World Teachers' Day 2008

Held at Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development October 9, 2008

 

"Exploring Spaces & Modalities for Professional Development"

Over 80 teachers and educators from Sindh gathered at Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) on October 9, 2008, to participate in a workshop titled "Explore Spaces & Modalities for Professional Development”. The workshop was conducted in collaboration by AKU-IED, Idara-e-Taleem-o_Aagahi and UNESCO Pakistan. The workshop concluded that raising teachers' status requires continuous professional development for outcomes based standards, which can be undertaken through virtual and local communities of practice using new technologies and existing networks. Inaugurating the dialogue, Mr Rizwan Memon, Additional Secretary Schools, Sindh, urged that the recommendations of the workshop should be shared with the Department of Education and Literacy, Sindh for formal integration in the sector reform and policy initiatives.    

Three lively panel discussions were held on experiences and challenges of teachers’ networks; information communication technologies and cluster resource centres. Practitioners from various educational networks and associations, including Professional Teacher Association Network (PTAN), City District Government Karachi, Bureau of Curriculum, PITE, Nawabshah, Sindh Education Foundation, SPELT, ED-LINKS, Teachers Resource Centre, iEARN, INTEL, Indus Resource Centre (IRC), presented diverse experiences across public and private sectors, provoking lively debates and recommendations. The celebrated teacher Professor Anita Ghulam AliMr Riaz MemonDrs Anjum Halai and Sadrudin Pardhan from AKU-IED and Ms Baela Raza Jamil, Chairperson, ITA chaired key sessions.
14 experts and policy activists shared their experiences with participants, debating a range of recommendations. The key recommendations endorsed on World Teachers Day 2008 included:

  • The networks and cluster resource centers operating in private and public sectors need to be institutionalized, with dedicated staff and financing.
  • There must be a professional network set up for promotion of Urdu on the lines of SPELT.
  • Merit based recruitment of teachers is essential for elevation of the teaching profession. 
  • Teachers be trained in creativity and craft of learning in pre-service & in-service programmes.
  • Copies of the new National Curriculum 2006 must be available in high and middle schools, at taluka and district level institutions, in Urdu and Sindhi. 
  • Excellent innovations in resource or professional development centres need to be replicated by the government through mainstream funds.
  • Use and presence of ICTs should be provided to the teachers and others in education.
  • Efficient internet services should be provided government high schools and teacher training colleges in for instant professional opportunities & for sustaining networks.  
  • A strong team be developed for expertise in distance education, learning technologies and ICT at PITE/Bureau of Curriculum and GECEs and train them regularly on ICTs. 

Ms Baela Jamil shared highlights of the Anita Ghulam Ali Teachers Award 2008 for 10 best secondary science teachers.  The first and second prizes are of Rs. 100,000 and Rs. 50,000 each. Details can be viewed at www.itacec.org . Deadline  is until November 10, 2008.
Anita Ghulam Ali in her closing remarks urged that the three year (2006-2008) valuable research commissioned by UNESCO and USAID on teacher education, accreditation and standards and policy framework must be shared widely to inform policy and its operationalization. She urged that the recommendations of the social dialogue be shared expeditiously with policy makers and the Sindh Legislators, the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Ministry of Education, as the government is preparing to provide final shape to the new National Education Policy (NEP).