Teachers are the most important educational resource for students and a critical determinant of education quality. However, in Pakistan, teacher performance remains a concern to many education stakeholders. The key issues include: i) inability of the system to attract and/or retain quality human resource to teaching; ii) the system does not recognize either the teacher or the teacher educator as professionals; iii) although there is general acknowledgement of the weak educational background of teachers and lack of motivation and commitment among them, not enough is done at the policy and particularly at the implementation level to address the situation and establish teaching as a profession of real status; and iv) scaling up and sustainability of quality teacher education programs in Pakistan poses a challenge. Teacher education programs, which focus on quality, are either short lived or small scale. Longer term and large-scale programs, on the other hand, do not address quality.
It is important to focus on teachers’ professional development and policy changes to improve teachers’ performance. Teachers’ performance can be seen as a combination of three fundamentals: (i) competence; (ii) motivation; and (iii) opportunity. Competence, motivation and opportunity are affected by factors from both within and external to the teacher. It is important to identify four levels: teachers, schools, local management, and policy.