LAHORE: The Punjab will have a uniform syllabus by March 2020, says provincial minister for school education Murad Raas.
“The syllabus will be ready by August 2019 and books printed by the time the next session starts by March,” he said in the Punjab Assembly. He said a committee had been formed and it’s working on the project and regularly conducting meetings. Experts from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had also been included because eventually the syllabus had to be implemented in the entire country.
“We want to further expand the scope of the committee to have wider opinion. Once the draft of the policy and syllabus is ready, it would be duly shared with the public to have a debate on all contours of it,” Mr Raas assured.
Responding to a question by Naseer Ahmad, the minister explained that the new syllabus would be aimed at promoting “critical thinking and analysis.” “The current syllabus encourages rote learning and not critical faculties. This needs to be addressed.”
When pressed further to explain what “uniform” would mean, the minister said the government planned to start with official schools and madressah (seminaries) and would eventually take the syllabus to the private schools as well.
“All three sources of education (government, private schools and seminaries) would have to have the same system of learning,” he said.
Talking about the Daanish School System, the minister said he could neither defend these schools nor could he wind it up. “Each student in Daanish School is costing Rs18,000 a month compared to Rs1,400 in a government school. How can one defend this kind of dichotomy,” he claimed.
“But they cannot be closed either as students have progressed to a certain level. Closing these schools means ruining their future which the government does not want to do,” he said.
Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2018