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Process of the Bill becoming
a Law
A
bill has to pass through many stages in order to become a law hence, all laws
start as bills. A bill, in its foremost stage is an idea which is introduced by
the legislative in which an individual member of the parliament can produce
private member bills that revolve around local concerns or address specific
issues. Once the bill has formed it goes through the three stages of readings.

STAGE 1 of Reading:
Here, the bill is read and shared with all members of the parliament in order
to get their opinions. The bill at this point is read without any debates

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STAGE 2 of Reading:
For the second reading the bill is sent to the house, where it is debated upon.
The bill is sent to the committee which evaluates and examines whether it is
violating any points or to check if it’s in accordance with the constitution.
Here, the bill is checked thoroughly from clause to clause and it is evaluated
from all aspects.

STAGE 3 of Reading: At
this point, a debate has begun and voting takes place. According to the
constitution, the bill will be passed to the senate based on the majority of
the votes by the members present of the National Assembly.

If the bill receives a
majority of the votes it is then passed to the senate where the same procedure
of the readings take place. If the senate makes any changes to the bill, the
bill is then sent back to the National Assembly for another round of review.
Also, if a bill is dismissed from the senate, it can be passed again by the
National Assembly. The bill if approved by the senate and the National Assembly
finally reaches the president, and he has the power to now, either pass it or
veto it. In the case of a bill being vetoed, it is sent back to the Parliament
with the president’s notes. Once a bill is approved by the President, it then
becomes a law.

Two types of Bills
One is a simple/ institutional bill and the other is Constitutional/ amendment
bills.

Simple/institutional
bill: These
kind of bills are produced according to the constitution and they are presented
to form laws which are under the establishment of the constitution. In the
cases of institutional bills, no article can be changed, amended or violated
and they require a majority of the votes in order to be passed and made into
laws.

Constitutional amendment
bills: Constitutional
amendment bills need two third majority vote from both the upper house and
lower house. After the bill is approved by the parliament it is sent to the
president for his approval. The president’s approval will result in the passing
of the bill. Also, the constitutional amendment bill is produced in the
parliament and unlike simple bills they go through the process of amendments
and changes.

Summary
of the Bill
The ‘Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Act’ was introduced on the 26th
of February in 2015 for the establishment of the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook
Board by the Government of Punjab, which was administered by the Punjab
Information Technology Board. The bill of ‘Punjab curriculum and textbook board
act 2015’ extends to the whole of Punjab and aims to formulate and implement a
curriculum which emphasizes upon the development and approval of textbooks,
manuscripts and supplementary reading material. It further aims to enforce the
production of reference and research material for different schemes of studies
and their problems along with preparation textbooks. This bill mainly focuses
on providing a wide range of conduct of research in the field of curricula,
textbooks and other reading materials to better foundational level programs in
different public institutions. The bill primarily begins with a brief analysis
of fifteen (15) associated definitions in this act.
The bill then explains the need for the establishment of the Punjab Curriculum and
Textbook Board and describes each designated role for its members. It clearly
states that the Board shall be a communal body. It shall have power to acquire
and the capacity to hold and transfer property. It shall also allot perpetual
succession and a common seal which shall by the said name sue and be sued.
The bill further states the process of appointment of each member of the Board
along with their distinct duties. The process of appointment is solely based on
a number of certain requirements which will be assessed by the Government. This
process of appointment does not allow selection based on a person’s status in
society or ex officio members. In other words, the act keeps certain regulation
for providing equal opportunities for all. Furthermore, the act also keeps a
certain margin for females to be appointed in the Board. The ratio equals to
1:2 between females (1) and males (2). However, there are notices for altering
it to a fair gender ratio margin. The Bill then narrates a number of reasons
for disqualification of any member, meeting details and the structure of the Advisory
council for the Board along with its set of tasks.

Origination of the Bill
Punjab
Curriculum and Textbook Board Act aims to build a nation through quality
textbooks, arranged according to cultural innovation, which seeks to establish
a revised process of learning for students and teaching passion of teachers. It
strives to increase the prospects of learning in order to produce more bright minds
and increase the percentage of educated individuals in Punjab.
Prior to the act of Provincial Textbook Board, there was less control of
the Government on publication, printing and distribution of the textbooks. The
provision of sufficient textbooks both in quality and quantity has been quite problematic
which is a major concern for educational authorities for a number of years. Dating
back to the Constitution of National Education Commission by the Government of
Pakistan in 1959, the recommendations of the Chairman, S.M Sharif Commission
was approved by a committee headed by General Nasir Ali Khan in 1962 and the
establishment of Textbook Boards was suggested to safeguard the production of
standardized reasonable textbooks and supplementary material.

Functions of the Bill
The
basic functions of the Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board Act are to make
arrangements for the production and publication of textbooks for classes I to
XII for reasonable prices and their suitable accessibility in both private and
public sectors. The functions of the bill primarily focus on the
implementation of the educational policies of the Government in regards with
the revised curricula, textbooks, manuscript. Development, approval, production
and publication of the text-books and supplementary material will start immediately.
Approval of manuscripts of the textbook and supplementary material will be sanctioned
by a person or an agency first, then the revised curricula, schemes of studies,
manuscripts of the textbooks and schedules will be introduced in all classes of
institutions. The arrangement for the production and publication of textbooks
and supplementary material relating will lay down specific methods to regulate
and control production. For example; the printing, publication and sale of
textbooks and other supplementary material along with the production of
reference and research material relating to the problems of curricula and
preparation of textbooks will regulate and control the process of printing. The
publication and sale of textbooks and supplementary material will control the
policy relating to the distribution of text-books and supplementary material
along with the appointment of agencies for that purpose. There will also be training
courses arranged for the compilers and assessors of curricula and the authors
of the text-books. Furthermore, workshops and seminars will put to action for
an effective use of text-books and supplementary materials. The conduct of
research in curricula, textbooks and supplementary materials will be
introduced. There will be exhibitions of textbooks and supplementary materials
arranged. A mobile library will be built and maintained.

Arguments and challenges faced after and between
the passing of law

While the bill was in process of being a law, one of the arguments
that came up were by the Parliamentary Secretary for School Education, Joyce
Julias, who claimed that there were enough facilities provided in the school
whereas the oppositional party argued against the proposed claim as there was a
need for a Board to set up to provide a revised curriculum and textbooks along
with their supplementary material.

After the passing of the
Punjab Curriculum and Textbook board, one of the criticisms that the board came
across was the claim that the Punjab Textbook Board’s textbooks were filled
with errors and mistakes. The curriculum review committees failed to recognize
the mistakes because they had no experts on board with them. 

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