The Lahore High Court on Friday ruled that holy Quran should be taught as a separate subject in educational institutions across Punjab. The court also issued an interim verdict for the implementation of the order.
During hearing of a petition, a two-member LHC bench, comprising Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Muhammad Iqbal, directed the Punjab School Department Secretary to ensure that the orders are implemented in letter and spirit.
In its verdict, the court also instructed the chief executive officer of every district to visit all public and private schools and confirm that the Holy Quran is being taught as a separate compulsory subject.
The bench also summoned the names of all the schools where Quran is being taught, along with the number of periods allocated, the number and names of teachers appointed to teach the subject, and details of the reading material and books being utilised.
“This is a matter of serious public interest that is linked not only to our constitutional responsibility but also to the future of the generation of this country,” a written order issued by the court stated.
The court directed the managing director of the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board to provide details of the books taught for Islamiat, Urdu, English, and Social Studies.
“It should be certified if the books have been approved, are free from error and do not contain any offensive material about the teaching of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, Islamic ideology, and pious personalities of Islam,” the court pointed out, adding that all incorrect or derogatory material with respect to the ideology, culture, and history of Pakistan.
Islam should be removed from the textbooks as well. Later, the hearing was adjourned till November 3.
In July, the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board has included “Naazrah Quran” for grades one to four as a separate compulsory subject.
Students will attend three to four classes of the subject in a week and a 50-mark annual exam will be taken to assess their progress.
The step came as an implementation of the Punjab Compulsory Teaching of Holy Quran Act, 2018 that entails the teaching of the Holy Quran as a compulsory subject for Muslim students at all educational institutions.