Since 2011, provinces have successfully reduced teacher absenteeism by instituting stronger administrative controls. A substantial increase in teacher attendance in government schools leads to higher enrollment, lower drop-out rates, and an improved performance of students. While teacher attendance in itself is, and should not be the end goal, but it does prove that political commitment can help transform facets of education services delivery. While the quality of education in government schools generally is not opening up vistas of opportunities for children's growth, reversing the decades old problem of getting teachers who are political appointees to clock in every day.
In the last six years, all provinces have developed teacher attendance monitoring systems, with absenteeism on a given day reducing to 7% in the Punjab and 12% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As part of the education reform agenda, the Punjab renewed its focus on teacher attendance in 2011, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2014, and Sindh and Balochistan in 2015. Pakistani children deserve better. A dramatic increase in teacher attendance goes to show that improvement can be made in the presence of political commitment.
Teachers are the beating heart of the education system in Pakistan. As Pakistanis, we must ensure that the governments and political parties stay true to the commitment made to our children.
In order for us to improve the quality of education Pakistani children deserve, it is imperative that the teachers be present in the classrooms.