Govt accused of facilitating foreign publishers

Published October 14, 2021 - Updated October 14, 2021 07:01am
Local publishers protest outside the National Curriculum Council in Islamabad on Wednesday. — White Star
Local publishers protest outside the National Curriculum Council in Islamabad on Wednesday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Dozens of local publishers on Wednesday protested outside the National Curriculum Council (NCC) saying that they published books in accordance with the Single National Curriculum (SNC) but now the government has allowed foreign publishers to publish books that do not follow the essence of SNC.

The publishers under the Text Books Publishers Association staged a protest demonstration outside the NCC building, raising slogans against the government. Protesters said the government, instead of promoting local publishers, has been taking steps to facilitate foreign publishers.

Speaking to Dawn, Fawad Niaz said Pakistani publishers while following government directive published books for class one till five in accordance with NCC.

However, now, private schools are opting for foreign publishers’ books and the government allowed major foreign publishers to continue launching their books in Pakistan.

The protesters said that since Pakistani publishers published books in accordance with SNC and while books of foreign publishers are advanced and superior than SNC-based books, they did not follow SNC.

“Under these circumstances, there is no future of locally published books. Even I would say, if books of foreign publishers are adopted it will be a violation of Single National Curriculum,” Fawad said and added that local publishers have no issue if foreign publishers provide books based on SNC.

Later on, a meeting was held between the protesters and officials of Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training.

“Today, we heard concerns being raised by publishers. We have asked NCC to submit a report in this regard while all local publishing boards and stakeholders will also be given a chance to submit their views,” said a senior officer from the ministry.

It is relevant to note here that from August this year, the government launched SNC at the primary level in order to provide all students including those from private schools, public schools and those studying in religious seminaries, equal opportunities to excel. And from next year, the government is planning to introduce SNC from class six and above.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2021

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