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July 23, 2020

Education reforms — A revolution in the making

Top Story

July 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: A revolution is in the making in the education sector as the PTI government in consultation with all the provinces is developing a single national curriculum (SNC) with emphasis on creating a nation, which should take pride in its Islamic roots, have respect for different cultures and religions, show good character and meet the challenges of 21st Century.

In the first phase, the SNC will be implemented from the next academic year 2021-22 in all streams of education for the students from Grades Pre I-V. Sources involved in the process told The News that the development of SNC is driven by the key considerations like teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, constitutional framework, national policies, aspirations and national standards, alignment with the SDG-4 (Sustainable Development Goal) goals and targets, vision of Quaid and Iqbal, focus on values, life skills-based and inclusive education, respect and appreciation for different cultures and religions in local and global context, focus on project, inquiry and activity-based learning, development of 21st century skills including analytical, critical and creative thinking.

The sources said that the National Curriculum Council (NCC), Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training in consultation and collaboration with Education Departments of all federating units of the country, is developing SNC for Pakistan. The SNC is being developed in three phases- Phase I: Development of SNC and textbooks Pre I-V; Phase II: Development of SNC and textbooks VI-VIII; and Phase III: Development of SNC and textbooks IX-XII to be completed in March 2021, March 2022 and March 2023 respectively.

It is said that before initiating the development of SNC, multiple comparative studies were conducted to align SNC with international standards. These include analysis of Pakistani curriculum with Singapore and Cambridge curriculum and Pakistan Learners’ Standards with Singapore, Malaysia/Indonesia, and UK standards. All the findings were incorporated in the SNC.

It is explained that under Phase-I, the first draft of the SNC was developed and shared with all federating units, and Cambridge University for their input and feedback. Provincial and area workshops were subsequently held in all federating units from November 2019 to January 2020.

Services of Aga Khan University, Institute of Educational Development (AKU-IED) were hired through a competitive process, for value-addition, development of teacher training modules and assessment framework for SNC.

The sources said that inputs and feedback received from all federating units, FGEIs, AKU-IED and Cambridge University UK were then collated and consolidated in the second draft of SNC. This formed the basis for discussions and consensus building during the National Conference on Single National Curriculum from February 11-14, 2020.

Presently, it is said, quality textbooks, teachers training modules and assessment frameworks for Grade Pre-I to V are being developed on the basis of SNC from which will be completed in December 2020.

From next academic year 2021-22, SNC will be implemented in all streams of education for the students from Grades Pre I-V. Process of development of SNC phase-II (Grades 6 to 8) has already been started with a similar consultative process, which will be completed by March 2021. The third phase of SNC (Grade 9 to 12) will be completed by March 2022.

In the SNC students would be encouraged to activity-based learning, higher order thinking, application of knowledge to real life, move away from rote memorisation & focus on project and inquiry and development of 21st century skills including analytical, critical and creative thinking, communication, problem solving etc.

The SNC will also have focus on holistic development of students through integration of positive attitudes and values, care for self and others, promotion of peace, respect, tolerance, kindness, empathy towards all irrespective of gender, caste, religion and social status.

According to “Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Act 2017” the SLOs (Students Learning Objectives) have been added. In addition to Nazra Quran, a framework for reading of 200 Ahadith from I-XII has been added. In addition to Hifz of Surahs, a framework of hifz 40 Ahadith from I-VIII has been added.

Two strands- “Husn-e-Muamlat o Muashrat” and “Islami Taleemat aur Dour-e- Hazir ke Taqazay”- also being introduced.