The teacher labour market in Pakistan: Helpdesk Report

This study questions the feasibility of imposing a broad-based minimum wage legislation for teachers.

Abstract

The query for this report:

  1. Describe the existing evidence on Pakistan/South Asian teacher labour markets comparing teacher salaries against salaries in other sectors for individuals with similar levels of qualifications and experience.

  2. Look at the existing evidence on teachers in the low-fee private sector in Pakistan and in other contexts with thriving low fee sectors to answer: how segmented is the labour market? Who teaches in these schools? Why? Is the current wage paid to teachers in the low fee sector a market clearing wage?

  3. Aim to discuss what the potential implications of a minimum wage legislation could be on teachers within the low-fee sector.

This study questions the feasibility of imposing a broad-based minimum wage legislation for teachers. It focuses on those working in the low-fee sector within the Pakistani context. The scale of the private school sector is unknown. Low-fee schools are likely to be unregistered and unrecognised. They will not exist on government books. The plan for implementing legislation is unclear. Such legislation may have an impact on the operations of small-scale informal low-fee enterprises. They charge low fees and pay low salaries. The legislation may result in illegality and corruption. It may cause large scale closures.

The government must effectively regulate the functioning of these enterprises. The realities of all kinds of providers must be considered. Elite urban private schools should not dominate regulation formation. Careful consideration of the implications of legislation and ordinances on the diverse range of providers is needed. This is usually partly due to a lack of understanding about the true nature of the private sector. Education legislation is often framed with the more ‘visible’ urban high-fee charging private schools. The diversity of private schools at varying fee levels is not always considered. A better and more comprehensive understanding of low-fee schools needs to be established through further research.

Citation

Health and Education Advice and Resource Team (HEART). The teacher labour market in Pakistan: Helpdesk Report. HEART, Oxford, UK (2016) 27p

The teacher labour market in Pakistan: Helpdesk Report

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