great Britain, the United States, and Canada, mostly as professionals, whether as doctors, engineers, pharmacists or educators, have with only marginal additional training been able to compete with the very best in those advanced countries.
In general, the population is young, with persons below 30 numbering about 65 million, accounting for 50 percent of the total. The presented situation, as presented by Aly (2007), is not very encouraging. Vocational and technical education does not involve industries, stakeholders and its market linkages are weak or misplaced geographically. It shows that the fault lies with the system, not with the brains of the nation.
This particular research is aimed at exploring the system and claims to be a pioneer in the field of efficacy researches in the education sector in Pakistan. To appreciate the uniqueness and originality of this research, a brief country profile of Pakistan is presented, with the focus on its economic struggle and its impact of higher education sector. Numerous empirical studies conducted by social scientists have established a strong correlation between education and national development (Kazmi, 2005). A glance at the rate of the development of Pakistan will give the reader an idea about the educational development in the country.
1.2 COUNTRY PROFILE
According to Higher Education Policy Note (2006), the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has an estimated population of 162 million, making it the world's sixth most populous country, and second most populous country in the South Asia Region. Its GNI per capita is US$600, which places it at the 160th rank in the world (World Bank, 2002). The country is divided into four provinces. Pakistan has made significant development progress in the 59 years since its independence in 1947. During the 1990s Pakistan's progress in reducing poverty and improving the welfare of its people was modest. Slow economic growth led to a rising poverty rate. By the late-1990s, Pakistan was in a position of extreme vulnerability with high and unsustainable fiscal deficits and heavy debt burden, which squeezed public investment and social spending.
In 2000 the government initiated a wide-ranging and ambitious reform program which has resulted in a dramatic turnaround in its macroeconomic situation. GDP growth increased from an average of 3.3 percent over the 1997-2002 period to 8.4 percent in 2004/05. Results of the reform program have started to become evident in the form of improved development outcomes.
Despite these recent developments, Pakistan continues to face formidable challenges. These include substantial disparities in opportunity, particularly for the rural poor and women; lack of skilled manpower and low labour productivity; and a lack of basic infrastructure, including electricity, paved roads, municipal services, and telecommunications which are critical for supporting the delivery of basic services. Pakistan did not have an accreditation, quality assessment, or improvement process in place at the national level until 2003.
In Pakistan (Higher Education Policy Note, 2006) the educational pyramid is characterized by a narrow, uneven, and fragile basis: low access, large disparities, poor quality, and weak performance. Under such conditions it is not surprising that the top of the pyramid, higher education, reflects what is observed at the bottom and echoes the problems known at that level. One aggravating factor is that this level of education has been allocated extremely low levels of resources and has not been considered a priority within the whole education system.
Statistics collected by UNESCO (2009) indicate that 6.3% of Pakistanis (8.9% of males and 3.5% of females) were university graduates as of 2007. Pakistan plans to increase this figure to 10% by 2015 and subsequently to 15% by 2020 (Dawn News, 2009). Pakistan is still spending only 2.7 per cent of its GNP on education and not 4 per cent, as recommended by UNESCO for all developing countries (UNDP, 2002) . Government recently approved the new national education policy, which specifies that education expenditure will be increased to 7% of GDP (Dawn News, 2009). If linear trend were maintained since 1972, Pakistan could have touched 4 percent of GDP well before 2015. However, it is unlikely to happen because the levels of spending have had remained significantly unpredictable and unsteady in the past. Given this disappointing course, increasing public expenditure on education to 7 percent of GDP would be nothing less than a miracle but it is not going to be of godly nature. The idea of this increase comes after years of underfunding, and still leaves Pakistan lagging behind with less than half of one percent of the GDP spent on its universities.
My research is a small effort to emphasise the importance of education in particular and of teaching and learning in general, in the given context. As my selected area is HE, the coming section will discuss the situation of HE in Pakistan. Yet again, an understanding of the HE sector in Pakistan will add to the value of, not only my research, but also to other research that have been or will be conducted in this area in the given context.
1. 3 DEVELOPMENT OF HE IN PAKISTAN
The World Bank (2000) states "without more and better higher education, developing countries will find it increasingly difficult to benefit from the global knowledge-based economy" (6). The Dearing Report (Dearing, 1997) underlines the importance of higher education in these words: "For the state, higher education has become a crucial asset. It must recognize what it will gain from ensuring the well being of higher education. In return, higher education must recognize its obligation to society as a whole." (2)
The White Paper (Aly, 2007) puts light on the Pakistani context and reveals that the relevance of higher education in enabling a society to move from one level of civilized life to a higher level, in the philosophical sense, is not receiving the attention that it deserves. Any increase in industrial output, any increase in GDP, or any economy growth rate is in itself no guarantee in developing a society that is tolerant and conflict free. Only research and education in social sciences enables societies to equip themselves with the tools that are necessary to fight conflict. My research, lying in the broader area of social sciences, aims at playing its role in the betterment of the society, no matter how small the part may be. But, as it stands now, Decades of neglect have drawn universities in Pakistan to levels which are incompatible with the ambitions of the country to develop as a modern society and a competitive economy ( Higher Education policy Note, 2006: 1)
If higher education in Pakistan has come to such a low, it is not by lack of planning and strategizing. This situation has attracted the attention of many scholars, administrators, and policy makers who have noticed that better off countries also are investing heavily in higher education. There is little disagreement regarding the diagnosis of the higher education subsector, and some of the harshest descriptions of the ills which plague it come from the academic sanctorum itself. Ineffective governess and management are the serious challenges faced by reforms.
Different issues of the quality of higher education in Pakistan as identified by Iqbal (2004) include curriculum standards, technological infrastructure available, poor recruitment practices and inadequate development of faculty and staff and inadequate support for research. It is also absolutely critical to monitor and regulate growth of sub-standard institutions of higher learning.
Memon (2007) observes that, in Pakistan, after more than five decades, the developmental indicators are not showing positive results. The participation rate at higher education is low comparatively to other countries of the region. There are problems of relevance with society needs, research facilities, financial crisis, arts students more than science students, weaknesses of examination, ineffective governance and academic results are not at par with international standards. In addition, the allocation of government funds is skewed towards higher education so that the benefits of public subsidy on education are largely reaped by the upper income class. Many of the highly educated go abroad either for higher education or in search of better job opportunities. Most of them do not return and cause a large public loss (Memon, 2007:48)
Husain (2005) turns the attention towards another alarming factor. There is a serious mismatch between the jobs demanded by the emerging needs of the economy and the supply of skills and trained manpower in Pakistan. While the economy is moving towards sophisticated sectors such as telecommunications, information technology, oil and gas, financial services, engineering goods the universities and colleges are turning out hundreds of thousands of graduates in Arts, Humanities and languages. This mismatch has created waste and misallocation of resources on one hand and the shortages of essential skills required to keep the wheels of the economy moving. Technical and vocational training has failed to keep pace with the emerging skill gaps that have further been widened by the migration of experienced technicians and professionals to the Middle East and elsewhere.
The lesson is clear: drafting and issuing plans and strategies is not a sufficient condition to reverse the situation of a neglected and damaged sector. The year 2002 marked a turning point with the first steps towards creating the necessary conditions for a vibrant higher education sector. First came the publication of the Task Force Report on Improvement of Higher Education in Pakistan (January 2002) which was followed immediately by the appointment of the Steering Committee on Higher Education and by the subsequent creation of the Higher Education Commission in September 2002 (Higher Education Policy Note, 2006: 5).
Now, it becomes vital to examine the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan in detail because, so far, it has emerged as the most prominent advancement at HE level education sector of Pakistan. As my research is aimed to improve the HE standards in Pakistan, an insight into the present circumstances is essential. Furthermore, this discussion will illuminate the claims made by the HEC and what hindered their fulfilment.
The HEC encompasses all degree granting universities and institutions (public and private) and is responsible for coordinating reviews and evaluations of all academic programs. In addition, the HEC oversees the planning, development and chartering of both public and private institutions of higher education (Sedgwick, 2005).
As mentioned earlier, Higher education plays a vital role in the development of society. "Universities, for centuries, had a crucial role in educating the potential professionals, businessmen, political leaders, religious and social scholars, who serve the society, to enrich its values and develop its resources" (Mustard, 1998). These are also highlighted in the national objectives of higher education.
It is only in the early 2000s that the powerful potential of a healthy higher education subsector began to be recognized by the highest authorities. It is also at the same time that the risk of losing this potential because of the deleterious situation of HE became obvious. This double awareness helped to create conditions for radical changes, and propelled the creation of institutions and the assignment of reform-minded leaders. For example, in Pakistan, 3 per cent of the age cohort of 17-23 years was enrolled in the colleges and universities. This is one of the lowest ratios anywhere in the world. Thus, the country needs very significant improvement in the quality of higher education and considerable enhancement of its capacity. Realizing the issue of quality, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan established Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs) at 45 public sector universities and 17 private sector universities between 2006-1010 for improvement of their academic, teaching and learning standards (HEC, 2010).
Compared to other countries in the region or to other countries with similar levels of development three decades ago, Pakistan is lagging, both in terms of economic development and in terms of the performance of the higher education. Worth being noted, though, private rates of returns to higher education stand substantially higher in Pakistan than in neighbouring countries (Riboud and Tan, 2006). The areas of dysfunction are diverse: access, quality, performance, teaching staff and pedagogic methodology, internal and external efficiency, equity, governance and management, monitoring and evaluation, and, last but not least, funding. To fully grasp the HEC's vision of, it is worth first to return briefly to the circumstances which gave birth both to the Commission and the Framework. This understanding is crucial to place my study in the HE perspective of Pakistan and, hence, gauge teh value of its originality.
HEC found extremely limited access, less than 3% portion of post secondary age group enrolled in universities, lack of human, institutional and financial resources in public HE institutes. , under qualified teaching staff, static curricula, absence of research â€¦ such standard had no impact on the local community, the country, and its competitors. Above all, there was no accountability. Miracle cannot happen. All HEC could do was to start from somewhere.
HEC launched an unprecedented number of systemic reforms directly aimed at the worst and most immediate issues plaguing universities. These reforms included development of faculty members and resource allocation for research.
The issue of quality needs to establish evaluation criteria. The HEC has encouraged universities to prepare a 15-year vision, relevant to institutional needs and intended reforms. Universities are responsible for identifying relevance of programmes and formation of industrial linkages. Institutional linkage with industry should be created at the national and sub-national levels to link specific industry associations with educational institutions pro-actively (Aly, 2007). For my study, I explored the quality of teaching and learning of an HE institute through focusing the issue of efficacy. If this study, along with other indigenous research in the area, becomes part of such 15 year plan, it may prove helpful and productive for the vision of a university.
The reports by the World Bank (2000, 2002) establish that relevance in education must ensure equal emphasis on application of knowledge that accompanies theoretic introductions. Education should be seen as a self reliant, life skills and lifelong learning process. The content of education should proceed gradually from early childhood to higher education and in phases relate education to life, citizenship, nation building, economic empowerment and higher knowledge based on research, in that order. During the course of this study, many teachers and learners shared similar views which they named as their expectation from education. "A relevant education system will ensure the encouragement and enhancement of capacity in critical thinking and analytical abilities, not only amongst students but also amongst teachers" (Aly, 2007: 47).
Emphasis of the local context is an issue that affects education at all levels, whether curriculum, enrolment and retention, or learning achievement. In a geographically and ethnically heterogeneous society like Pakistan's relevance of education to local context can make the critical difference between literate and illiterate populations. The entire education system (policy, practice and content) has to be cognizant of this heterogeneity and be contextualized as per local economic, social and cultural systems. This further solidifies the claim of my research to be pioneer in its field because the context in which it is undertaken is unique and full of potential.
So far, HEC has initiated performance based funding. It has main focus: access, quality, relevance, public/private partnership. Unluckily, such initiatives have not succeeded to mobilize the full enthusiasm of the academic community due to typical reactions towards accountability and the concentration of power in very few hands (Higher Education Policy Note, 2006). This issue can be taken as an interesting research point for future exploration. Furthermore, mentioning initiatives by HEC in the beginning of this study is relevant because HEC is responsible for the development of HE sector in Pakistan. The more relevant my study proves to be with the goals of HEC, the more productive it can become in the Pakistani context, whether for future research or for policy making.
HEC has also initiated performance based funding on public/private partnership. The upcoming section discusses the deliverers of HE, public and private universities, in Pakistan. As this study is done in a private university, a look into the public and private sectors and their differences is offered. This discussion sets ground for the present research. Furthermore, the findings of this study also discover their link back to this comparison.
1.4 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES
Pakistan currently suffers from large fiscal and trade deficits, the absence of a strong middle class and weak foreign investment. Economic growth is sluggish with 48 million Pakistanis (33 percent of the population) living below the poverty line. A mere 2.6 per cent of the population is enrolled in higher education, and adult literacy hovers around 43 percent. Yet despite these bleak statistics, the country has paradoxically witnessed a tremendous surge over the past decade or so in the number of colleges and universities. The vast majority of the new schools are private. By the year 2010, it is estimated that Pakistan will need to accommodate 1.3 million students at the tertiary level (Sedgwick, 2005).
United Stated Educational Foundation declared Pakistan's public higher education system a disaster, in 1997. Because of the great need to fill the education gap, the government has made it relatively easy for the private sector to establish colleges and universities. As a result, a record 49 new universities and other degree awarding institutes (most of them private) have been established since 1999.
When Pakistan was founded in 1947 as a result of the partition with India, the country had only one institution of higher education. Over the next 20 years, many private and public schools and higher education institutions were established to help fuel the country's socio-economic development. In the early 1970s, all of Pakistan's educational institutions were nationalized. For the next decade, Pakistan's entire system of education was state-run. However, the growing demand for higher education fast outpaced the establishment of new public universities. During that period, the system could accommodate only 25 percent of the high school graduates who applied to higher education institutions. The overcrowding prompted many wealthy Pakistanis to seek university degrees abroad in the United States, Great Britain and Australia, while others sought out private tutors at home or entered the job market without a degree.
In 1979 a government commission reviewed the consequences of nationalization and concluded that in view of the poor participation rates at all levels of education, the public sector could no longer be the country's sole provider of education. By the mid-1980s, private educational institutions were allowed to operate on the condition that they comply with government-recognized standards.
Until 1991, there were only two recognized private universities in Pakistan: By 1997, however, there were 10 private universities and in 2001-2002, this number had doubled to 20. In 2003-2004, Pakistan had a total of 53 private degree granting institutions.
The rapid expansion of private higher education is even more remarkable if we look at the number of institutions established on a year-by-year basis. In 1997, for instance, three private institutions were established; in 2001 eleven new private institutions were opened; and in 2002 a total of 29 private sector institutions sprung up.
After all these statistics, it is worth mentioning now the development of private sector and its contribution towards the progress of HE in Pakistan, as compared to that of public sector, with a comparison of both going parallel. A discussion on the essential difference between public and private HE sector in Pakistan is important because, though my research is based in a private HE institute, yet, for future research prospects on efficacy in public HE sector, this understanding is vital.
1.4.1 Public vs Private HE Sector in Pakistan
As of 2004-2005, Pakistan has 107 public and private degree granting institutions. In addition, there are many degree-granting institutes (both private and public) specializing in certain disciplines like business and information technology (Sedgwick, 2005).
The private sector has long played an important role in the delivery of education in Pakistan. Throughout most of Pakistan's history, however, the private sector role in education was confined to the school level. The private university sector in Pakistan dates back only to the mid-1980s.Data on private HE enrolments are only available from 2001/02 and at an aggregate level. There were just over 61,000 enrolments at private HEIs in Pakistan in 2003/04. This represented around 23 percent of all HE enrolments in that year. Between 2001/02 and 2003/04, private HE enrolments grew by just over 17,000, an increase of nearly 40 percent, compared to an increase of 60,000 or 42 percent in public HE sector enrolments (HE Policy Note, 2006).
Private HEIs come under the regulatory purview of the HEC. The HEC produces guidelines for institutional programs/curricula. Private institutions are autonomous and do not need to seek HEC approval to set or amend the curriculum or program content. There is no external quality assurance provided, as the accreditation system is not fully operational. Yet, private HEIs cannot have affiliated colleges for the first ten years of their existence. There is also a requirement that all HEIs undergo ISO 9000 Certification.
A number of factors explain the rapid growth in the private university sector in Pakistan. A key driver is the inability of the public sector to meet the burgeoning demand for higher education in the country. The increasing popularity of Cambridge 'O' and 'A' levels has resulted in increased numbers of quality high school graduates eligible for admission into higher education. Other important factors that explain the growth in the sector include a growing middle class, pull-factors such as the more modern and job relevant curriculum at private HE institutes (HEIs), and push-factors such as the declining quality of provision, poor infrastructure, the lack of equipment, and concerns about political influence in university affairs at public HEIs.
If we look at the faculty member of Private HEIs, these institutes tend to be much smaller, employ more visiting (part-time) teachers and employ staff with lower qualifications than their public counterparts. Visiting staff are drawn from either public HEIs or industry, and are used more in areas such as business and IT. Teachers at private HEIs earn higher salaries than do teachers in public. However, the private pay differential is smaller for teachers on the tenure-track program initiated by the HEC. The 18% increase in the salary of staff in public university decided in June 2006 is reducing the gap. It is true that public universities have a strong faculty but the physical infrastructure is less developed.
This is important to note that private HEIs are primarily teaching institutes, not research based organizations. Most of the research happens in Public HEIs under HEC grant. Still, there is little research or other interaction between public HEIs, industry and public sector research institutes. Programs and curricula at public HEIs are described as outdated and inflexible. There is little industry input into curriculum development. As a result, course and program offerings at many public HEIs are out of step with the needs of the labour market (HE Policy Note, 2007: 43).
The course range offered by Private HEIs is not satisfactory. They offer fewer 'general' programs such as biology, math or physics. In 2003/04, about one-third of bachelor-level enrolments in the private sector were in general universities, compared to two-thirds in the public sector. Nearly 40 percent of bachelor level enrolments in the private sector were in business universities, compared to less than 2 percent in the public sector. Private HEIs in Pakistan offer a more limited range of job-oriented courses and programs than their public counterparts. These include 'modern' programs such as Telecommunications and Networks, Telecommunications Engineering, Fashion Design, Nursing, Technology Management and Development Studies, Computer Science and Business Administration.
In the job market, according to most observers, including government officials, business representatives and others, graduates from the more established private HEIs are well regarded in the marketplace. Most observers believe that graduates from top private universities are successful finding work upon graduation. The labour market acceptance of qualifications from many of the newer private HEIs remains untested and requires further exploration. There is evidence that employers recognize differences in the quality of tuition at different private HEIs and also see value in HEC recognition. Employers often advertise for candidates from HEC recognized institutions and 'reputable' HEIs. The private HE sector is competitive with the public sector in Pakistan, despite the requirement to pay tuition fees in the former.
Private HEIs do not receive either government recurrent or capital funding, nor are they eligible to receive government research and development grants. The success of private universities though comes without any government support financially or otherwise. When it comes to resources, public institutions definitely have the upper hand. About 67 percent of all public university income comes from federal grants. They have more professors with doctorates; vast campuses; lab facilities and many, many more students. Private universities and institutes are much smaller operations with not as many qualified personnel.
The private sector already is active in higher education. HE Policy Note (2007) comments that there is potential for an even larger contribution by private HEIs to broaden access, improve quality, enhance relevance, while alleviating some of the burden on public institutions. In addition, the public sector and private institutions would mutually benefit from reinforcing their partnership: they would respond better to the growing demand, and would make the entire HE more responsive to market expectations. But, "to reap these benefits, several regulatory and financial steps must be taken to even the playing field, and assure that the quality of services supersedes institutional borders" (6).
Private sector must get involved in providing technical education and managing skills development particularly as a public private participatory venture. A long term commitment and an active involvement are required of university community and of the HE stakeholders, both from public and private spheres.
After the discussion on public and private universities and their differences, the next section will focus mainly on the structure of Private universities in general in Pakistan. This knowledge will help the reader in placing my study in context being more specific and determine its relativity.
1.4.2 Private Universities in Pakistan
Approximating the situation of public universities, in many cases rivalling the worst aspect of authoritarian regimes with all power vested in the president (or CEO) who is sometimes also the owner of the institution. Thus, the crisis of governance and management in private education often mirrors, and in some cases exceeds, that of public tertiary institutions. And while in theory private universities are non-profit, many make substantial incomes for the owner(s) and are run like fiefdoms. Above all, academic decisions are not under the control of the teaching faculty, there are few if any protections or appeals against the abuse of authority, and there is neither financial nor administrative accountability. Quality improvement and high academic standards require major reforms at private universities like those proposed for public universities. Much needed quality improvement in the sector will also require governance and management reform to eliminate dictatorial leadership practices in some private institutions and insure that academic matters are controlled by the faculty.
It was found that private universities lacking trained faculty members, equipped library, merit based admission policy, research and hostel facilities. "Private universities not only are violating admission standards but also have a shortage of appropriate faculty" (Hamid et al. 2005:15).
Sedgwick (2005) observes that private sector schools in Pakistan are costly. However, most private sector universities are priced between US$1,000 and $1,500. In a country where the average per capita income is estimated to be US$277 per year, this puts private institutions beyond the reach of most Pakistanis. Supporters of private higher education believe that non-government institutions can deliver higher quality education and do it far more efficiently than the public sector. They point to the fact that private institutes rarely suffer the closures and class suspensions their public counterparts do, and that students enrolled at these institutes are more apt to complete their degree programs on time. They also believe that private universities will introduce international standards of competence and accountability.
On the other hand, critics fear that the explosion of private institutes/universities will lead to the commercialization of higher education and a two-tiered system based on wealth. Many feel that private institutions of higher education merely serve as cram-schools (see Sedgwick, 2005) to prepare students for board exams, rarely providing quality education and opportunities for intellectual growth. .
Amidst all criticism, the HEC reports found that the job success rate for graduates of private universities tends to be higher than that of graduates of public institutions. Another advantage in private institutions is that there is better faculty morale, since professors are better paid than in public institutions. In fact, during the 1980s and 1990s, a number of professors in public universities left because they could not survive on the salaries they were receiving. Adding to that, private universities also offer more vigorous training to students. Briefly speaking, private universities have made their mark in Pakistan and with more support from the government, can become even more useful for the development of qualified professionals in the country.
The examination standards, the additional number of years and the dozens of conditions are being imposed on students forcing a massive percentage to drop-out of public universities in past two years. The result is more and more students are being forced to leave higher education and turn to private universities. Public sector universities are on the path of becoming fully commercialized. But by following that route they are losing out on whatever research base they had and are gradually becoming another source of private education for the few. Once again 'quality' is being used to effectively reduce the quantity.
The question of quality in higher education is directly related to the quality of teachers, students and the infrastructure provided to them by the educational institutions. The next section is going to examine the quality of teaching and learning in at HE level in Pakistan.
1.5 TEACHIGN AND LEARNING IN HE
My proposed study focuses on efficacy of teachers and learners that ultimately enhances the quality of education. Hamid Ullah (2005) comments that the level of competence of teachers, curricula and the standards of student intake are the major contributing factors in the deteriorating quality of higher education. In Pakistan, quality of higher education is deteriorating both in the public and the private sectors. "The universities are steadily moving towards improvement but there is a dire need of implementing national and international quality control standards." (15)
There are a range of statistical and non statistical indicators intended to offer an objective measure of how a higher education institution is performing. Some of the indicators are user satisfaction, use of entry qualification, student retention, learning / teaching output, research, graduate employment and change in attitude of the students. Nevertheless, the main indicators of quality education are quality of staff and faculty, organizational development and quality of student (Chande, 2006). Quality of staff and faculty includes faculty development that focuses on the knowledge, skills, sensitivities and techniques of faculty members, rather than on the courses they teach. Organizational development seeks to change the structure, policies and organizational environment in which instruction takes place. It also contains instructional development that focuses on the systematic design, development, implementation and evaluation of instructional materials, lessons, courses and curricula. Teacher training programmes are also a part of organizational development and include training, seminars, conferences and workshops.
The quality of the students constitutes the raw material of higher education, which requires special attention to their problems of access in the light of criteria related to merit (abilities and motivation). It also includes getting together with students and teachers. This implies both internationalization and further contextualization, in the design of programs of teaching and research and the networking of those programs as well as in the application of standards. Aly (2007) informs that during nationwide consultations, there was a recommendation to keep higher education relevant, education at the university level should be field-based and research-based. Students should be provided internship opportunities so that they could link theory with practice. This information is very important as all the participating students in my research expressed the dire need of linking theory with practice and their wish of getting proper guidance from their teachers in this regard.
The reason for any low quality teaching in HE in Pakistan is explored and explained by HEC (2010). The overall quality of faculty members has been low as measured by: the number of faculty members with PhDs, publications in refereed journals, international recognition, research grants received, or teaching evaluations (to the extent they have been undertaken). Part of the problem over the last decades relates to the fact that teaching and research in tertiary institutions have not been attractive option for the brightest graduate students given low salaries, low status, poor working conditions, and limited support services.
There were few incentives to be productive in research, service or teaching and very little accountability.
In addition, universities have not emphasized the need for PhDs in hiring faculty. Only about 25% of faculty members (excluding distance education) have PhDs. Consequently, there is an acute shortage of qualified university faculty, and many of those teaching have second jobs in order to make ends meet.
Opportunities for existing staff to upgrade their qualifications were limited. The ability to produce the additional faculty needed for the future was inadequate with only 290 PhDs produced in 2002/03. Until recently, funding for research was limited. Research output was very low even at the best institutions.
In Pakistan, unfortunately, teaching and learning in HE have not been emphasized, with few institutions evaluating or rewarding good teaching. Rote learning is encouraged in contrast to problem-solving, leaving students with limited skills in analysis and assessment - weaknesses that affect their success in the work force once they graduate. Quality and depth of knowledge of the subject area are assumed to be indicated only by the results of examinations, and the exams are such that they reward memorization rather than problem-solving ability. High pass rates are regarded as indicative of good pedagogy. Thus teaching to the examinations is the usual method. Examination results assume greater importance and "legitimacy" than is warranted. The examination system itself is rife with irregularities, making the value of results questionable. Later, in the findings, students are found presenting similar complaints regarding teh grading and assessment criteria.
The present quality of higher education is very low as measured by teacher qualifications, publications, participation in international conferences, teaching and learning, or significant research findings. As a consequence, not a single university is ranked among the top 500 of the world, and the pass rate on the Federal Public Service Commission examinations has declined to 7.5% of those taking it from one third fifteen years ago, an indication of the decline in educational quality over the years. (Sedgwick, 2005)
One of the major issues faced by the sector is its lack of relevance to the national needs. The business sector is particularly critical of higher education's lack of relevance. Interviews with employers, parents, students, and graduates, conducted by the Task Force (Govt. Of Pakistan, 2002) in Lahore and Peshawar concluded that the quality of graduates produced was "less than adequate" (13) and that graduates exhibited poor communication skills, poor reading habits, narrow vision and limited world view, lacked a spirit of inquiry, and the ability to apply their knowledge. In addition, there are no graduate tracer studies to assess the relevance of training, and no systematic mechanism to assess relevance. There is left no doubt about the need of further in depth research on why this is happening and find a solution ot a way to make the scenario better.
A thorough study of the HEC policy for universities, it was found that there is no tradition of academic program quality reviews in the universities. Similarly, there is little effort to evaluate faculty members internally, to hold them accountable for their teaching and research, or to reward outstanding teachers, or those who provide especially useful service to the university, community, the nation, or produce exceptional research. Now, as part of the effort to improve the quality of teaching and learning and its relevance, the HEC has established several bodies to focus on pedagogy as well as several programs for university teachers.
However, the performance indicators focus primarily on research and science training. There are few indicators that relate to learning. The HEC should consider outcome measures that will get at the "value added" (HE Policy, 2005: 34) of education programmes and assess the actual learning of students in university programs. Here lies one of the reasons of my research on learners and on learning as an outcome of teaching.
Isani (2005) believes that part of the push for better quality teaching must come from the universities themselves. Efforts should be made to foster critical analysis and creativity rather than rote-learning. A major effort is needed to reduce the excessive focus on examinations by introducing continuous assessment and making it a significant part of the final mark for the subject, and to fight the malpractices that have marked them for so many years.
Teachers were of the opinion that private universities were better in respect to building, maintenance & classroom facilities, library, laboratory, computer, multimedia use, transport, budget allocation for academic activities and friendly campus environment while public universities were better in terms of admissions policy, faculty, research facilities and hostel facilities.
Students were of the opinion that private universities were better in terms of building, maintenance & classroom facilities, laboratory, computer, multimedia use, transport, budget allocation for academic activities and friendly campus environment while public universities were better in terms of faculty, research facilities, library and hostel facilities.
To sum up the discussion on HE in Pakistan, it can be concluded that education in Pakistan requires "concerted effort from all key planners (especially teachers) who are at the front line in the delivery of education provision" (Khan, 2005: 1).
It is evident that that without teachers' transformation we cannot transform the education system for improving the quality of education. This transformation cannot happen in a day or by one person. It requires a devoted team of researchers and policy makers to revolutionize the system. My study, which revolves around the area of efficacy, has two fold objectives. At one hand, I want to highlight the importance of efficacy for teaching and learning in HE. At the same time, I want to do something practical for the betterment of the education system of Pakistan.
After a detailed general discussion on the history of HE in Pakistan and its present condition and the state of teaching and learning, the next section becomes more specific and talks about efficacy, the focus of my research.
Efficacy is defined as 'the ability of something, especially a drug or a medical treatment, to produce the results that are wanted' (Oxford Advance Learners' Dictionary: 2009). The researcher who developed self-efficacy theory (also known as social learning theory), Bandura, defines the term as an individual's belief that he or she is capable of performing a task (1977). In the words of Robbins and Judge (2007:229):
"The higher your efficacy, the more confidence you have in your ability to succeed in a task. So, in different situations, we find that people with low efficacy are more likely to lessen their effort or give up altogether, while those with high self-efficacy will try harder to master the challenge".
If Bandura's assertion is accepted then, in an educational setting, if teachers and learners are highly efficacious, they will put more effort to achieve their desired objectives, and vice versa. The history of efficacy beliefs, and effective teaching and learning are considered in this chapter by reviewing the relevant literature.
However, Bandura (1997: 5) notes that:
"A capability is only as good as its execution. The self-assurance with which people approach and manage difficult tasks determines whether they make good or poor use of their capabilities."
My study mainly focuses on teachers' efficacy beliefs that include some discussion on the self-beliefs that the students hold about their capabilities. In order to justify the inclusion of student efficacy beliefs in modern academic research interests, Pajares (2002) argues that research on academic motivation and achievement should naturally focus on students' efficacy beliefs.
1.6.1 Teacher Efficacy
Findings from the second area suggest that the efficacy beliefs of teachers are related to their instructional practices and to various student outcomes. Pajares (2002) concludes that self-efficacy influences performance of both teachers and learners by influencing effort, persistence, and perseverance.
However, Bandura (1977; 1986), cautions that while self-efficacy is domain-specific, it is also task - and situation - specific; that is, precepts of efficacy pertain to certain tasks and situations in which they are studied.
In assessing self-perceptions of teaching competence, a teacher reviews personal capabilities such as skills, knowledge, strategies, or personality traits balanced against personal weaknesses or liabilities in this particular teaching context. The interaction of these two components (personal strengths and weaknesses), as viewed by Gist and Mitchell (1992), leads to judgments about self-efficacy for the teaching task at hand.
Cowan (1999) describes effective teaching as the purposeful creation of situations from which motivational learners should not be able to escape without learning or developing (1999). Carnell (2001) includes the importance of learning in her discussion and notes that the words 'teaching' and 'learning' cover a range of meanings, of which 'learning' is the most 'significant'. To illustrate her point, she notes that teaching cannot be understood in isolation as assessment, learning style, environment, content knowledge, and the rest, all interact in the teaching event. So, following Carnells comments, my research on teacher efficacy and effective teaching is incomplete without a discussion on learning.
In an attempt to produce a model of effective teaching in the context of HE, Ramsden (2003) identifies six key principles of effective teaching; interest and explanation, concern for students' learning, appropriate assessment and feedback, clear goals and intellectual challenge, independence and control and learning from students.
1.6.2 Learner Efficacy
Allan (2009) has summarised her work on effective teaching into four domains: providing a supportive learning environment; having high expectations; scaffolding learning; and providing clear explanations. She points out that 'the notions of effectiveness are predicated less on university teachers having high academic expectations and more on the provision of a supportive environment in which teachers scaffold learning effectively and promote effective interaction with their students" (in press).
While Reid and Johnston (1999) identify the scarcity of to HE students' perceptions of effective teaching, Mujis (2008) reinforces the view by claiming that research based on students perception is more reliable than the one based on teachers' perceptions because "the primary indicator of effective teaching is located at the level of the student, rather than the teacher" (Fenstermacher & Richardson, 2005 p. 687).
One's sense of self-efficacy is determined by a range of personal, social, and environmental factors. Pajares (2002) predicts that if the instructional design positively affects learners' enactive experience, vicarious modelling, and precursory information, it can be an effective strategy for raising the learners' level of efficacy.
Learners' low efficacy beliefs not only make them rate a teacher as poor, such low confidence sometimes force them to leave the course altogether. In most cases, decisions to leave cannot be reduced to single factors, but are the culmination of complex interacting factors. Glogowska and Lockyer (2007)
Christie et al. (2004) highlight a spectrum of financial, social and institutional difficulties experienced by students who withdraw and those who remain. Consistent with the findings of Christie et al. (2004), it appears that the differences between both the groups lie in the extent to which students are motivated, committed and have a strong sense of purpose.
Fullen (2005: 69) adds here that learning opportunities should enable students to develop collaborative skills that are joined within undergraduate and graduate coursework. Learning must be promoted in context 'through daily interactions in cultures designed for job-embedded learning'. His claim points back to the aspect of higher education that is related to the economic growth of individuals.
Earlier discussion on effective teaching in higher education establishes the importance of teaching skills to improve effective learning. Now, students' perception of learning leads to the conclusion that learners require competent teachers in order to perform well.
1.7 THE PRESENT RESEARCH
The literature suggests that the purpose of education is to facilitate learning whereas effective teaching can guarantee effective learning. For effective teaching, the efficacy of teachers needs to be improved, no matter what the level is. This research is not aimed at exploring the HE sector of Pakistan, nor it intends to criticise its slow progress. My purpose is to establish a research basis for HE research in general and efficacy research in particular in the HE sector of Pakistan. In the given situation of the country and the financial crisis in the education sector, motivated teachers and motivated students are the need of the day. It is only possible if we know what affects teaching and learning phenomenon.
The question may arise why I chose social sciences as my research base. Aly (2007) elaborates the role of research in social science and its value in a country's economic growth. As I also chose doing a qualitative study in social science area, the above statement strengthen my claim that my research, if utilised in policy making, can be helpful even if it only opens a small opening for future researchers. As mentioned earlier, the role of research in social sciences must be recognized and sufficient resources made available for its development, not only for faculty development but also for ensuing that suitably inclined students undertake research in social sciences and produce ideas and schemes that will provide the enabling field needed for economic and social development. "A knowledge based economy is not and cannot be a robotized economy. Social sciences, in determining the need and character of a society, will continue to play an important role in propelling individuals to pursuits of higher living" ( Aly, 2007:53).
My sample teachers and students are chosen from the business school of a private university in Lahore, Pakistan. They are selected, mainly, due to my ten year work experience in the same private university and my familiarity with the system that provided convenient excess to the sample. Further, while there is some research carried out on public sector education as a whole, there is still very little research on private sector, especially higher education.
During the literature review, it became evident that there was a dearth of literature on HE teachers in Pakistan. As per my knowledge and study, there is no research on HE learning in private HE sector of Pakistan so far. The existing literature either discusses the financial benefits and their impact on teachers or lack of training for university teachers (Arshad, 2003). Some convey the dissatisfaction of teachers, students and parents with the facilities provided by the universities (Malik, 2002). Moosa (2003) and Saeed (2003) stress the need for a quality framework to improve higher education in the country and Kalam (2003) suggest periodic meeting of the administrative bodies to ensure quality service. Since, the aforementioned literature is indirectly related to the chosen area of study, I searched British and American literature on efficacy, higher education, and teaching and learning in higher education (e.g. Poulou, 2003; Martin et al., 2008; Alavi and McCormick, 2008; Allan, 2009). Such theoretical framework for a research undertaken in Pakistan makes an understanding of its context all the more important.
The data has directed me in determining various themes, of the phenomenon under study, which are linked with one another. Following this introduction chapter, the dissertation is further divided into five parts. Part one deals with the relevant literature and the theoretical framework for the present study. Part two explains the research design for the collection of data. Part three and four illuminate findings and analysis of the data related to the two major research questions respectively where part three deals with the effectiveness of teaching and teachers' efficacy and part four is about strategies adopted by effective teachers and their impact on learners' efficacy. Part five contains conclusions and implications of the present study, illuminating the expectation of teachers and learners.