Standard 1: Curricula

Culturally, socially and linguistically relevant curricula are used to provide formal and non-formal education, appropriate to the particular context and needs of learners.

Key Actions

Education authorities lead the review, development or adaptation of the formal curriculum, involving all relevant stakeholders

See Guidance Notes:

Curricula, textbooks and supplementary materials are appropriate to the age, developmental level, language, culture, capacities and needs of learners

See Guidance Notes:

Formal curricula and examinations used in the education of refugees and internally displaced people are recognised by home and host governments

See Guidance Notes:

Formal and non-formal curricula teach disaster risk reduction, environmental education and conflict prevention

See Guidance Notes:

Curricula, textbooks and supplementary materials cover the core competencies of basic education including literacy, numeracy, early learning, life skills, health and hygiene practices

See Guidance Notes:

Curricula address the psychosocial well-being and protection needs of learners

See Guidance Notes:

Learning content, materials and instruction are provided in the language(s) of the learners

See Guidance Notes:

Curricula, textbooks and supplementary materials are gender-sensitive, recognise diversity, prevent discrimination and promote respect for all learners

See Guidance Notes:

Sufficient, locally procured teaching and learning materials are provided in a timely manner

See Guidance Notes:

Guidance Notes
1
Curriculum

A curriculum is a plan of action to help learners to improve their knowledge and skills. It applies to both formal and non-formal education programmes and needs to be relevant and adaptable to all learners. It includes learning objectives, learning content, assessments, teaching methods and materials:

  • ‘learning objectives’ identify the knowledge, attitudes and skills that will be developed through education activities to promote the cognitive, social, emotional and physical development of learners;
  • ‘learning content’ refers to subject areas such as literacy, numeracy and life skills; 
  • ‘assessment’ refers to the measurement of what has been learned in the form of knowledge, attitudes and skills for the learning content covered; 
  • ‘teaching methods’ refer to the approach chosen for, and used in, the presentation of learning content to encourage the acquisition of knowledge and skills in all learners; 
  • ‘instructional material’ refers to books, maps and charts, supplementary study materials, teachers’ guides, equipment, toys and other teaching and learning materials. 
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2
Curricula are appropriate to context, age and developmental levels

Curricula should be age-appropriate and compatible with learners’ developmental level, including their sensory, mental, cognitive, psychosocial and physical development. Age and developmental levels may vary widely within formal and non-formal education programmes in emergency to recovery contexts. This requires adaptation of curricula and methods. Teachers should be given support to adapt their teaching to the needs and levels of the learners with whom they work.

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3
Curriculum review and development

Curriculum review and development is a long, complex processes and should be carried out by accepted and appropriate education authorities. If formal education programmes are being re-established during or after emergencies, recognised national primary and secondary school curricula should be used. In settings where none exist, curricula will need to be quickly developed or adapted. In the case of refugees, this may be based on curricula from the host country or the country of origin. In other cases, curricula adapted from comparable emergency settings may be appropriate.

In refugee situations, curricula should ideally be acceptable in both the country of origin and the host country, to facilitate voluntary repatriation. This requires substantial regional and inter-agency coordination, taking into account, for example, language competencies and recognition of examination results for certification. Refugee and host country perspectives and international law should inform these decisions. In emergencies through to recovery, the curricula of formal and non- formal education programmes should be enriched with knowledge and skills specific to the emergency context.

Special curricula may be needed for certain groups, such as:

  • children and youth earning a livelihood;
  • those formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups;
  • learners older than their grade level or returning from long periods out of school;
  • adult learners.

The development and evaluation of curricula and textbooks and the periodic review of education programmes should be led by the relevant education authorities. Learners, teachers and teachers’ unions, and affected communities should be actively involved. Textbook review panels, including representatives of different ethnic and other vulnerable groups, may help to avoid perpetuating bias and to build peace between different communities. They should take care not to incite tensions in the process of removing divisive messages from textbooks.

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4
Core competencies

Core competencies should be identi ed before the development or adaptation of learning content and teacher training materials. ‘Core competencies’ of basic education are:

  • functional literacy and numeracy;
  • the essential knowledge, life skills, attitudes and practice required by learners to attain a life with dignity and to participate actively and meaningfully as members of their community.

Core competencies should be reinforced through practical application. Early childhood development interventions should be available for very young children. Strong foundations developed in early childhood form the basis for acquiring and mastering core competencies.

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5
Life skills learning content and key concepts

Life skills learning content and key concepts should be appropriate to the age, different learning styles, experience and environment of the learners. They enhance learners’ capacity to lead independent, productive lives. Content and concepts should be context-specific and may include:

  • health and hygiene promotion, including sexual and reproductive health and HIV and AIDS;
  • child protection and psychosocial support;
  • human rights education, citizenship, peace-building and humanitarian law; 
  • disaster risk reduction and life-saving skills, including education on landmines and unexploded ordnance; 
  • culture, recreation, sports and arts, including music, dance, drama and visual arts; 
  • livelihoods skills and vocational and technical skills training; 
  • local and indigenous environmental knowledge; 
  • protection skills related to the specific risks and threats faced by girls and boys. 

Learning content lays the foundations for learners’ livelihoods. The content of vocational training programmes should be determined by employment opportunities and should include workplace practice such as apprenticeships.

In conflict affected communities, conflict resolution and peace education content and methodologies may enhance understanding between groups. They can provide communication skills to facilitate reconciliation and peace-building. Care is needed in the implementation of peace education initiatives to ensure that communities are ready to address contentious or painful issues.

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6
Psychosocial needs, rights and development

The psychosocial needs, rights and development of learners, teachers and other education personnel should be addressed at all stages of emergency through to recovery. Education personnel need training to recognise signs of distress in learners. They should be able to take steps to address distress, including using referral mechanisms to provide additional support. There should be clear guidelines for teachers, education support staff and community members on providing psychosocial support to children inside and outside the class. Learners who have experienced distress need teaching within a predictable structure, using positive disciplinary methods and shorter learning periods to build concentration. All learners can be involved in cooperative recreational and learning activities. Appropriate teaching methods and content give learners increased self-confidence and hope for their future.

Teachers and other education personnel, often recruited from the affected population, can face the same distress as learners. This should be addressed through training, monitoring and support. Teachers should not be expected to take on responsibilities that could prove detrimental to their own psychosocial well-being or to that of learners.

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7
Language

Language of instruction can be a divisive issue in multilingual countries and communities. To minimise marginalisation, decisions about language(s) of instruction should be made on the basis of consensus, involving the community, education authorities and other relevant stakeholders. Teachers should be able to teach in language(s) understood by learners and to communicate with parents and the broader community. Deaf and blind students should be taught using the most appropriate languages and methods to ensure full inclusion. Supplementary classes and activities, especially early childhood learning, should be available in the language(s) of the learners.

In refugee situations, host countries may require refugee schools to comply with their standards, including the use of their language(s) and curricula. It is important to know the rights of refugee learners. Their future opportunities and what is needed to allow them to continue their education in host or home communities after an emergency need to be considered. In situations of extended displacement, opportunities should be provided for learners to learn the language of the host community or country. This enables them to function within the host community and to continue to access education and opportunities.

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8
Diversity

Diversity should be considered in the development and implementation of educational activities at all stages of emergency through to recovery. This means including learners, teachers and other education personnel from different backgrounds and vulnerable groups and the promotion of tolerance and respect. Specific aspects of diversity may include:

  • gender;
  • mental and physical disability;
  • learning capacity;
  • learners from diverse income groups;
  • classes containing children of different ages;
  • culture and nationality;
  • ethnicity and religion.

Curricula, instructional materials and teaching methodologies should eliminate bias and reinforce equity. Programmes can go beyond talking about tolerance and begin to change attitudes and behaviours. This leads to better recognition and respect of the rights of others. Human rights education should be supported through formal and non-formal education to promote diversity in ways that are age-appropriate and culturally sensitive. Content can be linked with international human rights and humanitarian law and with life skills. Teachers may need support to modify existing materials and teaching methods if textbooks and other materials need revision.

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9
Locally available learning materials

Locally available learning materials for learners should be assessed at the beginning of an emergency. For refugees or those who are displaced, this includes materials from their country or area of origin. Materials should be adapted or developed if necessary and made available in sufficient quantities for all. This includes accessible formats for learners with disabilities. Relevant education authorities should be supported to monitor the storage, distribution and use of materials.

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Resources

Related Resources
Report

A Human Rights-Based Approach to Education for All

Published by
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Office (UNESCO)

This tool, which targets governments, international and national agencies, parents, teachers, communities, and civil society organisations, focuses on current thinking and practice on human rights-based approaches in the education sector.

English
Spanish
Report

Guide: Effective social and emotional learning programs.

Published by
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

The 2013 CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs—Preschool and Elementary School Edition provides a systematic framework for evaluating the quality of classroom-based SEL programs.

English
Website

Home Learning Support For Parents And Guardians

Published by
Education Above All (EAA)

Provisional solutions can and should be designed. As an early emergency response, the Innovation Development Directorate at EAA has compiled a list of learning resources in several languages to help guide parents, guardians and stakeholders.

Arabic
English
French
Hindi
Italian
Spanish
Urdu
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Inclusive Education: What, Why, and How: A handbook for program implementers

Published by
Save the Children

Although not all education projects have the word “inclusive” in the title or goals, every education project can and should be made more inclusive, and we encourage this resource to be used by all education staff, not only those working on targeted inclusive education projects.

English
Bahasa Indonesia
Toolkit

Learning and Well-Being in Emergencies: Resource Kit

Published by
Save the Children

he toolkit contains components that include Introduction for proposal development and advocacy; Community Action for initial non-formal education or informal learning; Teacher Training to support teachers/facilitators; Learner Assessment tools, and a comprehensive Community Action component to support literacy and well-being in the immediate aftermath of a crisis.

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Peace Education Programme

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)
United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Office (UNESCO)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The Peace Education Programme (PEP) teaches the skills and values associated with peaceful behaviours. The programme enables and encourages learners to think constructively about issues, both physical and social, and to develop constructive attitudes towards living together and solving problems that arise in their communities through peaceful means

Arabic
English
French
Toolkit

Skills for Life Toolkit

Published by
United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Office (UNESCO)
,
Education Cluster South Sudan & Ministry of Education South Sudan

The Skills for Life Toolkit helps teachers give children and youth the information and skills they need before, during and after emergencies.

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Suggested Policy Guidelines for an Integrated Approach to Skills and Values Development

Published by
UNESCO International Institute for Education Planning (UNESCO-IIEP)

The tool on page 133 provides suggested policy guidelines for an integrated approach to skills and values development by including the goals of peace and conflict resolution, tolerance and respect for diversity, human rights and humanitarian norms, active citizenship, environmental sustainability, non-pressured personal relationships and preventive health.

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Training Tools for Curriculum Development: A Resource Pack

Published by
United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Office (UNESCO)

Training Tools for Curriculum Development: A Resource Pack is intended to support specialists and practitioners involved in curriculum change and reform. The Resource Pack offers a broad comparative international perspective with a view towards deepening a comprehensive understanding of the theory and practice of curriculum change and development.

English
Arabic
French
Spanish

Indicators

Untitled Spreadsheet
INEE Domain INEE Standard Indicator/Program Requirements Clarification Numerator Denominator Target Disaggregation Source of Indicator Source of Data Available Tool Crisis Phase
Teaching and Learning Curricula (T&L Std 1)

Culturally, socially and linguistically relevant curricula are used to provide formal and non-formal education, appropriate to the particular context and needs of learners.
3.1 Pupil-textbook ratio Number of students Number of textbooks 1:1 Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
New School administrative data Right to Education Monitoring Guide All stages
3.2 Percentage of targeted learning spaces whose learning materials meet minimum quality standards Curricula, textbooks, and other learning materials should be inclusive, conflict-sensitive, gender-transformative, promote SEL and PSS, etc. Number of targeted learning spaces where learning materials meet minimum standards of quality Number of targeted learning spaces 100% Formal vs non-formal New Learning material analysis Tool required All stages
3.3 Percentage of students in the right grade for their age Number of students at a grade level appropriate to within one year of their age Number students 100% Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
New School administrative data No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
3.4 Percentage of targeted crisis-affected children and youth benefiting from relevant skills development (SEL / PSS / risk awareness / environmental education / conflict prevention) Number of targeted crisis-affected children and youth benefiting from relevant skills development (SEL/PSS/risk awareness/ environmental education/conflict prevention) Number of identified crisis-affected children and youth needing relevant skills development (SEL/PSS/risk awareness/ environmental education/conflict prevention) 100% Level of education
Gender
Ethnicity
Mother tongue
Wealth quintile
Disability
Displacement status
As relevant
New Learning outcome measures Tool required All stages
3.5 Percentage of targeted learning spaces utilizing curriculum aligned to national standards In formal settings, the national curriculum should be used. In non-formal settings, the curriculum should be appropriate and compatible with the national curriculum. Number of targeted learning spaces utilizing curriculum aligned to national standards
Number of targeted learning spaces
100% Formal vs non-formal New Program documentation Tool required All stages
Training, Professional Development and Support (T&L Std 2)

Teachers and other education personnel receive periodic, relevant and structured training according to needs and circumstances.
3.6 Percentage of teachers who show increased understanding of and practice Teacher’s Role & Well-being; Child Protection, Well-being; Inclusion; Pedagogy; Curriculum & Planning; and Subject Knowledge Number of teachers who show increased understanding of and practice Teacher’s Role & Well-being; Child Protection, Well-being; Inclusion; Pedagogy; Curriculum & Planning; and Subject Knowledge Number of teachers 100% Gender TiCC Classroom observation, teacher survey World Bank's open-source classroom observation tool Teach All stages
3.7 Teacher satisfaction level with TPD activity/activities they have participated in Number of teachers satisfied with TPD activities they have participated in Number of teachers 100% Gender TiCC Teacher survey Tool required All stages
3.8 Percentage of teachers who report feeling confident in their ability to teach effectively Number of teachers who report feeling confident in their ability to teach effectively Number of teachers 100% Gender TiCC Teacher survey Tool required All stages
3.9 Percentage of teachers and other education personnel benefiting from professional development according to assessed needs Number of teachers and other education personnel benefiting from professional development according to assessed needs Number of teachers 100% Gender New Program administrative data Tool required All stages
3.10 Degree of teacher professional development recognition and/or certification Number of teachers whose TPD is recognized or certified Number of teachers 100% Gender New Program documentation Tool required All stages
Instruction & Learning Processes (T&L Std 3)

Instruction and learning processes are learner-centred, participatory and inclusive.
3.11 Percentage of teachers whose training included methods for how to engage all students equally and in a participatory way Number of teachers whose training included methods in how to engage all students equally and in participatory way Number of teachers 100% Gender New Teacher survey Tool required All stages
3.12 Appropriateness of teaching methods to the age, developmental level, language, culture, capacities, and needs of learners Scale 1-5 (1 = low, 5 = high) 5 NA New Classroom observation World Bank's open-source classroom observation tool Teach All stages
3.13 Percentage of teachers who use structures or routines to manage classroom interactions more effectively Number of teachers who demonsrate effective use of structures or routines for managing classroom interactions Number of teachers 100% Gender New Classroom observation World Bank's open-source classroom observation tool Teach All stages
3.14 Frequency of parental engagement in communications that inform them of learning content and teaching methods Number of parent-teacher engagement sessions Per year To be defined by program NA New program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
Assessment of Learning Outcomes (T&L Std 4)

Appropriate methods are used to evaluate and validate learning outcomes.
3.15 Percentage of teachers capable of assessing learning progress Number of teachers who are trained in and use continuous student formative learning assessments Number of teachers 100% Gender New Classroom observation World Bank's open-source classroom observation tool Teach All stages
3.16 Degree of use of accreditation, certification, and recognition Measures whether students' learning achievements are formally recognized through accreditation, certification, or some other form of recognition. This is particularly relevant when completing levels, such as primary or secondary Scale 1-5 (1 = low, 5 = high) 5 NA New Program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages
3.17 Learning assessments are available in first languages Number of languages available for assessments Number of first languages 100% NA New program documentation No tool required; INEE MS and indicator definitions sufficient All stages