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UNESCO IBE supports the competency-based curriculum reform in The Gambia



In line with its mandate of supporting Member States in the area of curriculum, UNESCO-IBE has been supporting the competency-based curriculum reform in The Gambia through regular capacity development and technical assistance activities since March 2021.

With the new competency-based curriculum under way, The Gambia is now preparing to pilot the new syllabi in four core subjects – English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science – in order to gain insights and experiences from teachers and other stakeholders on the new curriculum. The UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) is providing guidance in the planning and implementation of the pilot project.

Under this reform and pilot, The Gambia has the profound belief – in line with IBE's systemic approach to curriculum – that it is via teachers, connected with all relevant stakeholders and parts of the education system, that a locally owned, transformative and sustainable curriculum reform can be enacted.

One of the main purposes of the pilot will be to understand, support and gain feedback on teacher's perceptions of and capacities to handle the new competency-based curriculum that is being constructed. This pilot will be crucial to (i) enabling teachers to comprehend and make sense of the fundamental principles of the new curriculum, (ii) encouraging them to innovate and revisit their pedagogical practices, with a focus on competency development through learning situations and (iii) working with teachers, supporting them and collecting feedback on the new materials – National Curriculum Framework, syllabi, teachers’ guides, etc.

The pilot project will involve stages 2-4 (grades 1 to 9) in the school system and will last nine months (six of which will be devoted to classroom piloting and observations, and the last three to collecting continuous feedback from teachers). All members of the education community (including Cluster Monitors, teacher trainers, Head Teachers and other school personnel, parents, students, etc.) will be engaged and contribute to the pilot.

The pilot project will involve four main phases:
  1. The finalization of curriculum materials for teachers, including the new National Curriculum Framework, syllabi, learning situations, teachers’ guides, etc.;
  2. Sensitization and teacher's professional development, including meetings, dialogues and presentations with all stakeholders on the new curriculum, as well as training and professional development for teachers;
  3. Classroom piloting, entailing teachers’ developing new lessons using learning situations and assessment tools, as well as the gathering of observations from stakeholders;
  4. Feedback and follow-up, which will include collecting teacher’s insights on the new curriculum and their perceptions of its enactment, as well as the re-investment of the pilot’s findings into the new curriculum.

Through this collaborative process, The Gambia – with the IBE’s support – aims to transform its curriculum to serve a forward-looking vision of education and society. The IBE is committed to making this process sustainable, locally owned, and globally connected. 

Read the latest news on IBE's support to the Gambia:

IBE-UNESCO support for curriculum process in the Gambia - Opening ceremony