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Pak minorities, educationists call for reform of education system

May 27, 2015

On May 22, Pakistan’s minority leaders and educationists called for reform of the country’s education system, saying hate materials be removed from school curriculum to help counter extremism and promote peace in the society.
Islamic Research Centre Director Allama Fakhrul Hassan Kararvi expressed concern over the increasing sectarian extremism in the country.

He said the government has lost its writ in all provinces.

“Still fear exists in the minds of children following Peshawar School carnage,” Kararvi said.

During a round table discussion on ‘Education Reforms for a Pluralistic Society’, Kararvi said the government must ensure that the new syllabus includes chapters about peace and harmony.

The discussion was organised by Rights of Expression, Assembly, Association and Thought Network in collaboration with Peace Education And Development Foundation in Peshawar.

“Therefore before (we) talk about academic textbooks reforms, it is more necessary to ensure security to all education institutes across the province,” he said.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) regional director, Zaheer Ahmad Awan said that one of the main reasons for separation of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) was hate-based curriculum that misguided the people.

“Without giving the education of peace and tolerance to our young generation, we cannot build a pluralistic society,” he said.

He said if minorities believe there is some material in the curriculum that hurts their sentiments then they should put forward practicable suggestions to the HEC chairman. “We will consider them.”

Bishop of Orthodox Church Ernest Jacob said, “We achieved a separate country, but couldn’t educate and train the nation.”

He said people of different faiths, sects and ethnicity can live together harmoniously in other countries.

“We can also have lasting peace in the region, in case parents would teach their children tolerance and harmony,” he said.

Chairman Pakistan Sikh Council, Radesh Singh Toni stressed the need for training teachers.

He demanded that before inclusion of material relating to religious minorities, their representatives must be consulted.

Deputy director education Shiekh Daraz Wazir said the government is “committed to reform the education sector.”

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