Afghanistan, on the road to a Competency-based Education
The Afghan government in its National Education Strategic Plan, 2017-2021 has identified curriculum reform as a key priority to improve the quality and relevance of education in Afghanistan
An eight days intensive working group meeting on subject syllabi development was organized in New Delhi from 20 November- 2 Dec 2019 under Better Education Systems for Afghanistan’s Future (BESAF) porgram funded by Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for curriculum experts from the Afghan Ministry of Education (MoE). Forty four national (30% female) and international curriculum specialists from UNESCO and MoE attended the workshop. Participants conducted a thorough review of subject syllabi based on the new curriculum and life competency frameworks for general education.
A comprehensive approach being adopted to curriculum reform in Afghanistan involves multiple actions and multi-stakeholders coordination. This included the development of a curriculum framework, life skills competencies framework, subject syllabi and a framework for quality assuring for each subject syllabi, guidelines for the development of textbooks, teacher training, capacity development, improving learning environment and resources, and engaging with parents and the wider community. So far, the curriculum reform process has resulted in the development of curriculum framework, life competency framework and draft subject syllabi for general education from grades 1-12 for all students in Afghanistan.
The practical workshop has resulted in advanced subject syllabi for English as Foreign Language, Arts, Science, Social Science, and Mathematics based on the new competency-based curriculum framework. This new competency-based curriculum will help Afghan children to keep pace with international standards.
UNESCO has been the leading the technical support for the curriculum reform in Afghanistan since 2017. UNESCO plans to organize another Technical Meeting on Syllabus Development in March 2020 which will focus on finalizing and introducing international best practices in textbook development.