The Deputy Ministry of Education for Literacy (DMoEL) with technical assistance of UNESCO conducted a three day curriculum workshop at the Kabul Serena Hotel from November 21st to 23rd 2015.
The purpose of conducting the curriculum framework workshop was to share the draft curriculum framework with the participants while enhancing their understanding of the underlying competency-based approach, to obtain feedback and draw from participants’ experiences and knowledge to enrich the draft curriculum framework, and to agree upon a final statement on the draft curriculum framework that will be presented to decision-makers at the Ministry of Education.
The workshop’s opening ceremony started with a speech delivered by H.E. Minister of Education, Dr. Assadullah Hanif Balkhi who emphasized the importance of literacy in enhancing the quality of life of Afghanistan citizens, as well as enhancing social communications. The Minister also endorsed the need for the new teaching and learning curriculum, and extended his gratitude to UNESCO and the international donors for their continuous support.
The national literacy curriculum and textbooks that are used currently, were developed over 10 years ago and do not meet the proficiency, numeracy and life skills expected of adults today. Also, reasons why individuals would participate in literacy courses today may not be quite the same as of 10 years ago, and this reflects a major need to provide literacy education for a different group of people and leaners with different needs. Therefore, a forward-looking curriculum, instructional materials and teaching and learning strategies are required to contribute to the country’s development goals. In this manner, the Deputy Ministry of Education for Literacy, under the leadership of its Curriculum Directorate, and with support from UNESCO Kabul Office, have strategized to develop a national youth and adult literacy and basic education curriculum framework.
H.E. Mr. Azim Karblaye, Deputy Minister of Education for Literacy, emphasized the importance of curriculum as a major component of increasing quality in the literacy programme. Mr. Karblaye also stated that the new curriculum is considered to be both demand driven and competency based, which will increase the quality of the programme as a whole.
Mr. Danillo Padilla, head of education unit of UNESCO began his speech by appreciating the Literacy Department for working very closely with UNESCO over the years, as well as for initiating this important curriculum framework workshop.
Mr. Padilla also expressed the UNESCO team’s sincerest gratitude to the Governments of Japan, Sweden and Finland for their continuous support to UNESCO, enabling UNESCO to be a strong technical support body to such critical initiatives. “This workshop underscores UNESCO’s longstanding assistance in Afghanistan, particularly through the Curriculum Directorate of the Literacy Department, with strong support from UNESCO’s Institute of Lifelong Learning” added Mr. Padilla.
In his speech, Mr. Assadullah Muhaqiq, Deputy Minister of Education for Technical Evaluation emphasized the importance of literacy education and particularly the quality of literacy programme as a main focus of the national government in education sector.
Dr. Ulrike Hanemann, from UNESCO’s Institute for Life Long Learning gave two pesentations. One presentation was on international trends in literacy and the implications of dealing with literacy as a continuum of proficiency levels, with the other presentation focusing on trends in teaching and learning literacy, and implications for the development of literacy materials.
During the workshop the participants joined in many group works through which the participants got opportunity to familiarize with different parts of the curriculum framework, indicate their comments and feedback in the posters, and share the comments and feedback with all participants.
The closing ceremony took place on 23rd of November and the certificates were distributed to the participants in the presence of special representative of First Lady of Afghanistan.