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ISLAMABAD: Tanzeem Ustadza Pakistan (TUP), an association of teachers, demanded on Sunday that the government legislate to empower the centre to make national curriculum.

“Through the 22nd constitutional amendment, the curriculum should be given back to the centre in greater national interest.

“Failing to do so will mean that there will be no uniformity in curriculum and this will create multiple problems for the new generation,” said Professor Dr Mian Muhammad Akram, president of TUP.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, TUP representatives said federal governments across the world developed the curriculum, but in Pakistan after the passage of the 18th amendment, provinces were given the task of designing the curriculum, which is against the spirit of federalism.

“One provincial government has deleted a chapter on the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, from grade 6 Pakistan Studies book, which is unacceptable,” claimed Rana Asghar Ali, who teaches at the University of Sargodha.

TUP leaders said that rather than empowering curriculum authorities at the centre, the government is empowering provincial higher education commissions.

They said that the federal government should take responsibility of providing guidelines to provinces through the Higher Education Commission (HEC)and the education ministry.

“The state cannot absolve itself of the responsibility of imparting quality and uniform education,” said Professor Dr Waseem.

“We demand that the role of the HEC not be curtailed at any cost. Instead of devolving the HEC to the provinces, the provincial HECs should be under the administrative control of the federal HEC for monitoring and implementation,” Dr Akram said.

He added that the Federal Ministry of Education and Professional Training has taken a positive step by convening meetings of provincial education ministers but the government has failed to convince the Sindh government to participate.

So far, the education ministry has held four meetings with provincial ministers but Sindh has not shown interest.

Professor Shafiq Ahmed, President TUP Punjab; Mr Hameedul Haq, TUP President KPK; Professor Dr Waseem Ahmed Khan and others were also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2015

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