HYDERABAD: Education experts speaking at the concluding session day of the 7th Ayaz Melo were highly critical of the single national curriculum (SNC) planned by the federal government, saying that its implementation would be tantamount to introducing syllabus-based ‘One Unit’.

A teacher of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Dr Taimur Rahman, while participating in a discussion on syllabus late on Saturday night said that the federal government had promised to reform education and health sectors, but it failed to fulfil its promise.

He said Pakistani education system was completely class-based that needed to be changed. The session was moderated by Zakia Aijaz. Dr Rahman told Zakia Aijaz that Pakistan had 25 million out-of-school children.

“On one hand there are seminaries and on the other private institutions that teach their syllabus,” he said.

“When the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government could not change the system, it changed the syllabus.”

Education was a provincial subject after the 18th amendment, he said.

He said he saw books of the SNC; they were of poor quality and appeared to be published in haste with lot of mistakes.

Prof Nazir Mahmood said the federal government’s decision to ‘thrust’ its syllabus over the province after 18th amendment was unconstitutional.

Sindh refused to implement the SNC. ‘Wahdaniyat’ (oneness) could not be imposed in education and imposing the SNC on children was tantamount to imposing the federal government’s will.

He equated implementing the SNC with rebirth of One Unit.

He said schools were being converted into seminaries in Punjab. This government wanted to employ one million religious minded people. Rulers were mistaken if they thought the SNC would settle everything. He asked why real heroes had disappeared from syllabus? People needed those heroes who talked about democracy and people.

Prof Riaz Sheikh of Szabist said that the PTI government was just a pawn insofar as implementation of the SNC was concerned.

“Sindh has included not only Malala Yusufzai but Dr Abdul Salam in its syllabus besides Adeebul Hassan Rizvi and Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi. Mai Bakhtawar will become part of its syllabus too.”

“Unless religion and politics are separated, educational system will not improve,” he said. If the SNC was imposed, it would lead to Syria like conditions.

Prof Abdul Majeed Chandio said the federal government wanted to produce ‘good Taliban’ through the SNC.

He said Sindhi language had its own alphabets thus this province was more sensitive. Retired generals and religious minded people were included in the SNC preparations and it would divide people, he claimed.

Prof Dr Arfana Mallah said no heroic role of women was included in syllabus.

Writer Jamil Ahmed said culture was born among artisans, peasants and lower middle class. Language of idioms was found in villages and among villagers.

If one wanted to learn language, he should wander among villagers.

Hindi language was daughter of Sindhi language. Inclusion of Persian words in Urdu had damaged Urdu.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2021

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