23.02.2017 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Ministry of Education approves New Literacy Textbooks

On 12th February 2017, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education (MoE) approved youth and adult literacy workbooks in a ceremony presided by Dr. Mohammad Sardar Rahimi, Deputy Minister for Literacy.

MoE officials, members of the press and other literacy stakeholders attended the ceremony.  In his address, Dr. Rahimi said, ‘the approved literacy workbooks should meet the requirements of the new youth and adult literacy curriculum framework that was endorsed by the Ministry of Education on 3rd April 2016, methodologically and technically, they have been written in a competency-based  approach, and can be easily be comprehensible for adult learners. The content of the workbooks takes into account the features of the adult learners prior knowledge and experience, thus meeting the standards and performance indicators of the approved new curriculum framework.” He also emphasized the need to provide adult literacy courses that go beyond reading and writing, to be able to provide adult learners with transversal skills that can enable them to effectively function in different social and economic spheres in the society.

Dr. Rahimi expressed his gratitude to UNESCO and the Literacy Department teams that worked tirelessly to develop these new workbooks, adding the new workbooks are expected to remain valid for the next 10 years.

UNESCO’s Chief of Education Unit, Mr. Danilo Padilla reminded the audience that, “this was not the end to the journey, but rather, a new beginning”.  He also noted that the approved workbooks are expected to be piloted for 9 months starting from April 2017, and will be finalized in March 2018.  Mr. Padilla reaffirmed UNESCO’s support to the Ministry of Education in an effort to improve the quality of education in Afghanistan and asked the Ministry of Education to continue providing an enabling environment, and support to UNESCO to be able to finalize this process. He acknowledged the leadership role played by the Literacy Department, UNESCO’s ELA team, UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL), Kabul University College of Education, and the Curriculum Directorate of the Ministry of Education and Sciences Academy for their technical inputs into the process of developing the workbooks.

The Enhancement of Literacy in Afghanistan (ELA) programme remains the largest adult literacy programme in Afghanistan. The programme is being implemented by the Deputy Ministry of Literacy for Education (DMoEL) with technical support of UNESCO, since its inception in 2008. This programme not only aims to address the literacy needs of adult learners in Afghanistan, but also focuses on building the local capacity and strengthening the systems of the Deputy Ministry of Literacy for Education to improve overall management and subsequent delivery for adult learners. In addition, the ELA programme has designed and is currently developing skill based literacy workbooks that embed literacy learning with occupational skills to respond to diverse learner needs, and contribute to social and economic wellbeing.

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