Having reservations over the recently adopted single national curriculum (SNC) in the country, experts have urged the government to review this curriculum by duly incorporating all inputs from stakeholders in order to ensure that it widely represent diverse communities across the country for better education results.

The educationists expressed these views at a consultative meeting that was organized by the Awaz Foundation Pakistan: Centre for Development Services with the aim to debate the government’s recently devised SNC and provide an opportunity to stakeholders to share their concerns as well as recommendations to make it adaptable to the national needs.

The SNC is believed to be focused on modern education, skills development and technology adopting global trends of education with gender equality and women empowerment.

Officials from Pakistan Coalition for Education, Pakistan Private Schools and College Association, Pakistan Parents Association, Pakistan Teachers Forum, educationists and members of civil society organizations including SAHIL, CRM, GDP, VSO, PAMS, Gain Health, PMHA, PYCA participated in the consultative meeting. Senator and Member Standing Committee on Education, Federal College of Education & Professional Training, Fawzia Arshad also attended the meeting.

In her remarks, Senator Fawzia Arshad appreciated arranging the consultative meeting on this national issue. She assured that the government will extend all support in identifying quick and practical solutions presented by the stakeholders during the consultative meeting.

The lawmaker mentioned that the government has engaged private schools and developed the SNC.

Senator Fawzia urged the stakeholders to formulate their recommendations on the SNC for betterment of children, parents, teachers and society to ensure quality education and assured to take up these recommendations with the Federal Education Ministry as well as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Chief Executive Awaz Foundation Pakistan: Centre for Development Services, Zia-ur-Rehman, explained about the targets and suggested to find the best solutions in real-life adaptation of SNC. He further shared that feedback/ suggestions on SNC are shared with the education ministry on their feedback portal.

He said that, the meeting is aimed to discuss the solutions and submit the recommendations to the government to ensure uniformity in text books and syllabus for the students from rural and urban areas, private and government schools as well as madaris across the country as Education for all is a fundamental and constitutional right.

Discussing the government’s adopted SNC, the meeting noted that the illustrations in the textbooks should ensure gender based equal representation and contributions of women in leadership roles should be highlighted at par with their male counterparts.
They also suggested that illustrations in textbooks should give reasonable understanding and representation to religious minorities, people living with disability and transgender and without any discriminatory standards of dress code concerning gender.

The recommendations also came out to review text books through psychologists, as it would ensure fulfilment of academic as well as psychological needs of students. The meeting also recommended equal representation of girls, proper translation of curriculum, creating linkages between curriculum and textbooks for better understanding and quality education.

As a solution to all these concerns, they suggested a joint action platform for improvements to move forward with an open-mind approach to formulate a complete and representative curriculum.

Marium Amjad, Program Manager Awaz CDS-Pakistan appreciated the government’s initiative of imparting trainings to teachers to ensure modern and advance education to the children but also stressed to give teachers training on body protection and life skills based education to teach our generation.

Dr. Shafqat Munir, Policy Expert from SDPI, drew attention towards defining nationalism through SNC on the basis of diversity of culture and not from the religion as currently being reflected.

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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