urdu Qaida | urdu AlphabetasChildren should be exposed to concepts which they grasp easily. The research shows that children absorb knowledge easily and happily when they are taught in a manner that they can experience through touching and observing. It is foolish to think that they will become more intelligent if they are introduced with complex and abstract concepts at the very early stage of life. The research further shows that qualitative overload does not increase efficiency or effectiveness. Similarly, they should not be exposed to objects, which increase violence and aggression. It seems Pakistani educators are unaware of child psychology therefore they think otherwise.

It seems that Pakistani educators are of the opinion that children become braver and understand the reality of the life, if they are introduced to concepts which are beyond their comprehension. If this is not a case, they would not have included the words such as ‘Allah‘ , ‘bandook‘ (Gun) , ‘takrao‘ , ‘jihad‘ ,’hijab‘ , ‘khanjar‘ (Dagger) and similar other words while teaching basic Urdu alphabets and respective sounds to small children. According to Pervaz Hoodbhoy, small children in Pakistan are learning Urdu alphabets equivalent of A for ‘Allah’ , B for ‘bandook’ , Te for ‘takrao’ , J for ‘jihad’ , H for ‘hijab’ , Kh for ‘khanjar’ etc.

Children who are learning these alphabets are of the age of five or less and it is not possible for them to grasp abstract concept as Allah, Jihad or hijab. It is fallacy that they become better Muslims by introducing such concepts at the very little age. The religious zealots hardly thought what adults should do if children misuse or make mockery of the word of ‘Allah’; should they be punished on the grounds of disgracing the word or concept? Mind it, children do make fun of words according to their imagination. In Pakistan, on religious matters, we are not very tolerant and teachers are no different in tolerance level. Parents do show tolerance when children misuse the concept but accepting the same behavior from teachers, especially from rural areas, is putting extra burden on the teaching staff. How the society would react if it comes to know that an intolerant teacher has beaten up a little angel for misusing the concept? Anyway, the word of Allah is less objectionable than the other words which are mentioned above.

Should a teacher not explain to children that the use of ‘bandook’ (Gun) and ‘khanjars’ (dragger) to kill or hurt someone, if they are asked to explain the function of these objects? The objective of adding these objects is out of comprehension except introducing aggression in them. Are these objects added in the basic learning book because they go well along with the concept of jihad and serve the purpose of Mullahs and like minded? If this is the case, then our educators should be condemned for their narrow-minded approach. They should answer, has the society not suffered enough from the Zia’s legacy that these religious zealots wish to produce more? Those who recommended adding concept and object like ‘Jihad’ and ‘bandook’ have unconsciously encouraged aggression without appreciating the fact that research in psychology discourages such information to little children. Experiments in psychology showed that small children exposed to aggressive objects in movies show more aggression after watching the movies. Are we already not short-tempered and less tolerant that it is deemed essential to introduce aggression at a very early age? Similarly, introducing the concept of ‘hijab’ for small children is meaningless. Rather, this word may be a cause of exciting sexual instincts. Will innocents’ minds not ask as to why females should wear hijab and not males? By introducing ‘hijab’ at the early stage of life will not motivate children to wear it when they grow up.

Small children carry innocent minds and they should be introduced with simple and beautiful concepts that they can grasp easily without putting extra burden on their mental faculties. They should not be brought into a situation where they put extra burden on their minds and ask such question which adults do not wish to answer keeping in view their age. The designer of the syllabus should revisit and put little pressure on their ‘thick’ minds to find attractive and observable objects such as ’Ba (English equivalent B) for bulbul (nightingale or bird) or te (English Equivalent T) for titli (butterfly)‘ to teach them the sounds of alphabets. These ‘big brains’ should think how they can teach children love, humanity, gender equality, and respect for people than aggression, if we wish to have Pakistan as a peaceful and better place to live. Inspiring from Taliban’s thoughts is killing to Pakistani society.

Nadeem Yousaf

16 August 2012


Exposing Children to Aggression