The teaching profession, by and large, does not attract the best talent in Pakistan. Those considered bright either join the professions such as medicine and engineering and try to migrate to the West or are attracted by higher-level civil service positions, which open avenues for enormous graft and corruption. A few exceptions would be some highly respected university faculty and those scientists working at the highest levels of the country's research establishment, especially those involved in missile and nuclear technology.
Among the reasons for the reluctance to join the teaching profession at the primary and secondary levels are relatively low salaries, unattractive working conditions, and the high teacher-student ratio, which is around 1:40 at the primary and 1:36 at the secondary level. In the early 1990s there were 87 elementary teacher-training institutions offering a one-year program leading to the Primary Teaching Certificate (PTC) for teachers in grades one to five or the Certificate of Teaching (CT) for teachers in grades six to eight. While the PTC course needs 10 years of education for admission to it, the CT course requires 12 years and an FA/FSC certificate. The Allama Iqbal Open University also offers distance education courses for its PTC and CT programs.
There are three types of programs for training of teachers in Pakistan. The first is the one-year primary school teacher-training program in basic subjects and methods of teaching, including child psychology. The secondary school teachers are required to join one of the numerous teachers' training colleges or a university department of education either for a one-year program leading to the Bachelor of Education diploma or a three-year program leading to a Bachelor of Education degree. The admission to either program requires a bachelor's or master's degree in any discipline from any university. The higher-level work leading to degrees in education at the master's or the doctorate level is done in the departments of education in the universities, which produce specialists as well as academic administrators. There are also several in-service training programs for "untrained" teachers or for upgrading the curriculum. Teachers sent to such programs are nominated by the school principals and approved by the district officer and generally receive full salary during the in-service training.
Science and technical teaching has been given special emphasis by the federal government. Thus, Islamabad's Institute for the Promotion of Science Education and Training (IPSET) and National Technical Teachers Training College (NTTTC) have been doing excellent work in upgrading the knowledge base of secondary school and junior college science teachers as well as instructors in technology colleges and polytechnics. For educational administrators there is the Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM) at Islamabad, providing courses and in-service training for school and college principals, district education officers, and regional directors.
There are few facilities in Pakistan for special education. The first to start courses leading to a master's degree in special education were the University of Karachi, the National Institute for the Handicapped at the University of Islamabad (NIHUS), and the Allama Iqbal Open University. With the establishment of the office of Director-General of Special Education within the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare, and Special Education in 1985, special education attracted a national focus. In 1989 NIHUS received a major boost with the opening of 45 centers for special education with a combined enrollment of 3,500. Additionally, a National Training Center for the Disabled and a national Mobility and Independence Training Center for producing teachers in special education were established in Islamabad. Most of these projects were made possible with funds, overseas training, and technical guidance from WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO, and UNDP. Programs were instituted for training fellowships abroad as well as for visits by experts from Europe and the United States.
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