Singer Shehzad Roy recently highlighted the absence of qualified teachers in Pakistan in an informative video shared on social media.
Durbeen, a non-profit organisation established with 'the goal of improving public schools in Pakistan', shared a video of Roy on their Instagram account. "Singer and humanitarian, Shehzad Roy, shares his thoughts on the significance of teachers' rigorous education in teaching and extensive training to ensure students’ academic achievement," read the caption.
In the video, Roy highlighted the importance of learning from well qualified teachers. "Let's say someone shares with you that their father has had a heart attack and the doctor is now recommending a heart bypass surgery," the singer said. "Would you recommend a chartered account by saying 'he's done some amazing diploma courses and he recently fixed my friend's leg when he broke it, you should get your father's surgery done from him as well'?" he asked.
"[If someone said this to you], you'd get worried for a second and question the statement," he continued. "The fact of the matter is, a chartered accountant cannot perform surgery on anyone given that he's specialised in something else entirely. He needs to have specialised degree in the area of surgery."
Roy argued that parents and state authorities don't hold teachers to a higher standard the way they hold doctors. "In Pakistan, parents send their children to school every morning to learn from teachers who have not studied the science of teaching," he argued. "If you ask private schools, they'll say we've made our teachers do such and such short courses. When it takes a doctor four years of studying to earn his specialisation, why do parents send their children to teachers who've done meagre courses and have very limited experience in developing the mind of the children they teach? They haven't earned a degree in the science of teaching, they haven't studied it. We need to understand that the practice of teaching is a science in itself.
"This is a very dangerous development. Even the government has decided that anyone can become a teacher, regardless of whatever degree they've earned," the singer stressed.
"I request parents and the authorities to check up whether a particular teacher has studied the science of teaching. Have they done a four-year degree programme? Do they have a Bachelors in Education? I want the debate on this issue to start from today," he said.
Roy is the founder of Zindagi Trust, a non-profit organisation that works to improve the quality of education in public schools through various reforms.