ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said breaking free from the shackles of mental enslavement was a difficult task but the Afghan people had done it, blazing the trail for other nations.
He expressed these views while launching the first phase of Single National Curriculum (SNC) for students from grade one to five with the affirmation to making the country a unified nation, ending the class system in education sector.
Addressing a special ceremony here entitled ‘Single National Curriculum; One Nation-One Curriculum, eliminating disparity in education system’, Imran said it was his vision to bring a uniform syllabus and end the class-based education system in the country.
He appreciated Minister of Education Shafqat Mehmood and his team for taking a first step towards achieving this objective. He said nowhere in the world were three curricula as was the case in Pakistan where the students of public and private educational institutions and the religious seminaries were studying different syllabi.
The prime minister, however, conceded that he knew that bringing a uniform curriculum would be a difficult task, as the elite system would not allow this change and hinder it.
He made it clear that the uniform curriculum process was irreversible adding that ‘this system will take our youth to one direction and rid them of invasion of foreign cultures’.
Imran said for the last 25 years the idea was to have the same curriculum all over the country one day but people would say it was impossible because those who had to make the decision had their children in English medium schools and all the jobs were for them.
Imran maintained that it was also necessary to study English medium to join the civil service and that the British government had brought English medium because they wanted to impose their own culture in India.
However, he emphasized that even after independence, ‘we continued the English medium curriculum instead of uniting it, which led to the widening of the divide.
“When I started playing cricket with the Lahore team, there was so much difference between us that I couldn't even be friends with the people on the team.”
He said, “I thought that if we get a chance, we should bring a curriculum so that the thinking of our nation is the same. If the elite is taking advantage of a system, it will not allow it to change.” This, he said, was the first step in which we would have to face more difficulties, as people would say that our education system is being destroyed.
“Whenever a big step is taken, the boats have to be burnt. We will make this country a nation despite all the difficulties. Another great loss to our country is that we are not only learning English, but also adopting their culture. If we adopt someone's culture, we become mentally enslaved, which is very difficult to end. A slave's mind can't do great things; you can copy someone and become a good slave, but you can't go beyond them”.
Imran continued that it was very important to break the chains of slavery and a uniform curriculum would lead us to freedom. He also emphasized that Seerat Nabawi (SAW) would be taught in 8th, 9th and 10th class.
“It has been given a timeline of 2023. I request Shafqat Mahmood to implement it in 5 or 6 months. There is no need for such a long time. No one in the history of the world has achieved as much as our Prophet (SAW) did. Allah commands us to learn from the life of Prophet (SAW) for our own betterment. We can try to show our children the way so I want it to happen as soon as possible,” he contended.
Imran said poet-philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal was the greatest Islamic scholar of the centuries and he had an understanding of religion. He read the Western philosophy, then he did a better analysis and his analysis is still relevant today, he said.
The prime minister said through education people made atom bomb which claimed the lives of millions and someone saved the lives of millions. “Education is not enough and humanity is also necessary. We want Pakistan's minorities to be taught about their religion as well, because all religions teach humanity,” he emphasised.
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