Main findings of the highly successful CELL-MM SNC 2021 Symposium. Islamabad and Karachi, Pakistan.
Discussants and participants across the three panels in Pakistan – Inclusion & Global Citizenship; Social Cohesion & Integration; Quality, Delivery & Equity - didn’t oppose the idea of a Single National Curriculum but voiced their concerns towards the design and content of the proposed SNC 2021. They didn’t consider the SNC to have the necessary components to equip teachers and students to deal with issues such as:
It is undeniable that providing the appropriate curriculum in schools is essential to creating a generation of innovative and skilled citizens. To that end, the curriculum must be conceptualized in holistic terms as more than just what should be taught but also as how it is being taught and assessed. Without a comprehensive approach, curriculum development will continue to be understood solely in terms of textbook development.
Wrestling with their [teachers/students/educational administrators] own biases. Most considered teacher training to be commonly ineffective, and the SNC does not provide any roadmap towards rigorously assessing new approaches for motivating teachers and pupils to address their biases, including educational content that would help to identify and reflect on religious, gender, ethnic, and racial biases that affect individuals and educational institutions.
The SNC 2021 has no provisions for creating conditions that enable constructive dialogue and exchange of ideas and pluralism. Developing norms and conditions in schools, including listening respectfully, that enable students and teachers to talk constructively about their personal views across religious and ethnic differences while being guided by principles of fairness and justice.
SNC in essence should be an instrument to preparing the next generation. Focusing on homes, schools, and communities on developing children’s capacity to care across difference, to bridge divides, and to advance justice.
“We must do better,” said Baela Jamil, while speaking on the Islamabad panel Inclusion and Global Citizenship. “Too much is at stake. We need to be far more intentional and systematic about developing our capacity — and our children’s capacity — to care for and tend to others and our collective fate…the new SNC, in its present design does not give us anything for education to become an instrument of social cohesion, of justice, of peace.”