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July 21, 2020

KP govt orders inquiry into insulting story in English book

Peshawar

July 21, 2020

PESHAWAR: A new textbook for primary students has sparked criticism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for portraying the people of Buner as weak-minded.

A lesson titled “seven foolish men” in the grad-5 English book has been attributed to the Buner district of KP. The story mentioned under the title is also not only very insulting but also carries a number of grammatical mistakes. The book has been published by the GABA Educational Book Private Limited. It is a known publisher having published most of its books being taught in private schools across the country. The criticism by social media forced the provincial government to take notice of the matter and order a proper inquiry into the matter. The decision was taken in a meeting of the Elementary and Secondary Education Department, with Special Secretary of the department, Zariful Maani, in the chair.

The meeting was attended by heads of Private Schools Regulatory Authority (PSRA) and Directorate of Curriculum and Teachers Education (DCTE), administrative secretaries and heads of other concerned sections of the department. The participants discussed the matter in detail. It was informed that the book carrying the objectionable material had been published by a private publisher. The meeting decided that DCTE Abbottabad should conduct an inquiry into the matter and if a NOC in this respect of GABA Primary English Book-5 has not been taken, immediate action should be initiated against the publisher, which should be shared with other provinces.

The orders of DCTE should be implemented by PSRA to avert such incidents in future, the meeting declared. The feedback mechanism will be in place immediately on the official website of education department, it added.

It was added that DCTE and PSRA should also devise a strategy to regulate the textbooks learning material as per KP Supervision of Curricula and Textbooks and Maintenance Standards of Education Act 2011. The meeting decided that unauthorized/banned learning materials/textbooks may be shared with all textbook boards of the country.

Meanwhile, provincial Minister for Education Akbar Ayub Khan said that the book had been published by a private publisher, which was not included among the approved list of publishers of the provincial government. He said the book, published from Karachi, has not been approved by the provincial government. It has never been taught in any public sector or private school of the province. However, the DCTE has been directed to conduct a complete inquiry into the matter. The minister said the PSRA has also been asked to ban the book if it was being taught in any of the private schools in the province.The matter was highlighted at a time when Pakhtun lawmakers have already been complaining about racial profiling of the Pakhtuns. Safdar Dawar, a member of the National Assembly, recently raised the issue of racial profiling of Pakhtuns on the floor of National Assembly, by quoting some insulting remarks against Pakhtuns in an Urdu drama serial aired by a private television.