New ‘National Single Curriculum’ to provide career opportunities to Madrassa students: Shafqat

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21 (APP): Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood Friday said new ‘National Single Curriculum’ would provide career opportunities to Madrassa students in all the national institutions including civil and armed forces.

He expressed these views while addressing a presser, held here to highlight his ministry’s two years performance in the education sector.

The minister said the new curriculum would also bring major reforms in ‘Madrassa Schooling System’ as it is being prepared according to the international standard and meet all modern global needs.

He said the seminaries played a key role in providing education to the deprived segment of the society. An agreement had been signed with the Wafaq Ul Madaris under which all Madrassa’s across the country are being registered with the education ministry, he added.

To bring interfaith harmony in the country; Shafqat said the non-Muslim students would be taught their religion in schools. Earlier, they were only being taught the subject of ethics compared to Muslim students who were being studied Islamic Studies.

The government, he said, to deal with pandemic coronavirus, had taken numerous key measures regarding closing and re-opening of education sector in consultation with the all stakeholders.

Besides others, education ministry also resolved the issue of examination of around four million students of metric and inter-mediate level with cooperation of 29 educational boards across the country, he added.

He said, “We resolved the issue of Cambridge results in which 02 grades were decreased of students in Pakistan. The students and parents rejected the results and protested against it. Being an education minister, I contacted with the British government using the channel of their ambassador in Pakistan. The Cambridge resolved the students’ issue amicably.”

Regarding opening of schools, he said an important meeting of Inter Provincial Ministers Conference (IPEMC) would be held on September 7, in which final decision would be taken keeping in view the current situation of the COVID-19.

The education sector would be opened under the direction of health ministry as it would also finalize the standard operating procedures in that regard, he said.

Highlighting another achievement, hailed at international level, he said the government launched its key initiative of Teleschool on April 7, as the schools were closed in mid of March.

The Teleschool project is providing benefit to around seven to eight million students across the country, he mentioned.

He said, “The first experience of online classes at higher education level remained successful however, some issues related to internet connectivity were faced by students of rural areas and federally administered areas which were being resolved.”

The distance education was on in the past but its need emerged alarmingly during the coronavirus, he said and informed that an institution regarding distance education system had also been established in the education ministry keeping in view the future needs.

Under reforms agenda, he said we had introduced ‘Unified Education System’ to remove the disparity from the society, adding to achieve the task a ‘Single National Curriculum’ was being prepared under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

New model textbooks were being prepared, while the new curriculum from Grade one to five would be implemented in all public, private, and Madrassa schools across the country by April 2021, he remarked.

He disclosed that new curriculum would be consisting of subjects regarding national heroes, tales, and unanimous heritage of the country.

He shared that besides providing regular education, the government also focused on skills development sector to ensure the employment opportunities for the youth.

Under the Youth Programme, we had launched Hunarmand Pakistan that would provide professional training to around 170,000 youth, he added.

He said in phase-1 of this programme, 50,000 students were being provided skills training. The vocational sector was being overhauling by the government to improve its performance, he maintained.

Education minister said as many as 50,000 students of higher education were being providing scholarships under Ehsaas Programme.

He said the education ministry had allocated its specific funds for the scholarships of nursing training of 1,000 nurses. Similarly, a hefty amount had also been awarded for scholarships of art and culture education, he added.

Talking about the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) public schools, he briefed that 600 new teachers had been recruited to meet the faculty demand. However, 7 schools were also being established in Islamabad.

To another question, he said education ministry was engaged with the State Bank to provide loans to the small private schools. There were some issues that would be resolved soon, he concluded