Errors in textbook stun lawmakers

Published May 09, 2012 12:06am

PESHAWAR, May 8: The grammatical and factual mistakes in social studies book for students of grade V stunned members of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly when an opposition member pointed out errors in the book, published by the provincial textbook board.

“At times incidents occur, which hugely affect human history and re-write a new one. Like ‘September 11, 2011’ incident in America is before us. The incident occurs in America but the whole world got affected,” says a paragraph of the social study book for the primary level students, recently introduced by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board Peshawar.

MPA Mufti Said Janan of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, who brought to light the matter through a point of order in the house on Tuesday, wondered as to how the people could expect any good from the government when it was distorting facts and history.

The lawmaker read several paragraphs from the book that carried grammatical and factual mistakes about major incidents occurred in the country and other parts of the world. The board has published hundreds of thousands of social studies books in Pashto which have been distributed among students free of cost.

A paragraph on page 58 of the book says: “General elections will hold in the country in February 2008.” The lawmaker pointed out several drastic printings and grammatical errors in the textbook and demanded high level inquiry.

Another paragraph on page 70 says that death of Gen Mohammad Ziaul Haq was major incident which changed Pakistan’s political history.

He said that prominent personalities of Islamic history and Sub-continent had been removed from the book.

Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour, replying to the point of order, said that the board should not make major changes in the textbooks. He said that the minister concerned was absent. He requested Deputy Speaker Advocate Khushdil Khan, who was presiding over the proceedings, to keep the matter pending.

During question-answer session, Minister for Environment Wajid Ali Khan told the house that illegal harvesting forest was going unabated in the province because of shortage of forest guards with the forest department.

He said that there were 1,700 forest guards at the disposal of the department concerned. He said that one guard had to protect about 5,000 hectare forest covered area in the province.

Responding to a supplementary question, the minister said that the government writ in Dogara area of Torghar district did not prevail and his department was unable to stop illegal harvesting in that region.

He said that the government was trying to introduce latest technology to ensure protection of forests and increase forest covered area. He said that there were forests over 17.4 per cent of the total area of the province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had major contribution to meet timber requirements of the people across the country.

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