Narrated Anas: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Make things easy and do not make them difficult, cheer the people up by conveying glad tidings to them and do not repulse (them).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
“Whoever educates himself and improves his own morals is superior to the man who tries to teach and train others”…Ali ibn-e-Abi Talib
“Given character and healthy imagination, it is possible to reconstruct this world of sin and misery into a veritable paradise.”….. Allama Muhammad Iqbal
“Come forward as servants of Islam, organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody.” ….Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Presidential Address at the All India Muslim League, Lahore March 23, 1940
“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity”…”Education is the best provision for old age”…”The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead”…”The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”…”Wit is educated insolence”…”Those who educated children well are more to be honored than those who produced them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well”…ARISTOTLE
“A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.” G.B.Shaw
The Characteristics/Features of Pakistan’s Educational Curriculum:
1- The contents of the curriculum….
i) must be in accordance with Qur’an and Sunnah
ii) must signify our ideology and safeguard the honour of our national symbols
iii) must satisfy the personal, social and religious requirements of the nation as whole
iv) must be acceptable for all religious minorities and develop an understanding among all communities
v) must be upgraded time-to-time to meet international standard
A suggested curriculum for all educational institutions and home-schoolers…
AIM of the curriculum: to indoctrinate the fact that acquiring/giving knowledge is a religious obligation.
1- Fulfilling the first commandment of God (as it is said in Surah Al-Alaq, ayah 1-5)
“Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created- Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful, He Who taught (the use of) the pen, Taught man that which he knew not.”
2- Be submissive to the cause of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
“Seeking knowledge is mandatory upon every Muslim (men and women)”
Objectives of the curriculum:
1- To inculcate these thoughts as the base of the entire curriculum:
– As a Muslim, to get knowledge is the part of our faith.
– As a Pakistani citizen, it is our “national duty”.
– As a human being, it is the first essential step for self-improvement (regardless of any gender discrimination).
– As a member of a community, this is the best initiative toward social betterment (regardless of any race or religion)
2- To eradicate the existing misconceptions (bearing in mind that unnecessary bonding or dependence upon anything or anyone is a form of slavery):
– knowledge/reading habit is limited to a particular class, place or environment
– progress is bound to a particular language and attitude
– facilitating educational institutions with “as it is implementation of imported system, ideas and techniques” will produce good results
– the theme of educational process is to compete for “Achievement Awards”, “Certificate of Achievement”, trophies or medals
– the purpose of education is to achieve degrees and get a good job
– foreign publishers are more reliable than our local ones
3- To set easy goals for gradual and effective output:
– set “Faith, Unity, Discipline” as the national slogan
– things and people in our surrounding are interlinked and together they comprise the whole environment as a source of knowledge
– our immediate surroundings are our priority to get to know and do something about especially at early age
– enable children/people to read and write (at least up to elementary level) “READERS LEAD, LEADERS READ”
– figure out, discuss and share ways and technique for quick and easy learning (of all/any subjects)
– all languages and subjects are interesting and equally important for our national progress
– create a guilty conscious (at least with the face expressions) against littering, spitting around, traffic violations, gender discrimination, abusing public places etc.
– formulate the feasible conditions for children, plants, animals to grow healthy
– appreciate characteristics and not the characters
– reason out the importance of community services and the constructive role community members can play to help each other
– importance of serving community members as an essential part of training
– spread this feeling that each and every moment we are learning something good or bad from each other
– education shouldn’t be labeled as religious, modern or secular
– basic Arabic skills (eighteen weeks tutorial) should be taught as to enable to read the text of Qur’an
1) Public schools in Pakistan are spacious enough to accommodate children for pre-school. Kindergarten should be introduced as head-start. The whole academic year can be used to train children to follow school discipline, to develop listening skills and to recognize the objects around. It doesn’t have to a complicated as it has been in private schools. Just keep it simple to serve as pre-school training session.
2) Out of 365, the days that children in Pakistan attend school are between 130 and 160 and that is including the examination days while excluding unexpected holidays. Therefore, syllabus for Montessori, Elementary and Secondary School must be designed in a way that it can be taught easily in less than 20 weeks. However, that gives more than enough time (205 to 245 days) to teachers to get ready for their job physically and mentally plus the time to prepare their lesson planning and to look over their skills and techniques.
Syllabus for Montessori: age group 4 and 5 (schooling/home-schooling)
Montessori schooling should be based upon five basic concepts that are essential for them to be ready for the next elementary level. Once they are through these basics, the rest of the learning process becomes easy for them. Children of this age group should be provided with the family-like environment with the sense of learning through caring and sharing. The time schedule shouldn’t exceed from 4 to 5 hours unless given one hour of nap time (like in a day care). The lesson planning shouldn’t be in excess of what is already being suggested as “Eighteen Weeks Syllabus”.
1- Discipline/Manners: to train children to follow rules; rules to be followed at home, at schools, at public places. Everything has its own place and their displacement or misplacement can cause disorder in life. Respecting everything and everyone will make the world peaceful. Smiling, greeting, listening and helping are some of the ways that we show respect to the people. We respect things by placing them where they belong. We respect the nature when we keep our surroundings clean. We respect plants and animals by taking good care of them.
2- Things: to introduce the objects in their surrounding and to identify them by their color, size and shape.
3- People: to introduce people in family and neighbourhood and their importance, how they help each other
4 – Plants: to develop interest in plants and trees, in what ways they are important for us and how do we use them in our lives.
5- Reading/writing: to introduce letters and numbers, their order, their formation; develop independent reading skills…
Urdu: follow “Eighteen Weeks for First Step toward Urdu Reading”
Arabic/Qur’an: follow “Eighteen Weeks for basic Qur’anic Learning”
English: follow “Eighteen Weeks for Montessori-First and Second Year”
Math: First Year – Instead of starting with the recognition of numbers by allocating specific time for Math as a subject, try to develop mathematical skills while teaching other subjects; 1) counting objects (in Urdu, English, Arabic, or any other language), fingers, toes….. 2) things that can not be counted such as hair, stars, grains, sand, water etc….. 3) concept of heavy and light (weight), high and low (position), far and near (distance), big and small (size), short and long (measurement)….. 4) adding objects to show increase in number….. 5) taking away objects to show a decrease in number…..(verbally numbers can be done up to 100)
Math: Second Year -Week 1/2: identify number 1 to 10, learn their order and formation by tracing….Week 3/4: identify numbers 11 to 30, their order and formation by tracing….Week 5/6: identify numbers 31 to 50, their order and formation…..Week 7/8: identify numbers 51 to 70, their order and formation…..Week 9/10: identify numbers 71 to 90, their order and formation…..Week 11/12: identify numbers 91 to 100, their order and formation…..Week 13: numbers by 10 and three shapes (circle, square, triangle)…..Week 14: numbers by 5 and counting finger cubes…..Week 15: months and days for calendar skills…..Week 16: months and days for calendar skills …..Week 17: adding single digits by counting on finger cubes…..Week 18: adding same digits, double digits with zero.
Story Time: telling stories to develop listening skills, describe and discuss the characters and objects mentioned in the story etc.
Sing-a-long Time: sing nursery rhymes in Urdu, English and Arabic
Eighteen Weeks of Montessori (First Year)
Week 1 to 12 (60 days)
– recognition: identify capital letters A to Z, their order and their formation by finger tracing
– build vocabulary: name the objects that begin with these letters
– conversation: tell their color, size and shape in short and easy sentences
– learn the spelling of three letter words with the middle vowel sound ‘a’, use pictures or toys of these words to discuss their properties
– learn the spelling of three letter words with the middle vowel sound ‘i’, use pictures or toys of these words to discuss their properties
– learn the spelling of three letter words with the middle vowel sound ‘o’, use pictures or toys of these words to discuss their properties
– learn the spelling of three letter words with the middle vowel sound ‘u’, use pictures or toys of these words to discuss their properties
– learn the spelling of three letter words with the middle vowel sound ‘e’, use pictures or toys of these words to discuss their properties
Eighteen Weeks of Montessori (Second Year)
Week 1 to 6 (30 days)
– Recognition: identify lower-case ‘a to z’, their order and their formation by tracing different means
– differentiate between capital and lower-case letters
– learn the spellings in lower-case
Week 7 to 16 (80 days)
– writing Aa to Zz
Week 17 and 18 (10 days)
– writing three-letter words in lower case
– educate and train Kindergarten students in small groups because they are easy to keep an eye on
– don’t make them compete with each other, if a child shows good progress, ask him/her to help others
– ask children to appreciate each other for showing good behavior, good learning, maintaining cleanliness, keeping the area organized etc.
– don’t use phonics to teach the sound of the alphabets (phonics could be a good technique for teaching beginning, middle and ending sound of the words)
– don’t teach this age group anything that is beyond their imagination, such as the name of countries, oceans, continents, cities, planets, internal organs of a human body, animals, birds and plants that they don’t see around…..
– don’t try to build their vocabulary by giving them to memorize five words from different categories (such as name of five birds, five animals, five flowers, five things in the kitchen, five colors, etc.)….this would destroy their memory skills and children will not enjoy their learning
I am no different from those
who have no parents
elfin my body, feeble my mind,
crude my wishes, hapless all time,
no hugs, no kisses,
no fun in the recess,
no stories from granny of good old time,
of princess and fairies, monsters and giants,
no manners, no ethics, no will to be fine,
not even the training of how to stand in line,
no time for fun, no time to relax,
instructions and warnings and work at max.
I have parents though,
my life is no different from those
who have no parents.