Red, White and Black


A new Pakistan Studies curriculum
7 December, 2006, 9:26 am
Filed under: Pakistan, Politics

The Daily Times reports today:

The government has made drastic changes in the new Pakistan Studies curriculum, including new chapters on the Musharraf government’s economic and privatisation policies and “enlightened moderation”, and less biased explanations of the Two-Nation Theory and Partition.

The new National Curriculum for Pakistan Studies for grades IX and X explains the Two-Nation Theory and Pakistan’s ideology “with specific reference to the economic and social deprivation of Muslims in India,” an official involved with the formulation of the curriculum told Daily Times.

“An effort has been made to exclude all such material that promotes prejudice against the non-Muslims of pre-partition India,” he said. “Pakistan’s ideology has been explained with reference to the pronouncements of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam,” he added.

Bravo, I say! Previously, I have looked in detail at the impact of our xenophobic nationalist syllabi on out national psyche and I have also emphasised the need to have a debate on ideology.

This one is a small step forward in the correct direction. If we can get rid of the rhetorical and biased reading of our history, there is a chance we would stop producing such droves of misguided young people – who are taught to hate other countries and religions – all in the name of nationalism. In that regard, it would be interesting to study how the explanation of the TNT based on “specific reference to the economic and social deprivation of Muslims in India” turns out – whether it is able to get rid of its current anti-Indian/anti-Hindu outlook or not. Before I have people protesting that it doesn’t, I would point them to this report: titled “The Subtle Subversion” which published a few years ago by SDPI. Spend a few minutes looking through this report and their shocking observations will also begin to haunt you.

Going back to the proposed changes, I would also like to see the persona of Quaid described in rather human terms in contrast to one of a deity or a miracle-worker. Further, I also hope his secular nationalist ideals are brought to the fore in their true colors. And not smudged over deliberately.

On another note, according to the news report the new curriculum seems to contain a lot of self-congratulatory and narcisstic material. But oh well, you can’t have the cake and eat it too!

Once the syllabi is out in the market, I would try to carry out a comparative analysis and make an attempt to determine the efficacy of the changes. Solely out of academic interest, if nothing else.

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9 Comments so far
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dair aye durusth aye!

Comment by BD

It is said history flows from the pen of the winner so what pen does national curiculums flow out of?
Though we don’t have a national curriculum in the USA but education policies are currently written in Bush ink; “No Child Left Behind” yet the USA is left far behind academically in the worldwide high school proficiency rankings!

Comment by IMeMy

[…] As Pakistan history text books brace up to recognize that it was Muslim deprivation, and not the incompatibility between Hindus and Muslims that led to the creation of Pakistan, Ayesha welcomes the change If we can get rid of the rhetorical and biased reading of our history, there is a chance we would stop producing such droves of misguided young people – who are taught to hate other countries and religions – all in the name of nationalism. I Posted by bhupinder […]

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