The government has ordered the publication of textbooks for the most sought-after Single National Curriculum (SNC), which is ready to be implemented in the upcoming academic session. It has been reported that new books that are based on the SNC will be introduced in the new academic session.
“The SNC has been prepared and now provincial governments have been requested to get the books published as per their requirements,” Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood told Dawn. During the 2021 session, classes from prep to class five would be introduced to the syllabus and classes six to eight in 2022. Eventually, the government plans to introduce the new syllabus in classes nine to twelve.
The National Curriculum Council (NCC) and Shafqat Mehmood seem hopeful to begin the process in the primary classes. Provincial governments have also been notified to start the publication of textbooks. However, the Sindh government has expressed its reluctance over the whole process. The federal government does not plan to let Sindh’s reservations hinder the process.
Read more: The ugly truth about Pakistan’s education system
“We think Sindh has already done a lot of work in developing curriculum and we have updated our curriculum faster than other provinces. We are not going to adopt the SNC.
“But we will look into the matter again before taking a final decision,” stated Saeed Ghani, the provincial education minister.
In reference to the Sindh government’s reservations to adopt SNC, Shafqat Mehmood said, “The Sindh government has shown some reservations. Recently I met the provincial education minister in an attempt to remove their concerns. We will hold more meetings as I want to take everyone on board before launching this landmark initiative.”
Read more: How to reform Pakistan’s education system? An unpopular opinion
One single curriculum across Pakistan’s every educational institution is a “revolutionary step,” says Shafqat Mehmood. “Now all children will have equal opportunities to excel regardless of their parents’ socio-economic stature.
“The purpose of SNC is to provide equal opportunities and to end class-based educational system,” he further stated.
“After finalizing SNC, we have sent it to the provinces for the publishing of books,” NCC head Rafiq Tahir told Dawn. All the books except mathematics would be published in Urdu. “Teachers will be free to use Urdu and regional languages as medium of instruction. The SNC complies with international standards. Even Cambridge has endorsed it,” further informed Rafiq Tahir. The curriculum might also include chapters on Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Iqbal Masih. Iqbal spoke strongly against child exploitation, as he himself escaped slavery at the age of ten and was killed when he was thirteen.
Read more: The history of secular education in the subcontinent