The stereotypical portrayal of women in textbooks under the Single National Curriculum (SNC) has caused an uproar on social media. One of the cover pages of an English book under the SNC that has gone viral on social media has a photo showing a family with the girl child and her mother — both in Hijab — sitting on the floor while the male child and the father sit on a sofa.
Many social media users have pointed out the double standards when it comes to their dressing as the girl and her mother are wearing traditional clothes, and that too with Hijab (which is not part of Pakistan’s national dress), while the male characters are casually dressed in western attire.
Others also pointed out that no woman in Pakistan wears hijab while sitting in her lounge with her family members.
Further, the lessons within the book portray women as having roles secondary to that of men. The text under the heading ‘Women as Role Models’ reads, “Our women have always been a great support to men.”
The book then mentions Fatima Jinnah as one of the women who ‘created history’. Her achievements have been explained in the following words: “Her keen interest in education helped her to complete her studies.”
Apart from the problematic portrayal of women, grammatical inaccuracies can also be found in the book.
Aitchison refuses to ‘implement’ SNC
Earlier on Tuesday, the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) had sent a letter to Aitchison College over its apparent refusal to ‘implement’ the controversial Single National Curriculum.
The letter was shared on social media by Punjab Information Minister Murad Raas, who wrote that the letter was sent to Aitchison College Lahore for “not implementing Single National Curriculum in its entirety by Punjab Curriculum Textbook Board as the school was prescribe books which have not been approved by the board.
The minister further added that there were “zero exemptions” on the implementation of the Single National Curriculum.
“I will not let anyone challenge the writ of the government,” he had said.
Moreover, Aitchison College principal has wrote letter to the parents of the students, in response to the education minister’s ‘extraordinary tweet’. “I am sure parents who know me would understand that Aitchision is conducting its educational program in the right spirit,” she said.