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November 3, 2016

Cabinet approves Quranic education scheme for federal schools

National

November 3, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet on Wednesday approved draft bill for implementation of a new scheme of studies to impart Quranic education to Muslim students from class I to XII in all schools of Islamabad capital territory as well as those owned and controlled by the federal government but located in provinces, FATA and other areas. 

The Act to be called “the Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Act, 2016” shall apply to only Muslim students in all education institutions falling under the domain of the federal government. 

The draft law as approved by the cabinet envisages that there shall be, in all educational institutions, compulsory teaching of- (a) the Naazrah Quran in classes/grades I to V; and (b) the translation of the Holy Quran in classes/grades VI to XII in such manner that the entire Holy Quran is completed up to class/grade XII.

The basic purpose of this initiative is to help create a much better society in the light of Islamic teachings. Regarding the Urdu translation of the Holy Quran to be taught under this scheme, the Education ministry in consultation with different religious scholars and ulema bodies, and the Council of Islamic Ideology has already approved a version, acceptable to all.

The new scheme of studies, prepared by the education ministry, received a lot of appreciation from different stakeholders including several private education institutions, which have approached the ministry and showed their keenness to implement the scheme in their systems and schools.

Recently, the matter was discussed by the Council of Islamic Ideology, which had endorsed government’s initiative of teaching Holy Quran in Arabic (Naazra) to Muslim students of class I to V and with simply translation to class VI to XII.

When the matter was put before the CII, some elements wrongfully told the media persons that certain Surahs of the Holy Quran were excluded from the course. However, later it was strongly rebutted and clarified that not even a single word from Holy Quran was being excluded from the course. It was explained that from class VI to X, the Makki Surahs will be taught with translation whereas the translation of Madni Surahs will be taught to class XI and XII.

It was intentionally decided that the young students from class VI to X will be taught Makki Surahs. Since Madni Surahs, contain Quranic commandments as well as verses on jihad, these will be taught to students of class XI and XII when they get matured to understand these issues.

The draft Act as approved by the cabinet also made it clear that the entire Holy Quran will be taught. It says, “the translation of the Holy Quran in classes/grades VI to XII in such manner that the entire Holy Quran is completed up to class/grade XII.”

Education is a provincial subject but for the purpose of national cohesion and to evolve consensus national education standards, the federal and provincial governments have already opted voluntarily to set up National Curriculum Council, which has held several meetings during the last two years. 

During these meetings, the new scheme of Islamic education as being introduced at the federal level has also been shared with the provinces for their consideration to implement the same scheme in the provinces too.

The following is the draft law as approved by the federal cabinet:

“A Bill

To provide for making compulsory teaching of the Holy Quran to Muslim students in all educational institutions

Whereas it is expedient to provide for making compulsory teaching of the Holy Quran to Muslim students in all educational institutions in the Islamabad Capital Territory and in all the public sector educational institutions owned and controlled by the Federal Government wherever they may be and for matters connected therewith and ancillary thereto;

It is hereby enacted as follows:-        

1. Short title, application and commencement:- (1) This Act shall be called the Compulsory Teaching of The Holy Quran Act, 2016.  

(2) It shall apply to only Muslim students in all educational institutions:- 

(a) in the Islamabad Capital Territory; and 

(b) owned and controlled by the Federal Government wherever they may be. 

(3) It shall come into force at once. 

2. Definitions:- Unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context;-

(a) “Federal Government” shall have the same meaning as assigned to this expression in the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2012 (XXIV of 2012); 

(b) “educational institution” means any school, college, institute, or otherwise by whatever name called, established and set up in public or private sector for imparting education to students irrespective of its status whether registered or not registered with the appropriate Government or any other body; and 

(c) “Naazrah Quran” means recitation by sighting of the Arabic text;

(d) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act; and

(e) “rules” means rules made under this Act.

3. Compulsory teaching of the Holy Quran:- (1) There shall be, in all educational institutions, compulsory teaching of-(a) the Naazrah Quran in classes/grades I to V; and 

(b) the translation of the Holy Quran in classes/grades VI to XII in such manner that the entire Holy Quran is completed up to class / grade XII. 

(2) The Federal Government shall ensure implementation of this Act in the manner as may be prescribed. 

4. Power to make rules:- The Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act. 

5. Act not to be derogatory to any other law:- The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other law for the time being in force.” 

 

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