THE Sindh Education and Literacy Department had announced some vacancies for Junior Elementary School Teachers (JEST) and Primary School Teachers (PST) in March last year.
Thousands of candidates applied for the jobs, appeared in the test and some of them qualified it. Good for them.
It has been observed that almost all young people in Sindh strive for getting JEST or PST job. Initially, candidates were required to achieve 60 marks, but after considering low pass ratio and reservations by failed candidates, finally all candidates securing 40 plus marks were declared qualified.
If there is no vacant post, the candidates will be kept on the waiting list until new posts are available. As per government announcements, the result will be valid for two years.
However, the youth should understand that these teaching jobs should not be their only option, for there are many other departments where one can apply.
There is also a perception that government teachers have higher salaries and less working hours. It is true that some government teachers get more than Rs150,000 per month, but it should also be noted that these are the most senior teachers who have been in service for more than 20-25 years.
Many higher positions of BPS-16 and above are announced in Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) in the first week of every month. The Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) also announces positions on different occasions.
There is a tendency among our youth that they wait for the vacancies, particularly for teaching jobs, prepare and join the race, but never make a plan for their future due to lack of career counselling. They want only government jobs, irrespective of department and pay scale.
By doing so, many of them fail to show their actual skills and talent that they possess but are unaware of or they never want to utilise it anywhere else.
If a candidate who is working in a private firm getting, say, Rs60,000 per month gets a PST job, the initial salary will hardly be Rs30,000. It will take at least 10 years to reach the pay scale of that private sector. Staying in the private sector for a decade might mean a monthly salary of around Rs100,000. This difference will always be there.
It is often argued that one does not have job security in the private sector. The fact is that those who are willing to put in the hard miles do get to work for well-reputed organisations, and there is no bigger job security than one’s performance. Our youth should never depend on government jobs because the relevant policies keep changing frequently. There is life beyond public-sector employment. We must explore it.
Ali Gul Leghari
Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2022