pakistan school karachi
Students keep safe distance while attending an audio-visual class, as schools reopen amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Karachi, Pakistan September 15, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: The Punjab government enforced on Monday a Single National Curriculum (SNC) in all public and private schools as well as seminaries of the province that are offering primary level education.

Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood had earlier announced the SNC would be implemented from the new academic session beginning on August 2. However, he clarified the SNC prescribed minimum learning standards i.e. the core curriculum.

“Schools will be free to teach additional material or even additional subjects,” he said.

The minister explained that private schools could use any book that is consistent with the Single National Curriculum.

In the beginning, three subjects — Islamic Studies, Social Studies and General Knowledge — will be taught in Urdu language at primary level (Grade 1-5).

Besides, Quranic learning with translation will also be mandatory in Grade 6-12.

While briefing the media persons about the Punjab government’s decision to implement SNC, the provincial education minister Murad Raas said on Monday the provincial government was pursuing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘one nation, one book’ for which a new syllabus based on SNC was being introduced throughout the province at the primary level.

With implementation of the SNC in the province of more than 100 million, Imran Khan’s vision of one curriculum across the country stands completed for more than half the population.

Raas said the SNC would eliminate the societal division in the private and public educational sector and will create equal opportunities for all the students of the country.

He said new curriculum would be implemented in various phases, adding, Pre-1 to Class-5 in all public and private schools from Aug 2, would get the same syllabus and from next year, the SNC will be expanded to classes 6 to 8.

Replying to a question, he said the Punjab government had already started its teachers training where around 50 per cent of trainers were inducted from the private sector.

The minister said only vaccinated teachers and administrative staff would be allowed to enter schools, adding, strict implementation of COVID-19 related SOPs would be instructed across the Punjab schools.

Punjab’s School Education Department (SED) in a tweet posted the picture of students receiving education at schools with the caption: “One Nation, One Curriculum beginning from Punjab”.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also termed implementation of the SNC in Punjab a welcome step. In a tweet, the PTI KPK held that the same curriculum was the right of every child.