UNESCO conducted a workshop on Curriculum Development for TVET programmes in Iraq within Reviving of Mosul and Basra Old Cities Project, Funded by EU

As part of UNESCO’s ongoing efforts to support for creation of “Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities” project, with financial support from the European Union, a four-day training workshop on TVET Curriculum Development was organized in Erbil from 8 – 11 December 2021. The trainees were 20 technical staff (5 women) from Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) and the Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) and Ministry of Education.

The workshop enhanced the capacities of the MoLSA, VTC and MoE technical staff to review and develop the TVET curriculum as per the requirements of the national Technical and Vocational Qualification Framework (TVQF). The TVQF was approved by the Iraqi Council of Ministries in March 2021.

The training methodology included an interactive set of activities, enabling the participants to apply the new processes tools in a practical manner. Throughout the training participants were required to reflect on the current labor market needs which would result in improved employment outcomes for young people.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Bilal Al Hamaydah, the Project Officer, welcomed the participants, and said “This workshop aims to build the capacities of the curriculum developers team at the level of Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the vocational training centers extending at the level of the Iraqi governorates, as well as a specialized cadre from the Ministry of Education in order to strengthen the capacities regarding curriculum review and development mechanisms of vocational training centers and vocational preparatory schools in accordance with the National Technical and Vocational Qualifications Framework”.

Mr. Al Hamaydah added “UNESCO hopes, through this workshop, that the main output will be an expansion of this knowledge through the dissemination of tools and the application of what the participants have learned within the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the vocational training centers in order to disseminate these tools, guiding notes and guidelines for the National Qualifications Framework regarding Technical and vocational education and training curriculum development in Iraq.”

Dr. Esraa Talib Tawfeeq, the Scientific Assistant of the General Directorate of Curricula at MoE, said “As a representative of the Ministry of Education, I participated in this workshop to benefit from and access national technical and vocational qualifications framework theoretically and practically. The benefit of this framework is to be used in aligning current curriculum and in developing new curriculum in the future. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs participated in the workshop which lasted for 4 days. The materials provided were used in theory and practical application, which had the greatest advantage in the use of curriculum development using the National Technical and Vocational Qualifications Framework”.

Mr. Muhammed Ghazi Harfash, Engineer from the Department of Labor and Vocational Training, Baghdad Governorate, said “As a participant in the curriculum development workshop within the National Qualifications Framework, I hope that there will be a great opportunity for such an organized work inside the country and we hope for the best from this workshop through our experience in designing curricula and access of the National Qualifications Framework after its approval”.

Ms. Aseel Abdul Kareem, the Curriculum Officer at Basra Training Center, said, the workshop was wonderful and she and her colleagues greatly benefited from the topics covered in increasing awareness and understanding of the National Qualifications Framework and its relationship to curriculum development and its compatibility with the labor market.

The trainer, Dr. Nadhom Khaleefa Mutalib, from Middle Technical University – Anbar Technical Institute appreciated the active participation of all participants and the great outputs of the workshop which reflected reaching the objective of the Curriculum Development Workshop to increase awareness and understanding of Technical and Vocational Education and Training operational governance frameworks, systems and processes that guide and inform the development of curriculum or qualifications.

Melanie Relton, the Education Consultant, Assessor, Moderator and Verifier, said “workshops of these kinds play an essential role in supporting professionals and institutions implement the requirements of the TVQF. In a globally competitive market, adopting the standards and principles outlined in the TVQF will enhance the transparency, understanding, credibility and portability of Iraqi qualifications and assure employers that students graduating with the new qualifications genuinely possess the skills and experience needed to perform within the workplace.”

In his closing remarks, the Director of Scientific Affairs Department – Curriculum Officer – at General Directorate of Vocational Education, Ministry of Education, Dr. Ihsan Al Nuaimi, said “The training workshop was wonderful as we saw a high coordination between UNESCO and the facilitators and participants from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Education. The workshop adopted a competency-based training approach for the purpose of clearly understanding the National Qualifications Framework and the requirements of the Iraqi labor market for the required professions, especially as we are going through a crisis regarding the weakness of the private sector and also to improve professions in Iraq, which leads to the improvement of the Iraqi economy.”