Thursday, July 19, 2012

“Recommendations for curriculum” letter published in the Daily Frontier Post on August 29, 2008


Prof. Anjum James Paul Faisalabad
I would like to draw your kind attention on the subject cited above. There is bias and intolerance in the textbooks. Pakistan Minorities Teachers' Association has concerns that intolerance and unrest in Pakistan is the result of the implementation of the biased educational policies violating the vision of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that he presented in the First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947 and in the First Educational Conference held in November 1947. So we want that our 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. The Ministry of Education has admitted that there is bias in the present books. There is discrimination of 20 marks with the students of other faiths in NAZRA. This discrimination entirely goes against the students of other faiths and it becomes very difficult for them to get admission in higher education, so these discriminatory marks be abolished immediately. Role of religious minorities in the creation and construction of Pakistan should be included in the textbooks as it was before the dictatorship of late General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. The subject of Religion must be for all the students as it is in the case of Muslim students who study Islamic Studies while the students of other faiths will study the subject of Ethics after the textbooks are written. So there must not be discrimination. It is also recommended the Bahai religion be included in the textbooks of Ethics as there are concerns from this community being ignored in the curriculum of Ethics. This is a constitutional as well as humanitarian issue that their genuine demands are considered. The subject of Ethics be changed into the subject of Religious Education so that there may not be 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, interreligious harmony, tolerance, peace, human rights and globalization. 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 word "Masih", "Masihi" and "Masihyiat" instead of "Esa", "Esai" and "Esayiat" (Jesus, Christian/s and Christianity) in the textbooks.

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