‘Freeing ourselves from slavery’: PM Imran launches Single National Curriculum phase 1

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the Single National Curriculum (SNC) is the first step towards freeing “ourselves from English culture”, a statement that comes as he launched a uniform coursework for primary school students.

Addressing the launch of the first phase of the SNC for students of grades 1 to 5 on Monday, the PM said that he had always envisaged a single curriculum for students in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, he said, in Pakistan, people not only studied the English language for higher education, but had also adopted the English culture, which has become the biggest downfall.

 

“You can only become their mental slaves and can never progress more than them,” the PM said. “We can only be free from slavery through a single curriculum after which the youth will go in one direction,” the PM maintained.

He said no country distinguishes in the curriculum. But, he added, in Pakistan, there are divisions between education systems.

He further said that there will be elite people who will oppose this system and argue why it was not possible, however, the government will overcome all the challenges. He said a uniform education curriculum will curb the class divides in Pakistan and ensure a level playing field for everyone.

“The SNC is the first step towards a uniform Pakistan,” the PM said.

Earlier, addressing the ceremony, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said that Pakistan’s education system is increasing the injustice and discrimination in society.

“It is an important step towards eliminating injustice, that all children in Pakistan study a single curriculum, whether in madarsah, government or private schools,” he said.

Shafqat continued that a single national curriculum was also necessary to form united values and a framework for thinking. “Education is vital in framing our perspective and viewing the reality, however, if in a country people view reality differently it creates tension,” the minister stated.

He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Balochistan have adopted SNC. He continued that in Sindh they are trying to adopt this curriculum.

The uniform curriculum has 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.

The single national curriculum is being developed and released in three phases. In the first phase, the plan for grades pre-1 to 5 (academic year 2021-22) will be implemented, whereas, in second and third phases, the grades 6 to 8 (2022-23) and grades 9 to 12 (2023-24) will follow the new curriculum, respectively.

The development of SNC is driven by key considerations such as teachings of the Holy Quran and Seerat-e-Nabwi, Pakistan’s constitutional framework, national policies with their aspirations and standards, alignment with Sustainable Development Goals.

As well as 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.