Hate speech in high school textbooks on the rise
Karachi, Sep 06: Students across Sindh and Punjab are being taught to hate Hindus and Christians and historical facts about the genesis of the country are often twisted to suit the national narrative, claims a report.
The report takes data from 22 textbooks currently being used in Punjab and Sindh in grades 1-10 for the academic year 2012-13. The data reveals that there are 55 chapters containing hate speech against Hindus, India, and Christians, besides insulting remarks against minority religions and distortion of historical facts.
The report, titled 'Taleem ya Nafrat ki Aabiyari' (Education or fanatic literacy), was made public at a press conference held at the Karachi Press Club here on Wednesday. The press conference was jointly organised by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) and the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (Piler).
Besides showing evidence of religious biases in textbooks, the report also identifies biases against religious minorities in Pakistan
"These books rely heavily on the rhetoric that Hindus opposed the creation of Pakistan. For instance, it is claimed that it was only Muslims who faced violent attacks, loss of life and property during partition, and that they [Muslims] were not responsible for any of the bloodshed," said one speaker.
"The whole treatment and arrangement of textbooks is visibly discriminatory against the non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan, and are in violation of articles 18, 20, 22 and 25," they added.
The study showed that instances of hate speech in Punjab textbooks increased in 2012-13. There were 45 instances of hate speech in Punjab textbooks in 2009, as opposed to 122 in 2012-13. It also noted that hate speech was most prevalent in textbooks of Urdu and Pakistan Studies between grades 7 and 10.
Similarly, there were 11 lessons carrying hate speech in Sindh during the academic years 2009-11. This number increased to 22 in 2012-13. The speakers listed biased syllabi as the primary reason for the radicalisation of Pakistani youth and deteriorating quality of education.
One speaker regretted that the successive governments had turned a deaf ear to this issue, despite civil society having raised its voice against it on a number of occasions.
"The recent education policy in 2009 also ignored the issue while the provincial Textbook Boards, especially in Punjab and Sindh, even enhanced hate materials in the 2012 syllabus," they claimed.
A number of speakers underlined the need for drastic reforms in the education sector in general and the curriculum policy in particular. The news
FUUAST MA results
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology on Wednesday announced results of MA (previous) annual examinations held in March.
An official of the institution said that 107 candidates had appeared in the examinations. Of them, he said, 93 were declared successful with a pass percentage of 86.92. app
Survey finds 61pc schoolchildren using addictive stuff
Karachi: A non-governmental organisation working for better child health has found that 61 per cent of the students of the schools in the city it has surveyed were addicted to sweet and scented betel nuts (chhalia), betel leaves, gutka, cigarettes and shisha.
A senior person heading the survey meant to find addicted school-goers, said the children, aged from four to 16, belonged to both low- and high-income group backgrounds, studying in both government and private schools. The addicts were prone to developing health complications involving gums, mouth, throat, lungs, liver, stomach and prostate.
According to preventive oncology experts, the chances of gutka (a mix of betel nuts, chewing tobacco and lime as the main ingredients) addiction leading to sub mucous fibrosis, a pre-cancerous condition, among schoolchildren are 400pc.
Describing chhalia and gutka as one of the major causes of mouth cancer and respiratory problems, Prof Nizamul Hasan, a senior paediatric surgeon, recalled that a seven-year-old girl, Momal, from Thatta was brought to the National Institute of Child Health, Karachi, in 2009, with a history that she had been chewing sweet supari since two years of age. She was already suffering from an advanced oral cancer, but her parents did not agree on the requisite cancer treatment, Prof Hasan said, adding that the girl died the same year.
Referring to the survey conducted by the Child Aid Association at the NICH as part of its cancer awareness programme, Prof Hasan, who is also a founding member and the president of the CAA, said the findings were alarming.
He said gutka and chhalia did not provide any nutrition to the consumers and marketing of such harmful products was purely a commercial exploitation of human instinct for pleasure and taste.
"At a time when the designated monitors and relevant laws and warnings are proving helpful against the sale of cigarettes, chhalia and gutka, we need to create more and more public awareness for the sake of good health of children as well as their parents," he said, adding that parents seeing any abnormal oral development in their children should immediately contact physicians.
Endorsing a perception that betel nuts, colour and sweetener used in making sweet supari and gutka were below permissible quality, Dr Hasan said the two betel nut productions and chewing tobacco and cigarettes were all hazardous and had serious side effects on human health with prolonged use and there was a need for making concerted efforts towards the implementation and application of the relevant laws.
Sharing details of the survey, project officer Tazeen Yousufi said her team had visited 46 government and private schools in various areas, including Malir, Nazimabad, Saddar, Liqauatabad, the Defence Housing Authority, Muslimabad, Korangi, Landhi and Gulshan-i-Iqbal, till the end of June. Many others would be visited to create awareness of smoking- and gutka-caused ailments and discovery of addicted school-goers under the project sponsored by the Habib Bank Foundation.
In all, a message was conveyed through lectures and pamphlets to13,115 students, 93pc of whom revealed that they had habitually been consuming betel nuts, followed by 376 who used betel leaves, 101 using gutka, 55 using shisha and 23 cigarettes.
A majority of the students said they chewed betel nuts (areca catechu), which had been popular in the country for long, as it kept them moving.
In a private school in Nazimabad, almost half of the students were found addicts, of whom 46pc consumed betel nuts and 1.8pc
chewed betel leaves with other ingredients.
The highest figure (91pc) of habitual-consumers of chhalia was recorded at a government girls school in Landhi, while 80pc of the students chewed betel nuts regularly at a school on Nishtar Road, followed by another school in Baladia Town where 72pc of the students used betel nuts. In a boys school, 92pc of the students chewed betel nuts.
In a DHA school, 53.8pc of the students were found addicted. About 46pc of them chewed betel nuts, 4.5 used betel leaves and 2.6pc smoked shisha. Joining Ms Yousafi, social welfare officer of the CAA Imran Khan said girl students had also admitted that they smoked shisha at least once a week.
According to Prof Nadeem Rizvi, researchers had already pointed out that water pipe, hukka or shisha smoking was six times more injurious to lungs than cigarette, but the masses were not aware of its toxic effects. Dawn
Universities plan more PhDs in three years than in last 65 years
Islamabad: A four-day educational workshop was told on Wednesday that Pakistani universities have produced more PhDs in the last 10 years than in the first 55 years of the country's existence and are expected to produce more PhDs in the next three years than in the last 10 years.
The workshop on real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), held in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC), commenced at Arid Agriculture University (AAU) and according to the organisers it will fortify knowledge of the existing teaching manpower and will help create inter- and intra-university communication channels between university academicians and research students.
Higher Education Commission Executive Director Prof Dr S Sohail H Naqvi, who was the chief guest at the inaugural session of the workshop, in his address, said that during the last 10 years, the HEC not only contributed in the higher education sector but it also earned international credibility. He added, "Pakistani universities have produced more PhDs in the last 10 years than in the first 55 years of the country's existence. The universities are now expected to produce more PhDs in the next three years than in the last 10 years."
The main objective of the event was to impart practical training on PCR technique and to provide opportunities for collaborative research initiatives, they said.
The PCR is a technique which has widespread applications in different fields of molecular biology and agricultural sciences, medical diagnostics and forensics. It is called real-rime because the results are obtained while the test is still undergoing. In addition, it is also a quantitative technique, which determines the quantity of target DNA.
Dr Naqvi said that universities should change their objectives from producing graduates for obtaining employment to graduates capable of generating employment. He also gave a detailed presentation about the composition, working and achievements of the HEC.
He said that the establishment of the HEC in 2002 had heralded a revolution in higher education in Pakistan. Dr Naqvi further said that HEC has brought revolutionary changes in the education sector of Pakistan. "This commendable work should continue in the larger interest of the people of Pakistan." He emphasised the need for bringing about a knowledge-based change that would be greatly helpful for the socio-economic uplift of the people of Pakistan.
Earlier, AAU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Azim Malik, in his welcome address, welcomed the participants and appreciated the efforts being made for higher education by HEC. He hoped that participants will get knowledge from this workshop and will implement it in their respective field. He further said that the knowledge gained by the participants will not only help them in their academic research but will also enhance their chances of employment. Daily times
PAL international moot in November
Islamabad: Poets, authors and scholars from all over the world will participate in an international conference being held in Pakistan in November, said Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Chairman Abdul Hameed.
He stated this during a meeting with journalists at the Pakistan Academy of Letters here on Wednesday. PAL Director-General Zaheer-ud-Din Malik was also present on the occasion.
Highlighting the activities of the PAL, Abdul Hameed said that the PAL would organise an international conference in Islamabad in November in which poets, authors and scholars from all over the world will participate.
He said that the conference would not only help in promoting literary activities in Pakistan but also promote the soft image of the country. "The achievement award ceremony is pending for many years. We will give these awards in the international conference," he added.
The chairman said that the PAL was not giving stipends to the literary persons because of non-availability of funds, but now we have started giving stipends to them.
He further said that the PAL has started publishing books and magazines after receiving its share of budget allocation.
Abdul Hameed has said that journalists, authors and poets could bring change in society because people like to read them. He asked journalists to give their suggestions to make PAL more active.
Fata students stage rally against drone attacks, military operation
Peshawar: The Fata Students Federation Wednesday staged protest rally against the US drone strikes and military operations in tribal areas.
The demonstrators marched from Saddar Bazaar to the Peshawar Press Club where they caused severe traffic jam on the Sher Shah Suri Road resulting in hardships to commuters.
The protesters, holding placards and banners inscribed with their demands, chanted slogans against the government. The rally was led by Haroon Luqman Afridi, president of the federation.
The speakers said that with each passing day the security situation in Fata was deteriorating and people were compelled to leave their homes. They alleged that political administration and Fata Secretariat instead of resolving their issues aggravated their miseries.
They said the parliament had passed a resolution calling for immediate halt to drone attacks, but it was never honoured. They demanded the government to restore peace in the tribal areas, repair the damaged infrastructure, allocate seats for tribal students in other institutions of the country and compensate the victims of the military operations. The news