PESHAWAR: Almost 10 % private schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa teach Pashto as a subject while remaining do not follow the decision of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to introduce Pashto as a compulsory subject from grade 1 to 6.
In this connection the provincial government has also passed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Regional Language Authority Act, 2011 for teaching purpose and promotion of regional language in the province on January 3rd, 2012.
However, the education department has not bothered to check whether private schools have implemented the government’s orders or not.
Shah Zarin, Deputy District Officer Schools and Literacy Takhtbhai said that at primary level they (schools administrations) had two choices; either they teach Pashto or Urdu syllabus. He added that there were 336 primary schools where students were being taught in Pashto language while in Mardan circle some government run schools prefer Urdu.
“Our educationists have suggested that the curriculum at primary level should be in mother language. We agree with this suggestion because a student can easily get education in native language as compare to other languages” he expressed.
He mentioned that some steps had been taken by the provincial government regarding this while final notification had not been issued yet.
According to the government plan, Pashto would be introduced as a compulsory subject from grade 1 to 6th effectively from academic session 2012-2013 in all schools, including private schools as well, in all Pashto-speaking areas of the province.
While, Hindko, Seraiki, Kohar and Kohistani will be introduced as compulsory subjects from class 1 to 7th from academic session 2013-14, and these regional languages will be taught as compulsory subjects in both government and private schools of the province.
But the plan for the promotion of regional languages seems dark because private schools administrations do not show interest in it, while government also does not take concrete steps for the implementation of Pashto as a compulsory subject in both private and government schools.
Private Schools Management Association (Takhtbhai zone) President Lutf-ul-Wahab (who also running a private school for the last 15 years), said that almost 10% private schools taught Pashto as a subject. He mentioned that from government side there was no stress on them regarding introduction of Pashto as a compulsory subject in the syllabus and that was the reason every private school choose local or Urdu languages by own choice.
To quarry he said that his own children could not read Pashto books or newspapers because they did not learn it in their schools, adding that private schools’ students were very weak to read or write the Pashto language as compare to government-run schools.
He mentioned that in most of foreign countries the text-books were being written in their own languages and that was the reason that they are far away in the field of education compared with Pakistan educational system. The students could easily understand course work in mother languages, he added.
He said that he welcomed the government decision and would start Pashto as a compulsory subject in his school from next session.
Principal of Abdali Model School Takhtbhai, Miss Seema said that recently they (school authorities) did not receive any notification from education department, while two years back they got a notification from government regarding Pashto as a subject.
She added that they did not teach Pashto in their school, further said students almost used to speak Pashto in their homes and other places so they should concentrate on Urdu and English.
She expressed that in this technological era the school administration had just focus on Urdu and English languages and that’s why they did not include Pashto in their school syllabus.
Standard Public School Principal, Zahir Shah said that in current session he did not include Pashto as a subject while in coming session he must include it because of its importance. He mentioned that once he tried to include Pashto in his school but he faced hurdles from students’ parents. He said that whether government had interest in the implementation of Pashto to be taught as a compulsory subject, he would also implement it in his school.