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Commission on National

Education, 1959

Commission on National Education, 1959 known as the Sharif Commission after
its chairman S.M Sharif. Apart from the Chairman, there were ten other members:

Raziuddin Siddiqui (Member, Atomic Energy Commission of Pakistan);

Col. MK Afridi (Vice-chancellor, Peshawar University);
B.A Hashmi (Vice-chancellor, Karachi University);
MOMTAZ UDDIN AHMED (Vice-chancellor, Rajshahi University);
AFM Abdul Haq (President, Board of Secondary Education, Dhaka)
AF A Husain (Professor, Dhaka University);
A Rashid (Principal, Engineering College, Dhaka);
RM Ewing (Foreman, Christian College, Lahore);
Col. Mohammad Khan (Director of Army Education) -
Brig. S Hamid Shah (Director ofOrganisation. GHQ).

The Commission on National Education was appointed by a resolution adopted

by the government on 30" December, 1958. The main reason was that the existing
system of education was not adequate to meet the requirements of the nation. It
was inaugurated by the President, Mohammad Ayub Khan on January 5, 1959.
Addressing on the occasion the President stressed the need for a reorganization and
re-orientation of the existing education system, which would better reect our
spiritual, moral and cultural values and to meet the challenges of the growing needs
of the nation in the eld of science and technology. The Commission analyzed all
the previous reports and the prevailing situations of the country and the reforms
movements in other societies and submitted and comprehensive report to the
Government after one year 1960.

The commission on national education outlined the following objectives of our
f in educational system
1. Training of manpower, educated citizen and competent leadership required for
the country.
2. To meet the individual and collective need and aspirations of the people of the
3. To provide individuals full opportunities to develop their skills and for
development of all the
vocational abilities needed for the creation of a progressive and democrative
4. Preservations of the ideas which led to the creation of Pakistan and strengthening
the concept of it
with the unied nation.
5. To create a sense of unity and of nationhood among the people of Pakistan
6. Creation of a social welfare state i
7. Training of leadership group in engineering the skills of government and
commercial development ,
8. Training of scientist engineers, and technicians
9. Availability of the benet and opportunities of education to all citizens of
10. Development of intellectual abilities and building of the character of the
11. To create among the people a sense of dignity of labour.
12. To inculcate spiritual and moral values.

Primary Education
1. In the view of the Commission, compulsory education at elementary level was
indispensable for skilled manpower and intelligent citizenry. For this purpose at
least eight years schooling was required. The Commission recommended achieving
5- year compulsory schooling within the period of 10-years and 8-years compulsory
schooling within a total period 15 years.
2. The main objective of primary education should be to make a child functionally
literate, to develop all aspects of his personality, to equip him with basic knowledge
and skills and to develop in him habits of industry, integrity and curiosity.
3. The curriculum should be adapted to the mental abilities of the children. It must
be designed to develop basic skills. Teaching methods should be activity-oriented.
Religious education should be made compulsory and due emphasis should be
givento teaching of national language. .
4. School buildings and furniture should be simple, inexpensive, and clean and
adapted to local style and material.
5. Training facilities should be provided to teachers to meet the requirements of
compulsory primary education. Refreshers courses should also be arranged for un-
trained teachers.
6. The Commission recommended that land, building, fumiture, teaching materials
and residential accommodation for teachers should be provided by the community
and the Government may however, give nancial assistance to the backward areas.
7. The administrative recommendations by the commission should be entrusted to
local bodies. It should be organised on district level in West Pakistanand on sub-
division level in East Pakistan.

Secondary Education

Objectives of Secondary Education:

1. Secondary education should be recognized as a complete stage in itself and
organized as a separate academic and administrative unit, demarcated clearly in all
respects from University education.
2. Secondary education should bring about the full development of the child (a) as
an individual, (b) as a citizen, (c) as a worker, and (d) as a patriot enable him to
understand and enjoy the benets of social progress, scientic discovery and
invention, and to participate in economically useful activities.

Duration of Secondary school:

Secondary education should properly consist of classes IX to XII but until
compulsory education was extended to the rst eight years classes VII to VIII should
be considered a part of secondary education. It will therefore, for the present be
divided into three stages: classes VI to VIII (middle) classes IX-X (secondary) and
classes XI-XII (higher secondary Education).

The curriculum at the secondary stage mustbe based on two principles. First,
it must provide a compulsory core of subjects such as mathematics, science, the
national languages, English etc.., to give every pupil the knowledge he needs to live
a useful and happy life. Secondly, it should provide opportunities for students to
take up, in accordance with their aptitudes and interests, a few elective subjects in
the elds of technical agricultural and commercial studies to prepare them for a
denite vocational career.
Every child should acquire a preliminary understanding of some 10 to 12 subjects
by the time has completed high schools.
Evaluation and Examination:
The system of examination should be organized and the award of certicates
based on the performance of the students in the public examination conducted by
the Universities/Boards of secondary Education (75% of the total marks) School
record, including the results of habits and general behaviour 25% For private
candidates, separate examinations, called External Examinations, should be held.

Commercially Operated schools:

Every school should be registered and provided adequate facilities in respect
of teachers, buildings and equipment.

The cost ofrunning a secondary school has risen 3 to 4 times during the last
30 years while fees, grants, and private donations have remained practically the
same. The income of a school:
1. Fees
2. The contribution of the management
3. The grant from government
The appropriate proportions would be approximately 60% from fees, 20%
from the management and 20% from government. Schools maintaining better
standards in equipment and staff should be regarded As "special schools" and their
grants xed on a separate basis. Residential schools should be given nancial
support to enable them to reduce their fees. They should be treated as "special
schools for thepurpose of grants. Talented and poor students should receive

A program for Development:

Rehabilitation of secondary schools will require enormous funds. The
educational authorities should, therefore, set the immediate target for developing
one-halfof the existing schools. Some of the schools should be developed into better
type schools. The value of schools ofthe residential type should be recognized and
every encouragement given to their development.

Teacher Training:
The commission was of the view that teachers must be trained properly
before entering teaching profession. Teachers should be paid adequate salary.
Teachers from class VIX should work for 225 days during the year (excluding
vacations). The services of Education Extension Centers already established to
improve the quality of education, should be fully utilized by the Central and
Provincial Government.

The Commission maintained that regulation, control and development of
education at secondary and higher secondary levels (classes IXXIl) should be
entrusted to the boards of Secondary Education. The territorial jurisdiction of the
Boards should follow the jurisdiction of various universities in the country. New
Boards should be set up at Peshawar, Hyderabad, and Rajshahi and the jurisdiction
of the Boards at Karachi and Dacca, should be extended to include higher secondary
(intemediate) satge.

Facilities and equipments:

The commission maintained that effort should be made by educational
authorities and community to provide facilities like classrooms, science labs,
workshops, libraries, garden plots, playgrounds and equipments to achieve the
objectives of diversied multipurpose secondary school in future.

Higher Education

Higher education as a distinct stage:

As envisaged in the Report of the Commission, higher education should be
recognized as a distinct satge and the present intermediate classes should be
transferred from the jurisdiction of the university to Board of Secondary Education,
the essence ofHigher Education as viewed by the Commission, was a community of
scholarship. The essentials were not only to set examinations, nor the degree it
conferred, but its capacity to encourage teachers and scholars to engage
themselves in research and to pass on to the next generations the result of their

Duration of courses:
In order to improve the standard at university level, bachelor degree courses
should be extended from two to three years. There should be two types of courses
at degree level; the pass course and the honor course. The course leading to degree
of MA, M.Sc. should require at least two years in one subject. The period
recommended for PhD is minimum two years and maximum ve years.

Admission to the degree colleges and universities should be after the
completion of the present intermediate satge covering twelve years of schooling.
The universities and colleges should determine their own requirements of admission
on the basis of:
1. The Students pertormance in higher secondary education.
2. Achievement and accumulative class record during the previous satge ot
3. Aptitude for higher education to be determined scientically by standardized

Subject of study:
The Commission recommended that courses and curricula should be revised
and improves periodically, so as to make them updated and to provide for growing
needs of country, particularly in the specic areas of science and technology. New
subjects like sociology, home economics, public and business administration,
journalism etc should be introduced in universities.

The Commission area of the view that the system of examinations has been
criticized for dominating higher education. The Commission recommended that the
system should be reorganized and the award of degree should be based on the
performance of the students in nal examination conducted by the university,(75
percent marks) and record in the periodical test as well as class work (25 percent
marks). Students should obtain pass marks in both assessments. Pass marks should
be xed 40.0 % in each paper and 50.0 in aggregate. For second division marks
should be 60.0 % andfor rst division 70.0 % ofthe total marks.

Research in the university:

Research was thought one of the essential features of the university
education. Not only it was of national importance in the developing economy but it
also had a further value as a mean of keeping a teacher active, creative and
updated and for enabling him to stimulate and inspire his students. The Commission
therefore recommended building up strong departments in which both teaching and
research would have prominence. The Commission further recommended that each
university should set-up a Committee of Advanced Studies to supervise and
coordinate the research work in the universities Fundamental research should be
given priority. .

Other recommendations:
Other recommendations in the eld of higher education, forwarded by
Commission, related to the function of teachers in a university, the selection and
promotion of teachers, co-ordination of higher education, students welfare a
discipline. A program of guidance and counseling was also recommended
Commission to be organized in the universities.

Technical and Vocational Education:

1. Technical education should be an integral part of the educational system.
2. Polytechnics and technical institutes should be established to produce technical
personal of the supervisory cadre in variety of areas.

Shahid S.M, History and Philosophy of Education.
Iqbal pervaiz, Introduction to Education.
Shahid S.M, Education Planning and Development.
Government of Pakistan of Ministry of Education, Report on Commission on

National Education 1959.