Reforming college education

Teachers Unions of all four provinces such as  SPLA (Sindh) KPLA (KPK) ,BPLA (Baluchistan) and PPLA (Punjab have protested for their rights   and have been successful in getting their demands approved

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By Abdul Rahman Malik

College Education has been the most neglected segment in Pakistan especially in Sindh where the colleges are not provided with the development funds, Modern Methods of Teaching, Language and Computer labs, Interactive Classrooms.

The Obsolete  Promotions system and the old nomenclature of posts dating back to 1980s, Non-provision of scholarships for higher education to Government  College Teachers, So much so that the heads of colleges are not appointed based on Administrative Skills and competence.

As a result, they mess up the college funds and run after development funds but neglect the key point of imparting quality education to the underprivileged areas of the province. The Situation becomes grimmer when the colleges are established on the political basis and notified without following the procedure of SNE, Building, Population and feeding Schools that may guarantee the smooth running of the college.

The non existence of any clear rules and recruitment policy for the appointment of  the Principals  in the Government colleges ,have played  havoc with college Education outreach and standards since  the principals  being unaware of  even ABC of  Audit and Accounting, DDO Powers, Responsibilities, Drafting and Correspondence, communication, office Administration, linkages, financial audit, monitoring and evaluation  of teachers and students outputs, Curriculum Development  , Course Plan ,  Planning and development of development schemes such as Repair and renovation of college building and procurement procedure  .

Mostly the professors in BPS-19 and BPS-20 are posted on administrative or management cadres such as Regional Directors, DGs and Chairman BISEs.

There is no College Teachers Training Institute  (CTTI) that may impart training to newly appointed Lecturers and other Staff that it may increase their productivity. Even representation in College  Education Department is denied and usurped by Powerful  PAS, PSS, PCS, PMS and OMG officers who are unaware of the college matters and issues.

Teachers dejected and disillusioned over delayed promotions, often take 18 years to next grade but some unfortunate ones get promotions after reaching the superannuation or after retirement. Earlier, the college teachers were provided move over to next grade after completing their minimum service slab in the given scale but later it was withdrawn.

Later, Time Scale was granted to the teachers of School Education such as PSTs, JSTs and HSTs, and the subject Specialists of higher secondary Schools , but the college Education or higher education Teachers were denied  these  monetary benefits since it provided respite against delayed DPC (Departmental Promotion Committee) by   Board I  and II  to consider the cases of promotions from BS-17 to BS-20 respectively.

It is alarming and ironic that some teachers retire in the same grade during the whole service period and some get only one promotion to next grade, given the obsolete Promotions System and the so-called  Four Tier i.e.  Grade wise promotions and appointment for BS-17, BS-18, BS-19 and BS-20.

On the other hand, Punjab and KPK have introduced five-tier Means appointment and Promotions from BS-17, BS-18, BS-19, BS-20 and BS-21  But in Sindh, the old four-tier is in practice with ratio of    60:40 means 60%  promotions for Male and 40% Promotions for Female. The Delayed DPCs after two to five years have wreaked havoc with service structure and pensionary benefits as enjoyed by other employees of various Departments of Sindh, Punjab and KPK provinces.

Teachers Unions of all four provinces such as  SPLA (Sindh) KPLA (KPK) ,BPLA (Baluchistan) and PPLA (Punjab have protested for their rights   and have been successful in getting their demands approved except the SPLA owing to internal differences, insincerity, self or individualism and disintegration on the  basis of  lack of consensus and no consultation with the college fraternity.

The old players of SPLA  went on a solo flight and kept the members of  SPLA in limbo that resulted in their downfall who sabotaged the real voice of college teachers and dragged the College Teachers in the quagmire of disappointment, deprivation and injustice. The disparities still continue haunting the college fraternity.

Some progressive approach Young leaders came up to win support for Time scale and staged a showdown which drew the attention of  the authorities to the long due issue of promotions and supplementing it with time scale until they get regular time-based promotions ,But the old leaders could not digest  the successful protest and the landmark court decision directing CM Sindh and Secretary College Education to resolve the issues of Promotions and Time scale after determining financial requirements and policy matters  on priority basis.

Some teachers demand the grades in the lines of University since B.Com, B.Sc, BA (Now Replaced with Ad.Sc and Ad.A) MA level students have been imparted education at Degree and Post Graduate Study level at the Degree Colleges and Post Graduate Studies centres. The Up-gradation of posts such as  Lecturers from BS-17 to 18 and Above in the lines of University as the college teachers are regulated through Higher Education.

The old stalwarts of Colleges were lured by the lucrative administrative positions in the regional directorates, DG office, Boards and Principal Ship.

They do not know that the Civil servants get 5 Promotions in their entire career as per their promotion policies i.e BS-17 to BS-22.

Inversely,  the College Teachers are the most neglected fraternity that has been deprived of all such perks and amenities as safeguarded by the respective Civil Servants Ordinance, the constitution of Pakistan. Such injustice warrants that Government should resolve the issues on a priority basis.

It is unfortunate that  the college teachers having no representation in College Education Department Secretariat, instead ,there are  several doctors serving in Health Secretariat ,Several Engineers serving in PHED Secretariat on administrative Posts of SO, DS, ADS and Secretary level positions but regrettably, the College Professors even in Grade 19, 20 are denied  such representation just because they do not have a management or executive cadre like PSS, PMS, POS, PCS or OMG, AAG etc, Though , the college teachers are appointed  through Competitive Examination of SPSC, FPSC or other Provincial Public Service Commissions . .

It is also pertinent to note that the Civil servants are unaware of the technical terms and issues of Colleges and the only College teachers can address the needs and resolve the issues of College Teachers properly and on a priority basis.

The College teachers should also be allocated 5% to 10% share in administrative posts in Secretariat as our college teachers are the most efficient and talented and can better deliver in policymaking and updating curriculum, Service rules drafting and making informed decisions on administrative grounds.

It is shocking and disgusting to express that the teacher who is the factory to produce all the officers, is deplorably considered “not fit” for administrative positions though he/she is recruited through the same SPSC/FPSC.

It would be great if Government introduces Executive service to join the Civil service or secretarial service like SOPE ( Section Officers Promotions Exam) conducted by FPSC from the Federal Employees in Grades 7 to 16 having 8 years of experience.

After passing SOPE, they are awarded CSS cadre OMG ( Office Management Group).They have been doing a tremendous job as these Officers are well aware of day to day Office Matters and meet deadlines quite easily and require fewer directions.

The Government should also revise the SNE of the Colleges by creating Three additional posts i.e. Vice-Principal BS- 18 and Sub Engineer BS 11/16 and Assistant Director ( Finance and Planning) BS-17 to run the administrative, Development and Accounting Matters Smoothly. The Federal Colleges and Punjab colleges have Vice Principals who look after or officiate in the absence of Principals. There should be either direct appointments through search Committee or Public Service Commission for the Position of  Vice Principals and Principals so that most experienced persons may be appointed on the administrative Posts.

Furthermore, Local and International scholarships and study leaves are not granted to college teachers to pursue M.Phil and PhD or Postdoctoral studies as availed by University teachers.

The New college Teachers appointed through SPSC should undergo the  induction or orientation training to be organized at Directorate level or a training wing or proposed institute i.e.  CTTI (College Teachers Training Institute ) or college Management Institute (CMI), may be established to impart training on teaching methodologies and lecture process, policy matters and Orientation training for Principals and Vice Principals  on Administration, Management, supervision, Auditing ,Strategic  planning  and  innovation  to improve college Education and bringing it at par with international standards . The Projectors should be used and Laptop scheme should be initiated for teachers so that teachers can impart education on modern lines and make the learning fun as students get bored from the lecture of 40 to 45 minutes. The  Presentations on Multimedia Projects will make learning interactive and collaborative.

Regrettably, though, there are multimedia projectors installed at some colleges but they are out of order for years and The Principals lacking visionary thoughts have not even bothered to make them functional because of unavailability of computer lecturers and technicians, There should also be computer lab assistants, besides just Lab Assistants @ Colleges.

Principals are the team leaders rather than just a boss to scold, report, temper with ACRs or take action against teachers on personal grudges and lenient on blue-eyed teachers. As a fact, the Bosses will never take the responsibility but they shift responsibility, On the other hand, the leaders always believe in teamwork and take the responsibility of Either Good or Bad and defend their teammates.

Regrettably, some so many principals are imposed upon the colleges lacking the competency to run the day to day affairs. Owing to their incompetence, inefficiency and lack of training, the college Academic and Administrative issues surface which prompt the supervisory authorities to intervene and resolve issues. These trivial issues might have been resolved at the college level, had there been qualified and competent Principals having problem-solving skills and management skills. It is also necessary that   Executive Management Training should be made compulsory for the Principal before joining. This will further their deliverables.

It is the need of the hour to address the woes of College Teachers and the College. These should be resolved on the war-footing basis to transform colleges into great seats of learning since colleges fill the gaps of higher education where there are no universities. The colleges serve as higher Education intuitions offering degrees at Undergraduate, Graduate and Post Graduate level.

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