The Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood on Tuesday said that the decision to teach the Arabic language in Islamabad schools will be sent for a review to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly.
Shafqat Mehmood said that learning the teachings of Qu'ran has already been made compulsory in schools, adding that the decision to teach classic Arabic as opposed to conventional Arabic in school had also been under consideration for some time.
Shafqat Mehmood stressed that the government has no reservations against teaching Arabic in schools, adding that Qu'ranic teachings are already imparted in schools along with an Urdu translation [for comprehension].
"We will submit a thoroughly-designed bill to the House in this regard," the minister said. "Most members of the National Assembly have voted in favour of sending the bill to the standing committee for review."
Responding to the education minister's remarks, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal's MNA Abdul Akbar Chitrali said that languages keep evolving, so it would be better if ministers do not oppose the decision [to include Arabic in the curriculum].
"Instead of sending it to the standing committee for review, the bill should be passed with immediate effect," he demanded.
It should be recalled that earlier this month, the Senate had approved a bill to make the Arabic language compulsory in primary and secondary educational institutions across Islamabad.
The bill, moved by PML-N's Javed Abbasi, said that the language should be taught from grade 1-5, while students of classes 6-11 should also learn Arabic grammar.
Speaking on the floor of the Senate about the importance of Arabic, Abbasi had said it is the fifth-largest language in the world as well as the official language of 25 countries.
He had also stressed the need for students to learn the language, adding that the country would not be going through problems had the masses understood the Holy Qu'ran.
The senator said that he is "in favour of all languages being taught in educational institutions, may it be Russian, Spanish, or English."
"If our people learn Arabic, more Pakistanis will get jobs in the Middle Eastern countries."