Monday Sep 13, 2021
National Curriculum Council (NCC) director Mariam Chughtai has said that curricula are made by experts and they are not democratic exercises, so people do not get to vote on them.
Addressing a panel on a local talk show, Chughtai criticised people who claim that stakeholders were not included in the planning and development of the Single National Curriculum (SNC).
She added that the SNC was developed after consulting 400 different stakeholders from various groups — a trend that has been unprecedented in Pakistan.
Chughtai said that in other countries too, experts make curriculums and curriculum-making exercises are not democratic.
Dr Chughtai stated that she agrees that the SNC will impact every child and every stakeholder should have been take on board regarding that.
She, however, pointed out that the Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Act 2017 was passed unanimously by the parliament and every single political party agreed to it.
She further said that no webinars or articles were written about the significance of the act.
Now that the SNC will impact kids studying in elite institutions, there is a sudden "hue and cry" about the inclusion of stakeholders, said Chughtai.
Chughtai further proclaimed that as the new director of the NCC, she is willing to use technology to include more people and hear their demands.
She, however, stated: "Saying that stakeholders were not included in the curricula-making process is wrong, adding that whoever wanted to be a part of the consulting process of SNC was included.
Chughtai informed the panel of a call for the inclusion of universities in the stakeholder list, published in newspapers, to which only one university (Agha Khan University) responded.
She stated that for people to claim that they were not included is "untrue".
"People were asked, they just thought that the SNC will only impact the poor kids," Chughtai said.
Talking about Atchison College rejecting the SNC, Chughtai said it is too quick to assume that.
Referring to Atchison College's principal's statement, she said that Atchison College is following the SNC in spirit.
"The rest is implementation," said Chughtai. She added that the NCC is giving schools time to implement the curriculum and changes that need to be made.