Summary of the new Single National Curriculum (SNC) in Pakistan

As students and parents prepare for new educational sessions in Pakistan amidst the settling of Covid-19, there is another hype of the new Single National Curriculum (SNC) introduced by Federal Government. The vision of SNC is to provide ‘one system of Education for all’ with single curriculum, medium of instruction and assessment format. The main objectives to be achieved under SNC, as per government, include the following:

  • Equal and high standard of education for all public schools, madrassas and low fee private schools.
  • Social Cohesion and National Integration.
  • Developing personality of students in a wholesome manner to rise to the international trends and local objectives.
  • Maintain standards across Pakistan for smooth transition of students and teachers from one province to another.

Currently, the Single National Curriculum and its related textbooks have been in development process with completion of SNC and its textbooks for Preschool to Fifth Grade in March 2021 while for Middle School and Grade IX – XII, completion is targeted by 2022 and 2023.

The National Curriculum development has been in progress since 2006 when a new curriculum was designed by Federal Government to raise standard of education for public schools in Pakistan. However, its implementation was still pending till date. The current government, under the leadership of Imran Khan, has its agenda to provide quality education opportunities across the country, has yet again taken the initiative and has been successful in completing the up gradation and enforcement of single curriculum across the country.

The new curriculum is designed based on following key considerations.

  • Applying National Standards, Policies and Aspirations across the country.
  • Matching the curriculum to international trends in pedagogy, learning techniques and assessments.
  • Reflecting Vision of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal in the curriculum.
  • Inculcating teachings of Quran and Sunnah related to mannerism, human rights and ethical perspectives.
  • Include Constitutional Framework in the learning material.
  • Implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-4) by United Nations that Pakistan, as member country, adopted for equal opportunity for quality education for all.
  • Include elements of respect for all religions and cultures.
  • Shift learning goals from Rote Memorization to Activity-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning.
  • Promotion of Creative Thinking and Critical Analysis.
  • Inculcate material that promotes social, emotional and physical development of students.
  • Focus on STEM education including Mathematics, Science, IT and Engineering Projects. A pilot project is already underway for public schools in this regard.

Stakeholders Involved in Creation of SNC

For creation of SNC, representatives from all provinces including Gilgit Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir participated to create a non-controversial and practical curriculum for schools in Pakistan. The main stakeholders in creation of SNC include the following:

  • All Federating Units
  • Public Sector Representatives
  • Private Sector Representatives
  • Cambridge University for STEM subjects
  • Cantts and Garrisons under Federal Government
  • Madrassahs
  • LUMS
  • Agha Khan University – IED

Salient Features of Single National Curriculum

Some of the key features of SNC include the following:

  • Unlike national curriculum designed in 2006, the SNC has included benchmarks and outcome based approach for all subjects.
  • Mathematics and Science subjects for all grades are designed based on TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) where assessments will be conducted for monitoring performance of students by International board time to time.
  • Islamiyat will be taught as a separate subject from Grade I onward instead of Grade III onward.
  • Religious Education will be started as a new subject from Grade I onward with options for study of 5 minority religions for non-Muslims students.
  • Static teacher-centric approach to pedagogy is abolished in SNC with focus on project and activity-based learning methods.
  • ICT is made essential part of curriculum instead of separate IT sessions.
  • The focus of new religious and ethics content in SNC are attributes pertaining to social skills, ethics, morality, tolerance, peace towards other races, religions and cultures, environmental awareness, global citizenship, personal hygiene and care, physical and mental growth.  

Read here for our detailed analysis on new curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) by Federal Government.

9 thoughts on “Summary of the new Single National Curriculum (SNC) in Pakistan

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  • September 23, 2020 at 6:42 am

    It is anything but single ! !!! PM and Minister of Education have conviently exempted their own elite class children from it !!!!! This will further the class divide !!! It’s a shame that PM quotes Hazrat Abu Bakar and Hazrat Omer ( PBUH both of them ) who always started from from their own and not the weaker section of society . This so called singular system is only being imposed on weaker segments and not the elite . They want to impede the thinking of the weaker segment of society and are insulting them by saying that they are in need of being made Muslims and not an elite child . What a hopocricy for political gains ! Down with the singular system of education!

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  • December 11, 2020 at 1:55 am

    We need a change system, Which is free from hopocaricy and politic. We need to more focus on all children including disabled children. Why their is no mention of children with additional needs are they not children?

  • December 11, 2020 at 2:00 am

    We need a change system, Which is free from hopocaricy and politics . We need to focus more on all children including disabled children. Why there is no mention of children with additional needs and how they will be supported under this new reform?

    This is all about geting the international funds This is what I believe.

  • December 11, 2020 at 2:09 am

    We need proper monitoring system in place . Where the money has been spend?
    Policies are made at federal level and implemented by provincial governments with very limited understanding what they have to do ?
    Training the teachers should be the to implement this new global agenda!!!!

  • March 18, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    I think optimism is better than pessimism. A new notion has been created, particularly focussing on creative thinking, critical thinking, and life study skills; and TIMSS and STEAM. The initiation is good and must be appreciated irrespective of politics and funds gaining. Inclusive learning and blended learning will be the beauties of SNC. I hope for the better.


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