Promoting tolerance: Punjab proposes a minority friendly curriculum

Published: December 16, 2014
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Report submitted on implementation of SC’s order on the protection of rights. PHOTO: REUTERS

Report submitted on implementation of SC’s order on the protection of rights. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: 

The higher education department of Punjab is planning some major changes in the curricula to promote religious and social tolerance in view of the Supreme Court’s observations in its June 18 verdict regarding the protection of minority rights.

The three judge bench, headed by chief justice Nasirul Mulk, will resume hearing of the case on Tuesday (today), wherein the federal and all provincial governments will submit their reports. Punjab home secretary, through Additional Advocate General Punjab Razaq A Mirza, has submitted a compliance report in the matter regarding the implementation of court’s judgment on the protection of minority rights.

The Punjab government in its report stated that the provincial higher education department had constituted a committee to give its recommendations for the inclusion in the college curriculum. The committee has given seven recommendations in this regard.

The committee proposed that myopic interpretation to be discouraged and the students to interpret religion in the spirit of Islamic liberalism, which says that “message of all faith is common and for benefit of the entire humanity”. Students will learn they are “different worshippers of a peaceful God”. They will learn to act upon the dictum “Love God and your neighbour”, it suggested.

The students will learn that “the spirit of pluralism reflected in the Holy Quran constantly points out that Muhammad (PBUH) had not proceeded to eliminate older religions.”

The proposed changes in curriculum further suggested that students will understand that “we are all members of one race of humans with similar challenges and we cannot confront these challenges without forging a common alliance. Sectarian, racial and ethnic biases will be discouraged,” it asserted.

The report submitted by provincial authorities stated that on the basis of these recommendations, specific suggestions have been prepared for changes in the curricula for language, social sciences, Islamiat and Psychology. According to a report of Schools Education Department, the top court’s instructions have been followed in the textbooks of different classes.

The report further revealed that five per cent quota has been reserved for minorities for all services in the province. “Special efforts are made for intelligence gathering and strict instructions are issued accordingly from time to time for the security of minorities and their worship places.”

Report on Kot Radha  Kishan incident

Submitting a report over Kot Radha Kishan incident, wherein the Christian couple was burnt alive in a brick kiln on November 4, the Punjab police told the apex court that 138 persons were nominated as accused but only 59 are arrested in this case so far.

“The postmortem report also reveals that the cause of death of both the victims is burning with dry heat,” it submitted. The report was submitted by DCO Kasur and RPO Sheikhupura region, wherein it was stated that a joint investigation team (JIT), headed by SP Investigation Kasur, probed the case and hectic efforts are afoot to arrest the remaining accused.

About the collection of circumstantial evidences, the report tells that tractor trolley, broken articles including TV, papers including “Taweez” etc, broken lock, torn police uniforms and wooden rods used for torturing the couple have been taken into custody.

The report also said that police have been deployed in different areas to control any untoward situation.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Akshay
    Dec 16, 2014 - 9:54AM

    Quaid E Azams wish is still being “proposed” after 67 years of Independence.

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  • AKA
    Dec 16, 2014 - 9:54AM

    Please use Metro bus for classroom if there are no seats in classrooms :(

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  • Professor
    Dec 16, 2014 - 10:03AM

    Children below 18 years of age do not have the maturity to understand religion. I think they should only be exposed to religion at an age when they can start thinking for themselves. Religion was never meant to promote groupism. It is a means to find peace and tranquility. Every single religion is beautiful and strives to iron out the flaws in human character and there is no need to feel partisan about religion.

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  • sabi
    Dec 16, 2014 - 10:16AM

    I hope this time Ansar Abbasi and ilk will not dare blackmail government knowing the fact their old guardians are on the run.

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  • Dec 16, 2014 - 11:02AM

    Changes in curricula is a very good idea that must be followed up by educated and SANE teachers. These teachers must have good manners and be properly groomed. The Education Ministry must fully support students and teachers impartially SANS POLITICIANS. Salams

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  • sidjeen
    Dec 16, 2014 - 11:26AM

    meanwhile the religious fanatics in KP govt are making curriculum more intolerant for our kids.

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  • Dajjal
    Dec 16, 2014 - 11:26AM

    First step towards removing the discrimination against minorities is to stop calling them minorities, like Quaid-e-Azam said, “Religion is not the business of the state”… Stop making it the business of the state, give all Pakistanis absolute freedom of religion and punish those who try and impose their beliefs on others… remove discriminatory language and hate from the constitution… ten years from now, you will see a difference..

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  • umaima
    Dec 16, 2014 - 11:28AM

    While I was studying O level History, our teachers did their best to portray Hindus as the biggest trouble makers and traitors. I had a Hindu girl in my class and I always wondered how she managed to sit and listen to so much hatred against her ethnicity. I’m sure she must have wondered at some point whether she belongs to this society or not.

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  • Chotta Rakshas
    Dec 16, 2014 - 11:44AM

    Europe solved this problem after innumerable number of social experiments with something called secularism. Good luck reinventing the wheel

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  • Sehr
    Dec 16, 2014 - 11:45AM

    Another diesel permit would be required to get the infamous maulana on board otherwise he will create the usual nuisance value.

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  • Hassan
    Dec 16, 2014 - 11:58AM

    The proposed changes in curriculum further suggested that students will understand that “we are all members of one race of humans with similar challenges and we cannot confront these challenges without forging a common alliance. Sectarian, racial and ethnic biases will be discouraged,”

    That would be an amazing thing to do

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  • Blithe
    Dec 16, 2014 - 2:47PM

    Still PTI trolls , whose leader is Taliban apologist , are criticizing the move . Shame on them !!

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  • Fm
    Dec 16, 2014 - 4:18PM

    A good step if implemented faithfully

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  • kulwant singh
    Dec 16, 2014 - 6:02PM

    @umaima: My dear child what can she do when the state is with such teachers, In our school text books such things are not allowed as state has no religion. Religion is a personnel matter you can worship as u like.

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  • vinsin
    Dec 16, 2014 - 6:58PM

    @Chotta Rakshas:
    They are talking about pluralism not secularism.

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  • Abid Habib
    Dec 17, 2014 - 4:00PM

    Starting from Liaqat Ali Khan most of the heads of our state have asked for Islamization in spite of the Quaid made it clear that Pakistan is not going to be a Theocratic State and also made it clear that Religion will have nothing to do with the affairs of the state. Unfortunately all the rulers have misused Islam and here we are, with an intollarent society. Complete Islamization of the State by Zia is the cause of this mess, Moderate Islam of Musharaf did not work. I would go for value education where the children be taught basic human rights of each and to appreciate each other’s faith. No more seeing that their faith is better than theirs. All religions teach to do good. So this should be taught to the child and let him learn to see the good of all the faiths.

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