ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Wednesday passed a bill for making teaching of the Quran compulsory in grade one through to grade 12 in all federal educational institutions.
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, which met under the chairmanship of MNA Dr Amirullah Marwat, unanimously passed the ‘Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Bill, 2017’.
After it is approved by the upper house and its committee, the bill will be applicable in Islamabad, Fata and all the institutes owned and controlled by the federal government, wherever they may be.
The bill was presented before the committee by State Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Engineer Balighur Rehman and was passed after a brief discussion.
A simple translation of Holy Quran agreed on by all religious sects will be included in the curriculum, says minister
“The bill is one of the good steps and will benefit students,” the committee chairman said.
If approved by Senate, the bill will make the teaching of the Quran compulsory for all Muslim students in all public and private educational institutes in the areas which are controlled by the federal government.
The Naazrah Quran will be taught in grades one through to five and the Holy Quran will be taught in grades six through to grade 12 with a simple translation and according to a schedule.
Five percent of the Quran will be taught in class six, 9pc in class seven, 12pc in class eight, 17pc in class nine, 25pc in class 10 while 15pc and 17pc of the Quran will be taught in first and second year. The surahs taught in first and second year will be those revealed in Madina.
“This bill was moved because it was the people’s demand and because it was the need of the hour,” the education minister said.
Speaking to Dawn after the meeting, the minister said the bill was supported by all religious schools of thought and that there will be no issue of implementation as it was moved through the Council of Islamic Ideology. He added that teaching the Quran will promote harmony.
The minister said there will be no problems in regards to the teaching of the translation of the Quran as it will be a simple translation, one agreed upon by scholars of all sects.
The bill reads: “It will make the divine message understood; ensure the repose of society; peace and tranquillity; Promote the supreme human values of truth, honesty, integrity, character building, tolerance, understanding others’ point of view and way of life. It will lead towards spreading goodness and auspiciousness and towards ending chaos and uncertainty,” read the bill.
According to the bill, it will also help the state discharge its constitutional responsibility. The bill also says there will be no additional expenses for books and teachers as translations will be donated to all federal government schools and all the educational institutions already have teachers who can easily teach the Quran and its translation.
Briefing the committee on the curriculum being taught at schools, the minister said that at present, Islamabad schools are teaching the 2002 curriculum for computer science.
He said that schools in one of the provinces is teaching the 80s curriculum.
“The good thing is that the federal ministry and the provinces are working on developing a new curriculum,” he said.
The committee also approved a development budget of Rs3.2 billion for 10 ongoing and seven new, unapproved development schemes for the year 2017-18 under the ministry’s Public Sector Development Programme and urged the federal government to allocate three per cent of the total budget for 2017-18 for the education sector.
Harassment at Comsats
The committee discussed the harassment cases reported at Comsats recently. A working paper shared with the committee says: “Few complaints from the female staff of department of Architecture and Design, pertaining to abuse of authority and sexual harassment by the department head was received.”
According to the paper, the university formed an inquiry committee after the complaints were received which has submitted its findings.
“Action is being taken in the light of relevant law,” the paper says.
The committee directed the Comsats rector to take strict action against the accused after completing legal formalities.
The chairman of the committee also showed concern over the poor security arrangements at the Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi and recommended the army provide security to the university.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2017