Reasons of Dropouts in Public Schools in Pakistan

(Mehr Parwar Hunzai, Rawalpindi)

Teacher’s oppressive attitude and apathy at critical formative stages of schooling is a burning issue that has encouraged high drop-outs in primary schools in Pakistan. This issue prevails in almost all over the country put the nation far behind in achieving EFA goals in education. Several problems arise schools in day to day practices of teachers that compel children to leave schooling; especially, in public education system. The situation is alarming that is prolonging with the passage of time. Media is the only source that impudently put forward stories of violence of teachers to people’s knowledge. Hence, sometimes, action have been taken on such violence cases at jurisdiction level as teachers have been sent to jail or put fine on them for punishing the students. Dropping out is becoming serious problem as, it denies the fundamental right of education from an individual child. It has put the country far behind in achieving sustainable development goals in education. The observation of schools reveals several forms of teachers’ behavior that demoralize children towards schooling. For instance, most of the teachers show lack of interest in teaching profession and demonstrate poor teaching that bring poor academic results among students. Furthermore, punishment prevails at greater level in schools. Consequently, poor performance brings more dropouts, absenteeism and poor class attendance. In addition to this, teachers emphasize on merely rote learning and memorizing lessons through traditional teaching method rather than making children engaged in interactive learning activities. As most of the teachers are not well qualified and professionally trained. Such teachers indulge in bulling, shouting, showing rude behavior and use inappropriate language, has been shown as common practices among teachers which is mainly causing to put children down and discourage them hence demotivating children towards schools. Thus young children take a worst image of school and teacher that impact on their rest of life and results demotivation and embark feeling of disincentive towards education.

One of the root factors that most of the teachers demonstrate is, lack of ownership and sense of belonging towards school and teaching profession. Such teachers take teaching merely a job to earn money and pass their time. They show no passion and determination towards their profession. This behavior reflects in lack of preparation for teaching lessons that ultimately results in poor teaching performance in classroom. One main reason of teachers’ non-serious attitude towards teaching seems as school principal/head teacher’s non-supportive role in teaching and learning. Head teachers and principals can play vital role in developing organizational behavior and learning culture in school. S/he improves teaching through building teachers confidence by providing ongoing support in delivering concepts in classroom and offers feedback and teaching resources wherever necessary in the classroom. Observations show that most of the principals and head teachers in schools keep themselves busy in administrative affairs and ignore the important task as a teacher. They spend their most of the time on doing correspondence and filling formats and documentation given by education officers. Another problem is non-serious attitude of education officers who visit and supervises school as their duty. These education officers may have sudden and surprise visits of schools brings no purpose to improve teaching and learning in school rather than showing their protocol and authority over school staff and children. Such education officers take their full TA/DA benefits from education department without entering any classroom or without providing any technical support to teachers. Similarly, another reason of teachers’ non- serious attitude is unfair appraisal system of public schools. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, teacher’s appraisal is being done to take decisions regarding salary increments, promotions, demotions, terminations and transfers and miss the significant aspect of appraising teachers to ensure teachers professional growth. The current appraisal system lacks in identifying deficiencies in teaching. It does not provide any feedback and motivation to the teachers to bring improvement in teaching and urge for performing better. If teachers are motivated then they can produce the environment of effective learning or students’ centered culture in schools (Craig, 2011).

Thus, children feel boredom in learning lessons and do not take part in school activities. Teachers never think what students are taking as impact of his/her teaching. On the other hand, parents without knowing any fact about the school emphasize their children to go to school. Sometimes these parents punish children for not attending the school. Consequently, students get frustrate and leave their studies forever. In the long run, this poor level of development, increase level of crimes, unemployables and social injustice in rest of the human life.

Thus quality of the school environment, unavailability of facilities, the use of corporal punishment and the teacher’s unfriendly behavior are root factors that need to be improved. Studies reveal that smiling face, discourse personality and equal attention impact on children’s cognitive and affective learning. Similarly, closeness, connectedness, mutuality, affection, and love towards children create a greater motivation for children to schooling. Furthermore, teacher’s subject knowledge, instructions & strategies and assessment practices stimulate motivation in children towards school and education.

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