Pakistan government is planning to introduce a “special course” on animal welfare in the schools across Islamabad to teach children valuable lessons about caregiving, responsibility, and empathy.
“A special course is being prepared on animal welfare that will be introduced in schools of ICT region. Children will be introduced to compassion and a humane approach toward animals so they can be better citizens,” announced Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Strategic Reforms Unit head, Salman Sufi.
The outline of the welfare course, which is expected to be introduced in educational institutions by the end of October, has already been prepared, Sufi said.
The course will be rolled out for students in grade five and above in both private and government schools.
“It will primarily be included in a subject but we are still figuring out which subject and the chapters,” he said,
Sufi added that the primary purpose of this course is to ensure that children can learn what we were never taught, such as the fact that stray animals, exotic animals, pet animals, and any other animal has rights and we have to be mindful of them. We have to protect their rights not just by words but through proper actions.
“Animal rights activists will also visit schools and teach children about keeping pets. They will tell kids that pets cannot just be kept for fun, and make them realize that animals are a responsibility”, he added.
Animal welfare activists have praised the initiative but urged the government to introduce the course in schools across Pakistan.
The PM’s aide highlighted that the government would seek input from local and foreign animal rights organizations to make the courses as comprehensive as possible.
The animal welfare course initiative comes after the government’s move in June to ban surgeries and testing on living animals at veterinary institutes and industrial complexes in the capital while announcing Rs. 15,000 ($63.59) penalty and jail term for animal brutality offenders.