A report released by National Commission for Peace and Justice (NCJP) portrays a hazy picture of the scenario, declaring that the curriculum used in Pakistani schools is breeding religious violence and extremism in the country. The report further highlights that the curriculum is full of references that spurs religious intolerance and hatred against non-Muslims.
“This is not only about religious minorities but a national issue. It is a red flag for the government, which must ask the Church to promote the role of minorities in creating and defending the country,” said Cecil Shane Chaudhry executive director NCJP. In a 40-page study, the commission pointed out that the curricula currently in use schools in country’s all four provinces are accountable for alarming intensification in religious radicalism and extremism.
NCJP’s report inspected the effects of this curriculum on society in particular on the Muslim students in shaping their views and mindsets about religious minorities. The report highlighted human rights abuse in the education policy of the country. It is further emphasized that the historic fact are being presented after being twisted.
“When I was in Grade 6, I felt proud when reading about my fighter pilot dad in the school book,” said Cecil Shane Chaudry while continuing, “However his name along with other non-Muslim heroes disappeared by the time I reached in college. For me, this deliberate change set off an alarm bell”.
Since 2006, Pakistan’s Catholic educators have been urging the government for certain amendments in the education policy. After years-long negotiations, this year only a chapter discussing role of minorities in creation of Pakistan was included in the curriculum.
The report still points finger at 74 percent of textbooks which still encourages violence and hate speech. The report further detailed that on page 85 of a history book used in Peshawar, provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reads: “The English took power from Muslims, so they considered Muslims as their true enemies. They closed all doors of development to Muslims. So Muslims had no choice but to fight the English. Christian pastors were forcefully converting locals to Christianity.”