Teachers as social workers during emergency situation (floods of 2010): A case study of teachers role in an IDP camp at Sukkur, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The study focuses on exploring the new roles as "social-workers" (beyond the formal teaching) that the teachers had to play, as schools were turned into shelters for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Sindh, during last year's flood disasters in Pakistan. For this purpose, the study adopted qualitative research methodology to inquire about the changing roles of the teachers in such situations, whereby the data was collected through semi-structured interviews, observations, focus group discussions and document analysis. In this regard, purposeful sampling was carried out to include those teachers who had served - as social workers- in context of an IDP camp in Sukkur, Sindh. The study was conducted in public sector primary schools (boys and girls) running in the same one building which was made shelter camp for IDPs at Sukkur, Pakistan. The findings suggest that during the emergency situations, the teachers were called upon to perform as social workers (the role which was new to them) to respond to the needs of the communities who were affected by the disaster. In this respect, the teachers were reported to have performed various roles (as social workers): psychological counselors, first aid providers fund raisers and managers, community mobilizers and various other roles (in addition to some educating roles). Given that these roles were new for the teachers, the study participants who were teachers reported some challenges and recommendations for their training to face such future situations which the study documents and represents. The study concludes that in the disaster situations, and especially in the context of Pakistan, a developing country context where the emergency response infra-structure and systems are inadequate, the teaches should be prepared to assume multiple roles (social work related) in addition to their regular teaching roles, and they should be trained for such situations. Hence the study in conclusion puts forward some recommendations for teacher education for teachers' preparation for emergency situations.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library