Volunteer for education!
22 November, 2012
One of the many problems plaguing our education system is the shortage of qualified and committed teaching staff in government-managed schools and colleges. Pakistan spends less than two percent of the national budget on education; most of the budgetary allocation for education is eaten away by administrative expenditure, leaving a paltry amount as pay for the teaching staff. This is an alarming situation. The quality of education is being affected adversely due to the shortage of teachers in government educational institutions. No doubt, the private sector is contributing to the cause of education but the fees charged by private institutions are beyond the capacity of fixed income families. What is the solution? I think volunteerism can help the situation of shortage of teaching staff in government educational institutions. Most government servants, who retire at the age of 60, are fit and willing to teach. Only a limited number of retirees are lucky enough to get an extension in service or jobs in the private sector. Some of them are highly qualified for teaching assignments.
Most serving officers attend foreign universities for higher education at the expense of the state. However, this training is not properly utilised. An officer, after getting a degree in economics, may spend most of his time in regulatory ministries. However, after retirement, their services may be used for education and development of the new generation. Foreign training data is available with the establishment division, economic affairs division and other concerned departments of the government. The UN has launched a volunteer programme (UNVP) for Pakistan but the vacancies for volunteers in education are rarely notified. It is advised that the ministry of education and educational institutions contact the UN Pakistan office in this regard. I also think the UNVP pays a maintenance allowance to encourage volunteerism.