SNC - A recipe for disaster

Any nation's political, social, and economic growth is seen to be facilitated by education, which is regarded as a powerful force. However, Pakistan's educational system is still in disarray. The data demonstrate Pakistan's poor condition of education. According to the Human Development Index (HDI) rankings released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Pakistan is rated 154 out of 189 nations.

When Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), came to power in August 2018, they pledged to implement several educational reforms to raise standards across the country's schools and close the achievement gap between private and public institutions of higher learning. Additionally, it was believed to establish a modernized "uniform education system" and lessen Pakistan's educational system's fragmentation and disparities.

Imran Khan's ideological endeavour, known as the SNC, combines all public schools with madrassahs. What will the future hold for kids following the Single National Curriculum (SNC)?

Poor study habits begin in Pakistani schools, where students are taught test strategies just enough to get by. Students with poor reasoning skills but strong memorizing skills—or those with unauthorized access to cellphones during exams—emerge as "toppers." In exams administered across Punjab, dozens of pupils get 1100 out of 1100 possible points.

The SNC will further erode standards. This is why: While rote learning is a plague of contemporary education, it is essential to madrassah education, where memorizing sacred texts is required. The SNC has strengthened the rote system. A single official textbook and a significant increase in the amount of religious content everyone must memorize are stipulated under this system. A pupil who memorizes a portion of that book will get full credit.

The illiterate management of the SNC is oblivious to the fact that the world does not need a Hafiz-e-Science or Hafiz-e-Riyazi. He won't be given a job. Businesses, industries, and research facilities want individuals with a wide range of knowledge, sound judgment, and the aptitude for dealing with novel circumstances.



Combining madrassahs with ordinary schools is absurd since madrassahs have a distinct purpose: to prepare students for life beyond death. This explains their durability and why the pre-colonial Indian curriculum known as Dars-e-Nizami was never modified to include fresh ideas. Because the prerequisites for worldly courses like art, commerce, science, mathematics, poetry, and literature are opposed, regular schools cannot serve as madrassahs (and vice versa). Here, a good education entails fostering curiosity, strengthening cognitive abilities, exposing the learner to a variety of literature, and assisting in developing original forms or ideas.

The history of Ottoman Turkey and Mohammed Ali's Egypt in the 19th century demonstrates the futility of combining madrassahs and conventional schools into one hybrid institution. Due to this, Arab nations are quickly adopting contemporary curricula. Pakistan is trying to stand apart, but it will pay a high price.

Professor Hood Boy argues that when it comes to teaching and education issues in Pakistan, no one thinks conceptually. This criticism is reasonable and well-founded. The test system relies on cramming, and professors are under pressure to demonstrate strong scores rather than sound conceptual understanding. The exam system has never been changed and never will be. The issue may be disproved by judging the instructors' work based on sound ideas rather than high marks.

The looming issue is whether the SNC will fix Pakistan's educational system's fundamental deficiencies. Will it improve the dire situation in education? In Pakistan, most public schools lack essential amenities, including restrooms, libraries, computer labs, sports facilities, drinking water, and even restrooms. In Pakistan, no education strategy focuses on closing socioeconomic disparities, and no suggested course of action exists.



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