Report on Pakistan's Secondary School Curricula and Textbooks
Textbooks from the hate factory
Karachi, May 03: The portrayal of religious
minorities in textbooks prescribed by state-funded textbook boards is a
grave indicator of what the country's young people are being taught in
terms of tolerance and respect for other religions.
a 2007 report titled 'Producing Thinking Minds - A Report on Pakistan's
Secondary School Curricula and Textbooks' by Enlightened Pakistan, an
organisation founded by several Pakistani university students, there
are numerous instances even in the 2006 edition of local textbooks for
grades sixth to tenth in which sweeping generalisations have been made
against people belonging to religions other than Islam.
writings and reports by other researchers such as Pervez Hoodbhoy,
Abdul Hameed Nayyar and Tariq Rahman, mention some of the sentences
that have been noted in Pakistani textbooks: "Christians have always
harmed the Muslims. They did not even stop from killing them. They
occupied Muslims lands, looted them and treated them very badly", "The
foundation of the Hindu set-up was based on injustice and cruelty",
"The non-Muslims, especially the Hindus, did not like Muslims as they
looked upon them as usurpers" and even "The Christians took to their
traditional tactics of conspiring against the ruler".
Kumar Khatri, an engineer by profession, recalls the time when he used
to study at his school in Dhoronaro village, he did not feel good
reading such material in class. Moreover, owing to such textbooks and
children's brought up on the part of their parents, "Children were
trained to have a negative mindset from a very young age. There was
definitely a level of mistrust between Hindu and Muslim students, so
much so that Muslim students did not even want to drink from the glass
we had used!" said Khatri.
Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU)
National Institute of Pakistan Studies (NIPS) Director Dr Tariq Rahman
said such material tends to bias children in a way that Muslims learn
to look down upon other religions, whereas people from other religions
develop antipathy towards Muslims. "It is not only legally wrong but
also works against democratic values," added Dr Rahman.
to him, changes in curriculum had already started taking place after
the year 1958, but the process sped up after Pakistan's war of 1965
against India. However, textbooks were drastically revised during Gen
Ziaul Haq's regime. Explaining what Social Studies book were like prior
to 1965, Dr Rahman relates, "When I was at school, I even read about
Buddha and Gandhi and the course was not that one-sided. It did not
have religious remarks at all. Also, we did not have Islamiat as a
subject and what we used to study was a subject called Moral Sciences."
John, a schoolteacher, opines that more than textbooks, it is the
lessons taught to children at home that matter more as to how they
behave with people of other religions. Apart from one instance at
college where one of her colleagues passed a crude remark at her on the
basis of her religion, she said she has not felt discriminated by
people as such. However, it is the state, which has probably done the
greatest injustice to her and many others in their student lives. Sarah
had to study Islamiat all the way from her matriculation up to her BA,
because of a prevalent notion that when students attempt an Ethics exam
at the board level, they are singled out and given lower marks. The
same is the case with Khatri, who had to study Islamiat in SSC and HSC
because the teachers did not give detailed guidance on how to attempt
an Ethics exam. "Before Matric, all the Hindu students in my class used
to sit idle during Islamiat classes and we felt badly left out."
is also dismal to see that the only substitute for the subject of
Islamiat for non-Muslim students is Ethics. "I have sometimes felt that
if Muslim students are taught about Islam, I should also be taught the
Bible. Even at Kinnaird, which is a Christian college, the only option
I had apart from Islamiat was to study Ethics," said Sarah. According
to Khatri too, "Either all children should be taught their religions
separately or there should be one subject for the whole class that
comprehensively deals with all religions of the world."
during the rule of Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, some changes were made to
the anti-Hindu and anti-Indian content in the Social Studies textbook
of grade eighth and Pakistan Studies textbook of grade ninth.
Nevertheless, as Dr Rahman mentions, "Apart from textbooks, hatred
continues to break into the minds of Pakistanis everyday through some
television channels, radio stations, newspapers and informal hate
Sanobar Nathaniel, a recent graduate, could not
have been more realistic about the improvement in Pakistan's textbooks,
as she said, "There needs a lot to be improved in our educational
system in general, let alone religious issues, but considering the fact
that ours is a Muslim majority country, such issues cannot be taken up
or be thought to be a worthwhile fight." Daily times
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KU extends dates for submission of applications
Karachi: University of Karachi (KU) has extended the date for submission of applications for
the post of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor and
Lecturer in various departments. The last date for receipt of
applications for the above posts has been extended up to May 20. The
last date for receipt of applications in case of Pakistan nationals
serving /residing abroad is May 28.
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Business students exhorted to think globally
Karachi: It is pertinent to balance responsibility towards
society with business and to always think globally because the
corporate world always needs efficient and capable employees. To meet
this demand the University of Karachi (KU) plays an important role
where it has gained excellence in providing a wide variety of MBA
degree courses, post-graduate diplomas, and other management
The Vice-Chancellor, KU, Prof. Dr. Pirzada Qasim
Raza Siddiqui, said this while addressing the Annual Corporate Dinner
and Launching ceremony of the KUBS Graduate Directory, 2010, organised
by the Karachi University Business School the other day at a local
"Here we prepare a team of young and dynamic businessmen
who not only work for their better professional careers but also bring
dynamism to the business world of Pakistan," he added.
Chancellor, KU, Prof. Dr. Shahana Urooj Kazmi and Faculty of
Administration and Management Sciences Prof. Dr. Abuzar Wajidi advised
students that today organisations in all spheres must compete to
The value is the ability to meet or exceed the
needs of customers. To do so efficiently, the companies have to deliver
value to their customers, and countries have to deliver value as
business locations and students graduating from KU should consider
their graduation as a new beginning instead of an end.
School is about decisions. How to make, evaluate, market, enact and
communicate decisions. It's the decision you make about the future of
your business because you can predict the impact of economic
conditions" said the Chairman, Karachi University Business School, Dr.
A.R. Zaki while delivering the welcome address.
Karachi University Business School, Dr. Askari, also spoke on the
occasion and said that the university had achieved high standards and
was providing quality education. "We train our students to create a
business which is better, faster, newer, more creative, more
innovative, more global and more strategic", he said. On this occasion,
the department's graduate directory for the year 2010 titled "Graduate
2010" was launched.
The year was a lucky year for the students
of KUBS because the school launched its first-ever official website at
this occasion. An open forum was also conducted between students and
guests from the corporate sector.
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Sindh Education Reform Programme
Karachi: The government of Sindh has claimed to have made a
"steady progress" in meeting the conditionalities of the World Bank
(WB) and the European Union (EU), which are providing financial support
to it under the Sindh Education Reform Programme (SERP).
conditions pertained to promoting low-cost private schools in rural
Sindh, recruitment of teachers on merit-and-need basis, delivery of
stipends to girls, school rehabilitation, strengthening of school
management committees' (SMCs), distribution of free text books,
teachers education development, financial accountability and learning
assessment of students etc.
This has been revealed in a report
prepared by the Sindh Education and Literacy Department, and which was
submitted to the joint EU-WB review mission during their visit to Sindh
It has been stated in the report that during the first
round, around 200 low-cost private schools were established in 10
districts of Sindh under the programme by the Sindh Education
Foundation (SEF). During the second round (current), about 100
additional schools would be established while 500 more private schools
would be selected in the next year, according to the report whose copy
is available with The News.
According to the report, appointment
orders are being issued in all districts for higher school teacher
(HST) and junior school teacher (JST) candidates as per the merit list.
The recruitment process for the primary school teacher (PST)
has also been initiated in districts and the whole recruitment process
of over 7,000 candidates is expected to be completed soon.
WB has agreed to enhance the vacancies (against the existing SNE and
advertised posts). Consultation with the third party engaged by the WB
has been initiated as per the requirement of the WB to validate
implementation of prescribed guidelines and transparency in recruitment.
girls' stipends, the report said that Rs1 billion has been fully
released to Pakistan Post Office (PPO) Karachi for onward distribution
of the stipend money to girls from class VI to X in 23 districts.
Around 366,476 girls will benefit in the year 2009-10 under the
The process of complaints started from April 1, 2010.
An amount of Rs100 million (Rs80-110 million per district) was released
to all districts for rehabilitation of school buildings. Around 20
districts out of 23 districts have commenced civil works under the
technical oversight and supervision of a "third party engineering firm".
has been stated that around Rs678.78 million has been released for
about 25,354 SMCs all over the province. According tot he report, data
of 2,916 schools amounting Rs721million has been sent to the finance
department through the education department.
The report claimed that text books have been printed and are being distributed free of cost at schools all over Sindh.
the financial accountability in education sector expenditures, the
report stated that 60 per cent outstanding audit paras have been
resolved at provincial and district levels. "Efforts are being made to
resolve certification issues as per the WB guidelines."
to ensure increased effectiveness of public expenditures in government
departments including education, the Sindh Public Procurement
Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) Act was passed by the Sindh Assembly in
2009. Procurement rules were revised and notified on March 8, 2010. A
draft "standard bidding documents" (SBDs) has been prepared and
circulated for feedback. The SPPRA is expected to finalise the
documents before June 2010.
The report said that the WB's
condition of annual school census (ASC) was met by completing the 19th
ASC within four months time line.
As a pilot project, three
districts have been selected under the "education management reforms",
while "provincial education assessment centre" (PEAC) has been approved
by the chief secretary Sindh to initiate learning assessment of
According to the report, under the PEACe, grade-IV
language test was conducted in schools on March 11-12 and analysis work
on grade-IV mathematics test of over 40,000 students was completed.
According to the report, an "advisory board" has also been created to
initiate teacher education development reforms in the province.
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Reforms plan renegotiated
Karachi: The Sindh Education Reform Programme (SERP) was
renegotiated with the World Bank (WB) and the European Union (EU) under
the changed economic conditions of the country.
Earlier, the WB
released US$100 million (first tranche under development policy credit
mode) originally negotiated under SERP in financial year 2006-07.
WB has committed under the revised loan agreement to provide gross
credit amounting to US $300 million for the financial year 2008-9 and
2010-11 with US $297 million for budgetary support and $3 million as
technical assistance (TA). It released US $101.8 million as a first
tranche in 2008-09 against the achievement of first year DLIs/MIs
(disbursement linked indicators/monitoring indicators) which included
US $1.8 million as TA.
The EU, however, has been supporting the
reform programme through a grant agreement, and has committed to
provide Euro 39 million over four years (from 2007 to 2010-11) and they
have so far released two tranches of the proposed grant of Euro 9.5
million (1st tranche) and Euro 8.5 million (2nd tranche in 2009-10
The WB additionally released in January US $17.245
million as advance disbursement out of the proposed second tranche for
the current financial year.
It is expected that the WB will
release the remaining amount of the proposed second tranche by June
2010, subject to the achievement of the required DLIs/MIs. The news
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