Undue political pressure, business interests of private sector threat to freedom of teachers

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Undue political pressure, business interests of private sector threat to freedom of teachers

Karachi: On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day celebration held by ‘Badal do consortium’ on Thursday in a local hotel Provincial Coordinator of UNICEF in Sindh, Qazi Ayaz Mahesar said that this years’ theme of the day, “Teaching in freedom, empowering teachers” was a great message.

Mahesar said this year’s theme had been carefully chosen keeping in view a number of threats, factors, and compelling conditions owing to which educators could not discharge their duties with complete academic, professional autonomy and freedom.

He said that undue political pressure and business interests were the two main factors which gravely curbed the ability of educators in present times to teach with due academic freedom and autonomy.

The celebration was attended by a large number of teachers, educational officials and authorities, academic experts, representatives of the concerned non-government organizations.

“For such reasons the joint message by the heads of Unesco, ILO (International Labour Organization), Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund), UNDP (United Nations’ Development Programme), and other global organizations consisted of an appeal to their partner governments, to different educational systems across the world, and to private sector to commit themselves to building a highly skilled, valued, and empowered education workforce,” he said.

This constituted a critical path to realizing SDG (sustainable development goals)-4 , which envisioned a world in which every girl, boy, woman, and man had access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities, he said.

He criticized the enormous pressure on schools to deliver results on standardized tests. These ignored the need to ensure a broad-based curriculum that met the diverse needs of students.

Principal of Habib Public School Karachi Nargis Alvi said that teachers in the present times had been left with no option other than to inculcate good values and norms of the culture and society as students had less opportunity to learn the same while being at homes owing to virtual breakdown of the joint family system.

She said that schools and teachers should teach students to show respect and be completely tolerant to values, cultures, norms, social practices, and belief systems of different sections of society for peaceful coexistence with all the communities.

Afia Salam of ‘Badal do initiative’ presented the aims and objectives of the initiative and the innovative training programme launched to promote tolerance, peace and inclusion in society, through the teachers in the initial phase.

She said that one teacher touches the lives of thousands of students that are it was important to promote these social values and impart good civic sense in the citizens of tomorrow.

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