One Nation One Curriculum

The process has started, but there are many more obstacles

A uniform curriculum is being implemented in Pakistan. After the implementation of this uniform curriculum, it will be taught in all educational institutions and seminaries of the country including Punjab province. In the first phase, the uniform curriculum has been implemented at the primary level. The books of Punjab Curriculum and Text Book Board will be studied in all private and public schools, and seminaries, across Punjab. The decision of the provincial government to have a uniform curriculum has been welcomed by some quarters, while some constituencies still have many reservations.

There is no doubt that the need for a uniform curriculum has been felt across the country for a long time and voices have been raised in various quarters in this regard, but the previous governments did not pay any attention to this important issue. Thus, this important issue has been constantly ignored.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan had expressed his desire to implement a uniform curriculum in the country as soon as he came to power, but the journey from setting a uniform curriculum to implementation was not so easy. There were many difficulties along the way and the covid-19 pandemic made it more difficult to implement a uniform curriculum, while private educational institutions and publishers have also expressed concerns over the implementation in such a short time. Due to various reasons and factors the implementation of uniform curriculum has been stalled, but it has not been allowed to be ignored. After three years of continuous struggle, the government, in consultation with educationists, the heads of public and private educational institutions and the publishers, has not only succeeded in allaying their reservations, but is fulfilling the dream of its implementation.

Due to there being a PPP government in Sindh, the federal government may face difficulties. The government will have to join hands with the opposition to make the nation have a single curriculum and it will help create equality at the societal level and enable all to move the country forward by playing their part in national development side by side on an equal footing.

It is gratifying that after the implementation of a uniform curriculum, students belonging to the backward and poor classes will also have equal opportunities to advance, as the education system that was prevalent in the country before, had a clear distinction between English medium and Urdu medium, and only the children of the privileged had the opportunity to advance. On the contrary, if we look at the education system of developed countries, there are equal opportunities for ordinary citizens to move forward, while in other backward countries like Pakistan there is a perception that some people are born to rule and lead, so they are also given better opportunities for higher education, so that they can rule the common people in a better way.

When the Prime Minister stood up against this thinking, he faced stiff resistance and the work that should have been done three years ago is now being done after great difficulties. The mafias that have been creating difficulties in the implementation of uniform curriculum will continue to create obstacles in the future. However, only the consistency and prudence of the government can thwart the mafia. Therefore, instead of being blackmailed by the mafia under the guise of reservations, the government should ensure the implementation of a uniform education system across the country, which will enable the elimination of class and linguistic divisions from the country to a large extent.

The introduction of a uniform curriculum by the PTI government is commendable, but will it really prove to be a better curriculum? It is too early to say at this point, as private educational institutions say they were previously teaching the world’s best curriculum, while the curriculum being offered to them by the government lags far behind the first curriculum in terms of quality, but the biggest advantage of a uniform curriculum is that the quality of education in public educational institutions will be better and easier for parents who cannot afford to send their children to private educational institutions. Private educational institutions used to show superiority because of their curriculum, which will not be the case after the implementation of uniform curriculum.

Undoubtedly, after the implementation of a uniform curriculum, students will increasingly turn towards public educational institutions, as public educational institutions are a cheap source of education. However, the government will now have to focus on the performance of public educational institutions as well. Implementation of the uniform curriculum in all provinces will not be easy. The new curriculum has been implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa even before the announcement of the government. It will be implemented easily in Punjab and will also be easy in Balochistan with the help of allies.

However, due to there being a PPP government in Sindh, the federal government may face difficulties. The government will have to join hands with the opposition to make the nation have a single curriculum and it will help create equality at the societal level and enable all to move the country forward by playing their part in national development side by side on an equal footing.

Attiya Munawer
The writer tweets @AttiyaMunawer

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