Education, Development, and Change
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Curricula Need Revision

The National Conference on ‘Youth for Peaceful and Pluralist Pakistan’
Noor Aftab
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The National Conference on ‘Youth for Peaceful and Pluralist Pakistan’ on Tuesday reached to a consensus that the educational curricula need massive revision keeping in view the vivacity of social, cultural and religious communities of the Pakistani society.

The conference was organised here by Centre for Civic Education Pakistan with an aim to encourage critical and creative ways of thinking and stimulating civic activism to promote pluralism, rule of law and good governance.

Muhammad Nizamuddin, Vice Chancellor of University of Gujrat, in his keynote address made scholarly inputs to explore possible approaches to peace and pluralism with a focus on youth.

He said there is a need to come up with curricula through which resolution of conflicts and differences should be taught. “To make the pluralist ideology part of daily life of the youth we need an ingrained and well thought-out education system,” he said.

He said peace is not the mere absence of war rather it is the presence of justice, equality and human rights. Similarly, he said pluralism is not mere prevalence of diversity rather it is characterised by meaningful engagement with diversity based on ideas of co-existence, interdependence and cooperation.

The first session focused on ‘Education as a fence against terrorism’ and the panellists included Dr. Shahid Siddique, Dr. Agha Nasir, Dr. Sarfraz Khan and Fida Hussain. The session highlighted the role of quality education that deals with ideas and can be the most effective tool to steer young people to better future. It also aimed at exploring contemporary academic discourse and narratives and identifying crucial structures and spaces to promote peace and pursue pluralism.

Dr. Agha Nasir of Balochistan University stressed upon the need to first bring change from within. “We have done what we could. Now, it is the responsibility of young people to take the reins of the country in their hands as it is their turn to lead.”

Dr. Shahid Siddiqui in his comments underlined the need to identify different types of extremism and strategies to deal with each type separately. “The global experience shows that if rightly guided the youth can play a critical role in the making of societies and polities,” he said adding that given the overarching role of social media Pakistan needs to come up with extended pedagogies to attract the youth.

The second session focused on ‘Campuses: catalyst for change’ in which the speakers tried to find out ways and means to make youth a catalyst for change to nurture pluralism and promote peace in Pakistan.


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