Punjab education minister holds interactive session with journalists on SNC

LAHORE: Provincial Education Minister Dr Murad Ras on Thursday said that the aim of Single National Curriculum (SNC) is to clear concepts of students through Urdu language.

He expressed these views during an interactive session with journalists on SNC. Senior journalists, including Saleem Bukhari, Khalid Farooqi, Ajmal Jami, Raees Ansari, officials of Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB), and education specialists were present on the occasion.

The minister informed the journalists that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has so far upgraded 8,000 government primary schools with a cost of Rs7 billion.

However, when this scribe asked the minister if any student would have to read the curriculum in Urdu only till class 10, the minister replied that it would not be the case.

“Books for first to fifth classes are definitely in Urdu with the aim of enabling children understand their mother tongue. But students from sixth grade to tenth grade will read subjects in English. In addition, NOCs have been issued to various private schools for various books, but NOCs will be available only for books that fall within the scope of the SNC,” he said.

Talking about implementation of SNC in madrassahs, the minister said that madrassahs have been taken on board. “This is just the beginning and a lot of work is needed. The Aga Khan Board is also on board. Now that we have got our hands on the private school mafia, we will deal with the academies mafia as well. The PTI is going to launch an online academy programme under which all students will get online education. The academy will have online quizzes and the results will be available immediately. The online academy will be available on mobile phones and students will not have to turn to academies for further studies in the future,” he said.

The managing director of PCTB informed that syllabi for first to fifth classes have been printed and are easily available in the market, and rumors regarding the shortage of syllabi were spread by a certain mafia.

During the occasion, some journalists criticised the SNC as Jami said that details about Islamic events have also been added in the Urdu book which will be read by non-Muslims as well.

“In my opinion, it is a good practice that Islamic events will also be taught in Urdu books, but a book on Islamic studies is available in the syllabus to teach about Islamic events and Islam. The chapters about Islamic events in the Urdu book will have to be read by non-Muslims as well, while Urdu is a secular language and should be taught as a language,” he said.

Farooqi suggested that Urdu literature and Urdu language writers who worked for the development of Urdu need to be taught in Urdu subject. “When it comes to teaching mother tongue, Urdu is not our mother tongue but Punjabi is the mother tongue of the people of Punjab. Punjabi was not included in the syllabus. Similarly, if we keep in account the national language, which is Urdu, then there is a lot to teach in the Urdu subject. The curriculum needs to teach fiction by writers like Saadat Hassan Manto, Munshi Prem Chand and Krishn Chandar. The poetry of Allama Iqbal, Faiz, Ghalib and other high profile Urdu poets should also be included in the curriculum,” he said.

Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]

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