The Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) has banned a booklet series “Infant Mathematics” published without its prior approval.
The booklet was found to be in violation of section 10 the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Act, 2015.
According to the section, “No person shall, except with the prior approval of the Board, print, publish, sell or prescribe in an institution any textbook or supplementary material. Secondly, an application for approval to print, publish, sell or prescribe in an institution a textbook or supplementary material shall be made in such manner and form and on the payment of such fee as may be prescribed.
“Thirdly, the Board may direct any person to amend, delete or withdraw any portion or the whole of curriculum, textbook or supplementary material, fourthly, the Board may prohibit any person or agency from producing, printing, publishing, selling or using in an institution any textbook or supplementary material or any part of it, fifthly, the Board shall not approve the printing, publication, selling or prescribing in an institution of any textbook or supplementary material which is or is likely to be detrimental for examination or assessment purposes, or which contains anything repugnant to the injunctions of Islam, or contrary to the integrity, defence or security of Pakistan or any part of Pakistan, public order or morality and sixthly if the Board issues a direction or prohibition under subsections (3) or (4) to a person or an agency, such person or agency shall, within the time specified by the Board, submit an implementation report to the Board.”
It was reported that Punjab School Education Minister Murad Raas was “offended about certain events that are mentioned in the books such as Christmas”. However, the School Education clarified that the booklet was banned because it contained the names of events like Halloween, Valentine’s Day and April’s Fools Day.
“We apologize to our Christian Brethren. The mistake has been corrected & we will make sure this never happens again,” the tweet had read.
In the circular issued on Social Media yesterday regarding banning of a certain book, the word “Christmas” was added accidentally & unintentionally. We apologize to our Christian Brethren. The mistake has been corrected & we will make sure this never happens again.@DrMuradPTI pic.twitter.com/P6FpU5bxdy
— School Education Punjab (@SchoolEduPunjab) May 21, 2020
The PCTB directed to stop producing, printing, publishing, selling or using the booklet in any institution and directed to immediately recall its stock from schools, bookshops and from any other place. It warned that if the publisher failed to comply with orders, strict action would be taken under Section 14 of the Act which carries a punishment of imprisonment up to two years as well as fine. The publisher could also be disqualified for grant of any permission regarding printing, publishing and selling any book, newspaper, any supplementary material for up to five years and might also be prosecuted under other penal laws of Pakistan.
The PCTB directed the publisher to comply with the orders within seven days.
Meanwhile, Provincial Minister for School Education Dr Murad Ras denied excluding the name of Christmas or any other religious word from any textbook.
Speaking to Pakistan Today, he said that he had ordered to remove the pictures of pigs in the mathematics book and also removed the words of April Fool, Valentine Day, Halloween and this kind of words which were never the part of our culture.