Unified educational system

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By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

The unified educational system as proposed by the government of Pakistan is expected to be rolled out and implemented by March 2021. While it seems it will take the educational setup of Pakistan in a new direction, it may create some conflict. Implementing a new system is not the problem.

The difficulty arises when the mindset of the people needs to be changed. The syllabus as pursued, implemented, and followed by the educational institutes from the public and private sector represents a mindset etched into the thought process of the students, parents, and the management overseeing the workings of such institutions.A unified syllabus would mean to shun the processes and procedures, especially the course content they have been following, and pursue a new system.

This may as well take Pakistani into an era of advancement, as suggested by Prime Minister Imran Khan, but it may also create chaos and confusion. This will arise when various mindsets will follow a single curriculum. The concerned authorities must be aware that the varying syllabus has created mental boundaries that differentiate various students belonging to diverging strata of the population. The students pursuing education in the Cambridge (O and A level track) have always thought of themselves to be superior to the students following the Intermediate track.

In this regard, the government needs to pursue Phase-I of implementing the unified curriculum in March 2021. In this phase, the unified curriculum for classes one to five will be implemented. This will become a litmus test for the government to observe what results does the new system bode for the students and teachers. A gradual progression of the plan is imperative. The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training must observe all impacts created by the implementation of the syllabus before applying the same for higher classes. According to reports, the phase-II (for class 6 to 8) will be implemented by March 2022 and the phase-III (for class 9 to 12) will be implemented by March 2023.