Asset 1

Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Business Recorder

Published Date: Nov 14, 2011

INTOLERANT CURRICULUM

A recently published report, ‘Connecting the Dots: Education and Religious Discrimination in Pakistan’ commissioned by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) concluded with a stark picture of religious intolerance being taught to young students.
According to the report, over 100 textbooks for pupils from grade 1 to grade 10 across the four provinces were reviewed, results of which, according to the report, showed immense amount of religious discrimination and falsified historical accounts in the textbooks, which led to increase in violent religious extremism.
One may argue that the sample size of interviews held or the number of books reviewed may not be sufficient but what can be stated without doubt that textbooks in Pakistan, particularly those that deal with social studies are said to have been found prejudiced to a fault against minorities.
As mentioned in the report, there are many examples taken from textbooks which show the prejudice and a myopic vision of religious plurality.
A report published two years ago highlights the revisionism inculcated in the educational system during the Zia era, which caused ideological rifts and developed a pro-religion, pro-state narrative and was presented as gospel truth.
National Education Policy implemented during the tenure of dictator Zia in 1979 shows a bias indoctrination which portrays Hindus in a negative light.
This is one of the issues forcefully highlighted by the commission.
It serves no purpose except planting the seeds of hatred in a young mind when they read about Hindus who are described as “extremists and eternal enemies of Islam whose culture and society is based on injustice and cruelty”, completely ignoring the fact how it might affect a Hindu student who may be reading the same textbook.
The result of such discrimination is evident in today’s society.
The doctrination of religious intolerance is deeply rooted in the mindset and has resulted in increasing hate crimes against minorities.
Admittedly, ever since the devolution of education ministry to provinces, Sindh government has taken a commendable step towards re-evaluating the curriculum and has made strides towards a modern, secular structure in alignment with the 2006 education policy.
Private publishers have been asked to submit drafts of textbooks on subjects such as English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and General Knowledge, which will be reviewed by a panel of government and private experts.
This is a positive step towards taking proactive measure to bring a level of tolerance in curriculum and should be appreciated and implemented.
More so, the fact that government of Sindh is taking the lead is even better, since the province has had a recent history of subjecting Hindus to discrimination.
Apart from Sindh, government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has also taken steps to bring reforms in their educational system while replacing “strong words” with “soft words” to promote tolerance.
New textbooks have been amended to preach lessons of peace and love rather than quoting radical text introduced during the Zia era.
Contrary to usual governmental rebuttals and pointing out flaws in the USCIRF report, officials need to consider it as a guideline to devise a modern syllabus, which could eventually help eradicate the wave of extremism and hatred so reflective in our society.