The Punjab government will soon table the Teacher Licensing Act in the province to issue licenses to teachers. Teacher certification is a process Pakistan has so far failed to inculcate in the education system, even though it has been sorely needed. Under this Act, only those who get the permit will be qualified to teach. The initiative will enable the provincial government to focus on improving the qualifications and capabilities of existing teachers, alongside ensuring that others coming into the education system in the future are also up to a certain quality standard.

The address of the provincial education minister, Dr Murad Rass, suggests that this piece of legislation will be a multi-purpose one. On the one hand, it will help track down teachers and fill in the vacant positions all across the province so that education is available and continues for all. On the other hand, the initiative will also incorporate background checks to discourage and hold accountable illicit behaviours in institutions. This means that the proposed law can tackle the issue of quality education at both the micro and macro levels. In the grander scheme of things, more available teachers mean that ghost classrooms and other issues will become less prominent. Conversely, individual students also stand to benefit from teachers with a bigger skillset.

What matters now is bringing in a certification system that brings the best out in teachers; instead of focusing too much on disciplinary tactics and helping the teachers make students rote-learn lessons, progressive teaching methodology based on newer, more innovative strategies must be implemented.

The introduction of permits will allow the teacher to explore better opportunities abroad to hone their skills. Pakistan is already known for exporting excellent doctors and engineers to the developed countries. An initiative to produce quality teachers having licenses who can go abroad for employment or further training was needed for a long time. The expectation from the new reform is that it will develop better teachers and not indoctrinate antiquated models of what a classroom setting should be.