The State of Teachers' Unions and Their Future

Here, we publish our new report RECLAIMING DIGNITY: The State of Teachers’ Unions and their Future to help contribute to a better appreciation of organised and collective behaviour on the part of government employed teachers across the country. Our new study answers questions about the nature and role of groups that represent the government-employed teachers in Pakistan.

Between September 1, 2014 and January 3, 2015 we interviewed over 100 individual representatives from a total of 28 associations and unions across all four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and FATA.

This report provides a qualitative snapshot of the landscape of organised teachers in Pakistan.

According to our study, teachers’ associations and unions do, to a significant degree, represent the aspirations of Pakistan’s teaching community. Political, social and legal barriers instituted by various governments in Pakistan have prevented the development of teachers’ associations as solution-oriented bodies; and most provincial governments and education departments are focused on punitive and coercive measures to ‘bring teachers in line’ rather than involving them as legitimate constituents and agents in the process of education reform. At the same time, teachers' unions and associations are guilty of sustained and deep parochialism, which comes at the cost of the quality of education provided to Pakistani children. 

We believe no effort to improve the state of education can be successful without understanding and effectively engaging with teachers’ associations and unions. Improved teaching is going to be at the heart of the transformation of education in Pakistan. This cannot be achieved without talking to teachers. We hope the report sparks this vital and overdue conversation. 

Download the report:

Report in English

Report in Urdu