I WOULD like to draw the attention of the authorities concerned to the recommendations for the curriculum. There is bias and intolerance in the textbooks.
The Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association is concerned over intolerance and unrest in Pakistan as a result of implementation of biased educational policies that violate the vision of the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, that he presented in the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on Aug 11, 1947 and at the first educational conference held in November 1947.
We, therefore, want that the new education policy should be implemented according to the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Here are our recommendations:
— Curriculum must be value- based.
— There must not be preaching of a particular ideology in the textbooks.
— There must not be repetition of information at any level.
— There must be removal of all sorts of bias and discrimination against the religious minorities of Pakistan from textbooks and educational institutions as the ministry of education, government of Pakistan, has admitted that there is bias in the present books.
— There is discrimination of 20 marks as regards the students of other faiths in ‘Nazra’ (reciting the Quran by heart). This discrimination entirely goes against students of other faiths in Pakistan and it becomes very difficult for them to get admission in higher education, so these discriminatory marks should immediately be abolished.
—Role of religious minorities in the creation and construction of Pakistan should be included in the textbooks as it was before the dictatorship of Gen Ziaul Haq.
— The subject of religion must be for all students as is the case with Muslim students who study Islamic Studies. Students of other faiths will study the subject of Ethics after textbooks are written. So there must not be discrimination. It is also recommended that the Bahai religion should be included in textbooks of Ethics.
— The subject of Ethics should be changed into the subject of Religious Education so that there may not be any inferiority complex in the students of religious minorities. The paper of Ethics must be set and evaluated by the academic staff of religious minorities.
— There must be chapters on social harmony, inter-religious harmony, tolerance, peace, human rights and globalisation.
— The word ‘minorities’ must be used in all the spoken or written forms as it is in the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 but not the word “non-Muslim/s.”
— If it is necessary, then use the words ‘Masih’, ‘Masihi’ and ‘Masihyiat’ instead of ‘Esa’, ‘Easi’ and ‘Esayiat’ (Jesus, Christian/s and Christianity) in the textbooks.
PROF ANJUM JAMES PAUL
Chairman, Pakistan Minorities