There is a lot of debate surrounding the Single National Curriculum (SNC) which is initiated by the central government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), aiming to end educational disparity in the country as it promises: One system of Education for all.
However, the country’s much awaited and long-term educational reforms do not seem to unite the nation. It has created a wave of confusion among the academic circles and rights groups. The resisting factions allege that the SNC will be used as tool for building a narrative that the state wants to impose on younger generations.
In this regards, the provincial government of Sindh led by the opposition group, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has already rejected the SNC and raised concerns that education and curriculum are the provincial subjects under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan.
Terming it as “curriculum martial law”, Sindh’s Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah on Monday clarified his position that the provincial government had not been taken on board while preparing the curriculum.
“The PTI in its manifesto promised to impose the SNC without having a look at the Constitution according to which education is purely a provincial subject. They should understand that it is not a matter of manifesto but constitution,” Shah commented.
In April, 2010, the third government of the PPP unanimously passed the 18th amendment, handing over most of the educational affairs to relative provincial authorities which granted them more autonomy.
Responding to the PPP’s criticism over the SNC, PTI’s opposition leader Haleem Adil Shaikh, sarcastically asked the education minister if the provincial government was closing down over 10,000 schools across the province due to shortage of teachers and students.
The PTI-led opposition in the provincial assembly hold the PPP responsible for the “failure of education system” in Sindh amid its 13th year in power. Due to this reason, the opposition in Sindh thinks that the government is now becoming an obstacle in the implementation of the SNC.
As we are witnessing the blame game between the Centre and Sindh–whether it is about introducing a uniform education system for rich and poor or about feudal democracy who always claims to fight for the constitution–the dilemma of educational inequality remains unaltered and largely unanswered.