Teaching License Policy


The quality of education depends to a great extent on the quality of teaching. Effective teaching has a significant positive impact on student learning outcomes, which in turn improves the social and economic health of a country. The education policies in Pakistan also recognize the importance of good teacher, however, getting serious legislation to ensure that effective teaching and learning takes place in classrooms has remained a challenge. As a result, the performance of students, as indicated by national and international assessments systems, like National Education Assessment System (NEAS), Sindh Standardized Achievement Test (SAT), Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), remains below par.

One of the ways of raising teacher quality and thereby improving teaching in classrooms is through the effective system of teaching licensure. This has the potential to enhance the professionalism of teachers by creating a minimum benchmark for hiring teachers which in turn will make teaching a more attractive profession. Teaching licenses are quite common in several countries across the globe and have ensured that professionally qualified and committed teachers join the teaching profession. The teaching license in a country would help to ensure that teachers entering into the profession have met the required professional standards. As the Government of Sindh has been continuously trying to improve the quality of teachers, it has engaged academics, private, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders for introducing teaching license in Sindh to improve the quality of teachers. This policy is the result of the ongoing efforts to improve teaching quality. The teaching license policy will help teachers in enhancing their career and status.

Process of Policy Development

The Teaching license policy is the result of research and consultations with a variety of stakeholders, inside and outside the country. The process included a review of previous policy efforts, drafting of an initial version with stakeholders, discussions and debates at various forums, policy dialogues and eventual agreement. The White Paper, produced by the AKU-IED in June 2022 and jointly launched with Durbeen and Sindh Teacher Education Development Authority (STEDA), provided significant background work leading to this policy. The White Paper itself emerged from an extended four-stage process. The first stage was situational analysis in which a thorough national and international literature review was conducted. The second stage resulted in Green Papers. The third stage involved key stakeholders in policy dialogues. The final paper incorporated this extensive and consultative review.

Components of the Policy

  • 1. Categories of the Teaching License
  • 2. Teaching License Test
  • 3. Criteria of Teaching License
  • 4. Governance of Teaching License
  • 5. Data Management of Teaching License
1. Categories of the Teaching License

1.1. Teaching License

  • 1.1.1. The Teaching License will be issued on passing the test for the teaching license.
  • 1.1.2. The applicants for the Teaching License Test will pay a license fee, as determined by STEDA, to be eligible to take the test.
  • 1.1.3. Teaching License will have three categories:
    • Teaching License (Primary) for Associate Degree in Education (ADE) holders.
    • Teaching License (Elementary) for B.Ed.* (4 years/ 2.5 years) holders.
    • Teaching License (Secondary) for B.Ed.** (4 years/ 1.5 years) holders.
  • 1.1.4. In-service teachers interested in:
    • Teaching License (Primary): must have ADE + 2 years’ experience.
    • Teaching License (Elementary): must have B.Ed.* (4 years / 2.5 years) / M.Ed./ M.A. (Education) or equivalent qualification + 3 years’ experience.
    • Teaching License (Secondary): must have B.Ed.** (4 years/ 1.5 years)/ M.Ed./ M.A. (Education) or equivalent qualification + 3 years’ experience.
    * Refers to Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in elementary education.
    ** Refers to Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in secondary education

  • 1.1.5. The teaching license will be valid for 5 years.
  • 1.1.6. The expired Teaching license will be renewed for another 5 years upon submission of evidence of attending a minimum of 5 credit hours of continuous professional development (CPD) courses from STEDA-approved relevant programmes, along with payment of renewal fee, as determined by the STEDA.
  • 1.1.7. In case of late renewal, appropriate late fee will be charged along with additional CPD credits proportional to the number of years lapsed (For example: 1 year late will be charged late fee + additional 1 CPD credit; for 2 years late, it will be late fee + additional 2 CPD credits).
  • 1.1.8. In future, in consultation with stakeholders, the government aims to expand the teaching license to teachers in the private sector.
  • 1.1.9. The teaching license will be rolled out in phases.
  • 1.1.10. In case of serious misconduct or misuse of teaching license, as determined by STEDA’s BOGs, the teaching license can be revoked. An appeal can be submitted by the aggrieved to the STEDA BoGs for restoration, who after due diligence will make the final decision.
2. Teaching License Test

2.1. The licensure test will be based on Professional Standards for Teachers at an appropriate level.

2.2. The syllabus for the test and a model paper will be published on STEDA’s website.

2.3. The tests will be developed and administered by a Third Party, which will be appointed by the STEDA based on relevant expertise. The Third Party will preferably be a NACTE accredited organization.

2.4. The test has to be aligned with teacher education curriculum in effect at the time of test development.

2.5. The tests will be developed to assess both knowledge and pedagogical skills of the applicants. Tests of pedagogical skills can be developed on the pattern of ‘Alternate to Practice’ tests conducted in various fields.

2.6. Applicants can re-appear in the test after at least 6 months or as per the next available test date announced by the STEDA, upon submission of a fresh license fee.

2.7. In future, innovative assessment practices will be considered as per the readiness of the system and its teachers, for example: portfolio assessments, classroom observations, recorded practicum etc. Consultations will be carried out when the time is right.

2.8. An appropriate teaching license fee and renewal fee will be determined and charged by the STEDA.

2.9. Serving or incumbent teachers in the private education sector, who want to obtain teaching license, can also apply as per the requirements laid out in this policy.

3. Criteria of Teaching License

3.1. Levels of teaching for different teaching license categories.

  • 3.1.1. Different Teaching License categories as stated above will make license holders eligible to teach at different levels as follows:
    • Teaching License (Primary) – eligible to teach classes 1-5
    • Teaching License (Elementary) – eligible to teach classes 1-8
    • Teaching License (Secondary) – eligible to teach classes 6-12

3.2. Continuous Professional Development Courses for Licensed Teachers.

  • 3.2.1. STEDA will accredit the CPD courses, in line with professional development qualification framework, required for the renewal of teaching license as mentioned in points 1.1.7 and 1.1.8.
  • 3.2.2. The CPD courses should explicitly mention their eligibility and appropriateness for the renewal of different license categories.

3.3. Portability of Licensing and Incentives.

  • 3.3.1. STEDA Licensing Wing will work with other provincial authorities in Pakistan issuing teaching licenses, as and when they are made functional, to ensure that licenses earned in one province/area are acceptable in other provinces/areas.
  • 3.3.2. STEDA will help create a national forum to coordinate between various teaching license authorities across the provinces/areas, under the auspices of National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (NACTE).
4. Governance of Teaching License

The Teaching license wing will be headed by the Director Teaching License who will report to the Executive Director STEDA, who reports to the Secretary, SE&LD through its Board of Governors (BoGs). The Chairman of the Board is the Education Minister. The BoGs will appoint a Teaching License Committee comprising of experts from public and private education sector to expeditiously deal with matters related to teaching license. A structure for teaching license will be created which will take care of the following functions:

  • Preparing database of graduates of ADE, B.Ed. (4yrs, 2.5 years, 1.5 years)/ M.Ed./ M.A. (Education).
  • Receiving and processing applications for Teaching License.
  • Conducting tests and preparing results.
  • Compiling list of successful candidates for award of license.
  • Record keeping on issues.
  • Record keeping on renewal of teaching license.
  • Verification process of teaching license.

4.1. Monitoring progress of teaching License.

  • 4.1.1. STEDA Teaching License Wing will present quarterly progress report before the Teaching License Committee of the BoGs and seek advice on various matters. The Committee will report annually to the STEDA-BoGs.

4.2. Interdepartmental Coordination.

  • 4.2.1. The coordination between various wings of SE&LD will be ensured to implement the teaching license policy effectively.

4.3. Advocacy for the Policy.

  • 4.3.1. There shall be a coherent, phased advocacy campaign to promote awareness, understanding of and commitment to the Policy. This will be managed and led by STEDA in collaboration with the public and private sector education institutions. It will engage all stakeholders and will use a range of strategies and media platforms.
  • 4.3.2. Various media will be engaged for advocacy of the teaching license policy.

4.4. Research on assessing the impact of Teaching License on the quality of teaching.

  • 4.4.1. STEDA will allocate funds to commission research to study the impact of teaching license on the quality of teaching. The findings of such studies will be shared with the BoGs to take appropriate policy decisions for improving the teaching license regime.
5. Data Management of Teaching License and application process

5.1. Data Management and its Confidentiality.

  • 5.1.1. Efforts will be made to manage the teaching license related data effectively. This data will also be used for research and monitoring purposes to track the progress and effectiveness of licensed teachers and the teacher education programmes.
  • 5.1.2. The data management of teaching license will be maintained by STEDA. Qualified staff will be recruited to create an efficient data management system.
  • 5.1.3. There will be provision of a Teacher Facilitation Kiosk at STEDA for handling queries related to teaching license and related affairs.
  • 5.1.4. Teachers’ registration for licensing purpose should contain important demographic details like experience, qualification, gender, transfer places, candidate’s institutes from which they received earlier qualifications, subject specialisations etc. This can help in gathering useful evidence to inform future policy.
  • 5.1.5. A verified credentialing system should also be introduced at STEDA Teaching License Wing. This should review the authenticity of the teaching license and related certifications, experience and trainings.
  • 5.1.6. Foreigners and graduates from other provinces who wish to earn the teaching license from STEDA should meet the licensing conditions and fulfill all requirements, including passing the tests for getting the license.

5.2. Application for Teaching License.

To facilitate the process of teaching license there will be two modes of application- a candidate may apply online or apply through a manual process.

  • 5.2.1. Online process for Teaching License
    • Candidates will apply and submit online applications for getting a teaching license.
    • There will be a provision for uploading all the relevant documents online.
    • Valid teaching license holders will be able to renew their teaching license online.
    • Options for the online fee payment / e-payment for the application of license will be displayed on the website.
  • 5.2.2. Manual process for Teaching License
    • Those candidates who may not be able to apply online may submit their applications through a manual process at STEDA Teacher Facilitation Kiosk.

5.3 Data Synchronisation.

  • 5.3.1. The STEDA database will be synchronised with other databases like the Sindh Education Management Information System (SEMIS), Biometric data for Teachers’ attendance, Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
  • 5.3.2. If in future, a private school census is conducted, the teacher data of the private sector will also be synchronised with the teaching license database of STEDA.