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January 28, 2021

Uniform syllabus for primary classes in August

Islamabad : The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training on Wednesday announced the introduction of a single curriculum for primary classes throughout the country next August.

According to the ministry, it in consultation with provincial and area governments and all other stakeholders have developed the Single National Curriculum (SNC) for pre-first to fifth grades that will be followed by all public and private sector schools across the country from the next academic year.

"On the directives of Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, the new year will now start in August 2021 due to extension in examination dates to be held in May/June and prolonged school closures in the academic year of 2020," it said.

The ministry also said the National Curriculum Council in consultation with all stakeholders on the ministry's orders had developed model textbooks aligned with student learning objectives prescribed by the Single National Curriculum for pre-first to fifth graders.

The ministry said it had issued a letter to all provincial and area governments regarding the single national curriculum textbook policy on the directions of the federal education minister.

According to the policy, private publishers are allowed to develop textbooks to be used by students under the new curriculum on the condition that the books are aligned with the [student learning outcomes] prescribed by SNC.

Also, the publishers will require a no-objection certificate (NOC) by the provincial textbook boards so that they may 'check any inclusion of anti-Pakistan, anti-religion, and any other hate material'.

The ministry also advised the countrywide textbook boards to facilitate the NOC (no objection certificate) procedure without red-tapism and avoiding cumbersome administrative complications.

If things go as planned, the single curriculum for middle classes will be introduced in 2022 and for high and higher education classes in 2023.

According to the education ministry officials, the country has three parallel systems of education, including public schools, private schools and seminaries, so the SNC has been developed to bring the entire country’s schooling education system under one umbrella.

They insist that the initiative is meant for one system of education for all in terms of curriculum, the medium of instruction and a common platform of assessment so that children across the country have a fair and equal opportunity to receive a high-quality education.

The officials say before the SNC development, multiple comparative studies were carried out to align the SNC with international standards and they include analysis of Pakistani curriculum with Singapore and Cambridge's, comparison of Pakistan Learners’ Standards with Singapore, Malaysia/Indonesia & UK's. All the findings were incorporated in the SNC.

The ministry also consulted all federating units, public sector, private sector, federal government educational institutions Cantonments & Garrisons, seminaries, Cambridge University UK for English, Maths and Science, and LUMS and AKU-IED.