KARACHI: The provincial government is learnt to have decided to vet out subject teachers out of over 160,000, or 99 per cent, candidates who failed in the teachers’ recruitment exams conducted last month by the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Sukkur.

Out of 162,000 candidates who had appeared in the teachers’ recruitment test to fill vacancies of 46,649 teachers — 32,510 primary school teachers (PSTs) and 14,039 junior school teachers (JST) — but only 1,250 managed to pass.

Sources said that the provincial education department was going to submit its recommendations to the Sindh cabinet in the next two weeks to finalise recruitment of teachers in the wake of worst results of the candidates.

They said that the provincial government was also considering giving some concessions to female candidates along with the candidates from over 140 different union councils in 40 talukas already notified as ‘hard areas’ in remote coastal, desert and mountainous areas for recruitment under the Recruitment Policy 2021 for Teaching and non-Teaching Staff.

99pc of aspirants failed the IBA exams held for over 46,000 PST, JST jobs

These UCs are located in districts Khairpur, Sukkur, Ghotki, Kashmor-Kandhkot, Jacobad, Kamber-Shahdadkot, Dadu, Jamshoro, Tharparkar, Umerkot, Sanghar, Thatta and Sujawal.

Passing marks may be reduced for people from ‘hard areas’

The sources said that the provincial government might reduce the passing marks from 50 to 45 for the candidates from ‘hard areas’ so that more candidates could be declared passed to fill the vacant position of JSTs and PSTs.

Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah, however, said the provincial government would not give any concession to the candidates which could compromise the quality of teacher and teaching.

Expressing his dissatisfaction over the test results, he said that there were multiple reasons which led to failure of such a large number of candidates.

He said that one of the major reasons for the worst results was the format of questionnaire, which was evolved by the IBA with cognitive approach, though all questions were from the syllabus. “Most of the students adopted rote learning for appearing in test, which was not helpful due to new format of questionnaire,” he added.

The minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic was another factor that contributed to worst results as the candidates had limited opportunities for test preparation with most of the libraries and institutions closed.

He also called in question the education standard in the province and held the teachers appointed in 1980s and ‘90s without any test, who promoted the rote learning culture.

“We are recruiting 46,049 teachers. No one will be favoured,” Minister Shah said and added among the failed candidates were a daughter and a son of a secretary.”

He said that the provincial government had not yet received the results officially from the IBA. “We have requested them [IBA] to provide us subject-wise break-up,” he added.

The minister said that the failed candidates who excelled in a subject might be recruited as subject teacher.

“If a candidate scored exceptionally high marks in one subject and less than 45 per cent marks in other subjects in the test, he /she should be given a chance to teach that subject,” he opined.

He said that the selected candidates would have to undergo a three-month mandatory training.

Opposition against any concessions

However, the main opposition party in the province, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, is not in favour of giving any concessions to the failed candidates.

Talking to Dawn, PTI legislator Rabia Azfar asked as to how the candidates who could not pass their exam could teach children in primary schools.

She said that there were over 49,000 primary schools and only 2,300 secondary schools. “How can we get teachers for primary schools when there are less numbers of secondary school in the province,” she asked.

She underlined the need of training for teacher after every three months to keep them abreast with the new techniques and strategies required in teaching at primary level.

According to Information and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, who had earlier held the portfolio of education, the education department had received 500,000 applications for the recruitment of 46,500 PSTs, JESTs and other staffers.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2021

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