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Pakistan: Education

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 55338, tabled on 29 November 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the implications for her policies are of the findings of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom on the presence of discriminatory and inciteful material in text books in schools in Pakistan.

Answered on

6 December 2016

We are concerned about any reports of abuses against religious minorities in Pakistan. The annual report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom identified ‘discriminatory’ content against minorities in provincial textbooks in Pakistan. DFID’s work directly addresses this concern. DFID is supporting the Governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to raise the quality of education, including through reviewing and replacing text books. Both Provinces are implementing Pakistan’s 2006 reformed curriculum which includes new text books and lesson plans. Independent evaluations of the reformed curriculum have confirmed it to be based on the values of democracy, pluralism, and peace. DFID has regular reviews with both Provincial governments to consider programme progress, including the use of new teaching plans, textbooks and tests.