By Kebba Secka
Momodou Jeng, director of curriculum and research at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), on Wednesday February 2nd 2023, sensitised members of the media on the new curriculum that should replace the current one. According to the drafters, it is important to have up to date curricula documents to attain a paradigm shift in the country’s education system, and thee national curriculum framework is a document that guides the implementation of curriculum at all level of basic education structures for both conventional and non conventional schools. The production of the framework on curriculum is guided by important instruments like the country’s 1997 Constitution; the education sector policy; the UN sustainable development goal; ECOWAS protocol; education for all and the Gambia National Development Plan.
In page 17 of the draft document, it is indicated that the new draft curriculum is aligned with the Gambia Education Sector Policy and the Education Sector Strategy 2016 to 2030 and the UN sustainable development goals four (4) which focuses on access, equity and quality education for all framework.
In guiding media personnel to understanding the document, Jeng said the draft curriculum is expected to address the identified loopholes in the current Basic and Secondary Schools’ curriculum. He said the purpose of sensitising the media as a target is to educate and tasked them to properly dissaminate the content of the draft curriculum and also share feedback on the way forward. The draft document which is groupped in nine sections explains the rationale for reviewing and formulating a new curriculum in order to accept the rapid evolving and tranformative educational needs both nationally and around the world.
Mr. Jeng said the purpose of having a new curriculum and broadening stakeholders’ consultation is a ‘response to the national call to shift the focus of the education system from merely passing exams, to building character; nurturing values; raising literacy; confidence and engage citizens who can think critically.’
Under section two which outlines the characteristic of the draft curriculum, the education system will be oriented to addressing emerging issues pertaining to new demands in practices and challenges, especially surfacing in the modern world of ICT and digital literacy.
“We want to promote value, diversity and honesty in the implementation of the new curriculum,” he said, while further highlighting on the importance of inculcating value, competency and honesty in the education system. That in promoting values, educationists must be accommodative to diversitification in societies and orient educational activities to competence based approach rather than filling the gaps with in competency. He classified curriculum as a continuous process which not to be viewed as a product like text books or teachers’ guide among others. Jeng also said, his office is opened to receive contributions from various stakeholders such as employers, school administrators and the public, so that quality curriculum that actually addresses the competency gaps in the labour market is achieved. According to him, plans are underway to enhance the outreach sensitisation in various parts of the country including communities and ‘bantabas.’