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Sep 29, 2017

Progress Brings Problems with New School Curricula

John Newport

Since 2007, the Ministry of Education has been rolling out revised curriculum for schools to reflect on the changing knowledge in the various subject areas, including health and science, mathematics, social studies and English. But there are some teachers who have taken to social media to express their discontent with the new curriculum, saying that they have been unable to create their teaching plans and the codification of the new curriculum and how it is organized does not help. But Director of the Quality Assurance Development Services in the Ministry of Education, John Newport, says that there were numerous consultations with teachers and school leaders and the new curriculum demands that teachers do additional research. He says those with concerns should contact the ministry.

 

John Newport, Director of QUADS, Ministry of Education

“What I have here is a document that lists all the learning outcomes in the national curriculum. What we did this year for the first time is that we have put together statements that tell teachers exactly what they have to teach in every subject. This is based on actually something that goes back to the year 2000 when the regulation said that you have to have a learning outcome on all of your instructional plans. What has happened is that it has taken quite a long time, because 2000 was seventeen years ago, for us to create the high quality learning outcomes we need for every single subject. So over the past two to three years, there has been a large amount of consultation. I am not saying that every teacher was consulted, but we did have consultations with teachers and managers and school leaders in every single district; in fact there were multiple meetings in every single district. In all countries where you change your curriculum, after a while you make sure the exam is based only on the new curriculum. And really what we’ve done here is we have taken some curriculums which were in some cases twenty years old and we brought them up to date. In curriculum development, you want to revise a curriculum at least every ten years because over the course of ten years—just in health—how much has changed. Ten years ago, there was no zika, there was no chikungunya. So we couldn’t still keep using the same health curriculum that was written in 2003 in 2017.”

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