Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 16th, 2019

Challenges before Adopting New Curriculum by MoE

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Challenges before Adopting  New Curriculum by MoE

Adopting any types of curriculum will affect the level of learning and change students’ behaviors accordingly. Competency based education (CBE) is no exception and will certainly fulfill the learners’ expectations. CBE is an approach which is deeply rooted in the behaviorism school of psychology placing emphasis on learners’ achievable narrow and broad skills ability. The interrelated skills in the mentioned approach are selecting based on society’s or learners’ needs to bear a clear result. CBE has been already adopted by different countries. Finland’s Ministry of Education, which has the most successful education system in the world, is the best example. Similar to many other countries, Afghan Ministry of Education (MoE) has decided to adopt the CBE. MoE, along with UNESCO national and international experts, will discuss technical educational curriculum development issue.
On the other hand, those countries who have adopted such approach are the core empirical contexts that help Afghanistan in adoption and implementation. This article will point out the obstacles before adopting CBE in Afghanistan’s particular context.
There are a number of challenges we will face with implementation of CBE in Afghanistan’s particular context. First, the educational practitioners in MoE had neither studied nor practiced the basic principles of CBE implementation. This is what the practitioners unintentionally have been neglected from the CBE implementation according to existing educational condition and the roots which CBE are touching our values.  That is, adopting new approach is not fully compatible with our religious values since CBE is rooted in empiricism school of thought which may principally and philosophically contradict Islamic ways of gaining new knowledge. The MoE practitioners have not taken into consideration the fundamental the philosophical challenge, which forms the base for movement direction. In other words, the competency based education approach, design the learning units according to the students’ explicit behaviors that should be measurable. This challenge basically has been presented as one of the most common problem in the educational contexts that are always not implementable. Our religious principles pointing out beyond five senses ways as penetrations for gaining new information which are not always measurable. Inspiration is one of the most common examples.
Currently, the practitioner in MoE have to provide justification for adopting CBE according to Afghanistan’s certain religious context so that it could reconcile with religious values. Reasonable justification will pave the ground for adopting CBE approach if it wins the public trust.
The second challenge relates to Afghan schools which have not been equipped sufficiently within the last 18 years to internalize students all the designed and defined life competencies. The Afghan MoE needs to provide a rich learning environment for all Afghan students to create, develop, and foster the life competencies through intended ways and support curriculum development and compiling of textbooks department to develop standardized instructional materials for school students across the country. Moreover, the MoE should provide supplementary materials, electricity, cartoons, simulations, labs, libraries, ICTs, IPad, internet, etc. to enrich classes/schools. Currently, the above mentioned issues still remain a challenge for Afghanistan schools to be equipped with standardized textbooks and learning materials.
Third, the CBE needs a decentralized system of school education to involve students, teachers, principals, parents, etc. in the development, design, and implementation of curriculum. The current educational system should be more flexible and committed to students learning and give full authority to lower ranking educational officers. Accordingly, they have to know their main responsibilities as curriculum cycle elements in school education system. Implementing CBE with centralized educational system is next to impossible. Because, the expected competencies are unlikely to foster during the levels of educations by limitation.
Fourth, the political tensions in the higher level of MoE officials make a challenge for adopting the new curriculum. The involved parties intervening directly and indirectly in recruitments, development process, and even selecting of the contents which is the authority of author according to job details. Escalation in political tension will prevent adopting new educational curriculum approach, which is not suitable for Afghan children and younger generation.
To sum up, implementing CBE in Afghanistan context have to be studied through research projects. The result of the study will clearly respond the applicability or inapplicability of the approach. The study have to be done before any adopting any new educational approach in Afghanistan’s certain context. It will help educators to understand theories applicability and implementation in the country.

Amin Danish is a member of staff in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education.

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