A sudden change in curriculum of ninth and tenth grades has left students of private schools in a conundrum.
Though classes began earlier this year, students have not been able to get their hands on the textbooks.
“The board had issued a notification for a change in curriculum before the start of the new school year in February, but textbooks are still not available in the market. What are the students supposed to do in such a situation?” questioned Qazi Sanaul Haq, the principal of Khpal Kor Model School.
“Also, the education minister had said that the course for Islamiyat and English would not be changed but the Swat Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education has not pointed it out in its notification,” he explained.
Malala Yousafzai, a ninth-grade student of Khushal Public School who earned international fame and recognition for raising her voice against the Taliban, was also disturbed about the time she and other students had wasted.
“Our classes began in February but since then we have not studied a single word. This is a crucial time for us as we have to give our final exams in May,” she said.
“Though we have been attending classes we can’t learn much but without textbooks and we remain idle most of the time,” said Atia Haq, another ninth grade student.
Even though textbooks are available for public schools students, most of the students are enrolled in private schools.
“We go to bookshops every day but return disappointed. We are forced to borrow books from our friends studying in public schools but now even they have refused to lend them to us,” said Mansoor Ali, Maaz and Jamal Hussain, also students of ninth grade.
“Some of our teachers have arranged books for themselves and they read them out in class but we can’t follow our lessons unless we have the books. They also give us homeworkwhich we cannot do,” they regretted.
Meanwhile, Private School Management Association President Ziauddin Yousafzai warned of launching a protest if the books were not made available within two weeks.
Peshawar Textbook Board Chairman Prof Fazal Rahim Marwat, when contacted, admitted that the printing of books had been delayed due to protests against loadshedding in Punjab from where the paper is purchased.
He claimed the issue would be resolved within one week as the books were being printed on a large scale to meet the requirements of students.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.