SOCIAL injustice and strange set of rules for employment in public-sector entities have been plaguing our country for long. The Punjab government has been recruiting college teaching interns (CTI). Any person with MA or MSc in a particular subject is eligible to apply for these jobs. In my opinion, MPhil or PhD degree holders should not be given extra five marks during the recruitment process because this will practically eliminate any chance for those having 16 years of education, which is the baseline requirement for application.
Intermediate level courses can be taught by people with 16 years of education. Teaching experience and few other things should be taken into consideration in the recruitment process. Such factors sometimes are far more important than MPhil and PhD degrees, but these are being disregarded by the policymakers.
Considering this, the interview marks should have more weightage to be considered for a teaching job. At the moment, the interview carries just five per cent marks to ‘accommodate’ certain elements. Also, experienced individuals are being ignored for these teaching positions, and younger, inexperienced lot is being preferred.
My father served as a government school teacher for 30 years. He is also an Urdu poet. He wrote five books of quatrains. He naturally has an aptitude for teaching. Most importantly, he has more knowledge of Urdu subject and Urdu literature than any MPhil degree holder can have.
Apart from this, one MPhil degree holder from the Federal Urdu University, Islamabad, has done his MPhil thesis on my father’s poetry. Ironically, while my father’s poetry has been the focus of an MPhil thesis, an MPhil degree holder is given preference over him for recruitment. If this is not ironic, what is?
Another defect in the recruitment system for CTI jobs is that the marks of people who got degree before the year 2000 are being compared with those who got degrees 15-20 years later. The marking criterion has changed drastically in the last decade or so. The person who got 80 per cent marks in intermediate examina-tions in the 1990s cannot be compared with a person who gets similar percentage today. Nowadays, boards are giving 95-100pc marks to intermediate students, which was impossible in the past.
Many people who scored 95pc in higher secondary school certificate (HSSC) examination in the last few years have similar or even less academic worth than a person who scored 85pc in, say, 2015 or earlier.
The Punjab government should take the necessary remedial measures to ensure that right and competent people get selected for the jobs instead of having illogical, rigid rules that have been resulting in seriously flawed recruitment that facilitates incompetent people in getting hired for teaching.
Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2023
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