Socrates said that education is the lighting of a flame, not the filling of a vase. Education is the process that facilitates learning to acquire knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Common methods used to educate people are teaching, training, storytelling, discussion, demonstration, and direct research. The role of education in nation building is indisputable and it is a valuable investment in the development of human capital. Historically, education has always contributed to the economic, social and moral development of any nation and it is a primary right of every person in society. Undoubtedly, Pakistan is one of the growing nation states. In such a scenario, creativity, knowledge integration, research and analytical approach to thinking become important. It therefore takes time to equip students with analytical and critical thinking skills and to familiarize them with modern technology and methodologies from the perspective of national development. In the modern education system, the curriculum is of fundamental importance. It is essentially a straightforward, planned sequence of instructions that determines the objectives, methods, materials, and techniques of assessment. A good program creates and reflects culture and identity seamlessly. It helps educators develop compatibility with modern trends, innovative technologies and enables them to impart required skills to students. Coherent teaching and learning is not possible without an appropriate curriculum. It helps teachers set measurable learning goals for their students.
In Pakistan, there is a wide gap between different social classes due to the difference in schooling in Urdu and English. Now, English is not just a language for learning knowledge, but many people consider it a status symbol. It is necessary to get the nation out of such complexes because no nation could rise until it relies on its original values and morals. To this end, the Government of Pakistan has designed a National Program Framework, under which the “One National Program” would be developed and implemented in three phases. It was asserted that the National Curriculum Framework is multi-dimensional and would address existing issues related to ideological, academic, socio-cultural, emerging trends and assessment paradigms. It is seen as an education system for all, in terms of curriculum, medium of instruction and common assessment platform that will ensure fair and equal opportunities to receive high quality education for all students, social cohesion and national integration, alleviation of disparities in the content of education across multiple streams, equal opportunities for upward social mobility, equity in education, holistic development of children in light of emerging international trends and local aspirations and seamless inter-provincial mobility of teachers and students. In developing the program, emphasis was placed on the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as inspiration for ethics and morality. Minorities would also be informed of their religions. The National Curriculum Framework is designed with the aim of achieving national education goals, formulating a national candid education policy, designing an effective curriculum, candidly defining learning outcomes, increasing flexibility to address local or regional needs within the broader perspective of national policies and needs and to provide an instrument of accountability in the field of education. The National Curriculum Framework will also address issues such as school arrangements, learning environment in schools, medium of instruction and languages of instruction, teacher training, assessment and examination, feedback mechanisms, information sharing and harmonization, etc. There is no doubt that the National Curriculum Framework is an outstanding step to revolutionize the educational horizon in the country.
On the other hand, it is a historical fact that in Pakistan, it is easy to formulate such frameworks and policies, but the most difficult step is the implementation. During the implementation phase, there are many realities on the ground that impede change.
On the other hand, it is a historical fact that in Pakistan, it is easy to formulate such frameworks and policies, but the most difficult step is the implementation. During the implementation phase, there are many realities on the ground that impede change. For the implementation of the National Curriculum Framework, it is necessary to upgrade the infrastructure and facilities of all public schools. Such developments in schools would require huge funds which are difficult to manage in the prevailing economic situations in the country. On the other hand, private schools are also required to follow the single national curriculum, but these schools are free to teach any additional material or even additional subjects. Private schools are also permitted to use any book that conforms to the curriculum. It is a fact that the infrastructure and educational facilities of private schools are much better than those of public schools. The ability to avail modern educational resources is incomparable between public and private school students. The question is how the objectives of the “national curriculum framework” and the “one national curriculum” could be achieved with all these differences? How is it possible to standardize the paradigm of education with all the differences described above? No doubt, for developing countries like Pakistan, it takes time to design and implement a uniform education policy for all. This would help bridge class differences and provide the manpower capable of managing the affairs of the state.