FAISALBAD: Leader of Pakistani Minorities’ Teachers Association writes to the Prime Minister about a discriminating subject in the school syllabus.
Professor Anjum James Paul leader of Pakistani Minorities’ Teachers Group has written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif alleging that ethics textbooks show prejudice against non-Muslims. He stated that his group, are preparing to boycott these ethics textbooks. He said, “There is Islamization of textbooks as Islamic prayer is written almost on each and every textbook while these books are for all the students regardless of any creed”.
In his letter to the PM Paul says:
“Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees equal citizenship to all Pakistanis as it describes, ‘All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. It is a sorrowful state that there is the violation of the constitution in this regard. There is discrimination with the fundamental rights of the students of the religious minorities.
There are biases and propagation on the religious basis against Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs in the contents of the present curriculum and the textbooks. Muslim students have been provided the facility of the subject of Islamic Studies and of the teachers but the minority students have been have been deprived of their fundamental right to study their own religion/s. It is the responsibility of the state to provide equal opportunity to all citizens without any discrimination.
Due to this the parents and students from the minorities are in oppression and depression. They feel insecure to send their children even to the public sector educational institutions because anything wrong can happen to them. The minority students have to suffer due to the biased curriculum, biased textbooks and biased environment of the educational institutions. Sir, the subject of Ethics has been introduced only for the minority students though it is the utmost need of all the students to have the human values such as tolerance, patience, human dignity and human rights. The minority students have to study mythology and comparison study of religions from grade 3 to grade 11 which is a master level course while the majority students have to study only the fundamental teachings of their own religion.
The subject of Ethics is like a poison for these innocent minority students of the age 6 or 7. This is the age for them to know their own religion/s but they are going to be confused in the forthcoming textbooks. The curriculum in the subject of Ethics is biased and even there has not been any role of Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs to develop the textbooks according to their beliefs. The subject of Ethics is being imposed on the minority students.
The minorities have always demanded the subject of “RELIGION” for their children as their constitutional and fundamental right but unfortunately no government has paid heed on this genuine demand.”
Following are the demands Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association has put forth on behalf of the religious minorities of Pakistan.
- The subject of ‘Ethics’ must be replaced into the subject of ‘Religion’.
- There must be separate textbooks and teachers for Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Baha’i, Parsi and other minority students as it is in the case of the majority students.
- The curriculum and textbooks in the subject of ‘Religion’ must be developed by the educationists and the theologians of the relevant religion/s.
- The biased and hate promoting material against Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other religions must be abolished from all the textbooks.
- Comparison between or among religions must be abolished from all the textbooks as it is described in the instructions of the Curriculum Wing, but deliberately violated while the textbooks are developed by the publishers.
- There must be chapters on peace, human rights, human dignity, social and interfaith harmony at all levels.
- The role of all the Pakistani heroes in different fields must be included in the textbooks without the distinction of race or creed as all the Pakistanis have played their role in the creation and construction of Pakistan.
Sir, the rights of child are guaranteed not only in the Constitution of Pakistan but also in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, International Covenant on the Civil and Political Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.”