ISLAMABAD  -   The first meeting to develop and implement National Curriculum Council (NCC) in different education systems of the country concluded with only a ‘hope’ of bringing all stakeholders on same page, Wednesday. Federal ministry of Education and Professional Training organized the first NCC and invited all the education stake holders from public, private and madrassah education system to develop a consensus on introducing uniform education system in the country.  The meeting was chaired by federal education minister Shafqat Mehmood, while representatives from all provinces representing public, private, madrassah and higher education sector participated in it.

The meeting by the federal ministry was aimed to bring all education stakeholders on a platform to end discrimination in the education system by introducing ‘Single National Certification’ model in the country. However, the participants partially agreed with the nod stressing the government to improve the administrative side and content of the syllabus being taught in the government schools. The federal minister while addressing the meeting said that the literacy rate of the country has fallen to 58percent from 60percent which is an alarming situation for the country. He said that along with an unimpressive literacy rate, around 20million children are out of school which raises a question on the role that the state played for advancement of education. “In seventy years the state didn’t provide a uniform curriculum and quality education to the citizens,” he said.  He added that not only the education being provided is not according to the requirement of the system, but PhDs are becoming jobless in the country. “Different kinds of education system brought division in the society,” said the minister. 

He said that the discrimination led to problems in the society and a certain segment decided to opt English medium teaching model for progress leaving majority of the population behind. 

“Government cannot re-invent the wheel but it has decided to go for uniform education system and wants to shift towards Single National Certification model in education,” he said.  President Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Pakistan Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman argued in the meeting that the seminaries are ready to cooperate with the government but it wants practical measures instead of tall claims.

He said that society needs change its thinking regarding madarssah education; however the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) failed in implementing NCC in Khyber PakthunKhwa (KPK) in last five years.  Executive Director (ED) North Beaconhouse Schools System Nasir Kasuri said that government should prioritise the quality and creativity in government’s education system. “Government needs to focus and develop quality curriculum,” he said. He said that India allows different curricula in the country while the practice is also being followed in other developed countries as well.

Social activist Shahzad Roy said that the government wants to end class difference in the country through education which is appreciable but it needs to focus on administrative and content side being taught in schools.  “2006 curriculum is acceptable to all provinces and all have adopted it, but the content being published and translated is very poor” he said. He also said that the government also needs to focus on teachers training, while it cannot eliminate the English language from the course as it is essential for competing in the world. Education Advisor Balochistan Haji Muhammad Khan Lehri said that the province has 1000 primary and same strength of high schools, while it has above 32000 private schools and seminaries as well. 

He said that 65000 teachers are in Balochistan and a vast majority is teaching education in Urdu language and they also need training.

He urged government that the NCC should be implemented in phases instead of a sudden change so that teachers can accept it. Ex-chief minister KPK Shamsul-Mulk said that the curriculum should be taught to students in which he/she she thinks and the best medium of instruction is their mother tongue. Chairman Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Hyderabad Prof. Dr. Muhammad Memon said that the government needs to formulate the framework of NCC while implementing the NCC is a different thing as the curriculum is taught in the classrooms. “The creativity needs to improve instead of following the memorizing model in education,” he said.

Rector International Islamic University (IIU) Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai said that the evaluation of students needs to be done on the curriculum and private sector can come forward to uplift the education system in the country.