THE children of this nation are not being left in peace, but are being subjected to ever-new experiments, and then when the results do not match the heady vistas depicted by their proponents, there is a quiet reversion to the old ways of doing things. A case in point, probably the main case, because it is the end of a decade of schooling and the point after which college education begins, has been the Matriculation exam. After the ill-considered experiment whereby the exam was conducted in two parts, which has been ended after the reversion to the old school year, the revised curriculum, which was supposed to be enforced from the 2009 exam, just months away, will most likely be postponed by a year, to 2010, because the responsible authority, the Federal Education Ministry, will only be able to make available revised textbooks by then. According to the government's own news agency, APP, and the government spokesman it quotes, there are still 18 subjects to be revised, out of 41, while the subject textbooks, once revised, are supposed to go to the ministry, which will either approve or send back for revision, with the ultimate goal approval and the issuing of a No-Objection Certificate. The Ministry has received books since 2007 from the National Book Foundation, but has not issued any NOCs, and until it does so, the NBF, which has had 38 books written, cannot send any more. There are a number of other flaws. The Ministry has lacked a full-time minister since the PML(N) pulled out of the Federal Cabinet, and the new textbooks cannot be issued unless the Minister approves the National Education Policy under which the revision is taking place. Another reason given for the delay is that the orientation sessions for the text authors took place in the middle of the preparation of the books, rather than at the beginning of the process. The Ministry's spokesman has admitted that the revised curricula will not be implemented on time. The future of our children is too important to play bureaucratic games. The highest level of government must appoint a full-time minister, who will make the curriculum his foremost task.