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LAHORE: A study on “Teacher Characteristics, Actions and Perceptions: What Matters for Student Achievement in Pakistan” has questioned the Punjab government’s method of recruitment, contending that observable teacher characteristics are not what make teachers effective.

It also says that the teachers, active in teacher unions, have a negative impact on students and that even increased salaries do not appear to affect their students’ performance.

The study, conducted by Dr Shenila Rawal and Monazza Aslam from the Institute of Education, University of London, and public policy specialist Dr Baela Raza Jamil was launched by the Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi at the Lahore College for Women University on Tuesday.

The study is based on the data collected through SchoolTELLS-Pakistan’s survey of 120 primary schools in three Punjab districts –Faisalabad, Mianwali and Rahimyar Khan.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Monazza Aslam, an education economist, raised questions over teachers’ recruitment process in Punjab that considered only characteristics, including qualification, age, experience and interviews.

She suggested change into the process wherein teachers teaching skills during lectures in classrooms be evaluated.

Explaining the study, Ms Aslam said the teachers, who were satisfied with facilities at workplace, led students to perform better. She stated the teachers, associated with political parties and teacher unions, had a negative impact on student learning.

Dr Aslam said the teachers, who were confident in Maths had students who performed significantly better than those who acknowledged that they had difficulties in teaching the subject.

She said that according to the findings a large proportion of both teachers had opinion that boys were more capable in Maths than girls and more significantly a higher percentage of male teachers than female teachers thought boys were more enthusiastic about their studies.

Earlier, ITA Director Programmes and public policy specialist Dr Baela Raza Jamil gave an overview of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) – Pakistan 2012 survey.