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Teacher only giving 20 odd minutes to the students they teach in schools and colleges

Karachi, Recently a study survey on the fundamental teaching, learning and management practices at schools in seven districts of Sindh has revealed that 70 per cent primary school teachers give just 15 minutes to each subject in a 35-minute class daily. While 20 per cent teachers educate students for more than 20 minutes in each class of 35-minute duration, while the remaining 10 per cent offer even less than five minutes.

These findings were shared with educationists, executive district officers, government officials, the media and other guests at a seminar held at the Aga Khan University`s Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) office on Tuesday. Sindh education and literacy department additional secretary Mohammad Shariq was the chief guest. The baseline study conducted by the AKU-IED under the Strengthening Teacher Education in Pakistan (STEP) project covered 196 schools and over 6,000 students from classes IV and V in Thatta, Hyderabad, Tando Mohammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Matiari, Khairpur and Sukkur.

It gathered information on student populations and prevailing teaching, learning and management practices in these schools as well as data on student learning achievements in four core subject areas i.e. mathematics, science, English and social studies. The study showed that only 56 per cent of the enrolled students attended classes regularly while others were either not regular or remained absent. The overall performance of students was found to be very poor in both classes, where only 17 per cent students obtained passing marks. Girls, however, performed better than boys in all subjects though it was found that they were not encouraged or given equal opportunity in classroom activities.

Three types of questions were asked from students; multiple choice questions, constructed response questions and extended response questions. Students performed relatively well in the multiple choice questions. But their performance was poor when evaluated for their reading, comprehension and writing skills.

The performance of students in Khairpur, Matiari and Sukkur was found to be better as compared to that of students in Tando Mohammad Khan and Tando Allahyar. The failure rate was also found to be considerably high at the primary level. The findings were positively correlated with the level of the facilities available at schools in terms of infrastructure and human resources. They also indicated that leadership and management skills among head teachers were either unsatisfactory or very basic at best.

STEP project coordinator Dr Takbir Ali said: “We all seem concerned about children who are `out of school`, but little concern exists about the many girls and boys who are `out of education` despite being in school.” The study suggested enhancing teachers` morale, involving the community at various levels and improving head teachers` capacity to perform. It recommended establishing a province-based examination regulatory authority for primary and elementary schools to ensure standardized exams and periodic testing, focusing on quality across schools and districts.

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