The standing committee on elementary and secondary education will look into recommendations shared by PEAD Foundation on politicised material found in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s textbooks.
MPA and the chairperson of the standing committee, Arif Ahmadzai said this in his remarks to the Provincial Lobbying Delegation (PLD) meeting organised by Peace Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation at the K-P Assembly. Chaired by Ahmadzai, the PLD meeting was attended by members of standing committee including MPA Meraj Humayun, Jamshed Khan, Uzma Khan, Amina Sardar, Raja Faisal, the PEAD team and PLD members Attaullah, Safiullah Gul and Salis Gill.
The purpose of holding the meeting was to share ‘Textbooks of Hate or Peace’, a report on textbooks being taught in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas during the successive regimes of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Awami National Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Ahmadzai said the standing committee needs time to go through the report and its recommendations to integrate them in the syllabus for the next academic year.
PEAD Executive Director Sameena Imtiaz said, “The 18th Amendment and the subsequent devolution of education to the provinces empowered provincial governments to educate current and future generations.” PEAD foundation carried out this study to help the K-P government reform the sector, she added.
“This study will serve as a guide for policymakers, researchers and practitioners in the field of education in the province,” Imtiaz added.
Educationists present at the meeting demanded the K-P Assembly enact the Free and Compulsory Education Act 2015, as it is now the only province without such a law. Textbooks must be non-partisan and non-ideological, the PEAD team suggested
For the next generation
While discussing the education reforms, Uzma was of the opinion the curriculum needs to be reviewed to stay up to date with the new generation. Humayun also emphasised the need of curriculum reforms and said, “The government is trying its best to improve the content, illustrations and quality of the textbooks.”
Gill said Christians equally contributed to the Pakistan Movement and worked to build Pakistan’s economy after independence. “However, there is not a single example of a story of a non-Muslim hero in the textbooks.
Sardar suggested the subject of theology and/or ethics should be introduced to facilitate non-Muslim students since “currently, non-Muslims are made to recite and memorise chapters of the Quran.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2016.