17.09.2016 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

Education specialists take a step closer towards finalizing the Syria Curriculum Framework

Once considered as a leading country in education in the region, Syria, now affected by a deep crisis since 2011, seeks to revive its reformatory potential in line with significant current international developments. Syrian education specialists are keen on preserving their country’s education system and with the support of UNESCO are building on previous achievements, including in the realm of curriculum.

Following a first training workshop held at the request of the Syrian Ministry of Education in December 2015, UNESCO Office in Beirut organized a second session from 14 to 16 September 2016 at its premises, regrouping 25 curriculum specialists and a representative of the Syrian UNESCO National Commission.

Held in close coordination with the Syrian National Centre for Curriculum Development (NCCD), this follow-up training workshop served to review and finalize the Syria Curriculum Framework, as well as tackle the implications of this new Framework for the development and implementation of subject curricula and textbooks.

Through participation in interactive plenary and group working sessions, curriculum specialists took major steps towards finalizing their national Curriculum Framework. Participants were also able to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of the main content and structure of the Syria Curriculum Framework, as well as of its role in grounding the revision of the Syria curriculum for primary and secondary education.
  • Provide suggestions and reach agreement with regard to some final changes in the Syria Curriculum Framework before finalization. 
  • Agree on a common template for developing subject curricula based on translating the overall curriculum framework guidance into specific subject-related curriculum documents, including syllabuses (i.e. standards) and textbooks.
  • Explore effective ways of curriculum implementation, including quality assuring the curriculum.
  • Agree and draft a meaningful follow up work plans.

“This key initiative has a direct impact on the Syrian educational system”, stated NCCD director Dr. Darem Taba’a. “Through working with a specialized international organization like UNESCO, we are determined to set frameworks that meet the highest international standards”, added Dr. Taba’a as he emphasized on the importance of these workshops in exchanging experience and best practices among participants.

Mr. Fouad Badrah, coordinator of religious education praised “the new methodologies that teachers and education specialists were introduced to during these workshops”. “We will start applying these new syllabuses during this school year”, said Badrah.

“We are humbled by the determination of the Syrian education specialists in reviewing their national curriculum, considered as an important vehicle of rebuilding the country’s human capital. The group works together wonderfully in an effort to defining learner-friendly and state-of-the-art curriculum provisions”, said Mrs. Dakmara Georgescu, UNESCO Beirut programme specialist.

Under the coordination of the NCCD leadership, the different working committees will finalize their reviews in the light of the workshop’s deliberations. The official launching of the reviewed Syria Curriculum package, including the National Curriculum Framework, is due in late November 2016. Subsequently a national teacher training strategy will be put in place with a view to facilitate the implementation of the revised curriculum across the education ladder. 

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