Teaching profession is viewed as a noble profession and mother of all professions. However, teaching profession is not considered as the first choice by the graduates in our context.
The McKinsey & Company Report (2007) found three common factors among high-performing school systems across the globe, which include;
i) getting right people to join teaching profession,
ii) developing them as effective practitioners, and
iii) ensuring the best pedagogy for every child in the classroom.
The report further mentioned that ‘the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers’ whose role has changed from ‘knowledge transmission’ to ‘knowledge construction’
whereby they have to act as ‘facilitators’ of students’ learning. This paradigm shift requires proper teachers’ preparation through pre-service teacher education programmes based on the National Professional Standards for teachers.
In order to prepare professionally competent, communicative, compassionate and critical reflective practitioners, the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad transformed pre-service teacher education programmes in the country.
A number of new pre-service teacher education programmes such as; a two-year Associate Degree in Education (ADE) and a four-year Bachelor of Education-Honours (BEd Hons) were developed.
HEC also notified a roadmap for teacher education which offered alternative pathways.
In order to ensure quality of teacher education programmes, HEC established National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (NACTE) in 2006. The Council developed a set of National Accreditation Standards, Tools, and Procedures. It accredited more than 500 teacher education programmes offered through Face-to-Face teaching and learning mode in the public and private education sector. The role of Council doesn’t only accredit the teacher education programmes but also provides maximum professional and intellectual support for the teacher education institutions to prepare necessary documentation for accreditation purpose and improve quality of teacher education programmes accordingly. Accreditation is an evaluation process to determine the quality of teacher education programmes based on the National Accreditation Standards. The accreditation process is carried out in a very collegial environment by the Council evaluators who are experienced teacher educators and researchers from the public and private education sector. Based on information gathered from the teacher education institutions, the programmes are accredited and feedback is provided to further improve the programmes. The Council is also in the process of revising/updating the National Accreditation Standards for accreditation of teacher education programmes offered through Open Distance Learning mode and Online system which have emerged as viable trends to prepare teachers in challenging and normal circumstances.
In the backdrop of globalization, knowledge economy, technological advancements as part of fourth industrial revolution, teaching has become highly complex and demanding. Therefore, teacher education programmes need to be further improved to develop teachers who are computer literate, aware of emerging modern trends in education and expectation of stakeholders and professionally and intellectually capable of developing contextually-relevant and responsive pedagogies to prepare our young generation as independent and self-regulated learners, creative, critical thinkers and problem solvers underlying the Learning Framework of 21st Century and Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in order to meet the national and global challenges effectively.
Looking forward to your continued cooperation and support towards accreditation of teacher education programmes offered through various delivery modes which will eventually raise quality of teacher education programmes for improving quality of education in our country.
Let’s work together to make teaching profession as the first choice for our graduates!