LAHORE - The Chief Minister’s Inspection Team (CMIT) has launched a formal inquiry to dig out facts and fix the responsibility for changes in textbooks.

While School Education Minister Rana Mashood Khan denies exclusion of the content about Islam, religious dignitaries, heroes and armed forces from the academic books, Secretary Schools Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik has ordered to cancel the changes made in school syllabus.

According to a School Education Department (SED) officer, some publishers whom the Punjab Curriculum & Text Book Board (PCTBB) outsourced the job of publishing books in the past were behind creating hype in media over the issue. “There is nothing wrong in removing content on similar topics in different books of different classes,” he added.

However, he added, it was the government duty to open a discussion forum before taking such steps on sensitive matters. These people who could not compete for book development had in 2009 alleged objectionable amendments to the 2006 curriculum that was not more than a hue and cry, according to the official.

“When these amendments were made nearly two years back why they didn’t raise their objections,” he questioned. The government should impose a ban on private publishing companies who fuelled corruption in the sacred job, he suggested.

SED has taken a stance that the material including articles and pictures excluded some two years back have again been included in the curriculum. This material has also been provided to all the schools in the Punjab and the teachers will teach this material being part of the syllabus/book to their students as per previous practice.

According to an SED spokesman, it has further been directed by the schools secretary that all this material would be prominently included in the textbooks being published for the academic year 2018-19. Complying with the instructions of the secretary, the expunged material has been provided to all the schools in shape of booklets.

Rana Mashood, the other day, had clarified that the matter about Islam, religious dignitaries, heroes and armed forces was not excluded from the academic books, although some changes were made keeping in view the intelligence of the students that were requirement of the time.

The Punjab Curriculum and Text Book Board (PCTBB) organises topics after considering educational policy and national syllabus 2006, Mashhood said, adding both the teachers and students were applauding this act that Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif was promoting education.

Schools Secretary Dr Allah Baksh Malik, special secretary Rana Hasan Akhtar, PCTBB chairman Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Akram and MD Aamir Ejaz Akbar were present on the occasion.

The minister further said that different topics on Islamic studies, different aspects of the life of the holy Prophet (PBUH) were examined in Urdu, Islamiat, and General Knowledge books.

He said that the internal title of every academic book was decorated with Pakistani flag, map and snap of the founder of Pakistan.

Moreover, the pictorial expressions on Islam, Pakistan and heroic activities of the armed forces were also included that strengthen ‘Pakistanism’ and concept of the Ummah so that the new generation could idealise them and make their lives rich.

The minister clarified that all the old lessons were kept intact in the syllabus to avoid any confusion. The chapters on Jashn-e-Azadi, Eid Miladun Nabi (PBUH), Army parade, mosque prestige, Bibi Khadija tul Kubra, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Hazrat Ali (RA), and Major Aziz Bhatti Shaheed will remain part of the syllabus, the minister stressed.

The CMIT will submit its report to the CM and fix responsibility after completing the inquiry.