The incumbent Government under the chairmanship of federal education Minister Shafqat Mehmood constituted a committee in line to frame ” Single National Curriculum ” (SNC) for Primary, High and Higher Secondary classes and vows to implement the above throughout the country with enthusiastic slogan of “One Nation, One Curriculum “. Some days ago, the Minister made announcement that Single Curriculum will be introduced throughout the country for primary classes in the beginning of new session from 2021 in phase one, for middle classes from 2022 and for high and higher education classes the same would be implemented from 2023 in phase 2 and phase 3 respectively. At the drop of a hat, different opinions erupted and debate has been started pointing out the positive and negative aspects in connection to the devised strategy. I am not here to present the arguments in favour or against the SNC but would like to elaborate the essential issues which are much needed to be addressed by federal as well as provincial Governments.
Pakistan ranks 164th in the world for its investment in education as measurements of its commitment to economic growth, states the first-ever scientific study ranking countries for their levels of human capital. The country is placed just behind Rwanda (ranked 163rd) and is just ahead of Tanzania (ranked 165th). A systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990 to 2016,] the study was published in the international medical journal ‘The Lancet’.
Pakistan stands at 94th in quality of education while India at 34th in the world according to the published report of World Economic Forum in 2018 titled “ spectator index”.
The above researches reflect the miserable situation of education from school level to university. In Current era the nations are utilizing their all resources to uplift the education system and standardised with international requirements but in Pakistan the response is different.
The whole education system of country is interlinked with the primary education system but they are facing pathetic consequences in this regard.
A large number of primary schools in Punjab are being run by just two teachers and there are also many schools which are being run by a single teacher. There are no permanent head teachers and clerks in primary schools and all such non teaching functions are being administered by concerned teachers. If we look the sanitation condition in these primary schools this is also in danger. No permanent sweeper is appointed by higher authorities in primary schools and this function is also carried out in some schools by teachers and students or made arrangements on privately hiring.There are only two classrooms in most of the primary schools for six classes. Remarkable number of schools especially in rural areas are being run without the basic facilities of clean drinking water and washrooms. In such miserable situations, the dream of quality education is vague.
There are permanently six classes in primary schools and should functional by six teachers as ” One Class , One teacher ” policy to run the educational process smoothly. There must be a permanent head teacher in primary Schools along with clerk and sweeper to run non teaching functions smoothly.
By adopting SNC we cannot uplift the quality of education whenever we will never address these issues on priority basis. There are legal hurdles to implement SNC in country after passing 18th amendment but there are no hurdle to make better quality of education in Schools according to the international standards , there is dire need to resolve much needed issues first in this regard.
Mahtab Ali Khan