Teaching licence policy to improve quality of education, says minister

Our Correspondent
Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sindh Education and Culture Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah has announced the implementation of a teaching licence policy aimed at bringing revolutionary reforms to the education sector.

The policy requires teachers to pass an exam and obtain a licence, similar to doctors and engineers, ensuring a standardized and competent teaching workforce.

Addressing a press conference at the Sindh Assembly’s Committee Room No. 1 on Saturday, Shah highlighted that the teaching licence policy would benefit not only teachers and students but also the entire education system.

The initiative received approval from PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who entrusted the government with maintaining merit and providing a free hand in executing the policy, he added.

To ensure effective implementation and continuous professional development, the Sindh Teachers Education Development Authority (STEDA) has collaborated with the Aga Khan University’s Institute of Education Development and Durbeen. This partnership will focus on teachers’ education, training and licensing.

The education minister emphasized that the province had always taken the lead in enacting exemplary legislation, and Sindh was the first province in Pakistan to introduce the teaching licence policy. He urged other provinces to follow suit and adopt similar measures for the betterment of education.

He noted that the recruitment of over 60,000 teachers on merit was a significant achievement, contributing to the reopening of more than 5,000 closed schools and enrolling over 400,000 new children in government schools. As a result, he said, the number of out-of-school children in Sindh had significantly decreased compared to other provinces.

Shah stated that the Sindh Teaching Board, comprising representatives from the government, social organisations and the private sector, would oversee the implementation of the licensing policy. The board will have the authority to make decisions that enhance teacher quality and maintain merit. Additionally, the teaching licence policy will be applicable to both government and private educational institutions.

During the press conference, Shehzad Roy, the head of Zindagi Trust and a prominent social figure, emphasized that teaching is a science that requires understanding a child’s mind. He expressed support for the teaching license policy and called for its implementation in other provinces.

Dean Farid Panjwani from the Agha Khan University’s Institute of Education Development compared the policy to the licensing system for doctors, highlighting its potential to regulate and ensure standardization within the teaching profession.

The teaching licence policy marks a significant step towards improving the quality of education in Sindh, empowering teachers and creating a nurturing learning environment for children.