Pakistan’s School Books to Promote More Tolerance

December 19, 2006

Source: The Peninsula

Wire Service: Reuters

ISLAMABAD • Pakistan is amending school text books to promote more modern, broad-minded education and encourage more tolerance towards religious minorities and women, the education minister said yesterday.

Islamic studies in the predominantly Muslim country, founded in 1947 as a homeland for the subcontinent’s Muslims, would still be compulsory but students would be taught the country was not set up as a theocracy, said Minister of Education Javed Ashraf.

Religion would also be removed from text books for general subjects and schools would discourage narrow-minded religious tendencies among students, he said.

“We do not want our children to be just simple religious maulvis,” Ashraf said, referring to Muslim clerics.

“We also want them to be good citizens,” said the tall, former general in an interview in his office at the education ministry.