In recognition of the widespread inequality that dominates the educational system, PM Imran Khan proposed for a uniform standard to be adopted in order to exterminate discrimination and promote equal opportunity. While the motivation behind this is sincere, a meticulous approach is needed to prevent long-term harms that come from adopting one particular narrative across the board.

It would be ignorant to presume that the quality of education provided by public institutions is on par with their private counterparts. A serious disparity exists, credited to reasons like different examination boards, subject choices, curriculums and the like, and needs to be countered. In light of this, standardising the curriculum will alter the content matter, unvarying it for all, and force the gap to be bridged—reducing the inherent discrepancies as a result.

However, there are a multitude of problems that arise with the careless enforcement of uniformity. Firstly, adopting the same curriculum demands that the quality of instruction provided also improves. If not, then the disparity continues to exist as the knowledge is not being imparted properly. Secondly, Pakistan may threaten its adherence to international standards if the system is not altered sensibly. Our objective should be to make our students competitive with their peers across the world, and in order to do that, focusing on imparting quality education must be prioritised.

Standardisation allows for the monopolisation of opinions and mindsets by a specific perspective, ideology or account. Restricting information for students, and promoting a specific outlook, hampers their thought process—a long term harm that becomes difficult to correct. As such, modifying the system requires immense caution.

The fact of the matter is, the problem is not concerned with standardisation but how this is to be implemented. We cannot afford to make any mistakes due to the degree of harm it can cause to future generations. Perhaps, at the very least, a minimum standard of quality, that all schools would have to match, should be highlighted. It could pave the way to success in achieving the honourable objective of providing qualitative education to all students in the country.