Speakers term single national curriculum as panacea to educational tribulations

HYDERABAD: Additional Secretary of Federal Education Ministry Dr Rafique Tahir Tuesday said that the authorities concerned had been informed that the new academic session will now begin in August 2021, following extension of examination dates, which will be held in May-June.

He said that the ministry developed the SNC for primary students, which will be followed by public and private schools across the country from the prevailing academic year after consultation with provincial governments and other stakeholders.

Director Bureau of STAGS, University of Sindh Dr Ghazala Panhwar said that all the stakeholders should give their input on the policy of SNC so that a uniform education system across the country might be introduced.

She said that there was a status quo when it came to education and for breaking it, the policy regarding enforcement of a single national curriculum was very significant and needed of the hour.

Clarifying the term of status quo, she said there are three education systems in the country- government schools, oxford and O level adding that the uniformity in education system could equally treat the students across Pakistan.

The Director General of a Research Centre, International Islamic University Islamabad Dr Muhammad Zia ul Haq said that the SNC had been prepared and at present the provincial governments had been requested to get the books published as per their requirements.

He said new books based on SNC would be introduced at the start of the new academic session to be started in August this year.

The government intends to execute the plan in phases, he informed and added that syllabus will be introduced at the primary level (prep to class five) during the 2021 session and at the secondary level (classes six to eight) in 2022. The final stage will see the introduction of the new syllabus in classes nine to 12”, he said.

He described the introduction of a unified curriculum across the country in all educational institu­tions as an innovative step. “Now all children will have equal opportunities to excel regardless of their parents’ socio-economic stature”, he said.

Scholar and author of books Fahim Noonari said that the purpose of SNC should be the provision of equal opportunities and eradication of class-based educational systems.

He said the government was considering a proposal to put back the start of the new academic session from April to August due to Covid-19. “Therefore, the federal governments ought to be toiling to develop a consensus on the development among the provinces, he emphasized.

Another speaker Dr Farhan Zeb Khaskheli said that there should be a single national curriculum across the country but he had a concern simultaneously that the SNC could destroy the cultures and traditions of the provinces.

He said that the SNC would be redundant without a mixture of cross cultural literacy and inter social mobility adding that without these two basics, the single national curriculum could erase all ethic identities and regional languages and turn out to become a holy disaster.

The Director Pakistan Study Centre Prof. Dr Shuja Ahmed Mahesar said the world looked down upon the Pakistani education system and rightly so. “We teach the same subjects in our school as are taught in any other country’s schools but our way of teaching is flawed so that only a few exceptionally bright students are able to get ahead”, he said and added the rest lag behind and we see the same thing in our universities too. Among others, Dr. Amjad Arain and Dr. Sheeraz Shaikh also spoke on the occasion.