Regional languages programme in schools comes to a halt

They said on the demand of the district education offices, the primers of regional languages were dispatched for nursery students during the previous academic year except Kohistani as the respective office didn’t made any demand. The officials said the students promoted to grade 1 had no textbooks of regional language though the new academic year began in April. They insisted the Directorate of Curricula and Teacher Education (DCTE) was to blame as it didn’t publish the curricula of regional languages. According to the officials, it’s the responsibility of the directorate to prepare and approve the curricula. The textbook board develops books on the regional languages after its curricula is approved by the chief minister. The officials said the DCTE was ready to print the curricula for grade 1 to grade 12 and even the payment was made to the government’s printing press but the process was stopped at the ‘intervention’ of some key men at the helms of the affairs. When contacted, DCTE director Bashir Hussain Shah said the curricula was ready and would be published soon. He said the directorate had a special fund for the printing of the curricula and that there was no problem with it. The last ANP-led government had introduced five regional languages in 2012 as a compulsory subject in all educational institutions up to intermediate level, according to a notification available with Dawn. Pashto, Hindko, Seraiki, Kohar and Kohistani have been declared regional languages, showed the notification. The regional languages were made compulsory under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Regional Languages Authority Act, 2011. Any regional language has to be taught in the area where it is spoken by the local residents. The officials said the teaching of regional languages was made compulsory in educational institutions for their promotion and preservation. They said according to the implementation plan formulated by the education department at that time, the regional languages had to be introduced gradually in the respective areas. According to them, the primers of regional languages have been introduced at nursery level. The officials said according to the plan, the regional languages should have been implemented at grade 1 level at the start of the current academic year but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.–Dawn]]>

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