Punjab Govt’s recently announced Awareness and Curriculum Change Committee is lacking key stakeholders from the education sector rather it included a number of politicians, officials, and experts who are not related to the education sector. Key stakeholders including Private school representatives, teachers from public sector schools, and parents of students are lacking in the committee.
A circular was issued on June 29, 2022, from Chief Minister Office Punjab, which was termed as a Top Priority. The circular named Punjab Home Minister Atta Ullah Tarrar as supervisor of the committee rather than the education minister.
The circular states, “The Chief Minister Punjab has been pleased to the desire for constitution of “Awareness and Curriculum Change Committee” in wake of the declared emergency in Punjab Province to encounter the increasing rate in sexual offences against women and children. The committee shall work under the supervision of Mr Atta Ullah Tarar, Provincial Minister for Home Department”
The members of the committee include three Members of Punjab Provincial Assembly (MPAs), two educationists, two professors, 11 government officials, a journalist, two lawyers, one human rights activist, and one gender specialist.
Names are, Former MPA and educationist Bushra Anjum Butt as convener, Kashif Elahi, MPA as co-Convener, MPA Salma But, MPA Hina Parvez Butt, Head PM Strategic Reforms Sulman Sufi., Lawyer Nida Usman Ch, educationist Taimoor Banday, journalist Munizae Jahangir, human rights activist Fatima Razzaq provincial coordinator Nabeela Shaheen, Dairy and Livestock Expert Saira Iftikhar, Lawyer Seemin Ahmad, Professor at LUMS Ammar Ali Jan, Head Communication Department Punjab University Dr Ayesha Ashfaq, Gender Specialist Azmeh Khan, Secretary Schools, Secretary Higher Education, Secretary Information, Secretary Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department, Secretary Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education, Secretary Human Rights & Minority Affairs, Secretary Women Development, DIG (Operations) Punjab Police Department, Special Secretary Home, Director General Public Relations, Director-General PITB, Managing Director PCTB.
All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) Kashif Mirza has shown serious concern about ignoring private schools’ true representation in the constitution of the Awareness and Curriculum Change Committee to encounter the increased rate of sexual offences against Women and Children and demanded its representation in the committee. However, APPSF appreciates the constitution of the Awareness and Curriculum Change Committee to encounter the increased rate of sexual offences against women and Children, In Punjab, Pakistan, but also showed serious concern on ignoring private schools’ representation, as All Pakistan Private Schools Federation is single, the largest registered federation to represent more than 207000 private schools, 1.5 million teachers mostly female, and about 26 million students in all over Pakistan.
In order to address this concern, all the stakeholders and Federating Units must be on board to constitute a committee and APPSF representative must be included to represent more than 207000 private schools, 1.5 million teachers mostly female, and about 26 million students all over Pakistan, and to develop a Curriculum Framework in close consultation with the main stakeholders APPSF for the Awareness and Curriculum Change to encounter the increase rate in sexual offences against women and children. Resultantly, this framework will respond effectively to local, national and international priorities to meet the individual learning needs of all students and females and to provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning in a constantly changing competitive world.
APPSF would like to convey its sincere appreciation to the government for preparing the Curriculum Framework, and also demand its true representation in the committee. It will provide an effective guideline to curriculum and textbook developers across the country in producing learning materials for providing quality education for the Awareness and Curriculum Change to encounter the increased rate of sexual offences against women and children.
Kashif Jawdani said that there are more than around 94 thousand private schools in Punjab as per the official record while the real numbers are around 125,000 while there are 48,000 public sector schools in the province. The private sector is three times larger than public sector schools.
“I am unable to understand how they would communicate to private schools and why key stakeholders were ignored,” he said, adding that Punjab govt’s curriculum committee doesn’t include any person from the private sector, students and parents as well. He added that all stakeholders wouldn’t be able to know what policy is being made for them. We demand the government to add a private sector nominee to the list.”