Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood has said that the new Single National Curriculum (SNC) had laid special focus on the practical aspects of Seerat of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) including taking care of the planet, water conservation, rights of elderly, citizenship, respect for religious and cultural diversity, and values of honesty and hard work.
He said that the SNC had also focused on Pakistan’s constitutional framework, national policies with their aspirations and standards, alignment with Sustainable Development Goals, the Quaid and Iqbal’s vision, a focus on values, respect for diversity in cultures and religions, and the development of 21st century skills including analytical, critical, and creative thinking.
“The first phase of Single National Curriculum (SNC) for grades pre-1 to 5 starting the current academic year, had been developed under the prime minister’s vision of ‘One Nation-One Curriculum’,” Shafqat said while talking to APP.
In the second and third phases, he said, the new curriculum will be implemented for grades 6 to 8 in 2022-23 and grades 9 to 12 in 2023-24, respectively.
The education minister said the national curriculum had been launched in all public and private schools and Madaris of Punjab, Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
He added that the Sindh government would be consulted as well for the implementation of SNC.
The new SNC, he said, had been developed by the National Curriculum Council, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training in consultation and collaboration with education departments of all federating units of the country.
Explaining the mode of the language of new curriculum, he said that Mathematics, English and Science subjects were developed in English while other subjects are in Urdu.
Elaborating on the key features of the new SNC, he said that the practical aspects of Seerat as the blessed life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have a special focus in the new curriculum, particularly in terms of how they apply to the lives of our young generation.
To a question, Shafqat said, “we are bringing a system of tests for classes 5 and 8 to check the implementation of the curriculum in all educational institutions.”
“The model textbooks based on the SNC besides the teacher training modules have also been developed for grades Pre-1 to 5. These have been shared with all federating units to support the timely implementation of the SNC on the ground.”
To ensure intra-faith harmony, the SNC focuses on what is common between schools of thought and avoids promoting religious differences, Shafqat remarked.
He said that for students from minority faiths, a separate curriculum with the title Religious Education has been developed. “Five major religions are represented, with individual curriculum for each including Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha’i and Kalash,” he mentioned.
The minister said that Social Studies has been developed to encourage patriotism, global citizenship, human rights and peace.
Shafqat believed the Single National Curriculum would prove an important milestone in transforming the nation into a “unified entity rooted in common morals and ethos”.
“Introduction of uniform curriculum or SNC will help minimise disparity in our education system where three main education systems are prevailing; Public schools, private schools and Madaris,” the minister said.
He said that these systems were poles apart and often result was different mindsets thus resulted in the fractured psyche of the nation.