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Pakistan

Critics decry Islamization of Pakistan's education system

Educationists believe a single national curriculum will detach the country from the modern world

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Critics decry Islamization of Pakistan's education system

Students attend a class at the School of Hope for dropouts and working children in Islamabad. (Photo: Kamran Chaudhry)

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Prime Minister Imran Khan is gearing up a uniform education system in Pakistan for next year — but it’s not the reform that educationists have been asking for.

Debate has been raging since March when the government announced it was finalizing the draft uniform syllabus for grades 1 to 5, thus completing the first phase of the implementation of the single national curriculum.

The new plan involves reading the entire Quran with translation in the primary section, learning Islamic prayers and memorizing a number of hadith (words, actions and approval of the Prophet Muhammad) in Arabic with their translation.

It also stipulates that every school and college must employ a pair of certified Hafiz (a person who has memorized the Quran) and Qari (a Quran reciter) to teach these subjects. The new policy will ensure jobs for 6,000 madrasa graduates, analysts say.

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