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Education Minister of State Gives Update on Curriculum Reform Pilot Project

We have told you of the curriculum reform currently underway by the Ministry of Education. One of the factors that brought on the reform is what has been termed as a, ‘ballooning curriculum’. Currently, students are being loaded with many subjects and learning outcomes that they are only memorizing material to pass the courses, and are not necessarily learning. Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Dr Louis Zabaneh explained to Love News that there is a pilot project that began in August where the curriculum was revised for sixteen schools with fewer subjects.

Dr.Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Science & Technology and Culture:  “We have started with a pilot project where we’re looking at 16 Primary school’s and 5 high schools. We are implementing lower number of subjects across those two levels. We have reduced learning outcomes in some cases by up to 60%,  taken away a number of subjects between 20 and 30% so we will now be assessing, evaluating the impact of what we’re calling this reduce or optimized curriculum on the performance of students and then making that a basis for us to start implementing the reform framework. And it’s being as we say in statistics it’s being compounded by COVID. So if we were doing this without the impact of COVID it would have been a smooth evaluation period with say ok we’re comparing test that students did in year one and now we’re moving into year two with less subjects and less outcomes and that’s pretty straightforward but now we have the problem of COVID where a number of children have been left behind because of the difficulties with taking the material to them etc etc and so we have to find ways to be able to evaluate it taking that into account.”

Dr Louis Zabaneh explained to Love News that the decision to reform the curriculum was not made without consultations with stakeholders. He went further to breakdown the definition of a ballooning curriculum.

Dr.Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Science & Technology and Culture:  “In those conversations were looking at curriculum overload the problem that needs to be addressed before we really in bark in reforming all the other aspects of the curriculum as I just mentioned so the world most countries around the world have recognized that are curricular has ballooned in terms of number of subjects and in terms of the content expected to be covered within subjects so for example 2530 years ago you might have been seeing 78 subjects at primary maybe 8 or 9 subjects at secondary now this has expanded out over these years 211 to 12 subjects of primary and 13 to 14 subjects at secondary and it is not just only the number of subjects but what is expected to be covered within any particular subject that has also grown you measure that in terms of what’s called learning outcomes so teachers have so many learning outcomes if they need to ensure students are able to achieve during a particular horse that are delivering these consultations we had broad consensus parents that their children are coming home with excessive homework many times the parents have to do the assignments for the children the children themselves are obviously stressed out because they have to crown it is really memorization so that they can pass these tests other standardized tests like PSY and cxcs it’s all an exercise in memorization so obviously we’re doing a disservice for children were not really preparing them for competency when they get out into the workforce or when they go to higher education period were setting them up to fail in addition to that the teachers are also very much stress because they have so much material they have to cover so we have really not been looking at the psychological emotional impact that this very heavy curriculum has been having adverse impact on the well-being of our students and our parents and other teachers so that first set of consultations discussed this matter of the overload we’re all in agreement that it must be addressed.”

The pilot project is for one academic year.