New literacy and numeracy curriculum framework adopted in Afghanistan


© Sahar Fetrat | Afghanistan
10 February 2016

Approximately 10 million people without literacy, numeracy and basic skills in Afghanistan will benefit from a newly adopted curriculum framework for youth and adult literacy and basic education. The new curriculum was endorsed at a 3-day validation workshop in Kabul in late November 2015, which brought together more than 100 stakeholders. The participants, including two CONFINTEA scholars, who spent their scholarship at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) to develop this framework, signed a final statement which also acknowledges the crucial role UIL has played in developing the curriculum. H.E. Hanif Balkhi, Minister of Education, and H.E. Mohammad Azim Karbalai, Deputy Minister of Education for Literacy, endorsed the new framework as one that would improve the quality of literacy provision in the country.

New curriculum framework provides flexibility in learning

Non-governmental education providers and literacy managers from various provinces in the country gave feedback and shared their experience to further enrich the framework. This new curriculum framework allows for flexible programme design and delivery that can be adjusted to diverse target groups and contexts. Additionally, it provides guidance to curriculum and learning material developers with regard to literacy and numeracy competency levels that are equivalent to those acquired in formal education. The framework offers the possibility for learners to obtain recognized certificates as it is aligned with the Afghanistan National Qualifications Framework.

UIL has played a crucial role in constant provision of guidance and support that has led to the development of this new Curriculum Framework. The workshop was co-organized by UNESCO Kabul and the Deputy Ministry for Literacy Education (DMoEL).

With financial support from the governments of Finland, Japan and Sweden, UNESCO Kabul is implementing the third phase of the Enhancement of Literacy in Afghanistan (ELA 3) project, which aims to reach 630,000 adult learners between 2014 and 2016. With the newly adopted framework as a basis, learning materials for the Basic General Literacy (BGL) programme will soon be developed. UIL continues to provide technical assistance to this next step of the programme.


An in-depth case study on the Enhancement of Literacy and Numeracy in Afghanistan project is available on the UNESCO Effective Literacy and Numeracy Practices Database (LitBase).