Representation of ethnic/religious minorities in social studies curriculum: Implications for education for pluralism

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This qualitative case study aims to explore the representation of the ethnic/religious minorities in the National Social Studies Curriculum of Pakistan. Pakistan is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural nation with the province of Sindh alone being rich in diversity, with many spoken dialects and more than a dozen different ethnic communities residing in Sindh. In order to appreciate the richness of our context, it is imperative that the true essence of differences is inculcated through our education system. Curriculum and what is included in it is of the utmost importance in this regard. Thus, to see how curriculum represents the minorities of our country, various documents including National Educational Policy 2009, Social Studies Curriculum 2002 and 2006 History Curriculum and Social Studies textbook were reviewed to generate the data. Beside this, interviews with curriculum developers and social studies subject specialist were conducted to authenticate the data that came from documents analysis. Findings illustrate that the minorities are represented in our national curriculum in an abstract way. Various tools have been used to exclude and include the discourse of minority in curriculum. School history and the constructs of Ideology of Pakistan are the main tools. Study also found a difference between 2002 social studies curriculum and 2006 curriculum. Representation of the minority in 2006 curriculum is more positive than the 2002 curriculum which is currently in use. On the basis of findings, study strongly recommends, that ‘silent’ histories pertaining to diverse cultural heritage of Pakistan need to be represented in the curriculum as well as textbooks need to be re-written to reflect the spirit and ethos of the 2006 curriculum which relatively seems to reflect the appreciation of diversity.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library