ISLAMABAD            -       Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training (FE&PT) Shafqat Mahmood on Thursday said that single national curriculum (SNC) for grade I-V is ready to be introduced in the country.

He said this while briefing the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on FE&PT here on significance, necessity, preparation and phases of implementation of SNC.

The minister informed the participants that the SNC for grade I-V has been prepared and uploaded on the website.

He also briefed the committee about the role and participation of provinces, private sector, Ittehad Tanzeem ul Madaris and cooperation of national and international institutions in preparation of SNC.

The minister said that for the first time in history, a debate has been initiated at national level on SNC and people from all walks of life are participating in it. He said that as per the new curriculum, the Ministry of Federal Education will prepare guidelines for the teachers’ training also. Members of the National Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs also attended the committee meeting where agenda items included comprehensive report/implementation status of the previous recommendations of the Committee and presentation of report of the Sub-Committee under the convenorship of MNA Ali Nawaz Awan.

It was highlighted in the meeting that PIERA will introduce an interim policy over the next week to address issues of private school fees. A long-term plan entails rationalising school fees based on their performance, infrastructure, and other facilities. A sub-committee was formed to discuss pending bills, FDE will only register schools that are registered with PIERA, parents and central stakeholders will be involved in the decision-making process regarding the Cambridge examinations with the central aim to negotiate and urgently address the result issues. MNA Andleeb Abbas discussed dimensions of the quality of learning. She emphasised universities must trace the trajectories of their students, and what they do after they graduate.

A robust database is central to informed decision-making for families. She further added there was a need to publicly ban schools and colleges that are not registered with PEIRA so that families avoid sending their children.

During the discussion, MNA Mehnaz Akber Aziz pointed out the need for schools to remain shut until the pandemic subsides. She reiterated that reopening schools early can put children’s well-being at risk, and schools were not equipped to protect children. She further emphasised on the need to consider parents’ concerns. “We must come to the parent’s respite. There is a need to make quick decisions for quick actions,” she said.