Teachers' Shortage Hampers Smooth Academic Activities In FDE' Run Institutions

Shortage of subject teachers at the educational institutions run by Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has hampered the smooth academic activities through over-burdening the existing teaching faculty with more responsibilities of managing different sections and adversely affecting the student’s academic performance.

Teachers' Shortage Hampers Smooth Academic Activities In FDE' Run Institutions

The overstretched teachers were finding it difficult to concentrate on different classes at a time when students have been divided into more sections as precautionary measure due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in federal capital, like other parts of the country.

According to an official source, there were 14 posts of English teachers at Islamabad Model Postgraduate College H-8 which is offering BS in English too but currently 08 teachers are working. Similarly, there was only one teacher for each subject to teach 1st year, 2nd years and Associate Degree Program classes in the subjects of History and Political Science.

Abdul Latif, a lecturer in the subject of History is teaching out of field subjects at higher secondary school for Boys Nilore while History teacher is needed at H-8 College. Mr. Hafiz Muhammad Saleem, a lecturer in Arabic is also doing the same out-of-field teaching job in the same school.

Both are the college teachers but have wrongly been placed in this school by FDE which reflect that FDE lack the policy of rationalization of teaching staff.

Moreover, Chemistry Department of the college is also facing the dearth of teachers as two chemistry teachers have retired simultaneously few months ago.

About the situation of Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG) Bhara Kahu, the official source revealed that there were only five regular teachers in this college, i.e. Biology 01, Computer Science 01, Chemistry 01, Education 01, and Statistics 01 in the college.

While the college administration has reduced the total strength of students from 1100 to 850 as compared to previous academic year and hired daily wage teachers from students’ fund in order to cope with the situation.

The circumstances at IMCG I-8/3, I-14/3, and Humak were also not different from IMCG Bhara Kahu as these were also in dire need of teachers in all the mainstream subjects.

There is a single teacher in the subject of English .This is not possible to manage regular classes for some 1200 students of the college with only one English teacher.

Many subjects are not being offered in these colleges due to shortage of faculty. The college authorities had submitted written request to the FDE to create new posts of teachers and staff but still awaiting any positive reply from the authorities.

Sociology, a popular subject among girls, was not being offered at IMCG Humak due to non-availability of teachers in this subject also missing regular faculty in almost all the subjects.

In order to deal with the crisis IMCG I-8/3, Bhara Kahu, I-14/3 and Humak have borrowed teachers from sister institutions like IMCG F-7/2, IMCG G-10/4 and IMCG F-7/4 but these stopgap measures, is by no means, long term solutions and this strategy has disrupted the academic activity in sister colleges.

In fact, this temporary solution has become a long standing ill-trend in the federal education system.

The oldest and biggest girls colleges of the city were also facing the shortage of faculty members. IMCG (Postgraduate) F-7/2 was in dire need of at least 03 teachers in the subject of English and urdu and 02 in each of Psychology, Political Science, Physics, Pakistan Studies, History, Education, Economics and Computer Science and 01 in the subject of Philosophy.

Islamabad Model College for Girls(Postgraduate) F-7/4 was also facing the shortage of teaching faculty in the subjects of Sociology, Geography, History, English, Urdu, Islamiyat, Psychology, Pakistan Studies, Political science and Mass Communication.

The existing teachers were overburdened due to lack of teachers in these subjects. There was not a single teacher available in the subject of Pakistan Studies at IMCB Sihala which was a compulsory subject both at intermediate and degree levels while the classes of Pakistan Studies were being taken by the teachers of other subjects, compromising the quality.

There was no permanent teacher in the subjects of Home Economics and History at Islamabad Model College for Girls (Postgraduate) G-10/4. This Postgraduate College was also facing shortage of teaching faculty in the subjects of Physics, Psychology, Computer Science, Sociology, Geography and Urdu.

Similarly the junior sections of 20 model colleges direly needed the teachers due to manifold increase in the admissions of kids. A teacher of IMCG I-8/4 said, “Observance of safety measures and shortage of teachers has made our job even more difficult as we are facing problems in carrying out academic activities, but have no choice. It is extremely difficult to ensure quality education with a few numbers of regular teachers”.

“The shortage of teachers is forcing colleges to hire unqualified daily wage teachers, hampering the academic results while it had also refused many admissions due to which many parents leaned towards private schools for enrolling their children despite lacking in necessary infrastructure or other facilities”, the teacher said.

The teacher was of the view that many posts fall vacant, but for a significant period, because of retirement and there was need of more posts of teachers due to the rising population and admissions.

A representative of Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA) said, “Major causes to this existing predicament are due to absence of timely promotion of teachers in the higher grades and creation of new posts”.

The representative urged the authorities at the helm of affairs to speed up promotions so that posts may be vacant and start recruitment of teachers immediately to end the crisis, saying that the situation is particularly bad for smaller colleges and existing teachers are overburdened.

When contacted, a senior official of the FDE informed that the enrollment of the students had registered a significant increase as compared to the teachers’ strength which is still the same like in the past.

These institutions were facing shortage of over 2000 teachers and the only solution to overcome the shortage is creation of posts by the Finance Ministry and resolution of daily wage teachers’ issues.

Originally published at Urdu point