Khowar as a compulsory subject introduced in Chitral schools

PESHAWAR, April 17: The students of government primary schools in Chitral will learn primers of Khowar, their mother tongue, in the ongoing academic year which started this month. khowarThe provincial Elementary and Secondary Education (E&SE) Department has introduced four regional languages – Hindko, Seraiki, Khowar and Kohistani – as compulsory subject in educational institutions from academic year 2013-14. Pashto was introduced as compulsory subject in the Pashtu-speaking areas of the province the previous year. It is for the first time that students of nursery classes would formally learn their respective mother languages in schools. “Under the government’s decision, we have started teaching the mother languages as compulsory subject from nursery classes and these will gradually be introduced in other classes,” E&SE Director Rafiq Khattak said. The decision of introducing mother languages as compulsory subject was taken by the previous Awami National Party-led provincial government in its cabinet meeting on Oct 5, 2011. According to the action plan, Pashto was being introduced as compulsory subject in grade-6 in Pashto speaking districts where it had already been medium of instructions at primary level, while in the remaining Pashto-speaking areas it was introduced from grade-1 to 6th from academic year 2012-13. The teaching of Hindko, Seraiki, Khowar and Kohistani are being started as compulsory subject from class-1 to 7th in areas where these languages are spoken from academic session 2013-14, according to the action plan. When contacted, Textbook Board, Peshawar, chairman Prof Himayatullah Khan told this correspondent that primers of the mother tongues for nursery classes had already been sent to the relevant district education offices as per their demand. He said that primers of Khowar language being spoken as first language in Chitral had been provided to the relevant district education office. Similarly, primers of Hindko have been provided to different districts, including Abbottabad, Haripur, Peshawar and Mansehra, where Hindko is spoken by a section of the population. The primers of Seraiki language spoken in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank have also been provided to the district education offices concerned, while primers of Kohistani language spoken in Kohistan district would be sent to the relevant education office on their demand, he said. Directorate of Curriculum and Teacher Education director Bashir Hussain Shah said that primers of mother tongues had been printed and curriculum of these languages for grade-1 already developed. He said that curricula for rest of the classes would be approved by end of June. “The primers of regional languages are developed with consensus among writers, poets and experts on the relevant languages,” Mr Shah said. Attaullah Khan, an educationist, said that introduction of mother tongue as compulsory subject in schools would make the students understand their regional culture, values, traditions, etc. He said that with the introduction of teaching regional language in schools it would be easy for students to read and write besides improving their listening and speaking capabilities.–Dawn]]>

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