As part of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) ‘jihad against illiteracy,’ the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government is all set to roll out the new medium of instruction in state-run schools.
A uniform learning system is part of PTI’s six-point education policy, which also looks to pad the education budget and boost adult literacy. The most recent annual budget saw a 30% increase in funds allotted to the education department, giving K-P the means to change the medium of instruction for grade one.
Starting with the new academic year in April, students of grade one across the province will be studying mathematics and science in the English language.
But before letting students dive into the new system, the government will train and prepare teachers for the new course.
Alif, B, C
“We have printed books and we are almost prepared to bring this mega change in our curriculum,” K-P Minister for Education Muhammad Atif Khan told The Express Tribune. The government has also prepared a ‘master trainer program’ where 360 teachers from across the province will be trained as master trainers in the first phase, shared Khan.
“This is a long process which will be implemented gradually and sequentially. The 360 master trainers will further train 23,000 teachers.”
In addition, the students being instructed in English will gradually pass on to the next grade, automatically rolling out the new medium of instruction to the next academic level. With each year, more subjects will be taught in English.
“Students of grade one will be promoted to grade two where they will also study in English. With every promotion, they (students) will be introduced to the new medium and things will change slowly till they reach matriculation.”
As it stands, it will take nine or 10 years for the change to reach the board exams – according to Khan, the switch from Urdu to English will be considered and gradual.
The education ministry already introduced a GPS- based biometric system (BMS) at the education department earlier in 2013. This is meant to be installed in schools as well. The BMS will help obtain attendance data from both teachers and students, ensuring 100% attendance.
According to department officials, working groups comprising educationalists and experts have proposed redesigning the education sector to provide students a more fertile learning environment.
Officials said working groups consisted of educationists and experts who proposed reshaping the education sector to provide a better environment for students, which also means full attendance.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2014.