To guide curriculum developers and teachers, the Royal Education Council (REC) has drafted curriculum frameworks for 10 subjects.
The development of framework began in 2006 with English, Dzongkha and Mathematics and the Council is yet to draft similar framework for few more subjects.
Dean of curriculum development centre, Wangpo Tenzin, said the framework is like a blueprint for a subject that describes its purpose, goals, standards, learning outcome, key stages of each curriculum, and how each topic should be taught.
“It would guide the topics and teaching methods,” Wangpo Tenzin said. “We do a situational analysis and need assessment before we make any changes to the curriculum.”
For instance, each curriculum framework provides teachers, learners, parents, employers and educators of higher education institutions with a clear statement of what learners are expected to achieve from the particular subject from pre-primary grade to XII.
REC has today completed drafting frameworks for Geography, History, Social Studies, Accountancy, Commerce, Economics, TVET and Science apart from Dzongkha, English, and Mathematics.
Wangpo Tenzin said that during the need assessment and if it is a new subject or if there is a need for a new subject, consultation is carried out with all relevant agencies.
“A mass consultation is carried out region wise bringing all the stakeholders and parents together and survey questions given to students,” he said. “During consultation, we try to find the mistakes and gaps in the present curriculum and then REC starts working on the framework.”
He cited that for instance, to develop the framework for Mathematics, financial intuitions were consulted on what would be important for a student to learn about and incase of Science subjects, different industries were consulted.
Textbooks, which would be developed based on the new curriculum framework, would be rolled out phase-wise.
“The framework also has an enabling condition, which would tell teachers from where they can get support from while teaching, which was not there earlier,” Wangpo Tenzin said. “When there was no framework, there was no uniformity.”
For instance, the outcome of five key stages in the Science curriculum framework, key stage 1 (PP-III) is described as symbolic mastery, which is an opportunity to explore, work and nourish the human intelligence. At key stage 2 (IV-VI), the learners discover a wider range of living things, while at key stage 3 (VII-VIII), students build on their scientific knowledge and understanding. At key stage 4 and 5 (IX-XII) students learn the concepts of Chemistry, Biology and Physics and be able to use theories, models and ideas.
Wangpo Tenzin said that the frameworks have been shared with all teachers and relevant stakeholders.
Some teachers Kuensel talked to said that although they follow the new framework, they also try to teach based on their own strategy whenever necessary. Some say that they strictly follow the prescribed framework.
Yangchen C Rinzin