Sindh deems Single National Curriculum infeasible

Decides not to include proposed changes at primary level in next academic year


Safdar Rizvi February 12, 2021
Directs officials of the National Curriculum Council Secretariat to coordinate with HEC to finalise the material. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:

The Sindh government seems to be in disagreement with the contents of the Single National Curriculum proposed by the Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf-led federal government. For the academic year 2021-22, Sindh has decided not to make it a part of the provincial curriculum at the primary level.

Earlier, the federal education ministry had decided to introduce and implement the SNC in the academic session commencing from August. The ministry had also recommended that the provinces publish books related to the new curriculum. The Sindh government did not make any preparations in line with the ministry’s suggestions and started working on a new curriculum to be introduced at the secondary and higher secondary levels.

Sources said that the Directorate of Curriculum Assessment and Research and the Sindh Textbook Board are publishing textbooks for the primary classes according to the existing syllabus.

Officials from the directorate shared that they have not received any instructions from the Sindh education department regarding the preparation of books related to the SNC.

The Sindh Textbook Board is preparing to publish new textbooks for the science subjects at the secondary level. According to sources, the new textbooks for chemistry, physics and mathematics will be distributed to ninth grade students from August this year.

Meanwhile, the preparation of a new curriculum at the intermediate level is also in the works.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an official of the Sindh Textbook Board said that the main point of contention between the Centre and Sindh is on the subject of Islamic Studies. But the federal government and Sindh also do not see eye to eye over Urdu, Sindhi and Social Studies.

Read: Education ministry begin "widespread consultations" on formal education policy

“The Centre has given a separate status to the subject of Islamic Studies in the curriculum as it will be taught from the primary level. As for Sindh, schools start teaching the subject from fourth grade.”

The education official further said that in Sindh, 10 paras of the Quran are taught in Nazra from Grade I to Grade V. “But in the SNC, the Centre has given a policy of teaching the entire Quran until Grade V, which is not possible for students of the age group.”

In addition, some science topics from the fifth grade have been included in the fourth grade in the SNC, he said.

The Express Tribune learnt that the preparation of a new curriculum at the intermediate level has also started in Sindh. These new textbooks will be available from the next academic session 2022-23.

According to sources, the curriculum in Sindh has eliminated the separate status of Zoology and Botany subjects at the intermediate level. As for the matriculation level, new syllabus for Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics will be introduced from 2021.

Director of the Sindh Directorate of Curriculum, Assessment and Research Asghar Memon confirmed that the subjects of Zoology and Botany at the intermediate-level will be combined in one book.

“We are bringing back the single Biology book because a few topics taught at the university level were not included in the separate books. Also, when students advance to the university level they are unfamiliar with a few scientific subjects,” he said.

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani’s spokesperson, Zubair Memon, confirmed that Sindh will not adopt the SNC from August this year. It may be noted that after the passage of the 18th Amendment, education is a provincial subject.

“Sindh had informed the federal government in writing that it had differences over several topics including Islamic Studies, Urdu, Sindhi and Social Studies. In order to give a uniform curriculum to madrassas and schools, 40 to 50 Hadiths have been included in a single book for the primary classes while the provincial culture has been ignored in Social Studies.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2021.

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