PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elementary and secondary education minister Atif Khan on Friday said his government would rectify the mistake of removing Quranic verses on jihad from the curriculum.

He was speaking during a meeting at the Textbook Board of Peshawar offices, where Zakat and Usher minister Habibur Rehman and local government minister Inayatullah Khan from Jamaat-i-Islami, officials of the provincial elementary and secondary education department and educationists were in attendance. PTI is in alliance with Jamaat-i-Islami in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

JI has been very vocal in its opposition to changes to the curriculum.

After becoming partner in the PTI government, it demanded that PTI consult it before making changes to the curriculum.

According to a news release issued by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Media Cell, the participants were briefed on ‘lacunas and mistakes’ in the curriculum.

Mr Atif Khan, who belongs to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, said Islamic teachings would be the basis of his government’s steps regarding curriculum.

He said his government would accept no bar on religious education and would not tolerate any external interference.

The minister said no foreign NGO would be allowed to interfere in matters relating to curriculum.

He said the mistakes in the curriculum, including mention of Kashmir as an undisputed area and eating with the left hand, and removal of Quranic verses on jihad, would be rectified.

Mr Atif also talked about long and short-term steps for reforming the education system.

According to the news release, the JI ministers appreciated the PTI government’s steps in the education sector and expressed satisfaction about them.

However, an educationist, who has worked on curriculum in the province, said previously, changes were made to the curriculum to indirectly promote peace since violence had badly affected children in the region.

He said instead of Arabs, heroes and celebrities of the land and people like Rehman Baba, Khushaal Baba and others had been included in the textbooks.

The educationist said the process of changing curriculum, which began in 2006 at the federal level, trickled down to the provincial level after the devolution of education ministry under 18th Amendment to the Constitution.

He said textbooks were printed in the province in the post-devolution regime.

“Reversing these changes will do away with all the effort meant to bring more topics of peace and local heroes to textbooks,” he said.

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