Finalizing the curriculum framework

Afghanistan, April-June 2003

As a follow-up to its support in 2002 for curriculum development in Afghanistan, in 2003 IBE-UNESCO is acting as technical assistance for the Ministry of Education/The Compilation and Translation Department (the Curriculum and Textbook Unit) based on professional, financial and logistical support from the UNESCO Afghanistan office and UNICEF Afghanistan.


The main dimensions of IBE-UNESCO's support to the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan are as follows:


  • Providing technical support for the finalization and public dissemination of the new Curriculum Framework, as a basis for the promotion of a new curriculum culture, in line with international developments and valuable local traditions;
  • Providing on-the-job training for curriculum and textbook developers for assuring a smooth transition from the new Curriculum Framework to the development of scope and sequences and textbooks for primary education;
  • Contributing to the development of a comprehensive reform policy through addressing viable solutions for ensuring a better quality of education processes in pre-tertiary education;
  • Coordinating with other donors and education partners, especially UNICEF Kabul, Columbia University/Teachers College, The Danish Government/DANIDA, and several major education NGOs, such as Care International, The Swedish Committee, IRC, The Aga Khan Foundation, etc.


In the first half of 2003, three missions of an international curriculum consultant to Kabul took place, with the following outcomes:


  • Institutional agreements between IBE-UNESCO, UNESCO Kabul, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education have been finalized;
  • Several on-the-job training sessions for curriculum and textbook developers have been organized (on trends and good practices in curriculum development and on developing scope and sequences for primary education, following the pedagogical principles for a child-centred approach and integrated learning in the new Curriculum Framework);
  • Several curriculum policy documents have been developed, as a basis for better co-ordination of donors and education partners of the Ministry of Education;
  • A comprehensive Work Plan for 2003 (curriculum and textbook development) has been developed and circulated between education stakeholders and the MoE;
  • The new Curriculum Framework is being finalised and a short, user-friendly version is in course of preparation;
    Several capacity building activities for education specialists in Afghanistan (from the MoE and from the University of Education in Kabul) have started, including the creation of a Resource Centre for Curriculum and Textbook Development;
  • Through capacity building and organizational strategies, a sustainable system for curriculum and textbook development will be put in place by the end of the year;
  • Further needs for capacity building and institutional development are explored

  1. The project is part of the so-called country-costumised operational projects in the framework of IBE-UNESCO's strategy for reinforcing action-oriented programmes in response to countries' demands.
  2. An intensive capacity-building programme for curriculum developers from Afghanistan was organised in October 2002 in Tehran/Iran, with the support of the UNESCO Kabul office and of the National Commission for UNESCO in Tehran. More than 30 Afghan education specialists have been exposed to recent trends and good practices in curriculum development, and have contributed to the development of a first draft of a new Curriculum Framework for pre-tertiary education.
  3. The UNESCO education project for Afghanistan, including the curriculum component (154,000 USD in 2003), is financed by the German Government, through BMZ (Bundesministerium fuer Zusammenarbeit - BMZ).