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Minister of Education Says Curricular Reform is Needed for Secondary Schools

In addition to the suspension of the tests, the ministry is now seriously looking at a reform of the curriculum, primarily for high schools. Minister Fonseca indicated that the majority of stakeholders in education have agreed that there is an urgent need for changes in the curriculum. Fonseca told Love News that the Ministry of streamlining the curriculum, reducing the number of subjects to core subjects and decreasing the number of millennium development goals. This according to the Minister will significantly decrease the overload put on students.

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “It’s a critically important issue. It’s something that we believe is absolutely essential to education reform in general. You know we heard for a very long time this discussion about curriculum overload, we’ve heard it from students, you’ve heard it from teachers, and also the relevance of many of the learning outcomes that are on the curriculum. So we’ve engaged for several months in an exercise aimed at reviewing the curriculum. We’ve involved extensive consultations, all the relevant stakeholders and so what we’re doing now is piloting a new curriculum for primary school and secondary school which will see – I don’t want to get too technical but learning outcomes we’ll see learning outcomes reduced by over a thousand. Currently the existing curriculum has about I think almost 2,700 learning outcomes meaning specific outcomes that are to be achieved when you teach this particular subject and this particular curriculum. So we’ve streamlined that in a very targeted, focused way down to about 1,500 – 1,600 specific learning outcomes. In terms of actual subject areas at the primary level it ranged from twelve subjects to fourteen subjects depending on the school that you attended we’ve now brought that down to nine subjects and have a much more targeted approach. At the secondary level we’re doing the same thing, again you were dealing with twelve – fourteen subjects; we’ve streamlined that down to ten core subject areas.”

Minister Fonseca says the new curriculum with be tested in several primary and high schools before it is rolled out countrywide.

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “We’re piloting starting in August right here at the beginning of this new school year we’re going to be piloting the new curriculum. I think we’ll be doing it in about sixteen schools across the country at the primary level and at the secondary level I think about eight schools will be involved in the pilot project. So that’s the beginning of that component of the process and so the objective is that we pilot it and then for the next new school year it’s completely rolled out to all our schools across the country.” 

Later this month, the Ministry of Education will host a press conference to further share plans.