Karachi:September 06:Students across Sindh and Punjab are being taught to hate Hindus and Christians and historical facts about the genesis of the country are often twisted to suit the national narrative, claims a report.
The report takes data from 22 textbooks currently being used in Punjab and Sindh in grades 1-10 for the academic year 2012-13. The data reveals that there are 55 chapters containing hate speech against Hindus, India, and Christians, besides insulting remarks against minority religions and distortion of historical facts.
The report, titled ‘Taleem ya Nafrat ki Aabiyari’ (Education or fanatic literacy), was made public at a press conference held at the Karachi Press Club here on Wednesday. The press conference was jointly organised by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) and the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (Piler).
Besides showing evidence of religious biases in textbooks, the report also identifies biases against religious minorities in Pakistan
“These books rely heavily on the rhetoric that Hindus opposed the creation of Pakistan. For instance, it is claimed that it was only Muslims who faced violent attacks, loss of life and property during partition, and that they [Muslims] were not responsible for any of the bloodshed,” said one speaker.
“The whole treatment and arrangement of textbooks is visibly discriminatory against the non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan, and are in violation of articles 18, 20, 22 and 25,” they added.
The study showed that instances of hate speech in Punjab textbooks increased in 2012-13. There were 45 instances of hate speech in Punjab textbooks in 2009, as opposed to 122 in 2012-13. It also noted that hate speech was most prevalent in textbooks of Urdu and Pakistan Studies between grades 7 and 10.
Similarly, there were 11 lessons carrying hate speech in Sindh during the academic years 2009-11. This number increased to 22 in 2012-13. The speakers listed biased syllabi as the primary reason for the radicalisation of Pakistani youth and deteriorating quality of education.
One speaker regretted that the successive governments had turned a deaf ear to this issue, despite civil society having raised its voice against it on a number of occasions.
“The recent education policy in 2009 also ignored the issue while the provincial Textbook Boards, especially in Punjab and Sindh, even enhanced hate materials in the 2012 syllabus,” they claimed.
A number of speakers underlined the need for drastic reforms in the education sector in general and the curriculum policy in particular.The news.