Medium Of Instruction

The argument surrounding the Single National Curriculum (SNC) continues as Shafqat Mehmood, the Federal Education Minister, shifts the focus away from educational content and towards how knowledge is relayed to students across the country. Undeniably, discrepancies, by virtue of the medium of instruction employed, exist within national institutions—making the task of bridging the gap between public and private schools all the more challenging. However, whether the solution to such inequality lies in uniformity is up for debate.

In order to level the playing field, the prospect of switching the mode of instruction to Urdu is being contemplated by the government. Not only is it our national language but, by virtue of being the mother tongue, it is easily understood by the masses. As such, the process of learning is not only made easier but more inclusive as well. However, adopting Urdu as the primary language in institutions across the board would rob the Pakistani population of a competitive advantage in the international market. English, considered a global language, is one that dominates trade, communication, technology, internet and many other facets of daily life. If the ability to speak the language fluently is not honed, we stand to threaten our standing in the global arena. At this point, what needs to be understood is that advantage is one that we can only avail if the quality of instructor is at par all over. The reality of Pakistan is such that private schools, catering to the demands of the elite which wish to expand their horizons abroad, offer substantially better instruction than public in regards to English. As a result, one faction of society still remains disadvantaged and disparities continue to exist.

At this point in time, uniformity in all other aspects seems attainable. The apprehension that surrounds barriers created due to linguistics is one that the government can eliminate through a skill-based model; all schools that can prove their competence in a certain language should be encouraged to adopt it and, therefore, use it to educate.

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