A great deal of controversy surrounds the Single National Curriculum – a project that government aspires to implement in schools and Madrassahs alike. Many among the ministers of government have been voicing support highlighting the positive aspects of SNC. But the real picture displays many flaws in its execution.
The main purpose of SNC is to provide all children with quality education. It is no doubt a noble objective and requires the up-gradation of overall academic infrastructure in schools, especially those in the public sector. Doing so would involve delivering an up-to-date curriculum, professional development of teachers, modern classroom facilities at campus, and a conducive environment that encourages a free exchange of ideas.
Several injunctions of SNC needed a review to make it sustainable. It is nearly impossible to comprehend all challenges confronting the education system with SNC alone. There needs to add up in the budget allocation for the purpose too.
If SNC really meant to raise the standard of education for all, it would be making public sector schooling more competitive. But the reality tells otherwise as the high-performing private sector is being pushed back under the guise of uniformity in the syllabus.
Yet another issue is with the production of textbooks in line with the requirements of SNC. So far Punjab Province was the first to formally adopt SNC after its approval by the federal government. Sindh Province, however, doesn’t seem much optimistic about SNC and its impact.
Punjab was so eager to implement SNC that Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board (PCTB) embraced itself in almost every role from analyzing the textbooks to publishing them but the model textbooks it produced are substandard in content quality and pedagogical approach. In fact, PCTB appears to produce a greater mix of religion and patriotism even in language subjects.
The level of disinterest towards SNC by govt. high-ups is so much so that in a meeting at PTCB an officer first laughed at SNC and asked academics who were present there not to take it earnestly.
The grave concern on account of that seems that some of the ill-informed government officials might destroy the educational future countrywide. For now, not even a textbook is allowed to get published without prior consent by PCTB. Alternatively, a hectic multi-step review system has been kept in place to issue NOC for the books to get published.
Almost all the private schools are in a state of uncertainty and trying to unfold the mystery attached with SNC for the upcoming session in schools. SNC has already entered in trial phase contrary to what exactly required for its implementation – a step-by-step induction at various educational standards.
The complete enactment would take 12 long years as against the prescribed deadline by the PTI government which is March 2023. It is, therefore, more appropriate to execute the new curriculum gradually because education is a matter too significant to deal with. The time slants very high to adopt some comprehensive measures to overhaul the educational framework in Pakistan.