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PESHAWAR, Sept 28: The cabinet committee on inclusion of Pashto and mother tongue as compulsory subject in the curriculum has recommended that starting from year 2011-12 Pashto will be introduced step by step as compulsory subject in 17 districts from Class-I to XII. In the remaining seven districts, mother tongue – any local majority language other than Pashto – will be included as compulsory subject in curriculum.

The decision was taken in the committee meeting chaired by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain here on Tuesday. Secretary Administration Hifzur Rahman, authorities concerned of Text Book Board Peshawar and primary, elementary and higher education also attended the meeting.

After approval by the provincial cabinet these recommendations would be placed before the provincial assembly for legislation, says a handout.

It stated that Pashto as compulsory subject would be introduced in 17 districts i.e. Swat, Swabi, Buner, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Mardan, Charsadda, Shangla, Malakand, Nowshera, Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Karak, Bannu, Tank, Kohat and Batagram, and mother tongue as compulsory subject in the remaining seven districts in Class 6th from the academic year 2011-12.

Similarly, Pashto and mother tongue would be included as compulsory subject in Class 7th from 2012-13, 8th from 2013-14, 9th from 2014-15, 10th from 2015-16, first year from 2016-17 and in second year from 2017-18.

In nine districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Swat, Swabi, Buner, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Mardan, Charsadda, Shangla and Malakand, Pashto had already been introduced as compulsory subject up to Class 5th since 1984.

Pashto will also be introduced as compulsory subject in another eight districts i.e. Nowshera, Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Karak, Bannu, Tank, Kohat and Batagram from the academic year 2011-12 in classes 1 to 5. While mother tongue will be included as compulsory subject in the remaining seven districts from the academic year 2011-12 in classes 1 to 5.

The meeting also decided to look into the bifurcation of Peshawar district into urban and rural areas where mother tongue and Pashto, respectively, will be introduced as compulsory subject.

During the committee meeting, Mr Hussain directed the authorities concerned of the education department and textbook board to focus on timely preparation of curricula of Pashto and mother tongue.

He said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will follow the Education Policy 2009 and curriculums of Maths and Science subjects would continue to be in English.