Looming controversial education reforms leave Pakistani Christian apprehensive

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Pakistani Christians feel apprehensive as a new proposal for making Quran education compulsory at school level. If the proposal gets a green signal, the non-Muslim students will also have to study the compulsory subject as well. The proposal was introduced by the Ministry of Professional and Technical Training.

Pakistani schools curriculum

Ministry of Professional and Technical Training had put forward a proposal calling for the study of Islamic holy book Quran compulsory in all public schools. The government had this notion in mind to make Quran studies compulsory in all state-funded schools and began planning in this regard back in April.

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However, the Minister of State Baligh-ur- Rehman, later guaranteed that the proposal only seeks implementation for Muslim students. Nonetheless, Christians remain apprehensive as their children might face pressure to attend the Quran studies classes.

In the face of growing apprehensions, British Pakistani Christians Association spoke up for the Pakistani Christians who are already reeling from misusage of blasphemy laws, extremism, terrorism, discrimination, gender based- violence and many more.

BPCA head, Wilson Chaudhary says, “These current proposals will nullify the long going programme of improvement of education for minorities. The impact of this will no doubt have an effect on the attendance of minority children.” He asserted that. “Only 7% of Pakistani Christians attain an adequate level of literacy. If they make this decision that percentage could go even thinner and that is a deep concern.”

He expressed fears that the Christian parents from middle or lower classes of the society would abstain from send their children to public schools if they would be forced to join Quran studies classes. While on the other hand, the private schools are too expensive for them to afford and thus Christian children will be rendered deprived of education.