Should education be Centrally Administered?

This is perhaps the most important question today with respect to education in Pakistan. The Single National Curriculum proposed by the current government aims to make education uniform for every child in Pakistan. However, the real question is: Is this even possible? And if it is, is it something desirable and just in the Pakistani context?

Pakistan has an extremely diverse population. It has 4 provinces, about 70 languages, about 6 major ethnicities and vastly contrasting geographic locations. Although, Pakistan is over 96% Muslim, there are many different sects and belief systems within the overarching branch of Islam. So is it even possible to bring all of these groups to the table and devise a curriculum that satisfies each groups demands? Will there be a just representation for everyone or will certain minority and counter-mainstream voices be lost in the process. I believe that a single national curriculum will only echo the drum of the large majority and the ideology of the state and will suppress the voices of the marginalized. However, it might level the playing field to a certain extent by giving the same launching pad to every child (I am deliberately ignoring the intersectionality's of other forms of inequality) and homogenize the population.

And this is a fundamental decision that Pakistan has to make. Should it prioritize a unified national identity and thereby attempt to reduce the growing inequality between the various groups by introducing the SNC. Or should it celebrate the rich ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic diversity by delegating the task of education and devising curriculum among local communities and only attempt to facilitate their efforts. I gravitate towards the latter solution since I am a huge skeptic of big government and their interventions in the lives of individuals, however this won't be a hill I'm willing to die on.

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