Ever since the present govt announced the introduction of a Single National Curriculum in the country, the subject has become a source of debate. However, the govt seems adamant that the move will bring about a long-awaited positive change in the education system.
To this end, the National Curriculum Council (NCC) has submitted their suggestions on the use of Urdu alphabets to be used in the unified curriculum from class six to eight. In this regard, a meeting was held at the National Language Promotion Department (NLPD) in connection with the introduction of a uniform curriculum by the federal government across the country.
It was presided over by NCC Joint Educational Adviser Muhammad Rafiq Tahir, while Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) President Dr Muhammad Yousuf Khushk was invited as a special guest in the conference.
NLPD Director-General (DG) Dr Rauf Parikh, Allama Iqbal Open University Department of Urdu's Dr Arshad Mahmood Nashad, NUML Department of Urdu's Dr Abid Siya and Dr Sofia Khush, and International Islamic University Department of Urdu's Dr Bibi Amina were also present in the meeting as experts. On behalf of NCC, Urdu teachers included Dr Sadia Tahir, Dr Fauzia Aslam, Shabana Naeem, Gul Naz, Wajiha Rizvi, Shazia Naqvi, and Rubina Kausar who participated in the discussion.
NCC Joint Educational Adviser Tahir said that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the government has paid attention to the education sector. A single curriculum is being introduced to eliminate the distinction between students from rural and urban areas, he added.
A uniform curriculum has been prepared for the new academic year up to the fifth class and suggestions regarding class six to eight regarding the use of Urdu alphabets will be prepared and submitted to the government for the next year.
The NCC official said that 36 institutions have submitted suggestions on the use of Urdu letters in the new syllabus.
He said that the purpose of holding the workshop was to create a consensus among experts from across the country so that the difference of opinion on the use of alphabets in the new curriculum could be overcome. He said that by 2022, uniform curriculum and spelling rules will be formulated for the remaining grades in the second phase with the help of NLPD.
Further, PAL President Dr Muhammad Yusuf Khushk said that the workshop would unify the nation, country, and language through a uniform curriculum.
He added that the NLPD was carrying out a significant task as the uniform curriculum was the future of the upcoming generation and it would strengthen the Urdu language.
Dr Khush also felicitated Muhammad Rafiq Tahir, Dr Rauf Parikh, and other experts on conducting a successful workshop.
Moreover, NLPD DG Dr Rauf Parikh assured the government of his support and said that curriculum development was an important task which helped in shaping the minds of future generations.
He said that following the government’s orders regarding the preparation of a uniform curriculum for the whole nation, the task has turned out to be a national duty for them. He thanked the government and Muhammad Rafiq Tahir for allowing them to participate in this national work.
He said linguists, authors, and editors of textbooks have also been contacted to set the rules on the usage of Urdu alphabets in the textbooks through mutual consensus so that uniform letters was enforced in a uniform curriculum across the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2021.