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One nation, one curriculum?

Pakistan is set to mandate the Single National Curriculum. From where I see it, the very idea of “one nation, one curriculum” is based upon a flawed foundation that having the same curriculum would solve all the problems. It seems like another attempt by the federal government to control the narrative of education.


What is the narrative?


I was looking at the PTCB resources available online for early grades (K-3). The grade 1 Urdu Book teaches the alphabets in the first few chapters and the first thing it teaches to read in sentences, phrases are Naa’at and Hamd. This is just one example; a research by Nayyar and Salim scans through all social studies books which depict citizenship synonymous to religious identity. I remember using Hindus and Indians alternatively in my history exams. My teachers did not correct me. Following this Muslim nationalist narrative, I don’t know how ‘other’ minority groups must have would have felt. I wonder if this curriculum really going to end the ‘apartheid of education’. It is creating only a baseline that each educational institute needs to follow.


Is it really a curriculum or just a fancy name for National Educational Policy? Following 18th Amendment, education is a matter to be handled by the provinces then what is the federal government trying to do. On one hand, SNC aims to curtail the religious context of the curriculum, while on the other it is introducing a separate Nazra class in addition to Islamiat.


Finally, Pakistan has suffered from lack of proper implementation. It does not matter how carefully designed a curriculum is, if the teachers are not properly trained and prepared, school leadership is not qualified and facilities are not available, this would just be a ‘good plan’.

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I agree with you. Having same curriculum for every student, regardless of their background, does not seem like a sensible policy. Government must realize and accept differences in our society and cater those students in accordance to their needs.

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I strongly agree with you. There is so much debate going on around the SNC that teaching everyone the same books would not eradicate the problems of education. As you pointed out that it was just a way to take the institution of education once again under the control of state. it is clear that no one really cares about the consequences of such a policy.

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Teaching the Nazra Quran in primary education and then teaching the Holy Quran with translation in the higher classes is a great initiative to decrease radicalization and extremism. I am in favor of this initiative because, at that point of time, people, especially youth, do not have a good knowledge of Islam, and that’s why most of them follow what the clerics tell them. But after learning the Holy Quran, youth will be in a better position to question the clerics that what they are portraying is against the teachings of the Holy Quran.

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Nazra and translation of the Quran are mandatory for Muslim students only. Interpretations of the Quran won't be taught in schools, only the translation of the Quran will be taught in schools. All the translations of the Quran are more or less similar.

But I agree that impartiality is a real issue because the Madrassa graduates are going to teach Quran in schools and they may promote radicalism and extremism. Let's see how things unfold.

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I strongly agree with your point on lack of policy implementation. Punjab govt. established dolphin force and still the crimes aren't finished. PM IK announced chemcial castration of rapists, but i don't think that even a single rapist has been castrated yet. So yes, policy making is easier than implementation, and in a country where everything is disturbed at the grass-root level, it would take a long time to implement any kind of policies.


The same case is with teacher training. Even we say that there is a new policy announced for teacher training. We will see that most of the teachers will be using their *contacts* and getting certificates of that training. This is also something which needs to…

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i feel like the primary focus of educational reforms should be on accountability which can come through strong monitoring and evaluation systems.

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