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Central General Secretary of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, Parvez Khattak central leader Azam Khan Swati talking with Ameer Jamaat-i-Islami KP Professor Mohammad Ibrahim and other at Al-Markaz-e-Islami. — Photo by INP
Central General Secretary of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, Parvez Khattak central leader Azam Khan Swati talking with Ameer Jamaat-i-Islami KP Professor Mohammad Ibrahim and other at Al-Markaz-e-Islami. — Photo by INP

PESHAWAR: Jamaat-i-Islami, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Professor Mohammad Ibrahim says the people should not fear radicalisation of curriculum if the provincial education department goes to his party as its education programme is similar to that of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf.

“It is only propaganda. If other countries make their children aware of their (war) history, our children should also know about it. We need to prepare ourselves for the defence of our country,” Professor Ibrahim told Dawn on Tuesday.

People holding key positions in the provincial bureaucracy feel the likely decision to assign the provincial education department to JI may cause more harm than good.

“If given the provincial education department, we will act in line with the basic principles of our Constitution,” said Professor Ibrahim, rejecting fears that JI might propagate jihad in textbooks.

He said there was nothing unconstitutional in the curriculum at the moment, so his party would not bring big changes to the curriculum.

Education experts do not agree with the JI provincial chief’s contention. A former chairman of Peshawar Textbook Board and current vice chancellor of Bacha Khan University, Charsadda Professor Fazl-i-Rahim Marwat, said many changes had been made to curriculum since 2006 to bring in the message of peace and progressive thought. “Everyone knows JI protested against these changes and forced us to reverse changes in the Islamiat and English textbook,” he said.

Professor Marwat feared that subjects, which propagated radical or biased mindsets, should not be present in the education system.

“We have shown invaders as heroes. There exists a specific mindset, which we tried to change but it is still there,” he said, referring to the past efforts to remove gender stereotyping, violence and religious/sectarian biases from the curriculum.“We’d tried our best to change things before putting them in right perspective but the curriculum is now going to be handled by JI, whose inclinations are known,” he said.

However, Professor Ibrahim brushed aside such reservations and said: “Nobody should have any fears about radicalisation of curriculum if the provincial education department goes to Jamaat-i-Islami.”

He said JI leaders had held meetings with the PTI and Qaumi Watan Party on the distribution of ministerial portfolios and they all had showed willingness to hand the education department over to his party.

“If the education department is given to us, we will coordinate with PTI on all educational matters. We will promote literacy and offer free education to children up to the age of 16,” he said.

PTI, which has emerged as a leading political party in the provincial assembly after May 11 polls, had promised in its election manifesto that it would declare an education emergency, increase education spending from two per cent to five per cent of gross domestic product, do away with the divide between the public and private sector, remove gender stereotyping, revise and improve textbooks and curriculum, and involve community in school management, and double female enrollment in schools.

However, there are many in the education department who feel that if given the education department, JI could turn out to be a major hurdle to the implementation of the PTI's emergency steps for education reforms.

“If PTI tasks JI with managing education (department), it might radicalise the curriculum,” an official said.

He said the education department was important because teachers of government schools and colleges and politicians had a nexus to protect each others’ interests.

“Teachers help politicians during elections and politicians help them after coming to power,” he said.

The official said the chief minister should keep the education portfolio with himself to check political interference in the key department.

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Comments (35) Closed

imtiaz May 22, 2013 01:49pm

With heavy religious content of school curriculum dictated by army for it's vested interests in cohort with mullahs, conspiracy theories to hide failures are produced, not skills which are requisite for production and prosperity.

Khalid May 22, 2013 02:33pm

What qualifies these people to be deciding the future of our children in Pakistan. Political leaders must not be allowed to determine what our children should be learning at schools. This will be another disaster and move backwards for a nation that is determined to destroy itself. We should teach our children the basics of all religions and more importantly to respect all religions of the world. What are we scared of?

akram May 22, 2013 03:13pm

this is a dangerous move by PTI, we already have areas where people are looking to challenge the writ of the state, based on their religious beliefs, allowing the Mullahs to indoctrinate a larger portion of the school going population will only make matters worse.

It would be better to let them have access to areas that are rife with corruption so that they can instill some honesty, rather than give them access to education.

Anees May 22, 2013 03:46pm

If you ( Dawn News ) go to a bureaucratic who has a very clear political affiliation to a certain party, what do you expect him to say about another political party and its future plan? Were you unable to get opinion from at least 4 - 5 persons in this regard? I don't know Professor Marwat, so how can I take his views for granted? And by the way, I am NOT a JI supporter AT ALL.

Ali S May 22, 2013 03:57pm

The current curriculum (and that too in KP, of all provinces) is too jingoist and close-minded as it already is. It needs to be CHANGED be to made more objective and progressive so students can think critically on their history and learn from it instead of blindly accepting everything done against Pakistan as a conspiracy - sadly, JI doesn't seem like the party up to this task.

Even leaving aside traditionally right-leaning subjects like history, Urdu and Islamiat, I wonder if JI is with teaching evolution in science textbooks - even if most of the population of KPK doesn't agree with it, a working knowledge of the concept of evolution is considered a must in every biological field today worldwide.

But truth be told, these are still lofty ideals (by KPK standards, no less) given the current situation there. Even if JI is able to convince all girls in KPK to go to school without fearing for their lives and is able to get the literacy rate (especially for females) above 70%, it will be a huge achievement for them. PTI has a massive task ahead of it and will have to prove its worth the hard way - I'm personally not sure if they made the right choice with choosing JI to lead the education sector but let's not jump to conclusions, I'm hoping for the best.

ajeeb duniya.. dharm k nam pad sare jagda May 22, 2013 04:56pm

please do prayer at home why mix religion with education.. religious education is just no fruitful

Agha Ata May 22, 2013 05:24pm

Talking about what Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Professor Mohammad Ibrahim of JI, said, there is a difference between "the similar" and "the same." Besides devil lies in details. Sometimes it is the small thing very well planned that becomes a huge problem. We have many problems at hand that JI sowed the seeds of, long time ago.

Jhoulier May 22, 2013 05:48pm

This shows what PTI thinks education in Pakistan should be like.

Lakhkar Khan May 22, 2013 06:25pm

Keep the religion out of our schools and courts.

A Pakistani May 22, 2013 06:49pm

If Mr. Munawar Hussain, the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, can say publically state that all liberal/open-minded must register themselves as a minority, and that they are not muslims; what can we expect from the JI? If they'd not teach about jihad, they ought to teach the young generation of KP to hate all the Pakistanis who don't support JI's points of view?

Shawez May 22, 2013 07:12pm

PTI has categorically stated (more than once) that the KP Education ministry will be kept with the party and not given to JI or any other coalition partner. When the party has spoken, why is this paper trying so hard to spread propaganda?

Nasir May 22, 2013 07:41pm

Pakistan is already the laughing stock of the civilised world and allowing the Mullah to take over education is the final nail in our coffin, goodbye Pakistan !

Riaz Ahmad May 22, 2013 09:17pm

If the religious kind prefer Islamiat over science, technology, mathematics and philosophy, it is a sure way to send the Muslims back to the stone age. It is precisely these backward ullama that are the cause of the decline of the Muslim civilisation, these backwards minds instead of learning lessons are advocating more of the same.

AB Uzair May 22, 2013 09:19pm

@Khalid: 'What qualifies these people...' The 'people' elected them. Democracy allows your representatives to make policy decisions. If you don't like their policies, vote them out (and people of KP are pretty good at that).

Pankaj May 22, 2013 09:45pm

Pakistan should form a constitutional body or committee for deciding school kids curriculum, with eminent academicians from all the regions of Pakistan and ethnic groups as well as child psychologists............ It should invite International experts also in this committee because in increasingly globalized world, these children won't be able to survive, if not given inclusive education........... Ultimately, it will hinder the progress of entire nation.....This curriculum must be binding to all the schools and madrassas or any institution involved in child education.

Nafisa May 22, 2013 10:01pm

Education portfolio should not be handed over to JI as it can influence the quality of education for our kids. We need to learn from the past when General Zia corroborated with JI and introduced radical ideas in our curriculum, that resulted in a radical mindset. If we repeat the mistakes of past then we can not expect a different outcome from a political party who has used the slogan of 'change '. I urge PTI to make sure that our education system is not tainted by any political or religious ideology.

Jamal May 22, 2013 10:01pm

JI openly supported the lashing of a girl by Taliban in public, declaring it an act in accordance with Sharia. Just imagine what they will teach our kids in next five years. It will be a radical madrasah system run by state now.

Abdullah Faizee May 22, 2013 10:06pm

JI's nominee (Mr. Inayat) for education minister is a Phd Scholar and competent for this job , he served as health minister in MMA govt too.

Sohail Aslam May 22, 2013 10:12pm

".....Jamaat insists it won

Naz May 22, 2013 10:23pm

This is the worst possible thing for KP!! We need educators deciding the curriculum not any political party especially JI ! Professor Ibrahim already mentioned above that "as othe countries make their children aware of their wars, our children should know about it "!!! This shows JI mindset where they want to use books to preach their political agendas!! PTI TO GUVE JI THE EDUCATION PORTFOLIO IS DETRIMENTAL FOR KP CHILDREN!!

sf May 22, 2013 11:41pm

A huge error on part of PTI and bad for the future of Pakistan. Parties such as JI have hidden agenda and will do and say any thing to accomplish their goals.

Jeffries May 23, 2013 12:42am

I am surprised it took a very short time for the people to realise that they committed a mistake by voting for these mullahs, "enjoy" for the next five years!!!!!

babbarsher Khan May 23, 2013 07:18am

No need to worry, the Jamaat will help to turn K-P into Imran's idea of Jannat in 90 days!

BRR May 23, 2013 08:48am


Khan May 23, 2013 08:53am

Pakistan education curriculum is Jinah was born in Karachi and Alama Iqbal saw the dream of a new pakistan.

Greek tragedy May 23, 2013 09:04am

Kemalism has been defeated. ANP with its supporter should now migrate to India. Islam brought culture , civilization and justice to South Asia. Kemalists want to deny that and go back to tribal women-selling behavior. This need sot be taught how barbarism of pre-Islamic South Asia has been civilized albeit partially.

Fahad May 23, 2013 09:48am

The new minister of Education of KP may belong to JI but is a forward thinking and young educated person.

I first met him some 10 years back on the streets of New York. He was then minister of health under MMA and while he was here to attend workshops, 27 years of age, he was determined to improve healthcare in NWFP. He showed me a list of medical equipment and supplies that was missing at remote clinics and hospitals and he was looking for creative ways to acquire them. I started working on this project, and soon we found most of the stuff he wanted from Honk Kong.

He continued working in his personal capacity to ship and install equipment operational. i was impressed by his organization, team building and dedication.

I got the chance to visit those hospital and clinics 10 years later, and equipment was still in use to its fullest.

He will be a great minister to have and PTI has made a right decision here.

For those wondering who i am talking about, his name is Innayatullah khan. More info about our project:

Fahad May 23, 2013 09:57am

Inayatullah Khan, who would get the portfolio of education,has served as provincial health minister during the MMA government. The young politician has a brilliant academic record. A master

malik May 23, 2013 10:18am

The mere sight of all these mullas sitting around a table scares the hell out of me.

HNY13 May 23, 2013 10:21am

@Abdullah Faizee: PhD in which subject sir?

malik May 23, 2013 10:22am

@Ali S: We went to the moon in 649 AD.

irfan May 23, 2013 10:43am

the people of KP are not daft. no one can radicalise them or otherwise. this is another propaganda, perhaps aimed at creating a perception that PTI & JI govt would be some sort of radical islamic govt.

what about that whole of pakistan when JUI-F, who grass root support in Madrassas, joins the govt in centre? would this make pakistan a more radicalised country?

Khalid May 23, 2013 02:52pm

@Abdullah Faizee: Your analagy is wrong. It is like saying that because he has a Phd in International relations, he can teach how to fly planes!!. What nonsense.

Maqsood May 23, 2013 03:13pm

It is surprising to see the comments of the readers about giving Education Ministry to JI. The very comments of readers show their mentality and standard of education. It is not JI that is responsible for the low standard of education in our country but the whole system of government. If we have no education system at all, how it is possible to make amendments in it. Just making a few changes in syllabus by JI , ANP, PPP, PTI, PML or any other party makes no difference. If we have to streamline our education system, we must develop our languages first. Most of our children are fed up with education because they speak their mother tongue at homes, speak Urdu at schools, and get education in English, while at end they are not able to understand any of these three languages. This is the height of injustice to our children. If we have to do justice to our coming generations, we should give them a developed language of their own, which they can speak at homes, at schools as well as in books. Otherwise, we should not blame parties or personalities and work on courage to suffer ourselves and also leave a dark future for our coming generations.

Tariq May 23, 2013 05:19pm

@Greek tragedy: Go and read about Sor revolution, who was selling women, and who stopped it, and who raised fatwa against those who stopped women selling