All schools in Sindh are required to teach ‘asaan Sindhi’ (easy Sindhi) in grades three to eight by law, but some O-level schools are not.
According to Private Schools Association Chairperson Haider Ali, teaching Sindhi as a language is compulsory for all schools as specified in the Sindh Private Educational Institutions Regulation & Control Rules 2005.
He said that CIE schools consider Sindhi an inferior language and that teaching it would affect their “status”.
The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution on Tuesday demanding Sindhi be made mandatory in all private schools. It was done to enforce the above-mentioned law, as most schools were not following it.
Sindhi is not a part of the CIE O-level curriculum, and is therefore not taught to students in the higher classes. However, some O-level schools have not made it a part of their primary education syllabus either.
Sindhi is a compulsory language in all schools, Education Minister Sardar Shah said during the Sindh Assembly session on Tuesday. However, some “elitist schools” are not following the law, and this step is being taken to make them adhere to the law.
There should be a need-based education system and children should be given the freedom to learn the language of their choice, said Leader of the Opposition Firdous Shamim Naqvi. “The government should provide students the access to learn as many languages as they want,” he said. He expressed his opinion that schools should teach Urdu and English as a priority, as well as Arabic and Sindhi. He added that some schools do not teach Urdu properly and that children should be given primary education in their mother tongue.
Research shows that young children can learn new languages with ease. According to an article on the British Council’s website, when young children are exposed to different languages, they use their natural ability to hear and distinguish sounds of other languages. They are not afraid of getting words wrong and have fun learning a new language, compared to adults who lose their fascination with words and sounds.
It was also mentioned in the article that multilingual children are able to express their ideas in a better way, and it helps their thought process and makes them good learners and problem-solvers.
Some people in Sindh have raised the question of the significance of making Sindhi compulsory, as children are more interested in other subjects such as science and mathematics.
Sindh is the only province where a provincial language has been made compulsory. There are no such laws in Punjab, KP or Balochistan.