PESHAWAR: The provincial elementary and secondary education department has proposed to recruit only women teachers for both boys and girls primary schools in future.
The proposal will be formally put up to the provincial cabinet after the chief minister’s approval, officials in the know told Dawn.
They, however, said the proposal if approved wouldn’t be executed at once and instead, a proper mechanism would be developed for action on it through the future recruitment of only women teachers for primary schools.
Currently, men teach at primary schools for boys and women at primary schools for girls in the province.
According to the latest official statistics, the province has 14,357 boys primary schools with 45,525 teachers and 8,360 girls primary schools with 26,585 teachers.
A senior official of the education department insisted that women were found to be more caring than men when it came to teaching minors.
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“A general consensus persists in the education department that female teachers are more effective than male teachers at primary schools,” he said.
The official said women teachers were emotionally attached to schoolchildren as they helped own children grow up and that they dealt with minor students kindly and patiently and rarely subjected them to corporal punishment.
Another official of the department said the proposal’s execution won’t adversely affect men currently teaching at government schools as it would be applicable to fresh recruitment only.
He said many primary schools for boys were short of teachers and therefore, the current male teachers could be transferred to other schools to create space for the recruitment of women teachers there.
“It will be very beneficial to the primary school students if the provincial government accepts the proposal,” he said.
When contacted, child rights activist Imran Takkar said psychologically, a child felt more comfortable with woman teacher than men.
He added that compared to men, women contributed more to the cause of education as teachers.
“The education department should take all stakeholders into confidence before taking a final decision on the posting of only women teachers to primary schools,” he said.
However, a farmer district education officer insisted qualified women would be available in urban or semi-urban areas only to serve as teachers.
“There will be a serious difficulty in finding such teachers in far-off areas,” he said.
The ex-DEO said the women teachers struggled to go to schools away from their houses.
“Women are good to teach students from nursery to third grade but they will face problem in handling students of fourth and fifth graders,” he said.
He also said the education department’s proposal would fail if women teachers weren’t provided with ‘pick and drop’ facility.
“It’ll be difficult for women teachers to reach schools on time using public transport vehicles,” he said.
Published in Dawn January 22nd, 2017