To ease the transition from middle school to secondary and higher secondary school, Aga Khan University Examination Board is introducing teaching syllabi and a scheme of studies for Class VIII within the next year.
In preparation for this new milestone in its capacity building initiatives, the Board is hosting professional development workshops in Karachi and Lahore this month to support Class VIII teachers from across Pakistan on the teaching and learning methodology required to deliver AKU-EB’s standards at the SSC and HSSC levels.
In the past few years there has been a growing demand to facilitate middle school teachers in preparing students for SSC and HSSC qualifications before they reach Class IX, where they have to switch from a rote learning regime to an active learning approach in the same academic year as a high stakes examination. AKU-EB decided, as a result, to develop a course of study to promote active enquiry in Year VIII, where the groundwork for SSC success can be laid.
Teachers cannot be expected to radically change their pedagogy unaided. It is AKU-EB’s basic strategy to bring subject teachers out of their isolation to share their insights with each other, encourage them to do try these shared ideas in their classrooms, and then bring them back to produce assessment material informed by learners’ needs.
Through this initiative AKU-EB will develop Grade VIII teaching syllabi and a scheme of studies in five subjects, English, Urdu, Mathematics, General Science and Social Studies, to help teachers bridge the gap between the syllabuses of Years VIII and IX.
The ongoing professional development workshops will equip teachers with knowledge and skills to deliver the National Curriculum, to identify appropriate textbook provision and to match the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s) to selected topics from the textbook.
A total of 80 Grade VIII teachers from schools in Lahore, Attock, Peshawer, Dera Ismail Khan, Vehari, Burewala, Mardan, Faisalabad, Gujrat and Sahiwal will be participating in these workshops.