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Education for all.

Byline: M. Zubair Farooqui - Islamabad

THIS is apropos the article 'Education for one and all' (Eos, Sept 6). To start with, a national curriculum should not come in bits and pieces. For example, for primary level it should be now and for the rest later.

It should be a part of an overall plan showing how a student moves from primary level to graduate and postgraduate levels and how he moves gradually towards the specialism of his/her choice.

Moreover, the overall plan and the curriculum must fulfil the intent and purposes of the Constitution, particularly its provisions relating to the Islamic character of the state.

The Constitution enjoins upon the government to enable Muslim citizens of the state to lead their lives in accordance with the directives of Islam by providing facilities for the teachings of the Holy Quran and Hadith and other topics of Islamiat to them.

The apprehensions and concerns expressed in the article in this regard are mostly unfounded. There's no conflict between ideological imperatives of the state and pedagogical aims.

Teaching of Islamic subjects is no impediment to a child's intellectual development. The Islamic spirit must, in fact, pervade the entire system of education.

Matters such as writing textbooks, students' handouts and teachers' guides and teachers' training, mode of delivery, method of evaluation and feedback should follow the adoption of the curriculum.

Much of the criticism, which is based on existing textbooks and on presumed misapprehensions about the future, is not relevant. The curriculum will in no way create exclusion and sectarianism and 'jihadist culture', nor will it perpetuate the existing class divide.

The practice of rote learning as it exists today will be minimised through enlightened delivery methods. Issues raised under the sections 'Methodological and practical problems', and 'The educational budget and infrastructural issues' need to be looked into by the administrators of education.

The curriculum can be modified in the light of inputs received from the quarters concerned, and it would be grossly unfair to reject it altogether.

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Author:M. Zubair Farooqui - Islamabad
Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Sep 15, 2020
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