The Single National Curriculum (SNC) has been gaining a lot of criticism for its portrayal of women, which is termed as “regressive.” In this regard, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Shahbaz Gill recently shared the more progressive side of SNC.
Earlier, there was an uproar on social media over an Urdu Book’s cover showing a girl and her mother sitting on the floor while the brother and the father sat on the sofa.
The image caused havoc as accusations of “double standards” began making the rounds. There were also criticisms of portraying young girls wearing hijab.
Taking to Twitter, a dedicated Pakistani gave a complete picture of SNC and debunked claims of it promoting gender inequality. SAPM Shahbaz Gill then shared the Twitter thread and appreciated the effort.
All those have concerns/misunderstandings about SNC. read this thread. Good job @umaraqti https://t.co/RFxtltMLOT
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) September 9, 2021
As per the thread, the SNC shows women in other roles apart from just home-makes as is claimed by critics. Women are also shown as Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses, Pilots, Businesswomen, and Sportswomen. However, the “propagandists” failed to highlight this.
Moreover, SNC books illustrated pictures of young girls playing sports and being active members of society.
Regarding “all or majority” minor girls shown wearing a scarf/dupatta in textbooks, the books show young girls without scarves as well.
More important lessons in SNC books
The SNC books also teach important lessons. One of them is that it equally warns both boys and girls from interacting with strangers. This is a much-appreciated move as it can teach children to be cautious.
SNC books also include chapters on religious minorities and the festivals they celebrate. This can increase religious tolerance in Pakistan if the population is taught from an early age how to respect minorities.
Another commendable aspect of the SNC books is that they also talk about the current environmental and social issues facing the world, for example, deforestation and water scarcity.
Most importantly, Grade 3 General Knowledge book has a chapter on conflict management. It will teach children on how to resolve any disagreement in a civil manner, through discussion and dialogue. This can greatly decrease crimes of passion.
While SNC may have some drawbacks, the books are indeed a much-needed initiative.