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Chapter on constitutional rights included in Punjab textbooks

Updated June 25, 2019

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Chapter 1 of Pakistan’s Constitution of 1973 had been incorporated in the books of Pak Studies. — APP/File
Chapter 1 of Pakistan’s Constitution of 1973 had been incorporated in the books of Pak Studies. — APP/File

LAHORE: The Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) on Monday told the Lahore High Court that a chapter on fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution had been incorporated in newly-printed textbooks of Pakistan Studies for grades IX to XII.

A report submitted by the board stated that chapter 1 of Pakistan’s Constitution of 1973 — which deals with fundamental rights, the Islamic concept of human rights, and the UN declaration of human rights — had been incorporated in the books of Pak Studies.

The report was filed following an order issued by the court on a contempt petition seeking action against the authorities for not implementing a 2015 order about inclusion of a chapter on fundamental rights in school syllabus/curriculum.

It asked the court to dispose of the petition as the grievance of the petitioner stood addressed after promulgation of New Scheme of Studies 2017 and the same were being taught to students in different grades. It said the syllabus of higher studies did not fall within the jurisdiction of PCTB.

Justice Ayesha A. Malik disposed of the petition after the petitioner’s counsel expressed satisfaction over the board’s reply.

Advocate Sheraz Zaka had represented the petitioner and stated that the court had in 2015 directed the chairman of PCTB to hear the point of view of the petitioner and other stakeholders to decide on the prayer made in the petition within one month.

The counsel had argued that the education about fundamental rights was critical for the youth to know their rights protected by the Constitution, including right of life, right of fair trial and right of equal treatment. He said all over the world the students at school level were taught about fundamental rights provided in the constitutions of their respective country.

However, in Pakistan, he said a student did not get any knowledge of his basic rights unless he studied law.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2019