13.06.2012 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

UNESCO presents the findings of textbooks evaluation to Minister of Education

(from right): Minister of Education Dr. Mohamed Temim, with representatives from the Ministries of Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the Prime Minister Advisory Committee / © UNESCO Iraq 2012

On 13 June 2012 at the Prime Minister Advisory Committee in Baghdad, UNESCO experts met with H.E. the Minister of Education, Dr. Mohamed Temim to present the findings of the evaluation conducted on Iraqi math and science textbooks. The meeting was held in the presence of key experts in curriculum development, high officials of the Ministries of Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the Prime Minister Advisory Committee.

Upon request of the Ministry of Education, UNESCO Iraq Office has completed the assessment of math and science textbooks for grades 4, 8 and 11, according to the international standards and using content analysis approach.

A team of eight Iraqi experts worked jointly with six UNESCO international experts on finalizing the evaluation. The exercise was conducted using eight sets of standards, namely: 1) Textbook Description; 2) General structure; 3) Textbook Philosophy; 4) Content Analysis; 5) Textbook support to the learning process; 6) Assessment Students' Acquisition; 7) Strengthening and supporting the learning environment; and 8) Graphic design and production.

Starting in September 2012, the experts will also evaluate the teaching practices of the current curriculum, using two valid and reliable questionnaires developed for this purpose.

Textbooks evaluation is considered an essential step towards reforming education. Current textbooks in Iraq need an in depth review and UNESCO Iraq Office is supporting the priorities set by the Ministry of Education in this regard. After finalizing the National Curriculum Framework Document, UNESCO is now working with the Ministry of Education to provide specialized training to develop Science and Math Curriculum Documents upon which to base the production of new quality school textbooks.

Funded by the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, First Lady of Qatar and UNESCO special envoy for Basic and Higher education, the Curriculum Development project aims to contribute to modernization and reconciliation in Iraqi society by reformulating the Iraqi school curriculum and textbooks. The Project provides technical assistance to develop skills in curriculum development and curriculum assessment, thereby increasing the value added of the new curriculum in terms of impact on students' knowledge acquisition and their achievement.

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