Is a Single National Curriculum a good idea?

Is a Single National curriculum?

Is Single National Curriculum a good idea? most frequently asked questions. The conception of a single national curriculum emanates from the gap between Curriculum and Standards of learning outcomes. Learning standards are designed universally and are mandatory for effective learning, whereas the curriculum consists of all the learning experiences a child went through in the course of the educational process. 

This includes infrastructure, textbooks, evaluation methods, co-curricular activities, and teaching techniques. The government of Pakistan introduced an upgraded version of learning standards of the 2006 national curriculum. In Pakistan, the organization of the National Curriculum Council (NCC) operating at the federal level was given tasks to upgrade the curriculum frequently. Thus, the present version of modifications for sequential learning got introduced under the supervision of the current Government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and entitled as “Single National curriculum.”

The vision behind the Single national curriculum is the unified educational system for all Pakistani students, and to end educational apartheid conclusively. The reforms are made to align the emerging international trends in teaching, learning, and assessments, which can develop analytical skills, critical thinking, and creativity in students which will drive them away from rote memorization. With the implementation of SNC, it doesn’t matter whether one attended an ‘elite’ private school, a public school, or a madrassah. Every schoolchild will be given the same kind of education and will also have fair and equal opportunities in life.

Single National Framework

Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government started its tenure with an Education Policy Framework, highlighting their reforms in four priority areas in education that is, putting all the out-of-school children back in schools, as required by Article 25 A-of the Constitution, secondly eliminating apartheid in education by introducing a uniform curriculum, third to enhance the quality of education, and lastly emphasizing technical and vocational education in the country.

In the last two years since the Framework was announced, the government has made impressive progress specifically in prioritizing the second option to initiate the uniform system (SNC). In the development phases of the single national curriculum, extensive analysis has been taken into action with the comparative studies held on several learning standards such as Singapore, Malaysia/Indonesia, & UK standards to incorporate them with the single national curriculum.

The single national curriculum consists of three phases, the first phase has been already launched for classes 1 to 5th, which will be taught in all educational institutions. The second phase for class 6th till 8th will be implemented by the next year March 2022, as for class 9th to 12th, it will hopefully commence in the year 2023.

Major Features of Single National Curriculum

The Single national curriculum majorly focuses on standards, benchmarks, and outcomes-based across all subjects as compared to the 2006 curriculum in which standards and learning outcomes were not developed for each subject curriculum. The content of SNC is aligned to the international commitments like SDG-4 and TIMMS content framework for the Science and Mathematics-related subjects. Another feature of SNC is the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) which will benefit on development of analytical, critical, and creative thinking through a more activities-based approach rather than static teacher-centric learning.

Besides covering other aspects, it also emphasized the character building of students, promoting tolerance, nationalism, civic responsibilities, etc. Muslim students will be taught Islamic values and Nazra as a compulsory subject. Islamic studies will be more focused on teaching the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his Sunnah, and Hadith.

Furthermore, the SNC has also taken special care to ensure that there is no material that will offend the sensibilities of any of the minorities in Pakistan. In fact, for the first time in Pakistan, a separate special curriculum has been prepared for Hindus, Christians, Bahais, Sikhs, and Kalash. According to the recent reports on revised curriculum, the books of a single national curriculum will be much cheaper and accessible as compared to the other publishing courses.

Expectations and Challenges

The launch of a single national curriculum still remains a debatable issue by many critics, as they have objections and massive skepticism related to the nature of a curriculum formed under a unified body. The SNC is truly a historic initiative introduced to eliminate class-based education system, however, there are many challenges ahead for proper implementation of SNC as new initiatives always face some resistance which may include objections from the influential mafias, private institutions, or from 18th amendments where education is regarded as a provincial purview. The Government of Pakistan is negotiating and taking steps for the full adaptation of SNC across the country with the collaboration of other provincial governments.

Adapting new educational systems will greatly impact the environment which will also consolidate social harmony and solidarity – the much-needed ingredients to crown the national efforts with success and earning a respectable place in the comity of nations. The PTI government has indeed taken a great plunge forward in reforming the education system of the country and giving it the right direction.

Sadaf Ahmad is the Intern Content Writer at STUDENTINN SOLUTIONS

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