ENG519 GDB Spring 2021
ENG519 GDB Spring 2021 Solution idea:
Credit: Maha Malik
Q. Government of Pakistan is going to announce single national curriculum, as a student English language, what suggestions would you like to be incorporated in it for educational improvement in Pakistan.
English, meanwhile, is to be taught as a language, not a subject. This deceptively simple statement implies that language is a carrier of a particular ideology, civilization, and ethos. Under the new curriculum, English is to be taught as a bundle of grammatical rules and a means of communication only. How can a language be dissociated from the history, power, culture, values, literature, and imagination it carries? The designers of the SNC ignore this question. The SNC builds upon the political aspect of education by seeking to homogenize Pakistanis using assimilation, which achieves uniformity through an imposed unified culture denying the validity of other cultures. This is Pakistan’s nation-building project.
The values of social justice and respect require that each group’s values, traditions, and beliefs should be regarded as equally legitimate, and advocates for diversity maintain that cultural multiplicity must also be reflected in education. In Pakistan, there are over 66 languages spoken, including the major languages such as Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi, and Urdu. The diversity of languages, customs, lifestyles, basic beliefs, and values must also be reflected in a country’s curriculum.
The SNC ignores Pakistan’s cultural diversity and deems languages other than Urdu unworthy of either educational or cultural value. It mentions the “promotion of the diversity of culture and languages especially regional languages of Pakistan” in the Urdu grade 1-5 curriculum. Languages not labeled as regional languages will be ignored. Moreover, the SNC states that the “diversity of culture and languages” will be taught through Urdu, which means using Urdu to assimilate all other languages and cultures. Regional languages get a mention because speakers of these languages have some political clout, while those who speak the “others” have no political voice and usually live on the margins of society and are hence denied recognition. The obsession with education’s political and moral aims and the apathy toward Pakistan’s cultural and linguistic diversity renders the SNC a propaganda and indoctrination tool.