(By Ansar Abbasi) Mainstream media, which otherwise never miss any news connected with Imran Khan, conveniently ignored or underplayed a major announcement from the PTI Chief that Quran will be taught with translations in KPK schools.
Imran Khan termed the decision “historic” but media generally ignored or underplayed it. On Feb 6, Imran Khan announced through his tweets, “KP cabinet took 3 historic decisions today in field of education: 1. Quran to be taught with translation.” and “2. Only female teachers to teach in primary schools (both boys & girls); 3. Free & compulsory education from age 5 to 16 yrs.”
A day later, the Chief Minister KPK Pervez Khattak met a delegation of Islamic scholars and announced that the PTI government was going all-out to improve educational system along Islamic lines.
He reminded that the government has already legislated against interest rate and corrupt practices, and included the Islamic injunctions, the finality of Prophethood, Nazra Quran and Quran with translation in the syllabus of primary, elementary, secondary and higher secondary schools.
The KPK chief minister also showed his intent to review all provincial laws to make them in accordance with Quran and Sunnah by asserting that the Federal and Provincial governments were bound by the Constitution to make legislations to mould the laws in compatibility with Islamic injunctions.
The CM also said that it was binding for the governments to promote Islamic teachings and make all-out efforts in this regard. While the mainstream media appeared not much interested in suitably highlighting these developments, which are being pursued in line with the provisions of the 1973 Constitution; the TV talk-show anchors, in general, also turned blind eye to these major initiatives of the provincial government.
However, some liberal voices in the media were seen sharing a critical web-article, suggesting as if the KPK government has taken these initiatives following pressure from religious groups and parties.
Ignoring what the Constitution says as well as the fact that the concept of teaching Quran with translation compulsory in all schools for Muslim students, has recently been conceptualized by the federal government but first picked up by the KPK government for implementation, the liberal critics said, “The PTI KP government which is under increasing pressure from the right-wing parties has in the past week made two moves towards increasing religious involvement in matters of statecraft.”
It is added, “The move in anticipation of 2018 elections, is geared to make sure PTI does not lose out strongly from the voter base that belongs to Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Maulana Sami ul Haq.”
A leading TV anchor while sharing this web-article through his tweet wondered, “Is PTI in KP now afraid of Maulana’s vote bank? Courting the religious rights?” This new scheme of studies, prepared by the federal education ministry, has already received a lot of appreciation from different stakeholders including several private education institutions, which have approached the ministry and showed their keenness to implement the scheme in their systems and schools.