ISLAMABAD: The education ministry on Tuesday finally approved the much-delayed curriculum for students who belonged to minority communities.

“Today, a detailed meeting was held in the ministry on the issue of curriculum for minority students and finally it was decided to approve the curriculum. The notification in this regard will be issued on Wednesday,” said Additional Secretary Education Waseem Ajmal.

According to sources, during the meeting, Education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain said the issue should have been decided earlier and that the notification be issued on Wednesday by all means.

It is relevant to note here that the Ministry of Education notified National Curriculum for classes six to eight some months ago and subsequently students started the new academic session this August with new books, however, the ministry did not notify the curriculum for minority students.

In the absence of a notified curriculum, students belonging to seven minority communities – Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Kalash, Bahai, Buddhist and Parsi – have been pursuing their education without their religious books.

The National Curriculum Council (NCC) had sent a summary to the Ministry of Education for notifying new curriculum for minority students from classes one to eight in May this year, however, the summary could not get approval from the ministry officials till Tuesday as some officers wanted Ethics to be continued in schools for these students instead of a new curriculum. However, common sense prevailed in the meeting with all officers approving the said curriculum prepared by the NCC.

The said curriculum was prepared by NCC after getting detailed input from all seven communities, who with consensus, agreed on the draft curriculum.

Sources said the government will have to publish 35 books (one book each for seven religious minorities) for classes one to five and 21 books for classes six to eight, based on enrolled number of students.

They said that technically the curriculum for minorities from class one to five should have been notified last year, when the education ministry notified the new curriculum for Muslim students.

This year, the ministry notified new curriculum for class six to eight and based on that, from this academic session, which started on Aug 1, new books were introduced in schools.

“All is well that ends well. We are very happy. This is big day for us as the ministry has approved curriculum for minority students,” said an officer of the education ministry.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2022

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