Untrained teachers galore: New curriculum in KP schools fails to deliver the goods
PESHAWAR, Nov 2: The new curriculum introduced at government primary and middle schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa two years ago have yet to benefit most students due to lack of the training of their teachers.
The elementary and secondary education department had designed the curriculum to develop logic and reasoning among students by better interaction with teachers.
According to the relevant officials, most teachers know little or nothing about the new concepts incorporated in the new curriculum.
They said until the old curriculum was in place, teachers were dominant in classrooms as they used to read out a chapter from a textbook and students simply listened to them.
“The new course is based on activities. It requires teachers to use the latest methodologies and techniques,” an official said.
Officials said the new curriculum had been introduced in one, two, sixth, seventh and ninth grades, while the rest would get it in the next two years.
“There are a lot of problems for students to understand concepts introduced by the new syllabus. Untrained teachers are to blame for it,” an official said.
The official said under the current circumstances, untrained teachers were handling the new curriculum in the same manner they used to do with the old one.
He said the department was unlikely to achieve the goals set at the time of the introduction of the new curriculum.
“Most schoolteachers have no understanding of new concepts, so students have to learn their lessons by rote instead of understanding,” the official said.
According to the principal of a local high school, under the new curriculum, science subjects are to be taught in science laboratories with the active involvement of students. However, it is seen that more than half of the academic year has passed but most students have yet to learn through experiments.
The principal said there was a gap of more than five years between the approval of the new curriculum and publications of textbooks and that time was wasted though it could have been used for the schoolteachers’ training.
He said the directorate of curricula and teachers education (DCTE) had developed a plan of the teachers’ training in 2008 and a PC-1 valuing Rs945 million was prepared for the purpose, but the plan was later backburnered.
The relevant officials said 18,000 of the 72,000 primary schoolteachers and 4,000 of the 15,000 middle schoolteachers in the province had so far been trained to understand new curricula with the support of Canadian International Development Agency, an NGO.
They said CIDA was providing support for the training of primary and middle schoolteachers only.
“Neither the government nor NGOs have any plan to offer training to teachers of high and higher secondary schools on new curriculum. Also, there is no allocation of funds for the purpose in the annual development plan 2012-13,” an official said.The official said it would take years to train all teachers of government schools in the province.
When contacted, acting DCTE director Bashir Hussain Shah said that the teachers’ training on new curriculum was underway with the support of CIDA.
“First, teachers of primary and middle schools will be trained and then, it will be the turn of teachers of high and higher secondary schools to undergo training,” he said.