Educationists and stakeholders at a consultative meeting, while raising reservations over the recently devised single national curriculum (SNC) in the country, have urged the government to review this curriculum by duly incorporating all inputs from stakeholders so that it cater to all diverse communities across the country for better education results.
The consultation meeting was organized by Awaz Foundation Pakistan: Centre for Development Services with the purpose to discuss the government’s recently devised SNC and provide an opportunity to stakeholders to share their concerns as well as recommendations to ensure that this curriculum is made a representative document across the country.
The SNC is believed to be focused on modern education, skills development and technology adopting global trends of education with gender equality and women empowerment.Officials from Pakistan Coalition for Education, Pakistan Private Schools and College Association, Pakistan Parents Association, Pakistan Teachers Forum, educationists and members of civil society organizations including SAHIL, CRM, GDP, VSO, PAMS, Gain Health, PMHA, PYCA participated in the consultative meeting. Senator and Member Standing Committee on Education, Federal College of Education & Professional Training, Fawzia Arshad also attended the meeting.
In his opening remarks, Chief Executive Awaz Foundation Pakistan: Centre for Development Services, Zia-ur-Rehman, explained about the targets and suggested to find the best solutions in real-life adaptation of SNC. He further shared that feedback/ suggestions on SNC are shared with MoFEPT on their feedback portal.
He said that, the meeting is aimed to discuss the solutions and submit the recommendations to the government to ensure uniformity in text books and syllabus for the students from rural and urban areas, private and government schools as well as madaris across the country as Education for all is a fundamental and constitutional right.
Discussing the government’s adopted SNC, the meeting noted that the illustrations in the textbooks should ensure gender based equal representation and contributions of women in leadership roles should be highlighted at par with their male counterparts.
The discussants also suggested that illustrations in textbooks should give reasonable understanding and representation to religious minorities, people living with disability and transgender and without any discriminatory standards of dress code concerning gender.
The recommendations also came out to review text books through psychologists, as it would ensure fulfilment of academic as well as psychological needs of students. The meeting also recommended equal representation of girls, proper translation of curriculum, creating linkages between curriculum and textbooks for better understanding and quality education.As a solution to all these concerns, they suggested a joint action platform for improvements to move forward with an open-mind approach to formulate a complete and representative curriculum.
Dr. Shafqat Munir from SDPI drew attention towards defining Nationalism through Single National Curriculum on basis of diversity of culture and not from the Religion as currently being reflected.Zehra Arshad, National Coordinator Pakistan Coalition for Education empathised the need of quality education so our generation could determine respect between agreements and disagreements. We have split in our educational curriculum, text books that needs to be undone through SNC; she further added.
In her remarks, Senator Fawzia Arshad appreciated arranging the consultative meeting on this national issue. She assured that the government will extend all support in identifying quick and practical solutions presented by the stakeholders during the consultative meeting.
The lawmaker mentioned that the government has engaged private schools and developed the SNC.
Senator Fawzia urged Awaz Foundation Pakistan: Centre for Development Services and all stakeholders to formulate their recommendations on the SNC for betterment of children, parents, teachers and society to ensure quality education.She assured to take up these recommendations with the Federal Ministry of Education and Professional Training as well as Prime Minister of Pakistan to adopt a comprehensive SNC.
Marium Amjad, Program Manager AwazCDS-Pakistan appreciated government’s initiative of imparting trainings to teachers to ensure modern and advance education to the children but also stressed to give teachers training on body protection and life skills based education to teach our generation. While AwazCDS-Pakistan demanded Government to expedite the process of teachers training not through zoom but in physical presence as our most of the public and low income school teachers either do not have internet and technology access or tech friendly.
At the end, participants demanded Government to familiarise “Single National Curriculum for compassion with Gender and Inclusive lens”.