Compromised Learning

Lack of proficiency in mathematics and science subjects among students at the primary and middle-grade levels points to a big­ger, systemic challenge. The report published by the Pakistan In­stitute of Education (PIE), the National Assessment Test (NAT) report, is insightful in this regard. Lack of periodical teacher training lies at the core of students failing to grasp mathematics and science subjects. Students’ performance and their like or dislike for a subject has a di­rect correlation with the learning techniques employed by teachers in a classroom. If teachers are not equipped with these learning tools, the versatile classroom will display poor performance.

The quality of teachers is in fact the quality of everyday education. Mathematics and science subjects are essential to shaping students’ in­terest in technical fields and disciplines. Classroom learning can make or break the skilled human resources of the country. Higher percentag­es of students falling below the desired performance in core subjects is a question mark on the standard of education being delivered in pub­lic sector schools nationwide. The state of education in the country is concerning. This challenge is as pressing as the number of school drop­outs or children out of school. The NAT report states the importance of addressing systemic challenges; teacher shortages and inadequate training. Efforts must be directed towards improving teacher capac­ity and adopting modern teaching methods to create a more condu­cive learning environment. Additionally, greater parental involvement and interactive learning approaches in classrooms are essential steps towards ensuring quality education for all students. Parents, teachers, and students themselves need to understand that jumping from grade to grade is the last and the least measure of success. Learning, which can transform into a skill when a student pursues specialised educa­tion, is the outcome and the ultimate marker of success.

Learning approaches need to change and teacher training ses­sions must be regular and robust. The monotony in teaching methods serves to erode the interest of the student – the student of today who is simultaneously exposed to the whole world at her/his fingertips. The Ministry of Education must implement the recommendations laid down in the report. And if need be, experimenting with a model school may be the way to begin before resources are allocated for na­tionwide teacher training reforms.

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