karachi: The Sindh cabinet has approved a new teachers’ licence policy aimed at attracting talented youths to the teaching profession and raising the status of the profession.
This policy aims to bring the same rigour and respect to the teaching profession as enjoyed by other skill-based professions, including medicine, accounting, law, and engineering. New entrants to the field of teaching will be both required and incentivized to get professional training before seeking jobs.
Sharing his views, Sindh Minister for Education, Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Syed Sardar Ali Shah, said: “Conceptualising and bringing the teaching licence policy to life has not been easy. However, I am grateful to the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), Sindh Teachers Education Development Authority (STEDA), Durbeen and all other partners who have worked tirelessly to make this policy a possibility. The success of the next generation of teachers and students ultimately depends on its smooth implementation.”
He added: “Sindh is the only province that has approved a teaching licensce policy, which represents a proactive approach to recognising the value and importance of effective teaching. With the policy in place, the Sindh government has laid the foundation for a more robust and professional teaching workforce, which will have a positive and lasting impact on the educational landscape in the province.”
The Sindh government has already taken the first step toward rolling out the new policy. A total of 700 new vacancies have been created for elementary school teachers (eligible to teach grades 1-8) across Sindh at BPS-16. Previously, Junior elementary school teachers (JEST) were being inducted at BPS-14 and were required to have completed graduation in any field. These new 700 vacancies will only be offered to graduates of the BEd. degree programme who have also cleared the licensing exam.
A growing body of research clearly establishes the value of effective teachers. Econometric research from the past decade shows that effective teachers can deliver three times the learning in a single academic year than ineffective teachers can.
As is well-known, a good teacher can transform a mediocre curriculum into a very rich learning experience. This makes a strong case for education reform to focus on raising teacher quality and support. Teacher-licensing is one of the ways to do so.
The teaching license sets a minimum standard for new entrants, which will raise the status of the teaching profession in public perception.