Uniform education system at primary level from next year: PM

Updated 26 Jun 2020

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Prime Minister Imran Khan says in the past no attempt was made to introduce a uniform education system as there was no political will. — AFP/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan says in the past no attempt was made to introduce a uniform education system as there was no political will. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday appreciated Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood for preparing a uniform education system which will be introduced across the country next year.

Speaking on the floor of National Assembly, the prime minister said next year across the country the “apartheid education system” will be replaced with a uniform education system. He said for preparing the uniform education system, Mr Mahmood deserves appreciation.

He said in the past no attempt was made to introduce a uniform education system as there was no political will.

Currently, he added, there are three education systems in the country: English medium, public schools and madressahs in which different education is imparted to students. The prime minister said the education minister held lengthy consultations with private schools and other stakeholders for a uniform education system.

He said there was a need to bring seminaries into the mainstream as 2.5 million students are pursuing education in these seminaries. He said religious leaders were also consulted so that they could start teaching contemporary subjects to provide an opportunity to their students to excel and compete in society.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) promised to implement a uniform education system across the country when it came to power after the 2018 elections.

Mr Mahmood after becoming the education minister started the project and the single curriculum for class I to 5 was finalised with the input from provinces.

After the National Assembly session, when Dawn contacted the minister, he said the curriculum of the primary level, with consensus of all stakeholders, had already been prepared and now the ministry was in the process of finalising books. He said at the start of next academic year, (in April 2021) the same books will be taught in all public, private schools and madressahs.

The minister said the uniform education system will be introduced in three phases.

“At the start of the academic year 2021, we will introduce the uniform education system across the country at the primary level. Then, in April, 2022, we will introduce the uniform education system for class 6 to 8 and in the final stage at the start of academic year 2023 we will introduce the system for class 9 to 12.”

He said after completing the curriculum of primary level, his team had already started work to prepare the curriculum for class 6 to 8.

The minister said he wanted to introduce the same textbooks in all education systems as mere on the basis of a single curriculum, which is a broad goal, the targets of providing equal opportunities to all students of the country to excel cannot be achieved, he said.

Mr Mahmood said before introducing the uniform education system, the government will also do necessary legislation to make all institutions bound to teach the single curriculum-based textbooks.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2020