Harmony and Peace Education in Pakistan: Focus on Pctb Textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies
|Title||Harmony and Peace Education in Pakistan: Focus on Pctb Textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies|
|Author(s)||Sandhu, Akhtar Hussain, Rafi Raza Sanghro, Shahbaz Ahmad, Pirah Zulfiqar|
|Keywords||Textbooks, History, Pakistan Studies, Distortion, Interpretations of Events, Nationalism, Patriotism, Generations, Governments, National History, British, Communal, National Standpoint.|
|Chicago 16th||Sandhu, Akhtar Hussain, Rafi Raza Sanghro, Shahbaz Ahmad, Pirah Zulfiqar. "Harmony and Peace Education in Pakistan: Focus on Pctb Textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies." Grassroots 53, no. 1 (2019).|
|APA 6th||Sandhu, A. H., Sanghro, R. R., Ahmad, S., Zulfiqar, P. (2019). Harmony and Peace Education in Pakistan: Focus on Pctb Textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies. Grassroots, 53(1).|
|MHRA||Sandhu, Akhtar Hussain, Rafi Raza Sanghro, Shahbaz Ahmad, Pirah Zulfiqar. 2019. 'Harmony and Peace Education in Pakistan: Focus on Pctb Textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies', Grassroots, 53.|
|MLA||Sandhu, Akhtar Hussain, Rafi Raza Sanghro, Shahbaz Ahmad, Pirah Zulfiqar. "Harmony and Peace Education in Pakistan: Focus on Pctb Textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies." Grassroots 53.1 (2019). Print.|
|Harvard||SANDHU, A. H., SANGHRO, R. R., AHMAD, S., ZULFIQAR, P. 2019. Harmony and Peace Education in Pakistan: Focus on Pctb Textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies. Grassroots, 53.|
Textbooks produce specific minds so are believed the best way to promote peace and harmony in a society. Policymakers draw ideological lines for specific goals and educate the coming generations through the contents of the textbooks. Whatever agenda a nation has, peace and social harmony cannot be compromised so syllabi mean to promote nationalism along with integration. Although history and social studies textbooks address coexistence and tolerance but even then many writers share their reservations about some points. K K Aziz (1993) in Pakistan castigated the governments and the textbook authors on ‘distortion’ of the historical events and deleting important segments of history from the syllabi. Mariam Chughtai shared her reservation regarding the textbooks being published in Pakistan. Romila Thapar in India raised objections against the BJP government’s effort of ‘religionising the syllabi’ and tried her best to introduce non-communal approach based on social harmony in the textbooks while writing history books but her effort remained a mere desire because the ‘religiously’ extremist political party occupying the main corridor of the national government and having no compatibility with her ideas refused to accept the undisputed historical facts. Dr. Mubarak Ali opined while writing on the textbooks that ‘defective textbooks create a defective mindset. Ideology limits people from acquiring new knowledge in order to understand the fast changing world’ (Dawn, April 16, 2016). ‘National History’ reflects national point of view to produce a generation who represents some specific land, culture, religion, political ideology, art and social ethics. Children are taught to grow with their own culture, religion and social norms. This study finds that syllabus of the subjects of History and Pakistan Studies produced by the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) aims at educating the ‘national interpretation of history along with respect for other religious groups’ to the posterity therefore no gaps seem in the textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies. Criticism arises mostly on the old textbooks while the PCTB had revised the textbooks massively and all the historical periods including Indus Valley Civilization, ancient India, Sikh rule, etc. are being taught at the school and college level. The ‘history textbook’ is not a ‘history’ rather it offers interpretation of the historical events.This article further pinpoints some issues such as communal interpretations in the British India, space in the textbooks, administrative, social, political and religious narrations, and the undeniable position on nationalism and patriotism which cannot be overlooked. The textbooks are playing their role in promoting social harmony and this policy has resulted in a coexistence, tolerance and peace in the society. INTRODUCTION
Textbooks and extremism in Pakistan remained hot issue throughout the history and the western media and policymakers showed concern over the situation of extremism in Pakistan. On 16 April 2016, the daily Dawn published news from Washington that Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani responding to a report “Teaching Intolerance in Pakistan” which pointed out about the extremist contents in the textbooks of Pakistan, explained that the Pakistan’s government had removed the offensive references from the textbooks. This highlights the problem as an international issue which determines its importance inside and outside Pakistan. Reports on hate crime and terrorism in UK were circulated in the House of Commons which had discussed the students having tilt towards hate crime and their training from divergent channels (http://www.ptb.gop.pk/history,15/2/2017). All this was because of the domestic environment (domestic syllabi), contents (school syllabi) and interpretation by the teachers (fastidious avoidance from curriculum). The 9/11 incident provoked the religious extremism and counter-terrorism drive which has prevailed the world politics.
Many authors decry the ‘distortion’ of history in Pakistan Studies and History textbooks but hardly they have drawn a tangible line between Errata, Skipping events, interpretation or national point of view and distortion. Many missed the point regarding the official process of change in the syllabi repeatedly after few years by the PCTB that includes and excludes things according to the posture and tilt of time or expertise of the PCTB authors and reviewers. Textbooks in the Punjab mean the school books from primary to intermediate classes which are supposed to narrate historical events very briefly. If the objections by the critics are addressed, the textbooks will swell to volumes because the critique seeks mention of the national as well as counter-narratives in these textbooks. Nelson Mandela opines that human nature is based on love and is the parents, syllabus and media which teach hatred. What Rousseau wants Emile to be in the life is simply a person of his own personality and nature as endowed by God but it all pertains to the individual personality while textbooks are designed and written keeping the national needs in mind.
Hatred grows from actions and experiences within or outside the society. Interpretation of these actions and experiences is not owned by the rival community or group while the latter’s perception on these events are rebutted by the previous group. The war of 1857 in India was ‘mutiny’ for the British while the same was ‘war of independence’ for the locals. Usually, textbooks influence the tender minds and direct their future life to a specific intellectual line. Many surveys conducted by the civil society organizations and researchers have concluded that the nascent minds are vulnerable to the religious extremism because many religious groups teach contents in the perspective of hatred. Therefore, textbooks or contents and teachers play decisive role in the upbringing of the posterity and sometimes teachers become more important as they are to interpret the contents according to their own mindset. Curriculum shows its worth here when it confines teachers to the specific intellectual lines.
The Punjab Textbook Board was formed after the Punjab Textbook Committee founded in 1877 and re-named as Advisory Board for Books in 1937. State monopoly was dropped gradually and 20 years later the private sector was given contracts to write textbooks. The West Pakistan Textbook Board established in July 1962 under West Pakistan Textbook Ordinance XLI of 1962 was substituted by the ‘Punjab Textbook Board’ under the Ordinance V of 1971. The Punjab Textbook Board sought the manuscripts authored by the experts to be placed in open competition after 1980 and three best manuscripts were to be selected and sent to Federal Ministry of Education for approval. The Punjab Curriculum Authority was maintained under The Punjab Curriculum Authority Act 2012 (XLIX of 2012) to arrange outsource textbooks including bidding, writing, review and printing of the textbooks. In the process of writing and reviewing the History book of grade VIII, a dispute of powers and corruption emerged. Consequently, an inquiry was initiated by the Chief Minister (Dawn, September 26, 2014) against the Curriculum Development Authority and resultantly the government decided to conclude legislation on the very issue. The daily Dawn published news about the creation of new body to administer the writing, reviewing and publishing the textbooks: “A new ordinance has abolished the warring Punjab Textbook Board and the Punjab Curriculum Authority, merging their functions into a new Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board. The ordinance was promulgated by Acting Governor Rana Iqbal on September 19, abolishing the board and the authority which were at loggerheads since the creation of the latter in view of the devolution of its functions to the provinces under the 18th Amendment. The bone of contention was the overlapping function of commanding the publication of textbooks of classes I to XII which the board considered its core duty and was not ready to share it with the authority” (http://punjablaws.gov. pk/laws/2589.html,12/8/2017).
The provincial government through The Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board Act 2015 (Act VI of 2015) merged The Punjab Curriculum Authority and Punjab Textbook Board in 2015 into a new body called The Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board. The duty of the PCTB is to hire the services of good writers subject experts to review a manuscript and publish the textbook. This organization functions under Chairman, Director-General and Directors (Curriculum, Manuscripts, Finance, etc.) along with supporting staff. The Curriculum was approved by the national government in 2007 and the 18th Constitutional Amendment devolved this power to the provincial governments.
Historically, in the monarchical world, a ruler projected himself as a nation under the Divine Right theory. He formulated policies which might strengthen his authoritarian position. Focusing on the syllabi being taught to the coming generations, he used to order to incorporate the contents showing him a great savior, emancipator and patriot. Catherine the Great of Russia and other dictators can be quoted as example. But in the democratic era, power shifted from individual to a government in which an individual was not the sole authority rather he could influence the government only through his talent and argument. Government is always applauded on positive policies and criticized on the weak steps. When required, governments first attack history, philosophy and the subject dealing with politics to project or reject some specific narrative. If it comes up as a national narrative it may be justified under the concept of ‘national interest’ which can only be protected through ‘national history’ or ‘educational history’ because if some nation plans to protect its interest then it will have to produce nationalist human resource. However, the exhortation should not be immersed in hatred or violence as the extremist Maharashtra State Education Board removed the Mughal rule from grade VII textbook (Dawn, March 8, 2015). Pakistan also underwent some religious fanaticism but at the same time the policymakers tried to take care of the minorities. Few years back, sectarian killing occurred in different parts of Pakistan convinced the government to take stern action against the extremist material present in the textbooks. But the governments were helpless in handling the teachers belonging to some specific sectarian school of thought who misinterpreted the religious contents in the classes. Syllabus of History and Pakistan Studies was criticized more than that of Islamic Studies perhaps because both the subjects deal with the historical events of the Subcontinent and Islamic and Muslim history and Pakistan Studies. And Pakistan Studies being a compulsory subject at all levels (graduation) has come to limelight. Mian Shahbaz Sharif under the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan laid stress on the subjects of Islamic Studies, History, Pakistan Studies, Sociology, Civics, etc. having sectarian and extremist trends should be replaced with the new contents promoting tolerance, coexistence, nonviolence and harmony. The Punjab Higher Education Department, Pakistan assigned me the duty to present the agreed contents to the Vice Chancellors, Registrars and Deans of the universities of the Punjab because the universities are responsible to design courses/contents for the affiliated colleges and textbooks do not come in the purview of the higher education. The School Education Department undertook the textbooks up to grade 12. Although this effort pertained to the contents of graduate classes but textbooks were discussed thoroughly by the academicians (Dr.Madiha Afzal, 2016) and several recommendations were suggested to the universities. This verifies that the governments have procedure under the rules to revise the contents after few years in the light of the feedback by the stakeholders.
Methodologically, biases in history cannot be deleted but can be minimized because one has right to say that the Bengalis revolted against the central government and proved traitors by joining hands with the Indian government. However this is stark reality that the conscious effort to Islamize the History and Pakistan Studies in Pakistan created confusion in the tender minds because bifurcation between History and Islamic Studies should be maintained so that these two subjects as separate branches of knowledge can serve the posterity in a true spirit. Dr.Madiha Afzal shares the same horror that Pakistani governments think religion the sole binding and integrating power for the ethnicities: “What of the different ethnicities and histories of the four provinces? They are omitted. Because linguistic differences threaten Pakistan less, they are acknowledged more in the textbook. Ethnicity worries the state, because it does not want identity to be driven by it. So the state invokes and imposes religion, hoping that it will make the provinces forget their separateness; the Pakistani identity is equated entirely with Islam”.
This is the fact that religion remained dormant and impotent power during the East Pakistan crisis while language and culture prevailed in the situation. Similarly, Hazara, Jinnahpur (Akhtar Hussain Sandhu, 2015) /Karachi and Saraiki Suba movements were initiated on the basis of language and culture. Religion well served during the struggle for Pakistan but the post-partition politics revolves around the language and culture (Mubarak Ali, 1998:35).
History cannot be created rather history is reinterpreted according to the need and national stance. There were same historical events and facts under the British rule but were to be interpreted in the perspective of Hindu, British, Muslim and Sikh point of view. After 1947, India and Pakistan required their ‘national histories’ that could infuse a sense of Indian and Pakistani nationalisms for the respective generations. Even groups within these communities could adopt any of the interpretative postures. India cannot justify the Muslim League’s political stance while Pakistan cannot support the Congress stance in their textbooks. Dr.Mubarak Ali points out that India and Pakistan tried to construct their histories but Pakistani historians could not perform well and produced weak national narratives and interpretations. “The historians of newly-independent faced tremendous problems.” The Pakistani historians “failed to give an effective response to these challenges. Neither the history of the past has been objectively reshaped, nor is the history of the world and civilization studied with the changing interpretations of time.” Dr.Mubarak Ali castigates the Universities and history departments which could not produce specific work regarding different fields. Not a single History Department in any of the Pakistani universities has specific programme or agenda to produce researchers and historians in specific field (Ibid, 1998:38-39). Point to be noted here is that not on textbooks, the criticism of the author is on the historians and faculty working in the history departments in the Pakistani universities because they produce human resource for specific fields. Dr.Mubarak Ali embarks on the textbook boards of Pakistan because the textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies were “written by incompetent writers who are not well versed in the subject”.
The textbooks having History chapters were questioned by the Pakistani writers and scholars. Their main focus was the errata, incomplete information and interpretation which were perceived and highlighted as ‘distortion’ of history and facts. Much criticism comes to the fore about the distortion of history events relating to the non-Muslims. They highlight that the textbooks disown glorious history of the Subcontinent prior to the Muslim advent in AD 712. The textbooks offer history of the region as dominated by the Muslims only and the pre-Muslim history is not told to the young minds. Some writers follow the outcry by some propagandists without going into the depth of the factual position. Ahsan Butt misperceives that Jamat-i-Islami having much influence in the bureaucracy therefore the syllabi could not be changed. He further writes: “History textbooks encapsulate a state’s official narrative for its citizens, and depending on their content, can create and sustain chauvinistic attitudes toward out-groups” (Pervez A. Hoodbhoy and Abdul Hameed Nayyar, 2005).
Pervez Hoodbhoy concluded in 2005 that the rewriting history textbooks intended to follow the traditional line under the influence of Jamat-i-Islami which inculcated that Pakistan was achieved to be made an Islamic state: “Viewed from this angle, it becomes essential to project the movement for Pakistan as the movement for an Islamic state, the creation of which became a historic inevitability with the first Muslim invasion of the subcontinent. The revised history of Pakistan uses much the same idiom and the same concepts of Islamic state and of politics in Islam, as the Jamaat-i-Islami. Its wholesale dissemination through educational institutions demonstrates both the influence of the Jamaat on education as well as the confluence of interests and philosophy of military rulers and the Jamaat” (Ibid).
The history syllabi were revised massively in 2016-17 despite the Jamat-i-Islami was still functioning in Pakistan which testifies that though governments push their respective vision to be highlighted in the syllabi but the Jamaat is not a decisive factor in the decision-making regarding content development of the textbooks in the Punjab. The major shift is depending on the knowledge and intention of the subject experts who work as authors and reviewers.
Ahsan Butt quotes Madiha Afzal and establishes his conclusion that the history textbooks in Pakistan have been destroying the minorities and ethnic groups: “In South Asia, research has found that Pakistani textbooks used in social studies, history, and Pakistan studies feature statements that are “entirely one-sided, in favor of Muslims and Pakistan” (Pervez A. Hoodbhoy, 2017).
To be clear of the fact that the Pakistani nation cannot adopt the Indian version of history textbooks as the Indian nation does not adopt pro-Muslim League stance in the textbooks. And at present no religious group is targeted negatively or sidelined in the history textbooks in Pakistan. The people having knowhow and fresh knowledge about the textbooks being taught presently in the Punjab schools cannot object to this point as all the historical periods are the part of the school books as partly appreciated by some writers: “On the history front one feels instant relief. Pakistan’s date of birth has thankfully been set at 1947 and away from 712 — the year Arab imperial conqueror Mohammed bin Qasim set foot in Sindh” (Mariam Chughtai, 2015).
Mariam Chughtai rightly explores the angle in the research findings about the motives behind the history contents in Pakistan: “I propose the possibility that history education in Pakistan does not foster religious nationalism for the sake of religion, but uses religion as one tool amongst many, to further secular, political, and nationalistic objectives” (Yaar Muhammad and Peter Brett, 2017).
Yaar Muhammad sees a positive change in the contents of the Pakistan Studies textbook in 2006 although equality and promotion of all minorities, languages and cultures have been ensured through the Constitution that is told in the textbooks: “A new curriculum for secondary Pakistan studies introduced in 2006. This curriculum attempted to more explicitly recognize the ethnic and religious diversity of Pakistan and aimed to prepare young people as citizens of a democratic society and for global citizenship”.
As far as the history is concerned the school students in Punjab are taught about the ancient Indian legacy. The textbooks provide proper information about the worship places and sacred days of the Hindus, Sikhs and Christians in a respectful manner. The syllabus also talks of Budhism and non-Muslim personalities and rulers when it offers details about the Indus civilization and religious and political history of India. Ancient India produced rich literature and experts in different fields of life. In 771 AD, Sanskrit literature was translated into Arabic (a book on astronomy named, Sinddhanta by Brahmagupt was translated in Arabic which came to be known as Sindhind in Arabic). In mathematics, the most important contribution of India to Arabic learning was the introduction of what called ‘Indian Numerals’ (Ruqum-al-Hindiyyah). Manka (Indian Doctor or Tabeeb) treated ruler Harun-al-Rashid (S.M.Ikram, 1993:47) during his illness and was richly rewarded. Teachers while talking on the ancient Indian legacy given in the textbooks can throw light on this historical fact if he/she is equipped with the sufficient knowledge relating to the topic. The textbooks of history take up the era from grade 4 to 8 start from Indus Valley Civilization to the current years. It means the students are supposed to study or learn the brief survey of the history of the land from BC to present day.
Many people and organizations raised voice from time to time against the anti-minority injections in the textbooks which promoted extremism (Maryam Chughtai, 2017). Mariam Chughtai presents her analysis that “is grounded in a particular understanding of religious nationalism and identity politics which is essential in conceptualizing religious political extremism” (Salman Ali and Saira Ahmad, 2017). But sometimes very strange objections are published by some writers. They want to eliminate the ‘national point of view’ from the textbooks as Salman Ali writes: “..…students of government schools in Punjab and even other provinces are being taught, Muhammad Ali Jinnah felt that Hindus wanted to make Muslims their slaves and since he hated slavery, he left the Congress.” At another place in grade-III, it says, “The Congress was actually a party of Hindus. Muslims felt that after getting freedom, Hindus would make them their slaves”.
The empirical evidence verifies that Quaid-i-Azam saved the Muslims from the slavery of the cruel Hindu majority. Sikhs and Muslims were two minorities in the British India. Sikhs decided to remain under Hindu majority and have become ‘slaves’ while the Muslims are a sovereign nation.
Volume or space in the textbooks is the main issue while writing textbooks of history, Pakistan Studies or social studies. Few pages are allotted to the textbooks at different levels and all events cannot be included in these pages therefore the authors are forced to be selective in picking up the relevant material from the sources keeping the level of the children in mind. The book entitled Murder of History contains about 260 pages merely highlighting objections and errata. Redressing the objections mentioned in this book requires hundreds of pages for one textbook while the history section of the textbooks consists of few pages. It is interesting that all the critics wrote hundreds of pages against the history and Pakistan Studies textbooks but they did not dare to write few pages as ‘model’ or ‘alternative textbooks.’
Many quote the textbooks in the western countries having no stride to educate a specific ideological narrative but the fact is that the big countries having glorious heritage stretching over centuries do not need to preach such things at school level rather the prestige already persists in them that the members of a big nation feel. The newly emerged states need to create national narratives to unite the multicultural and multi-religious identities. The Pakistani and Indian governments seek and change the narratives because their status has changed from a ruled to the ruling nations. Despite all verbosity, the big countries never seem to surrender their nationalism and patriotism. The USA adopted ‘The Pledge of Allegiance’ in 1892 which infuses respect of US flag and this Pledge maintains and creates a sense of unity and nationalism among the American people who recite it placing hands on their hearts: “Every morning across the United States of America, over 60 million teachers and students recite The Pledge of Allegiance. Congress sessions open with the recitation of the Pledge, and it is recited at many public events:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The UK schools suggest readings or books to the students which not only mention ‘selective personalities’ but also present entirely a British national narrative. The book entitled Heroes of History suggested by the Kates Hill Primary School, Peel Street, Dudley (UK) to the students contains not a single Muslim leader while it covers era from 1478 BC to 2014. It mentions MK Gandhi but only as a nonviolent strategist.
Nevertheless, teaching and learning history can be classified into two types:
|#||National History/ Educational History
|Tender age||* Construction and justification of nationalism/patriotism.
||Biased /value loaded|
|Mature age||* History as file of events
||History as pure subject. All interpretations/ schools of thought are studied.|
National or educational history aims at creating patriotism and nationalism in the minds of the posterity therefore this objective can be achieved through curriculum and syllabi.
History is being taught in the Punjab from grade 4 to 12 without deletion of any ruling period. Look at the pages allocated to History and Pakistan Studies textbooks at different levels:
|Grade/Class||Book Name||History Period||Exercise||Pure Subject Pages||Comments|
|4th||Muashrti Uloom||2500 BC-1947||2 pages||11||Pictures, tables and exercise reduce further space|
|5th||Muashrti Uloom||1857-2013||3||7||Pictures, tables and exercise reduce further space|
|6th||Tareekh||Indus Valley to Advent of Mughal Dynasty (3800BC-1526AD)||----------||--------||-----------|
|7th||Tareekh (Mughal Rule)||1526-1857||----------||--------||-----------|
|8th||Tareekh||1857-1947||16||54||Pictures, tables and exercise reduce further space|
|9th||Mutalia Pakistan, (2015-16)||1857-1947||10||41||Moreover, pictures and pages on ideology further restrict the space|
|11th||History of Muslim World||Europe, World Wars, Decolonization, Cold War, etc.|
Topics relating to society, government, culture, etc.
Including chapter on Hazrat Umar (RA)
Total Book: 145
|It contains 11 chapters: history of freedom movement, early problems, Geography, Measures to make Pakistan a democratic state, Government system and good governance, culture, languages, national unity and prosperity, economic planning, women rights, foreign policy|
Source: Publications by the Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board, Lahore.
The table shows a narrow space to elaborate history and Pakistan Studies being taught at different levels in which the authors are restricted to pick very prominent topics and narrate them in few sentences.
The history textbooks fully reply to the critics who believe that ancient legacy has been deleted from the PCTB textbooks. A textbook tells about Ashoka in the following words: “Historians believe that Indian history remembers Ashoka as a great ruler. It is noteworthy to mention that numerous foreign kings ruled over India but Ashoka came of an indigenous identity and was a wise ruler” Moashari (translation).
The text relating to Bin Qasim in the Punjab textbook grade 5 includes the narrative in the following lines: “Muslim rule in the Subcontinent started in 712 AD with the conquest of Muhammad bin Qasim. At that time, Muslim rule had spread to the Arab and neighbouring areas. Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh after defeating Raja Dahir. Multan was also captured after further expeditions. Muhammad bin Qasim fixed stipends for Hindu and Buddhist leaders and extended honour and respect. Weighing this respect for the non-Muslim, many embraced Islam. Despite onslaught by the foreign invaders, the people of Sindh, Punjab and other regions continued their living according to their culture (translation).
Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been described and admired in the textbook in the following words: “Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a brave and famous ruler of the Sikh period. He established his rule in Afghan areas, Kashmir and Punjab. No foreign invader dared to attack the Subcontinent during his reign”.
Mention of the two-nation theory depicts reality without any exaggeration: “Two-nation theory means that two big nations, non-Muslim and Muslim were inhabited in the Subcontinent and Hindus constituted a majority. Although, both the nations had been living side by side for centuries but could not be merged into each other. A combined and one society could not exist and the very reality offered the foundation of Two-nation theory” (translation).
The impact of Islam on the social life of the Subcontinent evidently blocked the possibility for the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims to be merged into one identity therefore, all these nations retained their identity on the basis of religion. Peace education pedagogy aims to ensure holistic understanding of issues, debate and sense of analytical capacity among the students and the very contents offer such positive environment in the Punjab’s schools.
The current syllabi of the history and Pakistan studies textbooks designed by the Government of the Punjab offer a balanced approach having no poisonous injunctions against any religious community or political group. The contents mainly highlight the national point of view of the historical events as the entire countries project in their education policies.
The textbooks discuss the Indus Valley Civilization, Hindu, Sikh, foreign regimes briefly without derogatory remarks. Major religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Budhism, Sikhism, have been mentioned with respect. In the political domain, the contents offer ideological standpoints of all political parties during the British period.
Truth with decency if educated can set in new era of peace in the world and syllabi plays pivotal role in the peacemaking struggle. In Pakistan the textbooks (PCTB) of History and Pakistan Studies impact the tender minds and no evidence can be presented that any student had joined any terror group while studying in the school.
The governments have massively changed the textbooks of History, Islamic Studies and Pakistan Studies therefore the most of the critique has become obsolete and irrelevant but people are still implementing the outdated version of critique on the new textbooks. The critique is relating to errata, interpretation, skipping events, ignoring counter-narratives and leaders, verbosity, focus on Muslim heritage, using wrong nomenclatures, wrong data, and so on given in the PCTB textbooks of history and Pakistan studies. Errata cannot be a distortion or murder of history. History can neither be distorted nor murdered because the file of events is history under the definition that ‘history is the name of events not comments.’ Interpretations in a specific direction create several schools of thought and such interpretational history stems from ‘history’ therefore history retains and preserves its purity and authenticity. History is defined as the subject of events organized chronologically based on direct evidence. This study finds no major flaw in the PCTB textbooks of History and Pakistan Studies. Textbooks ought to be a tool to infuse patriotism, nationalism and humanism if the contents teach love for all and hatred for hate and extremism. History has proved that it cannot be ‘murdered’ because history is based on a record of truth, realities and facts. Historical facts can be attacked and reinterpreted in favourable or antagonistic perspectives but these ‘facts’ can never be murdered. Anyway, few pages allocated for history textbooks cannot present all the events and schools of thought therefore, the authors are bound to select the events and briefly mention them keeping the level of the children and space in their mind. The textbooks start from Indus Valley Civilization up to recent history with mention of Ashoka as great ruler. It also discusses Maharaja Ranjit Singh and other non-Muslim rulers in an accurate way. Absorbing all the political regimes and religious communities in the PCTB reflects the capaciousness of the Pakistan’s government and the contents have been promoting peace, harmony, coexistence and tranquility in the region.
- All the countries consciously or unconsciously believe it their national duty to promote the religion, culture, system and ideology (minus violence). Owing and admiring the parents, religion, land, culture and nation is a natural phenomenon but the discourse must be kept away from hatred and violence against any group.
- Manual for Teachers based on skill to link lesson to peace and harmony must be published and taught in capacity building programmes.
- Hate Studies has become important subject so one chapter can be added to the Social Studies.
Abbasid ruler from 763 or 766 to 809 AD.
Ahsan Butt, ‘Nationalistic Narratives in Pakistani Textbooks,’ [../../../../Users%20/User/Desktop/Articles%20Working%20Nov%202017/PB210-Nationalistic%20-Narratives-in-Pakistani-Textbooks.pdf file:///C:/Users /User/Desktop/Articles%20Working%20Nov%20201][../../../../Users%20/User/Desktop/Articles%20Working%20Nov%202017/PB210-Nationalistic%20-Narratives-in-Pakistani-Textbooks.pdf 7/PB210-Nationalistic][../../../../Users%20/User/Desktop/Articles%20Working%20Nov%202017/PB210-Nationalistic%20-Narratives-in-Pakistani-Textbooks.pdf -Narratives-in-Pakistani-Textbooks.pdf], 22/12/2017.
Akhtar Hussain Sandhu (2015). ‘Saraiki Suba Movement in Pakistani Punjab: Viability in Focus’, Pakistan Perspectives, Vol.20, No.2 - July-December 2015.
Curriculum for grades IV-V, http://pctb.punjab.gov.pk/system/files/SOCIAL %20STUDIES%20IV-V.pdf, 17/12/2017.
Czarina Catherine II known as Catherine the Great remained Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, https://apeurowebb.files.wordpress.com/2013/11 /catherine_the_great.pdf.
Daily Dawn, 8 March 2015, p. 17.
Daily, Dawn, 26 September 2014.
Details of the infrastructure, call for textbook writing, manuscripts, bidding, review, printing, etc. can be found from the website: http://pctb. punjab.gov.pk/guidelines, 17/12/2017.
Dr. Madiha Afzal (2016). ‘Erased provincial histories,’ The Express Tribune, 2 March 2016.
K.K. Aziz, (1993). Murder of History: A critique of history textbooks used in Pakistan (Lahore: Vanguard Book Pvt. Ltd.). Murder of History authored by KK Aziz has about 260 pages that mostly raise objections and one can imagine that if addressed all the grievances how many pages will be required for this detailed discourse. The details sought by K.K.Aziz in the textbooks cannot be covered in the allocated space of 9th grade textbook of Pakistan Studies.
Mariam Chughtai (2015). ‘What Produces a History Textbook?’ Ph.D. thesis (Faculty of the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University, 2015), 2, https://dash.harvard.edu/handle /1/16461056, 22/12/2017.
Mian Shahbaz Sharif was born in 1951 and he is the Chief Minister of the Punjab.
Moasharti Uloom (Social Studies) Grade 4, (Lahore: Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board, 2016-17), chapter 2’ see also Safdar Mahmood, daily Jang, 17 June 2016. Chapter 2.
Moasharti Uloom (Social Studies) Grade 4, (Lahore: Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board, 2016-17), 17-18.
Moasharti Uloom (Social Studies) Grade 5, (Lahore: Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board, 2017), 24.
Moasharti Uloom (Social Studies) Grade 5, 24.
Mubarak Ali (1998). In the Shadow of History (Lahore: Fiction House, 1998), 35.
Mubarak Ali. (2016). ‘Lies and half-truths,’ Daily Dawn, 31 January 2016.
National Curriculum can be found here, http://pctb.punjab.gov.pk/All_ Curriculum, 17/12/2017.
National History or Educational History means a book consisting of selective historical events with interpretation in the national perspective.
Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy and Abdul Hameed Nayyar (2005). ‘Rewriting the History of Pakistan,’ www.sacw.net|February 6, 2005, http://www.sacw. net/HateEducation/1985HoodbhoyNayyar06022005. html, 23/12/2017.
Pervez Hoodbhoy (2017). Textbooks – kudos to Punjab,’ Daily, Dawn, 25 November 2017.
Salman Ali & Saira Ahmad (2017). ‘Pakistani Textbooks Controversy,’ Daily Times, 13 November 2017.
See Peace Education Program; A Professional Development Course for Educatorshttp://www.achva.ac.il/sites/default/files/achvafiles/r%26d/ institute/rd/PEP%20Curriculum%20FINAL%20-%20Sep2011%20 Revision Pdf. Accessed July 26, 2016, p 162.
See textbooks of primary levels. See also Safdar Mahmood, ‘Hamara Dou Tok Nisab,’ Daily Jang (Lahore), 12 June 2016.
SM Ikram, History of Muslim Civilization in India and Pakistan (Lahore: Ferozsons Ltd., 1993), 47.
Social Studies Grade 4, Chapter 2. See also Safdar Mahmood, Daily Jang, 17 June 2016.
This meeting was held in Arfa Kareem Tower under the chair of Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin, Chairperson, Punjab HEC where the author coordinated the two sessions.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) managed this report. Daily, Dawn, 16 April 2016.
Yaar Muhammad and Peter Brett, ‘Beyond binary discourse? Pakistan studies textbooks and representations of cultural, national and global identity,’ http://www.academia.edu/19794616/Beyond_binary_discourses_Pakistan studies_textbooks_and_representations_of_cultural_national_and_global_identity, 22/12/2017.