New curriculum ready for publication

Kabul, January 25, 2005 - A new curriculum for grades 1-4 with significant changes in the teaching method has been finalized by Afghanistan's Education Ministry and is now ready for publication.

Advisors from Nebraska University and the teacher training team of Columbia University in the U.S along with Afghan experts have helped with the Translation and Compilation department of the Ministry of Education in the making of the new curriculum.

Education ministry officials said the curriculum being used earlier was far from satisfactory. Abdul Nabi Wahedi, head of translation and compilation department at the education ministry said in the earlier system the teacher defined the lesson to the students who memorized it. He believes that all the pressure was on the teacher and that no attention was paid to students in that system. In the new curriculum, the student is central to the process and both student and teacher are actively involved in the process of teaching and learning, he said.

Waheedi told Pazhwok that the department was ready for the publication of around 11 million copies of 20 books for 4.1 million students from grades 1 to 4. Books of the second and fifth grade will be completed on March 1, 2005. UNESCO, UNICEF and Japan, Denmark and the US were helping in the preparation of a new curriculum. All textbooks of schools will follow the new curriculum until the end of the school year in 2006.