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PCTB publishes 5.5 million textbooks annually

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MD Abdul Qayoum says online curriculum portal launched to facilitate students, parents and teachers. Madaris curriculum is recognized by PCTB

By Ali Afzal Khan

Punjab Curriculum and TextBook Board (PCTB) publish 5.5 million textbooks every year for class 1-12 and since my appointment in October, 2017 now delay in dispatching have been made. This was stated by PCTB Managing Director (MD) Abdul Qayoum during an interview to The Educationist team with Director Curriculum Dr. Tahir Mahmood and Director Manuscript Dr. Mubeen Akhtar.

THE EDUCATIONIST: Since your appointment what reforms you made in PCTB?

ABDUL QAYOUM: As we know that PCTB is responsible for the printing of text books. every year we have to publish 5.5 million books and then dispatch it to their required places. I was appointed as MD in October 2017 and to achieve the target; I geared up myself to ensure the printing of 5.5 million copies of text book in time. By the grace of Allah we achieved this task before the start of academic sessions. For this we also got appreciation from the press. My next initiative is to enhance IT (information technology) in PCTB. Before my appointment there was only one deputy director who was responsible of all IT related work. Now there are 23 IT personnel and they are working to digitizing the curriculum available online. In past PCTB only digitized only 22 books now we have increased this figure to 148. We also are planning to assemble production house that will complete in June 2019. This production house will pave way toward e-learning. By this production house we will modernize the lecture through animation and give concept through videos to student. We have also initiated Curriculum Portal to make our curriculum available online. Anyone can check and point out mistakes. In our yearly deliberation we will consider these views to make our curriculum error free. Before my appointment there was a problem of promotion in this department. I also sort out this problem and promoted 80 employees.

THE EDUCATIONIST: Are you revamping as per the modern requirement?

ABDUL QAYOUM: Through the New scheme of study we have initiated new provision in curriculum is like we introduced Quran study from grade 3 to 11 with complete Urdu translation. Another thing we will add in curriculum to train student to repair their home appliances and they also do some work like plumbing and electric work. This is proposed by the Chairman of (R) Lt. general Akram Khan of PCTB. Student will learn these things in 6, 7 and 8 grade. After the mainstreaming of Madaris, we will also take care of their curriculum and all their curriculum is now recognized by us. The students of Madaris will be able to learn mainstream curriculum simultaneously with Islamic education. The most important thing is that we are adding new group in curriculum like live stock and Business Administration. These subjects are added because we want to expand the choice of student from conventional subject like Arts and Science.

THE EDUCATIONIST: Sir, in the vision of PCTB there are words like “stimulate of learning” . How do you assure this in your curriculum?

ABDUL QAYOUM: “Stimulate of learning” as I have already explained that we are initiating the e-learning. Through this initiative we will distribute USB and jackets to students. Student will able to stimulate the concept with the help of animation and videos. We are doing our level best to eradicate cramming. For this we are diverting our curriculum from book based assessment to concept based assessment. By involving concept we will able the students to understand things in real shape. This concept based curriculum assessment will be completely implemented by 2023.

THE EDUCATIONIST: what are the criteria of selecting writers who are commissioned to write text books?

ABDUL QAYOUM: A writer should have at least M.A or MSc degree in relevant subject with 3 years’ experience of teaching or writing.

THE EDUCATIONIST: After the 18th Amendment what kind of powers are vested to PCTB?

ABDUL QAYOUM: Before the 18th Amendment the federal government had the powers to make polices and design curriculum but now PCTB make its own polices and design the curriculum as well.

THE EDUCATIONIST: Do the federal government still has any kind of power to instruct your department?

ABDUL QAYOUM: There is only recommendatory committee called IBCC (inter board coordination committee) that only give recommendation to provinces but their recommendations are not binding on provinces.

THE EDUCATIONIST: What is the procedure of curriculum update? Did you have any kind of timetable for curriculum revision?

ABDUL QAYOUM: Revision of syllabus is continuous process; however, we have not designed any kind of timetable in this regard. I want to say that PCTB will try its best to update future’s curriculum according to world’s demand.

THE EDUCATIONIST: PCTB comparison to other provinces?

ABDUL QAYOUM: I am not going to compare PCTB to any other department. (When asked again)

THE EDUCATIONIST: Sir please tells us something for our readers about other provinces?

ABDUL QAYOUM: Our physical quality is much better than that of other provinces. In one of our conference, delegations from all provinces, gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir had come. After witnessing our new scheme of study KPK, gB and AJK delegations not only appreciated our efforts but they said that they will follow the footsteps of Punjab to design their curriculum.

THE EDUCATIONIST: Sir, in the past students did not get books before the start of academic session. What is the main factor behind the late publication of textbooks?

ABDUL QAYOUM: Since my appointment late publication of books is not happened yet but I can tell you what are the main reasons behind late publication. The first factor is load shedding and the second one is manual procedure of books after printing. Our industry is not very advance and these 5.5 million books have to get through a lot of manual process. These were the main reason behind late publication of textbooks.

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