16.05.2019 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Afghanistan’s new school curriculum takes shape

©UNESCO | Above left: Deputy Minister H.E. Marjan thanks participants for their efforts at the High Level Meeting on Curriculum Reform in Afghanistan. Above centre and right: Afghanistan Ministry of Education delegates discuss improvements to Afghanistan’s subject syllabi at working group and plenary sessions.

16.05.2019 | The shape of the new curriculum for Afghanistan’s school system became clearer in April following the holding of a UNESCO-organised High Level Technical Meeting on Curriculum Reform in New Delhi, India.

The UNESCO Office in Kabul organised the eight-day meeting to provide technical expertise to Ministry of Education senior officials responsible for developing the new curriculum. A total of 57 delegates participated in the meeting, which focused on developing and refining subject syllabi in line with the draft Curriculum Framework for General Education and Afghan Life Competency Framework which UNESCO Kabul Office helped develop in 2018.

UNESCO and international subject specialists provided technical leadership and support to subject working groups during the meeting. Subject syllabi were advanced for mathematics, social studies, science and technology, information technology, health and physical activity, and languages (including Dari and Pashto as mother tongue and second languages, Uzbeki, Pashaee, and Nooristani as mother tongue languages, and English as a foreign language). Working groups focused on reviewing and updating the scope and sequence for their subject curriculum and identifying the big ideas and achievement objectives for each grade.

H.E. Marjan Mateen, Deputy Minister for Curriculum Development and Teacher Education, attended and participated in the meeting on 9 and 10 April. In remarks, the Deputy Minister noted that participants had advised her that the workshop was productive and was “actually helping them do the actual work – and not just talking about theory”.

The meeting was held under the auspices of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education, and with support from UNICEF and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The curriculum reform programme was initiated through CapED and has succeeded in mobilising support from other partners to ensure the MoE’s goals can be met. Improving Afghanistan’s education system is vital to contributing to the Better Education Systems for Afghanistan’s Future 2019-2021 (BESAF) programme, supported by SIDA.

Due to security concerns and the absence of secure meeting spaces in Kabul, the meeting was held in New Delhi, India. The Kabul Office is grateful to the New Delhi Office for their facilitation of arrangements to allow this important meeting to go ahead.

The meeting was held from 4 to 12 April. A further two similar meetings are proposed for later this year to help finalise the new curriculum and prepare it for piloting and implementation, including the development of learning resources and training of teachers and school leaders.


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