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    History education

    I am not sure about private schools in Pakistan, but the high school curriculum of government schools does not have any sort of history education in Pakistan from grade 6 through 10th. Actually, that is not quite true. I think in grade 9th and 10th students can opt to study Arts or Science curriculum and for Arts alone, they do have History as a compulsory subject.

    But that's still very marginal. The point is, an average student does not get to read history (of world at large) at all. We have compulsory subjects like Pak Studies, Religion, English, Urdu, and Math but no history.

    Come to think of it, that's a deprivation of knowledge, about world as a whole and our connection to it, that our younger generation suffers from. History education imparts a very fundamental understanding and knowledge of human existence, struggle, and journey through the rise and fall of various civilizations, without which a child cannot possibly develop a broader and deeper viewpoint of humanity itself.

    I strongly believe that History education should also be part of compulsory curriculum in schools. Why not?

    #2
    What is Pak studies? Is it another name for Social Studies/Civic education?

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      #3
      O sher ayaa! tuhaday hajay das nai bajay

      Pak Studies is actually an English translation of 'Mutalyaa-ay Pakistan'. It's basically a history of struggle and indepedence from British rule over Indian subcontinent and partition. So it's pretty much specific to Pak history.

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        #4
        AGREED!

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          #5
          I went to both public and private schools in Pakistan, the curriculum was pretty similar for the most part. In the early classes, till the 7th grade, we had two subjects by the name of "history" and "geography". In history we read about Pak history in detail, and world history simplified. Geography was about the world geography in general. I agree that that perhaps was not enough by some regards, but I personally believe that it was a whole lot more than whats taught in American schools. Not just history, the whole curriculum taught in Pakistani schools is a step ahead of their american counterparts. It might not be taught in the best way, but it definitely has a higher standard. I remember doing my intermediate in Pakistan, which is equivalent to high school in the US, and then in my freshman year at a US university, for the most part i had to redo the same calculus, physics and chemistry that i had already done in my intermediate.

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            #6
            Roman makes a good point. There is no history in Pakistani High Schools except for minor introductions to regional dynasties and a very little mention of the Greeks, Romans, and the Egyptians. But there are good History departments in major Unis in Pakistan. U of Punjab has a very good dept of History.

            I agree with Roman that more of History is needed at school level. Come to think of it, there is not much of History in High Schools here in the States either except for Eurocentric accounts of colonialism (with emphasis on American Revolution and Slavery, etc.).

            I am a History (ancient) enthusiast and I am reading my kids the History and I hope for them to develop an interest in it.

            Roman Yara, what do you think can be done to include history curriculum at schools in Pakistan?

            One way to get people excited about History is through TV and film media.

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              #7
              Akif,

              I took Calculus here as well like you and I agree that there wasn't much difference between the two curricula as far as breadth of the theories is concerned, but I did feel that the Calculus I took was more detailed oriented with a lot more problems and tests compared to what I remember taking during my F.Sc. years back in Pakistan.

              NYA,

              They do have few historical plays on PTV like Shaheen etc but mostly they deal with Muslim history.

              I have not read any of high school curriculum here in US so can't say much (It would be helpful if people around here who went to high school here can shed some light on the topic) but I think adding a good level of history curriculum with simplified language without sacrificing the content is desperately needed.

              I find history a tricky subject matter to grasp. There is so much of it in terms of different measures like civilizations, movements/revolutions, religions, cultures, geography, and philosophy that it becomes hard to put these together into something that forms an organized picture.

              For example, we have scattered parts of history like Bronze age, Middle ages, Industrial revolution, AD vs. BC, Greek civilization, Roman Empire, Dynasties, and so forth... and if one tries to put these together, it's a mess. I personally used to get very confused over different terms and contexts (and I still don't know much about history, but I do take interest in it) but then I learned that there are two major arrangements which are used together to organize history better in the form of a matrix. These are timeline and geographic regions. And I think when you look at a matrix like that, history becomes very interesting. You can instantly see, for example, what was happening in Rome during the period, say 500 BC - 100 BC compared to in India, China, or Middle East (obviously, I'm sidetracking from the topic now). And I think keeping such an organization itself is very interesting for the curious minds of the youth. What is needed most is to take steps to make it part of the curriculum.

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                #8
                O.k.. Roman and Ahmadhi might have read this article off from chowk by Dr. Hoodbhoy but this is for the rest of those who prolly missed it... It about the state of education in Pakistan..

                http://www.chowk.com/bin/showa.cgi?phoodbhoy_apr1500

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                  #9
                  Yeah ghalib, I read the article some time ago. I particularly found the statistics presented to be very useful and supportive to his argument.

                  I do think that he kinda went a bit too far in terms of realistic solution to the problems when he suggested distance learning using modern technology etc. A lot of government schools don't even have furniture at 6, 7th grade levels for students to sit on how they are gonna implement this sudden plunge to technology usage?

                  I think what should have been addressed (which he did) was the framework for some radical changes in the education systems. Which he mentioned in terms of textbook material, eximination, teacher training etc.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Roman,
                    Important topic.
                    Uptil 8th grade we have social studies , and from 9th to 12th grade there was Pak studies...
                    I remember , 9th class history started with moen jo daro and harrappa, going on to creation of pakistan....civics is very sketchy , and for no good reason a big chunk( was it 9th or 8th grade) was taken by the organization of UNO..
                    From 9th grade onwards....history is primarily pakistan movement..and in order to make it representative of unclear ideology of pakistan , it is heavily poisoned against anyone non muslim..
                    I remeber a line , stating that Britishers were particularly interested in suppressing the muslims, because hindus who were ruled by muslims didnt represent much will for freedom....( I wondered at that time too, how britisher occupying the land was wrong , while muslims doing teh same thing wasnt)
                    Anyway , it seemed that history stopped after the creation of pakistan, other then a little mantion of division of water between pakistan and India , and of course the kashmir issue..
                    moreover the problem isnt just the lack of breadth, its also the exame based learning...no individual thinking is rewarded..
                    My school principal, Mrs Mistri, told us taht she tried to teach paksitan studies for a year to teh 9th grade , but then refused because of teh poison it contained against hindus and india..and for its total lack of objectivity.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by NYAhmadi:
                      I am a History (ancient) enthusiast .
                      NY mian, abhi toh aap jawwan hain.

                      I agree, pakistani eductional system needs to be better overall. The religion section should contain info on other religions, their festivals, origins etc etc as well in a positive manner so people can understand other people. History everywhere is skewed to their own agenda atleast on a secondary education level....notice american high school history books and the west centered focus on it, without even discussing the merits of marxism etc. But agreed that Pakistani educational system needs to fix this whole mess. People will decide who's bad and who's not...dont force a point of view on us, expose the kids to different views and let them formulate their own opinions.

                      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

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