LAHORE – Educationists believe that the current curriculum and text books being taught to the students are according to the Constitution of Pakistan and the Universal Human Rights, and that they contain no hate material against any religion as being propagated by some NGOs.

In response of a paper issued by an NGO named National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), education experts observed that some forces working on enemy agenda wanted to secularise the educational system as well as the society and thus conspiring against Pakistan.

The NGO has issued a paper, titled, ‘Fanatic Literacy or Education?’ quoting some articles from the Constitution of Pakistan to substantiate their point of view. The constitution, according to the said paper, guarantees freedom of religion to citizens.

The paper proposes that the arrangements should be made for students belonging to Hidu, Christian, Sikh and other religious groups to study their own religions in lieu of Islamiat, Nazrah and Ethics as a substitute.

Commenting on the stance taken by the NGO, Punjab University Dean Faculty of Education Hafiz Mohammad Iqbal said that although, most reading material in the text books was about Islam but this was not the case only with Pakistan. Majority prevails all over the world”, he added. He quoted British Education Act 1988 which made compulsory education of Christianity in England. He, however, said in our curriculum there is option of Ethics subject and the students belonging minority religion are not bound to study the Islamiat.

As far as the issue of 20 extra marks to Hafiz-e-Quran is concerned, he said extra marks are incentive to the students who spend a long time to learn the Holy Quran by heart. 

Iqbal further said inclusion of religion related material in books other than Islamiat was aimed at giving reading material to the students. He said some material was related to history. “So if we have to teach history to our new generations, we have to include historical material about the Pakistan Movement and the incidents leading to the partition.” He said the NGOs circulating such papers should study the curriculum of other countries as well to get at the factual position. 

Another educationist, Dr Khalid Mehmood while talking about the issue said that before 18th amendment of the Constitution, Federal Education Ministry approved the text books keeping in view Constitution and international obligations also.