18.10.2018 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Afghan Minister of Education Attends UNESCO Curriculum Reform Workshop

Afghanistan’s Minister of Education, Dr. Mohammad Mirwais Balkhi was the guest of honour at a UNESCO-organised Technical Workshop on Curriculum Reform in Afghanistan held in Kabul on 30 September.

The workshop was the first in a series of five which aim to progress the Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education ambitious curriculum reform programme. This phase of the programme involves developing a new curriculum framework, a life competencies framework and subject area syllabi for general education in Afghanistan.

The workshop involved senior officials from across the Ministry and was also attended by the Deputy Minister for General Education, Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim Shinwari, the Deputy Minister for Curriculum and Teacher Education, Dr. Asadullah Mohaqiq Jahani, and the Director-General of Curriculum, Dr. Mohammad Yousuf Niazi.  

In attending the workshop, the Minister was updated on his officials’ progress in refining and articulating critical elements of principles of teaching and learning for Afghanistan’s education system. The Minister spoke of the vital importance of curriculum reform for the improvement of Afghanistan’s education system. He also noted the importance of UNESCO’s international technical expertise in assisting Ministry officials with their education transformation objectives.

In her remarks at the workshop opening, UNESCO Kabul Office Representative and Director Patricia McPhillips acknowledged the Ministry’s commitment to transforming teaching and learning across Afghanistan. She also acknowledged the constructive partnership that had developed between the Ministry and UNESCO, as well as the role of UNICEF in supporting UNESCO’s curriculum project work with the Ministry.

The workshops series aims to lead participants of the Ministry’s Technical Working Group to finalize the Curriculum Framework for General Education, Afghan Life Competencies Framework and Subject Area Syllabi. They also seek to support the development of textbook and learning resources guidelines and quality assurance frameworks. This work aims to provide a strong foundation for the development and transformation of Afghanistan’s education system, in line with the objectives articulated within the National Education Strategic Plan, 2017 to 2021.

Each of the five workshops focus on exploring an element that is central to Afghanistan’s programme of curriculum reform. Topics under focus include student-centered teaching and learning, active learning strategies, formative assessment, the integration of life competencies within subject area syllabi, and syllabus mapping and review.

The workshops have been designed to model best practice in teaching and learning, and require the active participation of delegates. After experiencing various active-learning and formative assessment strategies, participants are encouraged to consider how similar approaches could be adapted and applied at various stages of the Afghanistan education system.

The workshop series continues through October and November 2018. They are supported by UNESCO’s global CapED program, a multi-donor fund with major contributions from Sweden, Finland, and Norway, and with financial and technical assistance from UNICEF Afghanistan.

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