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August 9, 2020

Who is upset with Islamic content of Single National Curriculum?

National

August 9, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The PTI government is informed about a vicious propaganda unleashed by certain elements, who are upset with the Islamic content being introduced in the Single National Curriculum (SNC) with the consensus of Centre and provinces.

Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood and the ministry’s top officials have been informed of this campaign, which the government sources said, is based on false perceptions and is aimed at targeting the Islamic content included in the curriculum.

The development of SNC is driven by the key considerations like teachings of Quran and Sunnah, constitutional framework, 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 SNC is being developed by the National Curriculum Council (NCC), Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training in consultation and collaboration with education departments of all federating units of the country.

The ministry sources said that of late a campaign, based on false perception, has been launched against the SNC. Those leading the campaign are mainly targeting the Islamic content included in the curriculum.

Regarding the propaganda against Islamiat curriculum, the government sources provided The News with facts which are being distorted by the vested interest elements.

It is explained that Islamiat is now a separate subject from grade 1 onwards. Previously for grade 1 and 2, it was part of the integrated curriculum of General Knowledge.

The Islamiat curriculum has been revised by both the representatives of the federating units as well as representatives of Ittehad Tanzimat-e-Madaris Pakistan. It is said that there were no standards and student learning objectives (SLOs) in the previous curriculum 2006. Now, these have been added in the SNC along with their definition.

According to “Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Act 2017” the SLOs have been added in the Islamiat curriculum. In addition to Nazra Quran, a framework for reading of 200 Ahadith from I-XII has been added.

The new curriculum includes an addition of two strands; “Husn-e-Muamlat o Muashrat” and “Islami Taleemat aur Dour-e-Hazir ke Taqazay”. For primary classes, SLOs have been developed keeping in view higher order thinking besides adding instructions for teachers, textbook authors and assessment experts.

These sources shared the following myths and realities about SNC Islamiat.

Myth: Single National Curriculum Islamiat will over-burden the students?

Reality: a) In National Curriculum 2006, Islamiat curriculum was based on merely themes. In that curriculum, the textbook authors were able to interpret the topics as per their own understanding. In SNC Islamiat, standards, benchmarks and students' learning outcomes have been included. It will ensure no misinterpretation on the part of given themes from any author. Overall workload is more or less the same.

b) The portion of Nazra Quran has been added in the curriculum in pursuance of “Teaching of Holy Quran Act 2017”. Duration of completing the Holy Quran is according to the Act and not an addition to the Single National Curriculum.

c) The framework for learning Hadith is only 18 hadith from grade 1 to 5. These are very short and easy to understand Ahadith on values such as honesty, cleanliness, purity of intention, avoiding backbiting, using soft language, good behaviour with neighbours and other such values.

Myth: With the implementation of Single National Curriculum (Islamiat), public schools will be flooded with Madaris graduates?

Reality: Though there is no harm in giving employment to Madaris graduates in contemporary education institutions, it is a totally baseless claim. Certain activities have been given keeping in view the resources of different institutions. For teaching the Holy Quran with proper Tajweed, it has been suggested that a Qari may be arranged or alternatively, recording of recitation from any known Qari may be given. It shows that it is not compulsory for any school to arrange a Qari but they may also go for alternative of using recording of recitation.

Myth: Single National Curriculum has nothing for minorities.

Reality: Previously the subject of Ethics was designated for non-Muslim students in lieu of Islamiat from Grade 3 onwards. Now a new subject Religious Education has been introduced from grade 1 onwards for non-Muslim students belonging to Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Bahaism and Kalash community of Pakistan.

Myth: Single National Curriculum for Islamiat will give air to sectarianism.

Reality: For the first time in the history of Pakistan, representatives from all five factions of Ittehad Tanzimatul Madaris Pakistan were part of the curriculum team. They focused on commonalities instead of adding sect-based differences. Hence, this curriculum is free from any bias for any sect of Islam.

Myth: SNC for Islamiat focuses only on rote learning.

Reality: It is an outcome-based and activity-based curriculum. It encourages students to move from passive to active learning. Activities have been added for all types of learners. It is an age and level appropriate curriculum which will help students reach their full potential.