ISLAMABAD: In a new report launched Thursday, the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (Pips) has recommended that teachers uphold diversity and encourage students to be open to differing views.
In the report titled ‘Education for Peace and Harmony’, Pips has suggested students develop self-learning techniques such as reading and attending training sessions. Teachers should discourage discussion on sensitive religious and sectarian issues in the classroom, it says.
Talking at the launch ceremony, educationist Professor Abdul Hameed Nayyar said it is unfortunate that university students are also not taught how to converse with one another which is how many conversations end up as heated arguments.
“All day on our news channels, politicians criticise one another because they are unaware of the rules of debate. The audience does not benefit from their arguments,” Prof Nayyar said.
New Pips report recommends students should be encouraged to read, be open to differing views
Anchorperson Khursheed Ahmed Nadeem said education was devolved to the provinces after the 18th Amendment but the federal government is still trying to control it.
“During the Faizabad sit-in, the protestors demanded their input should be taken when preparing the curriculum and their demand was accepted. On the other hand, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government gave a madressah Rs300 million and claimed it will play a role in education reform,” he said.
Mr Nadeem stressed that there should be discussions between the government and society over the matter of education.
“It has become habit for isolated incidents to spiral such as after the incident of Kasur, three persons were killed during protests. We need to educate people on how to react to various issues,” he said.
Writer Yasir Pirzada said that instead of producing skilled professionals, universities are producing extremists.
The report recommends that teachers should uphold diversity and encourage students to seek multiple views. They should be encouraged to engage in self-learning techniques such as reading and joining training sessions.
Teachers should discourage discussion on sensitive religious and sectarian issues in the classroom and try to resolve them moderately and amicably if that happens.
It says there should be at least one common subject for madressah and university students which should be taught in a shared class, alternatively held in madressahs and universities. The curriculum should not be limited to certain courses and it should give students space for understanding the methodologies of a subject topic.
The purpose of educational bodies should be to find answers to problems facing the education sector, rather than propagating personal or political views of those at the helm of these bodies.
It says political appointments of teachers should be discouraged and a culture of hiring on merit should be promoted. Efforts should e made to fully decentralise education and in particular, provincial reviews of textbooks and the curriculum as well as the implementation of Article 25-A be ensured.
Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2018