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Enhancement of Religious Understanding and Promotion of Tolerance in Public Education
By: SDPI

Partner: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Year: 2008-09

Background

SDPI started this project in context to the project ‘The Subtle Subversion: The State of Textbooks and Curricula in Pakistan’ done by SDPI in 2003 which documented that Pakistani school textbooks and state curricula deliberately promoted intolerance and religious hatred.

Objective:

The objective of the project was to find the extent to which sources other than textbooks, including extracurricular activities in schools, contributed to religious understanding and promoted tolerance. The study was based on collecting information from sample surveys throughout the country. Two districts, one mainly urban and the other mainly rural, and ten schools from each district, were selected from each province, and information was gathered from students, teachers, parents and community members.

Finding:

The report concluded that unlike textbooks and curricula, public schools do not use their interior displays and extracurricular activities in any significant way to encourage hatred against religious minorities or other religions. Nor do they promote extremism. On the other hand, they do not promote religious understanding and tolerance in any significant way either. The report concludes that if the government changes curricula and textbooks to make school education a medium for generating tolerance and understanding toward other religions and minorities, it would not face any resistance from teachers, parents and communities.

For More Information, Contact the Following Person:


Mohammad Zeeshan