Exploring the current supervisory practices in government primary schools in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This study explores supervisory practices in Government Primary Schools of Karachi, Pakistan. It was conducted as a part of Master in Education (M. Ed.) program at The Aga Khan University-Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), Karachi. The study included eight research participants, out of which two are supervisors of the primary education, whereas others are two head teachers of primary schools and four primary school teachers. The main research question was ‘what are the current practices of supervisors in the government primary schools in Karachi?' The data generation methods included semi-structured interviews, informal discussions, documents analysis (visit notes of supervisors). The data was analyzed using Merriam's (1998) Step-by-step method. Key findings suggest that most of the supervisory practices are very much influenced by the way the supervisors are appointed and the way they learn about their roles and responsibilities in the schools. Their sources of learning regarding their roles and responsibilities are different: while some learn from their senior supervisors, others learn through texts provided during their B.Ed. as course materials, while some others may learn through the readings they are provided during their professional training. Since supervisory practices are mostly hanging between supervision and monitoring; therefore, these neither fulfill the criteria of Supervision nor of Monitoring and Evaluation. Moreover, political and other influences are also found to be influencing the supervisors' work, which causes impediments in supervisory practices. Supervisors' routine work in schools is carried out through surprise visits. During those visits, they write visit notes in the visit logs maintained at schools. It is apparent in the language of these visit notes that the main concerns of the supervisors are dealing with the issues of teacher absenteeism and completion of courses. They seldom appear to be much concerned about the quality teaching pedagogies in schools. The study concludes after presentation of certain recommendations for the improvement of the state of supervision in the government primary schools. Key recommendations focus professional development of supervisors, preparation of comprehensive TORs for supervisors and clustering primary schools with high schools, where supervisors can play the role of being liaison persons.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library