The government has decided to introduce uniform syllabus in schools and madrassas across the country as well as completely ban corporal punishment in educational institutions. The decision was made during a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday.
The meeting was convened to discuss the new government’s eight-point agenda of change and discussed issues related to education, human rights, laundered money stashed abroad by Pakistanis, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Afghan refugees, discretionary funds for federal ministries and divisions, Pak-China joint research centre on Earth Sciences and NIPC.
During the meeting, the cabinet approved the formation of a task force to undertake an overhaul of the present education system in the country. Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told newsmen at a press briefing later that the cabinet had formed a task force to implement changes to improve the education system in the country, and the task force would be led by Federal Education and Heritage Minister Shafqat Mahmood.
The minister explained that the government would strive to provide basic education along with religious teaching to students enrolled in seminaries across the country, adding that a single curriculum would be implemented in both schools and madrassas operational in the country.
The decision seemingly falls in line with targets put forward by PM Khan in his maiden address to the nation on August 19. Khan had said his government would lay special emphasis on education in Pakistan and would implement various reforms. The PM had said he wanted madrassa students to become part of the nation’s rebuilding by joining mainstream profession like medicine, engineering and law and that his government would make sure that madrassa students receive the necessary opportunities. If implemented sincerely, the move could massively empower an estimated 2.5 million madrassa students in the country with mainstream education, and provide them with a chance to become productive citizens of the country.
During the press briefing, Fawad Chaudhry said that the provincial governments would be given a stake in formulation of a uniform syllabus in schools and madrassas. Chaudhry said the provision of basic education through a uniform syllabus was essential to end the class divisions various systems of education had created in the society.
The minister assured that the fees charged by private schools would be regulated. He said private schools had no fee structure and raised fees according to will. However, provincial governments would be asked to take appropriate measures to streamline the fees charged by private schools and streamline the relevant processes, Chaudhry added.