As educated members of this society we often stress on the importance of developing the learning sector and pooh pooh our country for being “so backward” when it comes to imparting knowledge in any organized manner to the masses. Odes have been written about how much we could benefit if we were to just allocate a few percentage points more to public sector education in Pakistan from our grandiose budget of borrowed wealth
The basis for imparting education though, which are text books and supplementary materials for both students and teachers are in such a shambolic state in the state of Sindh & Baluchistan that they have not been updated for the last 11 years, are full of misnomers and spelling mistakes and lack the basic nuance of any sense. The main culprits can be found in the subjects of Math , English and social studies.
I say Sindh & Baluchistan because Punjab & KPK have already upgraded their textbooks to meet the requirements of the guidelines put forth In the 2006 national curriculum. Why our region of Pakistan lagged behind is anyone’s guess?? It seems we are living In some sort of utopian vacuum where we believe that we can build excellence in fields without providing the basic building blocks.
Still unlike what is fed to us in a daily diet of negativity, it seems that certain individuals in the present government have pulled up their socks and gone to work on this. An initiative has been taken under the Education Minister, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and Secretary of Education, Naheed Durrani to get our government schools curriculum reformed as soon as possible to meet at least the aforementioned 2006 standard. The Sindh education department and the Sindh Textbook board under the National Textbook and learning Material Policy and Plan of action 2006 will be following a transparent process inviting private publishers to submit books for English (class 1-6) Math (Class 1-6) General Knowledge (Class 1-3) Social Studies (Class 4-6) – For the first time, private publishers will be submitting transcripts for approval. This plan also includes teacher training workshops which are sorely needed as well. So that we not only have better books in government schools, but more able people to teach them with..
These transcripts will then be reviewed by a panel of government and private experts to ensure that they are selected and published in time for the academic year 2012. Once this takes place perhaps the gap between the public and private schools of our country can be reduced from the yawning chasm of disparity it now is.
Full marks to the people who have initiated this endeavour and good luck to them, I am sure they will encounter many hurdles in their way yet, but every step that leads to a more educated country will bring with it the promise of a brighter future.