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Harmonization of Secondary School Curricula

in Puntland
From Idea to realization
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Background
All levels of education have been by large in disorder since the fall
of former Somali central government in 1991. The cease of public
education system in the country also symbolised that in many parts
of the country, public education was overtaken by community and
privately own schools. Most of these schools use a wide variety of
curricula with no common standards.

In Puntland, by and large, the collapse has allowed varied educa-


tional initiatives by local communities, donors, and private entre-
preneurs. Currently, there are 38 secondary schools in operation in
Puntland. These schools can be divided into three types namely (1)
Public Secondary Schools (2) Community Secondary schools and (3)
Secondary schools own by private individuals. The most notable dis-
tinctions between the above-described types of secondary schools
rest on the medium of instruction used i.e. the use of Arabic and
English language as medium of instruction. Other distinctions in-
clude curriculum that is in use in terms of range of subjects being
offered as well as the quality of education provided.

Prior to the current harmonization process, the majority of schools


(mainly with Arabic language as the medium of instruction) did not
have unified secondary school curriculum and hence had no unified
national secondary examinations. Only 10% of the Secondary
schools (mainly public secondary schools with English language as
medium of instruction) did have common curriculum and centralised
exam system approved by the Ministry of Education.

Why harmonise Secondary School curriculum?


Harmonization will not make the school curriculum more meaningful
to students, but also that all students at Secondary school level in
Puntland attain an acceptable level of knowledge, skills and
attitude. In addition, it will bridge the gap between disparate
secondary education educational systems that exist. It promotes
quality of education and allows students for greater intra-regional
mobility, thereby fostering increased enrolment as well as a growing
ability for teachers to rely on national curriculum of secondary
education system.

Harmonised curriculum content will lead towards one centralized


exam and certification under the direct control of Puntland Ministry
of Education. Further, it provides greater networking among all
secondary schools in the state. This includes creating increased
cooperation between the public and private schools with different
medium of instruction, allowing for a more coherent and unified
vision for secondary education.

On a broader level, harmonisation will give strengthen to secondary


education as ensuring that the quality of education is systematically
improved against common and agreed benchmarks of excellence.
Puntland MoE has acknowledged harmonisation of secondary
curricula as an area of focus in its pressing action plan. The MoE
has seen the lack of harmonized curriculum and certification as a
real menace to the overall quality of our secondary education and to
the future identity of Puntland’s young generation. Furthermore, the
idea is based on the belief that such an initiative will help to lead
unified system of secondary education and certification in Puntland
whereby, students at the end of secondary education circle (Forms I-
IV) irrespectively their different streaming and medium of instruction
would be able to sit for a centralised exam and subsequently be
awarded Puntland Secondary School Leaving Certificate.

How Puntland was able to harmonise secondary school


curriculum
The harmonization process had gone through two phases namely
the first induction workshop and the second harmonization
workshop. The MoE in cooperation with African Educational Trust
had conducted a curricula harmonization induction workshop in
Garowe In March 2009. The workshop was intended to discuss
curriculum issues needed to be addressed. Various shareholders
including prominent educationist and subject specialists were
invited to have a say on what to do and where to start. Moreover,
the induction workshop aimed at to lay down realistic steps to be
taken on the road to harmonizing secondary schools curriculum and
hence target one centralized exam under the direct control of
Puntland Ministry of Education by the year 2010. The main
recommendations of the first induction workshop included following:
o Curricula harmonization workshop to take place in Garowe
from 8th to 17th August 2009.
o In the harmonization process, priority to be given content of
syllabus currently taught at different secondary schools.
o After careful study, it was decided that both English and
Arabic will continue to serve as medium of instructions in
secondary schools.
o Arabic and English and Somali are mandatory subjects all the
way through the secondary school education.
o The number of teaching hours for Science subjects,
Mathematics and social studies will differ in accordance with
the mode of the secondary school. This will be particularly so
in senior Forms.
o Review course contents, content–learning outcomes, teaching
methods, the knowledge dimension, the cognitive dimension
and recommended references.
o Number of weekly teaching hours for Arabic and Islamic
Studies subjects to be increased from 3 to 4 periods.
o Public Secondary schools are required to strengthen student’s
understanding on their cultural religious identity as stipulated
in Puntland Education Policy.
o Public Schools are required to strengthen student’s knowledge
and skills in Arabic language.
o Translation of harmonized syllabus into Arabic and Somali
language and this will be done during the harmonization
workshop.
o Identification of subject teachers, curriculum specialists and
teacher educators to work together cooperatively to the
harmonization process.
o Inclusion of cross-cutting issues such as life skills,
environmental education, HIV/Aids, peace education and
indigenous knowledge.
o In the harmonization process, the process should actively seek
to integrate the different curricula content currently in use, so
that they cohere into a single, common framework for
secondary curriculum.
o As regards to benchmark, it came to the conciliation that the
existing Secondary School Syllabus approved by the MoE and
Puntland Private Education Network (PPEN) both serve as
reference for the curriculum harmonization.

Second harmonization workshop


The second harmonization workshop was held at the MoE compound
in Garowe and brought together 42 subject teachers, educationists
and curriculum specialists. The workshop started on 8th Augusts and
ended 17th August-2009. The workshop began with welcoming
remarks by the lead consultant Dr. Ali A. Warsame from the MoE,
and was officially opened by the Minister of Education in Puntland
Hon. Abdi Said Farah. The Minster addressed participants
encouraging them to take the workshop seriously so that it can
benefit the children in Somalia. Moreover, the Minster emphasised
that harmonizing the content of Secondary School curriculum should
target education relevance to the country’s development leading to
centralized exam and unified certification under the control of
Puntland Ministry of Education. Prior to the launch of the workshop,
ground rules were set and participants were instructed to perform
various tasks and responsibilities. Throughout the ten days of the
workshop, the participants worked as a team and co-facilitated in all
subjects. Every subject had a course leader. However, the input
from other facilitators and technical committee enriched the
sessions. At the close of each day, workshop participants led by
course leader consultants held a debriefing meeting in which all
sessions of the day were reviewed and each team received useful
feedback so as to improve.

Criteria set for Harmonization Process:


Following principles were agreed upon to underpin harmonization
process:
o Harmonization should be a Somali/Puntland centric process.
o The process should actively seek to integrate the different
curricula currently in use, so that they cohere into a single,
common framework for secondary School education.
o The end- product should truly reflect aspirations and interests
of Puntland and its people.
o Workshop approach: collaborative and participatory

Successful completion of harmonization process:


At the end of ten long day’s harmonization workshop, common
curriculum covering all grades was formulated. Thus, for the first
time in the history, Puntland acquired standardised Somali-centric
secondary school curriculum. Meanwhile, Puntland education reform
and reintegration goes on, the harmonization of secondary
curriculum is a great leap forward in the emancipation of Puntland
and its people in strengthening education system. In other words,
this will bring about necessary changes throughout the secondary
school education in Puntland.

WORKSHOP PROGRAMME:
Day 1: Introductory
DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBI FORM LOCATION
LITY
Day 1 7:30 WORKSHOP INTRODUCTORY Lead Common MoE Compound
Saturday am- ACTIVITIES: Consultant
10:00 Welcome remarks Minster(Mo
am Qur’anic recitation E)
MOE opening remarks MoE
Key note address by officials
Distinguished guests Technical
Presentation of the workshop Committee
content coverage, objectives
and the expected end result.
10:00 BREAK
am
10:30
am
10:30 Participants will be divided Groups groups Room X
am – into groups: A,B,C Room Y
12:30 Group A: Science Syllabus Room Z
pm Group B: Social Studies
Group C: Languages and
Islamic studies
TOPIC: Focus Group
discussion on how we can
best harmonise the content
of our secondary school
curricula within the limited
timeframe of the workshop?
12:30 Prayers and lunch Common
pm-
1:00pm
1:00pm- Group Reporting Group common MoE Compound
3:00pm leader Hall

Day 2:
DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY FORM LOCATION
Day 2 7:30 • SUMMARY on out Lead Common MoE Compound
Sunda am- come of day One consultant
y 9.30 • BRIEFING on day two
am agenda and continu-
ation
8.30 Participants will be divided
am- into 3 groups.
9.30 • GROUP A: Science
am (Biology, Physics,
Chemistry,
Mathematics)
• GROUP B: Social
Studies
• GROUP C: Languages
and Islamic studies
9:30 Breakfast
am –
9:50
am
9:50 Harmonising syllabus for Groups A,B,C Groups Room X
am – FORM1 (in all subjects). The Each team will Room Y
11:00 process should include aims have sub-groups Room Z
am of the subject, topic/sub- led by a course
topic, objectives, skills and leader
activities and references
where applicable.
11:00 Break Common
am-
11:10a
m
11:10a Continuation of activity groups Room X
m- Room Y
12.10a Room Z
m
12.10 Prayers and lunch
pm-
3.45
3.45p continuation MoE Compound
m-
3.45p
m
3.45 Reporting Course
pm- leaders MoE Compound
4.45
Day 3:
DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY FORM LOCATION
Day 2 7:30 -Summary on out come of Workshop Common MoE
Monday am- day one facilitators/Chair Compoun
10:00 -Briefing on day two agenda person d
am and continuation
10:00 Break
am –
10:30
am
10:30 HARMONIZATION OF -Teams A,B,C Teams Room X
am – CURRICULUM CONTENT -Each team will Room Y
12:30 FORM II be led by a team Room Z
pm leader
12:30 Prayers and lunch Common
pm-
1:00p
m
1:00p Continuation of day 3 Team leaders Teams Room X
m- activity Room Y
2.30p Room Z
m
2.30 Break
pm-
2.45
2.45 Reporting Team leaders MoE
pm- Compoun
4.00P d
m

Day 4:
DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY FORM LOCATION
Day 4 7:30 am-10:00 am -Summary on out Workshop Commo MoE
Tuesday come of day one facilitators/Chair n Compoun
-Briefing on day person d
two agenda and
continuation
10:00 am –10:30 Break
am
10:30 am –12:30 HARMONIZATION -Teams A,B,C Teams Room X
pm OF CURRICULUM -Each team will be Room Y
CONTENT led by a team leader Room Z
Form III
12:30 pm-1:00pm Prayers and lunch Commo
n
1:00pm-2.30pm Continuation of Team leaders Teams Room X
Day 4 activity Room Y
Room Z
2.30 pm-2.45 Break

Reporting Team leaders MoE


Compoun
d

Day 5:
DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY FORM LOCATION
Day 5 7:30 am-10:00 Summary on out Workshop Commo MoE
Wednes am come of day one facilitators/Chair n Compoun
day Briefing on day two person d
agenda and
continuation
10:00 am – Break
10:30 am

10:30 am – HARMONIZATION OF Teams A,B,C Teams Room X


12:30 pm CURRICULUM Each team will be led Room Y
CONTENT by a team leader Room Z
Form 1V
12:30 pm- Prayers and lunch Commo
1:00pm n
1:00pm-2.30pm Continuation of Team leaders Teams Room X
Day 5 activity Room Y
Room Z
2.30 pm-2.45 Break

Reporting Team leaders MoE


Compoun
d
Day 6:
DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY FORM LOCATION
Day 6 7:30 am-10:00 Summary on out Lead consultant Commo MoE
Thursday am come of Day One Workshop facilitators n Compound
Briefing on day two
agenda and
continuation

10:00 am – Break
10:30 am
10:30 am – • TRANSLATION -Teams A,B,C Teams Room X
12:30 pm OF -Each team will be led Room Y
SYLLABUS. by a team leader Room Z
The three
groups start
translating
FORM I into
Arabic
language
• Continuatio
n of
syllabus
harmonizati
on and
writing
process
(Arabic and
Islamic
studies
Form III)
12:30 pm- Prayers and lunch Commo
1:00pm n
1:00pm- Continuation of Team leaders Teams Room X
2.30pm Day 6 activity Room Y
Room Z
2.30 pm-2.45 Break
2.45Pm-4.00 Reporting Team leaders MoE
Pm Compound

Day 7: Friday: Free

Day 8:
DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY FORM LOCATION
Day 8 7:30 am-10:00 • Summary on Workshop Comm MoE
Wednes am out come of facilitators/Chair on Compoun
day day one person d
• Briefing on
day two
agenda and
continuation
10:00 am – BREAK
10:30 am

10:30 am – • TRANSLATION -Teams A,B,C Teams Room X


12:30 pm OF SYLLABUS -Each team will be led Room Y
FORM II by a team leader Room Z
Syllabus into
Arabic
language
• Continuatio
n of
syllabus
harmonizat
ion and
writing
process
(Arabic and
Islamic
studies
Form IV)
12:30 pm- PRAYERS AND Comm
1:00pm LUNCH on
1:00pm-2.30pm Continuation of Team leaders Teams Room X
Day 8 activity Room Y
Room Z
2.30 pm-2.45 BREAK

2.45 Pm-4.00 Reporting Team leaders MoE


Pm Compoun
d

Day 9:
DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY FORM LOCATION
Day 9 7:30 am-10:00 • Summary on Lead consultant Commo MoE
am out come of Workshop facilitators n Compoun
Sunday day One d
16 • Briefing on
August- day two
2009 agenda and
continuation

10:00 am – Break
10:30 am

10:30 am – TRANSLATION OF -Teams A,B,C Teams Room X


12:30 pm SYLLABUS FORM III -Each team will be led Room Y
syllabus into Arabic by a team leader Room Z
language

12:30 pm- PRAYERS AND Commo


1:00pm LUNCH n
1:00pm-2.30pm Continuation of Team leaders Teams Room X
Day 9 activity Room Y
Room Z
2.30 pm-2.45 BREAK

2.45 Pm-4.00 Reporting Team leaders MoE


Pm Compoun
d

Day 10:

DAY TIME ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY FORM LOCATION


Day 10 7:30 am-10:00 • Summary on Workshop Comm MoE
Wednes am out come of facilitators/Chair on Compound
day day One person
• Briefing on day
two agenda
and continu-
ation
10:00 am – Break
10:30 am

10:30 am – TRANSLATION OF Teams A,B,C Teams Room X


12:30 pm SYLLABUS Each team will be led Room Y
FORM 1V into Arabic by a team leader Room Z
language
12:30 pm- PRAYERS AND LUNCH Comm
1:00pm on
1:00pm- Continuation of Day Team leaders Teams Room X
2.30pm 10 activity Room Y
Room Z
2.30 pm-2.45 TEA BREAK

2.45 Pm-4.00 Reporting Team leaders MoE


Pm Compound
4.00 Pm- Summing up/Closing MoE officials MoE
5.00Pm the Workshop/ Compound

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