Language Policy: Pakistan

On a language policy listserv I subscribe to, there were three interesting pieces on language policy in Pakistan recently:

  1. Call to bring consistency in education policy (The Nation)
  2. English flourishing in Pakistan at the expense of Urdu? (Daily Times)

  3. English language: the way forward (Daily Times)


Pakistan: NA panel supports commission on languages

The Government of Pakistan has made a commission to award six major local languages the status of National languages in Pakistan. I believe it is a big achievement because language has caused major conflicts in Pakistan previously:

NA panel supports commission on languages

Updated 2014-03-14 08:31:54

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel has called for the formation of a national language commission to develop criteria for giving national language status to all major languages spoken in the country.

A meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage presided over by Marvi Memon of the PML-N on Thursday adopted a resolution for setting up the commission. The commission will protect and promote mother tongues of Pakistan, giving them the national language status to enhance inter-provincial harmony.

Azhar Jadoon, Talal Chaudhry, Gulam Bibi Barwani, Syed Ahmed Ali Shah, 11 other lawmakers and language experts attended the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the history and importance of Pakistan’s mother tongues, their national language status and their role in creating inter-provincial harmony.

In the resolution, the lawmakers appreciated the importance of the country’s major mother tongues like Balochi, Balti, Brushaski, Brahui, Hindko, Khowar, Kashmiri, Pahari, Pashto, Punjabi, Seraiki, Shina and Sindhi.

Medium of Instruction Issue in Pakistan

This interesting article is about predictions on language education policy shifts in Punjab, Pakistan:

Published 2014-01-17 07:22:11

A COUPLE of years ago, the PML-N suddenly announced that the Punjab government was switching to English as the medium of instruction in all public schools.

The switch was made, though the ground realities were incongruous. But a couple of months back, we heard that the government was having second thoughts and had stopped printing textbooks pending a decision on the language issue. We will know the decision soon enough as the new academic year is not too far off. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto promises that English would be taught as a language from the start but Urdu or the home language/mother tongue of an area would be retained as the medium of instruction.

This is what they initially announced when they took the reins of power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. But recently it has been reported that they have decided to switch to English as the medium of instruction. Since they have also promised a uniform education system for the province, eventually at least, the policy will apply to all schools of the province.

Click here to see the complete article.