ISLAMABAD: Though the Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education (MET) has been working for the establishment of the National Curriculum Council (NCC), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces on Friday objected to the formation of the NCC.
During an inter-provincial education ministers’ conference at a local hotel, both the province expressed their concerns about the formation of the council.
The representative of KP suggested that instead of the NCC an advisory council should be established. However, Sindh was of the view that the matter should be discussed in the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
During the first meeting of the education ministers’ conference on February 11, 2014, it was unanimously decided that a committee would be constituted to prepare the draft of terms of references of the proposed NCC for approval by the ministers.
KP does not want any federal authority on education while Sindh wants to take the matter to CCI
The main function of the NCC would be to lay down the minimum standards to maintain harmony and minimum level of uniformity, comparability and transferability in education across the country. In the conference, the ministers were supposed to discuss the baseline proposals for the NCC.
When Minister for Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education Balighur Rehman started a presentation, KP Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Mohammad Atif stated that his province had reservations regarding the NCC.
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Mr Atif said it seemed the NCC would work as an authority and would take decisions about the curriculum and education policies.
“After the 18th Amendment, education is now a provincial subject and provinces are free to take decisions about the educational system in their jurisdictions. The NCC should be working as an advisory council rather that an authority,” he said.
Mr Rehman tried to convince Mr Atif by saying that there would be only three representatives of the federal government in the NCC while the other 27 would represent the provinces. However, Mr Atif was not ready to accept the proposal to form an authority at the federal level.
The Sindh government also seemed opposing the NCC. In a written statement handed over to Mr Rehman, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah stated the issue of NCC should be discussed in the CCI.
Later talking to Dawn, Mr Rehman said it was the idea of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that there should be a uniform system of education all over the country.
“Unfortunately, in the meeting the KP education minister refused to accept the NCC and said the curriculum was a provincial subject. The CM Sindh also stated that the matter should be discussed in CCI,” he said.
“I respect the point of views of both the governments but will try to convince them that the NCC is in the best interest of the country and provinces. Moreover, only that is how private schools can be regulated under a uniform policy,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2014