Single National Curriculum Draft: ‘Provinces can now include their mother language if they want to’

Representatives from Sindh and Punjab were not part of the meeting.

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National Curriculum Council (NCC) decided to amend the draft of the ‘Single National Curriculum’. Now, provinces can include their mother language in school education if they want to.

A meeting was held in Islamabad during which the proposed draft of a uniform syllabus was discussed for schools across Pakistan. The meeting was held under the supervision of the Adviser to the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training Javed Jabbar.

Representatives of civil society, KP, Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, and the private sector also took part in the meeting. However, representatives from Sindh and Punjab were not present.

The first draft of a uniform curriculum for students from Grade Pre-I to XII suggested English as a medium of instruction, not subject. It was suggested that mathematics and science should be taught in English from the start. This was because the terminologies used later on in these subjects could become difficult for students.

In this draft, all mother languages were ignored. This raised concerns among stakeholders and members of the civil society and different cultural groups.

Javed Jabbar said that the concerns of stakeholders over the first draft were discussed in the meeting. During which it was agreed that it would be revised. All the participants expressed their views on this and it was decided to include mother languages as mediums of instruction in schools from grade Pre-I to V.

He further said that all discrepancies would be removed. The provinces were authorized to include any language of their region as a medium of instruction. Punjab, KP, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Balochistan were also allowed to use their native language as Sindh was using Sindhi.

Including chapters of other religions:

The committee would submit a revised draft within 72 hours of the meeting. It will be then forwarded to the provinces and put to practice. Mr. Jabbar added that they had proposed ‘minimum uniformity’ for classes Pre-I to V in schools.

Suggestions were made to include chapters of other religions in Islamiat. The first phase of Single National Curriculum for grades Pre-I to V would be finished by 31st March 2020.

Another participant in the meeting, Peter Jacob said that curriculum making should also take into consideration the matter of teaching religion as a compulsory subject in a multi-religious society.
He said that the minorities had complained about some text in books, which displayed hate and criticism towards them.

Non-Muslim students were forced to study Islamiat due to impractical substitutes given to such students. The new policy needed to broaden the scope of education. This way, minorities could be fairly represented in the textbooks.

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