Process of Curriculum Development in Pakistan: Problems and Issues

curriculum development

Process of Curriculum Development in Pakistan: Problems and Issues

The process of curriculum development is facing serious issues in Pakistan. These issues are interference of bureaucrats, the absence of involvement of school teachers etc.

Experts sitting in curriculum development boards do not use academic resources properly for revising outdated sections of school textbooks. EAST offers innovative solutions for meeting the needs of curriculum development in Pakistan.

What is Curriculum?

While thinking about education, the most important idea that comes to mind is curriculum. Curriculum is a channel that school administration needs for giving educational and life skills to students.

However, unluckily, in Pakistani context, this idea is highly misunderstood due to which students do not get enriched educational experience in schools.


Curriculum does not change in Pakistan

Ghulam Haider in his article, “Process of Curriculum Development in Pakistan,” says that curriculum is not a static process, but it is a dynamic exercise that must undergo changes according to society’s new demands.

In Pakistan, curriculum development is a static process. There are many reasons for the failure in developing proper curriculum. Some of them are discussed below.

Issues in curriculum development

  1. Curriculum is outdated

Firstly, the curriculum is outdated, which does not meet the local needs of Pakistani society. Raja Omer Shabbir in his article, “The curriculum problems,” notes that our present generation is learning the same knowledge that previous two generations have learnt.

As students from different parts of the world get difficult mathematical and scientific knowledge by activity-based learning, our students are forced to know scientific concepts through cramming.

For example, in school textbooks of Mathematics at primary level, the concepts of shapes in geometry lessons are not written correctly. One example is of sphere and circle. Most of the teachers do not know that a sphere is a solid shape and a circle is a flat shape. Many teachers teach students that the shape of sun is a circle and not a sphere.

It is sad situation that experts designing school textbooks of mathematics at primary level do not pay attention to include the concept of solid and flat shapes together.

  1. Involvement of government officials

Secondly, both Haider and Shabbir note that involvement of government officers in the development of Pakistani curriculum is proving harmful to our education system.

Haider suggests that the current process of curriculum development is based on a uniform policy for the whole country that has its particular aims and goals, but he thinks that it is not possible to apply national educational policy to different regions of the country with equality.

For example, there are many underdeveloped areas of Pakistan, where parents do not have adequate resources to send their children to schools. The drop-out rate from schools is high, because parents cannot afford the expense of education easily.

Hence, a new educational policy has to be made by government officers for poor students, so that their problems of education can be solved.

One way of doing this is to build schools, where students are allowed to study in evening time, and where books having basic knowledge about core subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Urdu and Islam are taught by trained teachers.

  1. Lack of academic research

Thirdly, the problem that the process of curriculum development faces in Pakistan is improper academic research for writing school textbooks. Haider points out those experts sitting in the curriculum development boards use materials of their own choice for instruction in schools.

He says that most of the times the chosen content is not up to the mark. While going through textbooks approved by several board systems in the country, it becomes clear that no suitable research/evaluation system is created to revise curriculum.

For example, in computer books of Class 9th, students still learn serial and parallel ports. However, it is noted that all electronic devices created in present day are connected with computers by USB port.

  1. Absence of school teachers’ involvement

Fourthly, it is seen that the academic experience of teachers from different schools is also not considered in designing and revising school curriculum. Daniel Tanner and Laurel N. Tanner in their book, “Curriculum Development: Theory into Practice,” suggest that without intelligent participation of school teachers, meaningful curriculum development will not be achieved.

Tanner and Tanner say that teachers, who are involved in bringing out educational change, accept and adopt the new ideas more quickly than those teachers who are not involved in carrying out change.

Useful evidence suggests that in countries where well-educated teachers were not involved in the curriculum development process, they did not accept new changes in school textbooks.

Result of weak academic skills of researchers

With lack of academic skills in researchers responsible for designing curriculum for schools, the most important feature of curriculum, i.e. content suffers a lot. Students follow rote-learning process, because the content of their books does not match to their educational skills.

In order to make students problem-solvers, Shabbir argues that our books must contain questions that relate to problems we face in our daily life. By answering those questions, students will learn to solve issues in difficult situations.

For example, while studying the concept of speed in science, students must be given questions related to real-life examples of speed such as speed of a car etc., so that they know the application of the concept.

EAST’s contribution to solving curriculum problems

EAST has developed a curriculum that provides activity-based learning to students and gives problem-solving skills to them.

For instance, our sciences books contain explore and project activities, where students are given a flavor of using scientific knowledge in their routine life. Science book of Class 1 has a project termed as life cycle process, where students understand the growth cycle of a hen.

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  • Faheem
    September 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Very well written, comprehensive and showing real picture of our old education system.

  • nadia Mushtaq
    October 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Good efforts team East

  • Farheen Ali Syed
    October 13, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    I firmly believe that in countries like Pakistan and many others, curriculum development is under the jurisdiction of people who lack knowledge about the changing world and its needs.
    Change needs to happen and it needs to be constant. Every six months, a new gadget is launched which takes the world by storm. Most developed nations are using e-learning as an effective platform to educate students.
    We in Pakistan, need educators as innovators who can initiate novel methodologies of educating today’s generation.
    A curriculum design that would give students opportunities to think critically and acquire learning that is purely skill based is the need of the hour.

    • rayed
      October 14, 2016 at 6:59 am

      I agree with Farheen on using new gadgets in education. So now the question is: how can we go about introducing elearning in this country of 200 million where most people live in rural areas and have conservative outlook towards education

      • Farheen
        October 17, 2016 at 7:35 am

        Education is the only aspect that is met with a conservative approach by the community. Even the most impoverished house is equipped with cable television but that again is used for the sole purpose of entertainment. As a community we need to develop a more positive and doable approach to education that involves the integration of modern technology. Smart phones and tabs are a norm these days because of their low costs. All we need is like minded educators who can take the initiative of taking a step forward in making our country truly progressive.

      • Arooj Asif
        October 17, 2016 at 10:33 am

        Yes . Because in rural areas those conservative minded parents even dont have awareness how modern educational world is running ahead day by day and how it can help their child to prosper in modern world .

        • Arif Lakho
          October 30, 2017 at 5:08 pm

          it depends on the leader efforts we just satisfying others through these remarks

        • Engr,Muhammad Naeem
          April 13, 2018 at 7:21 am


  • Raja Omer Shabbir
    October 13, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you for quoting the original authors in your article.
    Raja Omer Shabbir

    • rayed
      October 14, 2016 at 6:54 am

      Its an honor

  • Asifa Mumtaz
    October 14, 2016 at 11:52 am

    We must admit that East is doing a great job in all the areas. Their research is ideal.Their idea to make a child able to write 12 writing crafts upto the time he completes his primary education is matchless. But one thing I want to share hope you will not mind that teachers having even master degrees etc do not bother to get grip on skills so that they can make their kids able to be expert . You people advise that teacher should complete the work in school timings and additional time is not required but I do think in order to be skilled teachers need to invest more time.then they can become able to deliver quality education.

    • Engr,Muhammad Naeem
      April 13, 2018 at 7:22 am


  • Madiha Batool
    October 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Curriculum as a plan related wit learning series and the way that the learners experienced in the school really this article is thought provoking because it is also revealing the role of the teacher. The academic background of teachers also effects that issue and the involvement of teachers is also needed in this process of Curriculum development. The advise that you people delivered through this article really amazing that for the content to be useful there should be activity-based learning environment.

  • Arooj Asif
    October 16, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Worth-reading. I want to add something that normal curriculum can only go so far as to teach and educate students about academic theories. But students whose only experience of school is one of rigid academic study may not be able to apply what they have learned in practice. Extra curricular activities encourage a diverse range of skills and methods of learning that encompass the diverse needs of students. For example, schemes such as Young Enterprise allow students to experience of practical business skills and valuable communication and team work skills. If the extra-curriculum was given an equal footing in student life there will be an improvement in the student ability to grasp things as a whole, because students will have received a more rounded education.
    So, i believe that extra-curricular should no more tag as extra . It should be part of curriculum. It encompases sports,music,games,cookery,gymnastics,surveys and many more in a wider sense.

  • Arooj Asif
    October 16, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Not just typical activities like PT and Naat and debate Competitions but in a wider sense like community service, religious study groups, charitable fundraising, Young Enterprise projects, military cadet activities, drama, science clubs, and hobbies such as gardening, crafts etc. There must be conversational period among students and teachers to discuss some particular productive project which draws conclusions as well. It will surely nourish their Self-confidence , mind- creativity,power of reasoning, decision power, thinking ability ; according to me; which is lacking in our kids by growing in so-called ” PAKISTANI education system”.

  • Arooj Asif
    October 16, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I believe : here ,the role of parents ,specifically Mother, is much more important than anyone else. Therefore, “Parenting classes” should be the part of any schools’ curriculums, just like in abroad, which we call in our terms “Parent-teacher meeting”. This term just need to improve itself in its context. It should not be just meeting for 10-20mins. It should be detailed discussion between parents and class teacher on their child’s psychic and mental growth , atleast once a month.

    • rayed
      October 17, 2016 at 5:11 am

      Your point is very valid. Parents awareness sessions are very important. There are plenty of videos on this website that can be used to increase parents awareness.

  • Arooj Asif
    October 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I just wanted to say ; there must be Coherence among all elements of learning for better outcomes. Teachers, students, delegations, parents, system : everyone should play their proper role. Like changing the curriculum without changing the assessment, or changing teacher evaluation without changing delegations is really pathetic.

  • Arooj Asif
    October 17, 2016 at 10:16 am

    the question is “”is the curriculum aligned with modern day missions, goals and objectives?

    And does your curriculum set year-end goals for each grade?
    Basically , does it includes those techniques which prepare students for the 21st century workforce?

    • Rayed Afzal
      October 18, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Good question,
      EAST has adopted the Common Core standards. the Common Core standards are revisited by the best brains of the world every few years. EAST adopts the standards as soon they are revised and make those changes a part of curriculum, including books and trainings.

  • amna jabeen
    January 4, 2018 at 5:25 am

    can u plz provide me the proper reference of the citation of the article Raja omer shabbir

  • niaz ali
    June 2, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    i will say that the teachers should plan their lesson everyday an dinform the students and than evaluate those learn so by that the teacher will know that what the students have learrned

  • Hayaa
    September 13, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks to east education for such a informative article….it’s really a good job..!!
    It’s very easy to learn …and useful!
    It’s appropriated !

  • AF-A
    January 14, 2019 at 6:18 am

    The article has good info but the lack of references skills are obvious. No authentication has been provided while quoting the statements.

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