January 20, 2010
Report by Teachers' Resource Center on Classroom Support Programme



As you are aware, the very first project implemented by the Publican Alumni Trust commenced in April 2009 in the form of a Teachers' Capacity-building Workshop conducted by the Teachers' Resource Centre, Karachi.


The workshop was the first part of a 3-stage process:


    1. The Workshop itself in April 2009.

    2. Assessment of how the Workshop output was being applied in Classes by teachers in October-November 2009.

    3. A 4-hour summation workshop: set for 30th January 2010.


Your valued attention is invited to the report (reproduced below) to PAT by Teachers' Resource Centre, Karachi.  The report is an extremely insightful and purposeful report. It reflects careful observation, meticulous analysis and practical recommendations on how the existing level of teachers' capacity can be enhanced.


Mrs. Rubina Naqvi conducted the Workshop and prepared this excellent document.


This is the kind of positive work that PAT can continue to render in 2010 and in the future, with your continued support and co-operation.


Thank you for your interest.


With best wishes,


Javed Jabbar




Report on Classroom Support Programme

for FG Boys' Pubic School & FG Minwala Girls' School

October - November 2009



The Background


The Publican Alumni Trust represented by the Chairman, Mr. Javed Jabbar, approached Teachers' Resource Centre (TRC) for Professional Development of teachers at the F.G. Cantt. Public School for Boys and Minwalla Girls School.

As a follow up of an 18-hour training workshop, conducted by TRC in April 2009 on "Effective Teaching" for 20 secondary teachers from the two concerned schools, it was requested that a classroom support programme be undertaken for the same group of teachers in their schools. This would aim at helping the teachers to implement the training in their classroom teaching.

It was agreed to implement this programme in one school at a time.

After discussion on the process and the desired outcomes, the following was agreed:

  • the focus will be on the quality of teaching and learning in Classes VI to X

  • the process will be conducted first at the Boys' school in the second week of October '09 and at the Girls' school in the first week of November '09.

  • TRC will set the criteria for classroom observation

  • TRC will be provided class and teachers' personal timetables and have access to classrooms and teachers

  • the report will contain

    • positive aspects of the learning and teaching practices

    • points for reflection

    • recommendations


The Process




School Improvement through Professional Development of Teachers




Classroom Support (through observations of the concerned teachers with the focus on teaching and learning practices, followed by immediate feedback)




s a first step, one preliminary meeting was held at each school with the management in the last week of September '09 to finalise the schedule for the classroom observations and obtain the personal timetables of the concerned teachers.

F.G. Cantt Public School (For Boys)

September 28, 2009 Meeting with Principal and Vice Principal
October 12-16, 2009 First Round of Classroom Observations (Classes VI to X)
October 26-30, 2009 Second Round of Classroom Observations (Classes VI to X)
F.G. Minwala Girls' School
October 30, 2009 Meeting with Principal and Vice Principal
November 2-6, 2009 First Round of Classroom Observations (Classes VI to X)
November 10-13, 2009 Second Round of Classroom Observations (Classes VI to X)


Needs Assessment


Observation criteria, tools and schedules were developed, after which a series of classroom observations began. Each observation was followed by a 30-minute feedback session with the concerned teachers, helping them to evaluate the observed lesson and identify their strengths and areas for development. The Heads of both the schools were also informally interviewed to assess their role in supporting the teachers in the classroom.




As initially agreed, a workshop of 4 hours will be conducted at a later mutually agreed date, to give a common feedback of the observations to the whole group.


It will be designed to focus on the common good practices that have been observed as well as those that need improvement.


It is intended to make the session meaningful and relevant, as it will be built around actual examples from the teachers' own classroom teaching. This would help the teachers to relate theory to their practice, and understand the various aspects of the learning process.





Following are the findings, based on a series of observations in the classroom and an informal interview with the Head and Deputy at each school.


Please note that there are always differences in the classroom practice of each teacher, and the common points related to pedagogical aspects are noted below. Recommendations follow which provide advice on various aspects of the teaching-learning process.


Planning and Preparation of Lessons


Most of the teachers:

  • appear keen to learn and are receptive to guidance.

  • have reasonable command over their related subject content.

  • use traditional methods of teaching.

  • do not support the lesson with relevant resources.

  • are not aware of the essential elements of an effective lesson plan.

  • only mention the topic in the lesson plan diaries.

  • do not take into account the aspects of diversity and multiple intelligences when planning lessons.

  • do not plan the introduction and conclusion of the lesson.

  • are not working in formal coordination with their counterparts.

  • plan tasks for the students that do not promote critical thinking or opportunities to make decisions.

  • do not encourage or provide students enough opportunities to speak in class.

Comments and Recommendations:

  • Lesson planning needs to be streamlined. It is important for the success of a lesson that the teachers are aware of all the important aspects of the lesson plan.

  • Variety in teaching methods is required to cater for the different learning styles as well as prevent monotony in the pattern of the lessons.

  • The tasks planned must take into account the individual needs and aptitude of the students in the class.

  • Weekly coordination meetings are required to coordinate lesson planning among all the parallel teachers, so that the students in all the sections benefit from planning.

  • All concerned teachers need to be aware of the attainment targets for each subject and level in the curriculum.

  • Opportunities need to be provided to the students to think critically and make choices, as it will promote independent thought and creativity in them.

  • Greater emphasis is required on developing the students' spoken language, especially English, by providing situations for them to express their thoughts orally and address an audience.

Learning Environment

  • Most of the classrooms are spacious, brightly lit, well-ventilated and orderly in appearance.

  • Greenery within the building helps to make the environment pleasant, especially at the Girls' School.

  • Overall school climate seems to be secure and supportive.

  • Attitude of the administrative and office staff is courteous, and helpful.

  • Academic charts, prepared mostly by the students, were displayed on the classroom walls.

  • Seating arrangement in the classrooms is conducive to independent working.

  • The unpaved outer ground area gives rise to a lot of dust, resulting in health and cleanliness issues.

  • Cleanliness in the classrooms needs attention, especially with regard to students' furniture and the floor area.

  • In the Boys' school, students were seen carrying out maintenance work themselves, like painting the classroom walls, and clearing the playground, due to paucity of funds.

  • Displays are pasted on the walls at a height that is above the eye-level of the students and can stain the wall.

Comments and Recommendations:


  • Greater plantation in the outer ground area or regular spraying of water would help to keep the dust under control and add aesthetic beauty to the premises.

  • Regular cleaning of the furniture and the floor in the classrooms is essential, as the physical environment in and around the classroom impacts on the students' well-being and promotes in them a sense of cleanliness.

  • Soft boards, for putting up displays in the classrooms, need to be provided. This would not only preserve the walls, but would also be more effective if placed at eye level and look more presentable.

  • Funds need to be made available for maintenance and repair work of the school building.

  • Displays need to be changed according to the topic that is being taught during the week and used as a teaching aid during the lessons

Classroom Management

  • Lessons are clearly explained.

  • Interaction between with the students and the staff seems positive and supportive.

  • Discipline and class control were effectively maintained during lessons.

  • The blackboard is used effectively to support explanations during explanations.

  • Students needing more support, are not being motivated or guided enough.

  • Time management during the lesson needs attention. Most of the lessons do not end when the bell rings, resulting in reduced teaching time for the following periods, especially after recess.

  • Individual progress and understanding of students is not being closely monitored and assessed during oral as well as written work.

  • The few resources that were seen being used were not placed prominently enough for all to see during the lesson.

  • The large number of students in the class reduces teacher's time to reach out to each child according to his or her needs.

Comments and Recommendations:

  • Time for providing individual attention to the low achieving students needs to be set aside during or after the lesson time.

  • The use of appropriate resources to support lessons will promote effective learning and enhance understanding of concepts. Audio-visual aids like cassette player, VCR, radio, educational charts, etc., could be provided to the schools.

  • It would be beneficial if the number of students in each class could be maintained at 25, as this would provide more time for individual attention to each child while teaching as well as in marking students' work carefully.


Assessment and Evaluation

  • Most teachers seem to be receptive to suggestions for improvement and appear to accept critical feedback positively after each observation.

  • Learning is being assessed in the class, mostly through oral and written work. Methods of assessing the understanding of students are not being varied, resulting in too much emphasis on oral and written questioning.

  • The process of observing each student and recording her/his individual progress was not seen being done.

  • Most of the teachers lack the skill to evaluate evidence collected from the assessment tasks and draw conclusions.

  • The final decision for promotion to the next class is made only on the grades obtained in the final exam.

  • There is no assessment policy, as teachers take a test as and when they think it is required.


Comments and Recommendations

  • An ongoing assessment of a child's progress throughout the academic year, gives a balanced view of the child's achievements and, so, needs to be considered when taking the decision for promotion or detention to the next level.

  • Variety in assessment methods would provide evidence of a child's achievements in all aspects of learning.

  • Teachers need develop skills in making meaningful observations, analysing data collected in different ways and evaluating students' progress, in order to provide meaningful support to the students in future planning.

  • A school policy on the number and schedule for assessment tests will help all teachers to follow a common process for all classes.



Role of the Head


Through informal interviews and observations, the role of the two school Heads was assessed as follows:

  • A congenial relationship between the management and staff seems to prevail in both the schools.

  • There seems to be regular supervision of academic activities by the Head and her deputy, more so at the Girls' school than at the Boys' school.

  • Various co-curricular activities are carried out in the academic year, which contribute to the learning process of the students. But care should be taken to use the minimum amount of teaching time for preparations, so as to avoid a rush to complete the syllabi at the end of the year.

  • The presence of the school Head at each inter-school function should not be mandatory, as her absence from the school impacts on the efficient functioning of the school.

  • The school premises are maintained well, especially at the Girls' school. Paucity of funds at the Boys' school seems to be an issue, which needs to be looked into.

  • Though computer labs exist in both the schools, the students were not seen working there.

  • The commitment of staff, who are expecting transfers on government orders or nearing retirement age, especially at the Boys' school, tends to be lacking towards the quality of work carried out in the class.


Professional Development of Teachers


For the ongoing professional development of the teachers, the following suggestions may be considered:

  • Instead of sporadic or ad hoc training, there should be a staff development plan that reflects a systematic, on-going development of teaching practices in the staff, based on knowledge, skills and attitudes in the desired areas.

  • Close monitoring is required by all those who are involved in professional development of the teachers to oversee and coordinate planning procedures and lesson formats being followed by the teachers. This could be done by the Head or her Deputy.




The Publican Alumni Trust management's commitment to support the process of change at the FG Cantt Boys' Public School and Minwala Girls' School is appreciable.


Though it is creditable that the school is providing an opportunity for the children from the low-income class to obtain sound education, it places greater demands on the teachers to deal with uneducated parents and have their limitations in reaching the children to the optimum, desired level. Therefore, the expectation bar on the achievements of the students will need to be realistic.


In order to develop dynamic, determined and self-motivated teachers, a supportive attitude from their seniors is a prerequisite. This is a critical aspect of professional growth that would sustain change and enhance ownership. As teachers become skilled, they will become more confident and therefore more enthused about their work.


TRC looks forward to PAT realising its objective to restore the institution to its old glory.



Ms. Rashida Jalil and Musarrat Aslam for their logistical support.

Ms. Farzana and Ms. Uzma for coordinating and assisting with the classroom observations.