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7.1.6 Curriculum Development Pitfalls

Several major obstacles affecting the quality and effectiveness of the curriculum development process in Pakistan-are summarized below.

Expertise

Some serving teachers are, of course, involved in curriculum development. But notwithstanding their outstanding subject area expertise, their contribution to the curriculum development is, for all practical purposes nominal. The main reason for this is that they lack the requisite expertise.

The existing training program provides little exposure in this area. and the teachers’ academic qualifications do not necessarily contribute to curricular creativity.

Therefore, at best, the teachers are able to provide opinions about the compatibility between specific concepts or content and the intellectual development level of the children in a specific age group or grade.

However, this guidance often reflects, in part, a particular situation with which the teachers have been dealing (e.g. children from a rural background) and, in part, their own capability to render a specific concept comprehensible.

Textbook quality

Textbooks often do not reflect the curriculum. Of course, it requires considerable experience and skill to: translate the curriculum in a style that covers the objectives; simultaneously take into consideration the children’s language proficiency and background knowledge; and concurrently arrange the content in a logical sequence in a stimulating manner.

But the all-important self-assessment questions or activities (especially questions focused on higher order skills) are invariably missing

Implementation and follow-up

The third problem is that there is lack of follow-up of actual curriculum implementation in classroom practice.

The curriculum actually implemented is generally different from the official curriculum document. The classroom teacher, who primarily focuses on the textbooks and assessment, does not take into account the educational objectives.

No evaluation of the implemented curriculum is carried out; hence no feedback is received to revise the curriculum.

Curriculum Reforms 2000-2009

2000: Review of Basic Science Subjects under Education Sector Reforms Action Plan(2001-06) and production of textbooks

2002: Review of Social Science Subjects under ESR and production of textbooks

2005: Comprehensive review of all subjects

2006/7: completion of review National Curriculum 2006/7 and its publication

2007: National Textbook and Learning Materials Policy and Plan of Action-2007-2010 Implementation of National Curriculum 2006/7

2007-9: Development of textbooks in phases. Phase I – Grades I, VI, IX& XI

2010: (April) New Textbooks Planned to be in Schools
National Education Policy 2009 and Curriculum

In the National Education Policy 2009, a comprehensive review of school curricula was initiated in 2005. The Curriculum Wing of Ministry of Education, strengthened by professionals from the field, reviewed the scheme of studies in the first phase, while in the second phase; the revised curricula for 25 core subjects (Grade 1 to 12) were notified in 2007.

National Education Policy 2009 stresses the need for curriculum development within which the comparison of the current curriculum with the curricula of different countries; consultations with teachers. administrators, educationists, curriculum experts and students; field visits to collect feedback from teachers and stakeholders; identification and training of working teams through workshops and seminars; review of drafts by subject experts and working teachers leading to further revision and refinement of contents; and preparation of a uniform curriculum format consisting of standards, benchmarks and learning outcomes are vital parts of the curriculum development process.

According to the education policy (2009), curriculum development shall be objective-driven and outcome-based; focus on learning the outcomes rather than the content; closely reflect important social issues; provide more room for developing the capacity for self- directed learning, spirit of inquiry, critical thinking, problem-solving and team work.

It states that the curriculum development and review process as well as the textbooks review shall be standardized and institutionalized within the framework of the Federal Supervision of Curricula, Textbooks & Maintenance of Standards of Education

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