LAHORE:August 31: The participants of a conference have urged the government and judiciary to take notice of the bias and misconceptions in syllabus and curricula, as it is the chief reason behind radicalisation of the country’s youth and deterioration of quality education.
A conference on ‘Biases in the Textbooks and Education Policy’ was organised under the aegis of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) at a local hotel on Thursday. Educationist and analyst Dr AH Nayyar chaired the conference whereas keynote speakers were Dr Mehdi Hassan, Irfan Mufti, Wajahat Masood and NCJP Director Peter Jacob.
The speakers underlined the need for serious reforms in the education sector in general and curriculum policy in particular. Bias and preferences based on religion and belief in the syllabus were also seen as divisive. Speakers also raised voice on this issue of vital importance, however, successive governments turned a deaf ear to the voice of sanity. They said that the education policy in 2009 also ignored the issue while the provincial textbook boards, especially in Punjab and Sindh, even enhanced the hate material in syllabus in 2012. The NCJP director, while addressing the conference, discussed a study ‘Taleem ya Nafrat ki Aabiyari’ (Educating or nurturing hate) done by NCJP that identified hate material and bias in the textbooks in Punjab and Sindh and education policy against the religious minorities in Pakistan.
He added that the study examined 22 textbooks for the academic year 2012-13, under use in Punjab and Sindh for grades 1-10. There are 55 chapters containing hate material against Hindus, India and Christians, insulting remarks against the minority religions and distorted historical facts. According to the report, the textbooks heavily rely on the rhetoric that Hindus opposed while Muslims favoured creation of Pakistan, that during partition only Muslims faced violent attacks, loss of life and property, whereas Muslims did not take part in this bloodshed, Peter added. Peter added that the whole treatment and arrangement of textbooks was visibly discriminatory against non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan, violating articles 18, 20, 22 and 25 of the constitution.Daily Times.