ISLAMABAD: Official representation from the government of Sindh was absent at the first meeting of the National Curriculum Council (NCC) on Wednesday, held to develop a consensus on introducing a uniform system of education in the country.
Neither the Sindh education minister nor the education secretary attended the meeting, and sources in the PPP have said the move to convene the NCC meeting is unconstitutional.
A senior PPP leader told Dawn education and the curriculum already stand devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment. Sans representation from Sindh, participants of the NCC agreed in principle to bring uniformity to the education sector.
Participants of the curriculum council agree to bring uniformity to the education sector
The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Federal Education and attended by stakeholders from the public, private and madressah systems, the higher education sector and the provinces.
Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, who chaired the meeting, said that the literacy rate has fallen in the last few years from 60 to 58.
In addition, more than22million children in Pakistan are out of school. He deplored that the country had so far failed to provide quality education and a uniform curriculum to students.
Mr Qureshi said the government wants to introduce a single national certification model in education.
Little attended was given to uplifting the public sector education system, Punjab Minister for Schools Education Murad Raas said, resulting in the growth of the private sector.
He said his ministry was taking steps to bring positive change.
The president of the Tanzeemul Madaris Pakistan, Mufti Muneebur Rehman, said seminaries are ready to cooperate with the government but there should be practical measures to achieve a uniform education system, as previous governments including the PTI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have failed in this regard.
Beaconhouse School System Executive Director Nasir Kasuri said the government should focus on quality and creativity in the education system.
Social activist and musician Shehzad Roy also expressed support for the government’s plan and said teacher training is particularly needed.
Mohammad Khan Lehri, the Balochistan education adviser, said changes should be brought to the education system in phases, while Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Hyderabad Chairman Dr Mohammad Memon said the government needs to formulate the NCC’s framework.
International Islamic University Rector Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai, representing public sector universities, urged the private sector to help the government improve the education system