Sunday December 10, 2023

KP govt makes Quranic education compulsory in schools

January 21, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The PTI government in KPK has outsmarted all other provinces in moving towards the implementation of a new scheme of studies to impart Quranic education with translation to Muslim students from class I-XII in all schools throughout the province from this year’s new academic session.

Although the mainstream media either ignored or underplayed this development, the KPK government Wednesday announced the decision of making teaching of Quran compulsory from next academic session.

Interestingly, the scheme was conceptualized by the PML-N government at centre but it’s the PTI Chief Minister who left behind all other governments to implement this scheme, which is expected to have far reaching effects.  The federal government is waiting for the parliament to discuss the bill, prepared for the implementation of the scheme in federal schools, and pass it. In Punjab, this scheme is though being implemented in one district – Bhawalpur -- from next academic year; however there is no decision taken as yet to introduce the scheme throughout the province.

Following the chief minister’s direction, the Punjab education minister held a couple of meetings on the subject but no outcome of these discussions has been made public as yet.

The KPK government took the initiative on this matter after the Federal Cabinet approved draft bill for implementation of the scheme a few months back.  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 led by Minister of State Balighur Rehman 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 the 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 of the 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, will be taught to students of class XI and XII when they get matured to understand these issues.

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.