KARACHI: As many as 646 qualified teachers, or about 16pc of around 4,000 candidates, have cleared their test to get a teaching licence in compliance with the Sindh Teaching Licence Policy 2023, it emerged on Saturday.

Around 4,000 BEd or MEd/MA qualified teachers from both government and private sector took the first-ever licensing exam conducted by the Sukkur Institute of Business Administration (SIBA) Testing Services in January.

The result of the test was officially announced on Saturday under which 646 teachers, or 16.15 per cent, cleared the exam and secured an elementary (Class 1-8) teaching licence.

Some 3,023 in-service government teachers took this test and only 445 of them, or 14.7pc, teachers passed. The number of private schoolteachers who took the test was 977 and 201 of them (20.6pc) passed.

The government teachers, who have secured this licence, will be eligible for promotion into BPS-16 teaching posts while successful candidates from the private sector will be eligible for appointment to BPS-16 posts, subject to the Sindh Public Service Commission rules.

Out of 4,000 candidates, 445 govt and 201 private schoolteachers pass the test

Furthermore, the Sindh education department is considering an additional professional allowance for senior government teachers, who are already at BPS-16 and higher, and have secured a teaching licence.

To accommodate the newly licensed teachers, the provincial government has approved the creation of 700 new Elementary School Teachers posts (eligible to teach grades 1-8) at BPS-16.

Previously, candidates for Junior Elementary School Teachers (JEST) were being inducted at BPS-14 and were required to have completed graduation in any field. These new 700 vacancies will be reserved for only licensed Elementary School Teachers.

Karachi tops the list

Karachi region had the highest passing percentage in the in-service government teacher category at 31pc (95 candidates cleared out of 305), followed by Hyderabad region at 16pc (49 passed out of 301) and Sukkur region at 15pc (107 passed out of 706).

Karachi region also had the highest passing percentage in the private sector teacher category at 53pc (79 passed out of 150), followed by Sukkur region at 26pc (59 passed out of 228) and Larkana region at 16pc (44 passed out of 271).

Sukkur region had the highest number (107) of government teachers who cleared the exam, followed by Karachi region (95) and Larkana region (91).

Karachi region had the highest number of passing private sector candidates i.e. 79, followed by Sukkur region (59) and Larkana region at 44.

In the in-service government teacher category, the average age of passing candidates was 34; while in the private sector teacher category, the average age of passing candidates was 27.

The passing rate for men was 11pc (217 cleared out of 2006) in the in-service teacher category, while for women it was 22pc (228 passed out of 1,017).

In the private sector teacher category, the passing rate for men was 12pc (52 out of 435) while for women it was 27pc (149 out of 542).

Candidates who have not cleared the licensing test will be eligible to re-sit the test next year.

‘A new era’

Founder and president of Zindagi Trust, and education activist Shahzad Roy said: “This teaching licensing initiative marks a new era in Pakistan’s education system. By establishing a licensing system, the Sindh government has acknowledged that teaching is a profession with its own body of knowledge and skills, no less than any other skill-based profession such as medicine, accounting, law or engineering. These licensed teachers will raise the overall status of the profession and will set the bar for the quality of graduates that all teacher education institutions need to be producing.”

He praised the efforts of Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah for played an instrumental role in conceptualising the policy, its approval from the Sindh cabinet and its execution with a third party.

In a statement, Minister Sardar Shah reaffirmed his dedication to advancing education in Sindh: “As we celebrate the success of our teachers in obtaining their teaching licences, I am reminded of the pivotal role they play in shaping the future of our nation. This achievement underscores our collective commitment to providing our students with the highest standards of education,” he added.

The education minister pledged to continue working tirelessly alongside educators, stakeholders, and partners to implement initiatives that further enhance the quality of education in Sindh. “Together, we will strive to create an inclusive and innovative learning environment that empowers our students to excel and thrive in an ever-changing world.”

He further added that the Sindh government would continue its efforts to take all necessary steps for formulating policies and implementing them. The cooperation from the private sector in government initiatives is evidence that we are united towards a common goal, he added.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2024

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