Wednesday February 08, 2023

School course on animal welfare on the cards

December 04, 2022

Islamabad: With legislation for animal rights already on the anvil, the federal government is set to roll out a course on animal welfare for schoolchildren.

According to aide to the prime minister on strategic reforms Salman Sufi, the initiative will educate minor students of both public and private sector schools in the Islamabad Capital Territory region about keeping pets humanely and not hurting stray animals.

“Schoolchildren will be introduced to compassion and humane approach to animals so that they become better citizens,” Mr. Sufi said in a tweet.

The move, a joint effort of the Prime Minister's Strategic Reforms and Implementation Unit and the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, comes on the directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

It will be formally launched on International Animal Rights Day to be marked on December 10 for the students of grade 5 and above. In the second phase, it will be introduced to other students as well. Mr. Sufi insisted that the course would teach schoolchildren that keeping animals was a responsibility and not fun.

As education is a provincial or regional subject in the current post-devolution regime, the federal government will introduce the course in schools overseen by it in Islamabad. However, it will formally push provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir regions for adopting it to further the cause of animal rights and welfare in the country, according to an education ministry official.

He said the initiative would have both lessons and activities on how to take care of animals and ensure their wellbeing, while animal rights advocates would visit schools to deliver lectures on the right of animals to live freely and safely, and on end to animal exploitation and cruelty.

The official said as the government was committed to protecting the rights of animals from domestic to farm to wild to entertainment ones, it had planned to legislate on animal welfare.