ISLAMABAD - The government will introduce a new education system “URDISH” - the use of English and Urdu words to boost knowledge and learning in Pakistan, Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms said yesterday (Thursday).

He said that the new system will make the students familiar with the words of English and will also help them understanding its description in Urdu. Citing the example, he said, the students studying in Urdu medium institutions learn about Kashis-e-Suql and when they get admission in English medium colleges, they do not know its English meaning Gravity.

He said that they government has asked the curriculum experts to evolve a new medium aimed at resolving this dilemma being faced by the students.

“Unfortunately in Pakistan from class one kids are being taught in English language, while in the rest of the world the early education is being provided in their mother language,” the minister said, adding; “This way we are depriving our kids of the skill of understanding and asking questions.”

He said that in educational institutions the medium of education is either English or Urdu and both mediums are unable to clear the vision and concept of students. “Now the government is working on a new curriculum to provide a new medium to the students which will be the combination of both Urdu and English and will name it URDISH,” the minister informed.

He said that in the new language the technical terms will be from English and the description part will be in Urdu, so the students will not face any problem in understand the terminology and will also help clear their concepts.

Ahsan Iqbal announced the launching of ‘Ilm Pakistan’ initiative on the Independence Day to promote knowledge in the country. “The present government gives top priority to education but instead of educated Pakistan the theme is Knowledge Pakistan as knowledge is bigger in scope than education and that is why the Ilm Pakistan initiative is being launched on the special day,” he said without elaborating the details.

The minister also admitted that government has failed to create awareness and mobilisation among the masses regarding the Vision 2025 launched one year ago and blamed the PTI sit-in for the setback. He said that in the educationally advanced countries there is “Shrinking bellies and growing minds” while in Pakistan there is “Shrinking mind and growing bellies”. He said that students in Pakistan are just memorising things and they have lost the ability of thinking and asking questions.

He said that the handing over of the education to provinces has created some disorder in the already fragile education system but the federal government will implement revolutionary changes to its sphere of territory, federal educational institutions, so they can be a role model for the provinces. “After the devolution of provinces an imbalance has been created in the education system and I am afraid that it may create the quality problem and then the degree of one province may not be acceptable in the other one,” he added.

“Mobility is the spirit of education, which means the degree of one province should be recognised in the other province and this is the plan of the present government to increase educational mobilisation,” he added.

To avoid such a situation, he said, the provinces have also agreed on the constitution of the National Curriculum Council which will review the curriculum and will provide unanimous program of study to all the provinces.

To a query regarding taking back the education from the provinces, the minister said that at the time of devolution of powers, he had a dissension note on the handing over of complete education sector to the provinces and now, even if they want, cannot reverse the decision as they do not have two third majority required to amend the constitution in the parliament.

Ahsan Iqbal said that the federal government cannot interfere in the education system as it is a provincial subject after the 18th amendment. However, he said that the planning commission can play a coordination role between the centre and provincial governments. “The government has also directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to start one semester technical programme for the none-technical graduates so this way their irrelevant education can be transformed into beneficial one,” the minister informed. During next three years, he said, the government will introduce several reforms in the federal health and education sectors and is planning to constitute health and education authorities to regularise these both sectors.