Punjabi as separate subject for
class-1 being considered
PUNJAB Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan has said the launch of Punjabi as a separate subject for Class-1 from next year is being considered. He disclosed that Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif had constituted a special committee to consider the possibility of giving Punjabi synonyms of Urdu titles of pictures and geometrical shapes in the Urdu primer of Class-1.
Addressing “Maan Boli” conference arranged on the occasion of International Mother Language Day at Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAC), the minister said Punjabi was the mother language of crores of people living in Pakistan and means of communication of a vast majority of the country.
He further said there was diversity in the languages of people living in Pakistan and instead of dividing the society on linguistic basis, there was a need to promote folklore and folk wisdom, as failure in this regard would result in depriving the people of their culture. He opined the mother languages of all the regions of the country were given due respect, as they were a means of progress.
He maintained that Punjabi was an identity of the people of the province and they should be proud of their language. He lamented that it was unfortunate that instead of taking Punjabi language a source of pride, it had been made a symbol of ignorance and illiteracy during the last 65 years. He added the new generation considered Punjabi as the language of the poor used only by servants and labourers. He informed the participants that in view of the results of the latest research, establishing the importance of mother tongue in imparting basic education, the Punjab government had decided that Urdu instead of English would be the medium of instructions from Class-1 to Class-3 from the next year and English would be taught only as a subject. However, English will remain the medium of instructions in all the schools after Class-3.
Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan appreciated the role of public sector universities, radio and Punjabi newspapers in promotion of Punjabi language and literature at graduation, MA and PhD level.
However, he said these efforts were inadequate, as there was a need to strengthen the foundation. He said the shortage of Punjabi teachers in schools was another problem. He invited the Punjabi Adbi Board to assist the Punjab government in teachers’ training in Punjabi. He said most of the issues between India and Pakistan could be resolved amicably if the barrier of the scripts of Punjabi language was removed.
Chairman Punjabi Adbi Board Mushtaq Sufi in his key address said that only mother language could guarantee national solidarity. He said Arabic was the language of 22 states of Middle East but they had their separate identity but India, having 40 languages, was one country. He said promotion of regional languages would pose no threat to national unity.
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Dr Jameel Ahmed Dar, Sarwat Mohayuddin, Director PILAC Dr Sughra Sadaf and other experts also addressed the conference. It was informed that ceremony for Punjabi Scholars Award 2014 named after renowned Punjabi intellectual late Shafqat Tanvir Mirza would be held on Friday at PILAC.
The News: Friday, February 21, 2014