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 Friday, February 23 2024 12:59

New WB study shows significant learning gains made through curriculum  reform for middle school students in Armenia

New WB study shows significant learning gains made through curriculum  reform for middle school students in Armenia

ArmInfo. A new study released by the World Bank that evaluated the on-going curriculum reform in Armenia finds that students, who studied with the new curriculum under a two-year pilot, made significant learning gains in both math and science subjects, equivalent to six months of additional learning.

In 2018, Armenia embarked on an ambitious curriculum reform in  science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects, and while  the reform process is still underway, assessing the progress to-date  provides valuable lessons that can contribute to the global knowledge  base on implementation of the education reforms. With the support  from the European Union , the World Bank partnered with the Ministry  of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia in designing and  piloting a new STEM curriculum for grades 1 to 12 in schools,  focusing on student-centered instructional methodologies and teaching  methods.

The "Curriculum and Learning: Towards a Competency-based Science,  Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Curriculum Reform in  Armenia" report describes four key aspects of the curriculum reform  process, including: 1. frameworks and design; 2. teaching and  learning materials; 3. professional development;  and 4. learning  assessment. From the experience of the project in Armenia, several  relevant messages emerge for other countries contemplating an  extensive curriculum reform. The first of these lessons is the value  of building local expertise and integrating stakeholder feedback for  enduring capacity.  Second, teaching and learning materials that  effectively support implementation of the new curriculum requires a  realistic and well-planned timeline and should include a feedback  mechanism for the users.  Third, providing high-quality training to  teachers and administrators to implement the new curriculum is  critical, but continued mentoring is equally or even more important.  Fourth, a well-designed approach to carrying out student assessments,  which is part of the reform in Armenia, helps the curriculum reform  succeed. Finally, the reform process is successful when it's  data-driven and iterative.

"Curriculum reform is one of the most challenging reforms a country  can undertake. But the rewards are substantial. Our evaluation of the  pilot in the Tavush region of Armenia shows that the new curriculum  for STEM subjects is giving a significant boost to learning -  equivalent to half a year of learning. This reform will give the  youth an enormous boost for a wide range of future career  opportunities, including those in high-demand fields such as  healthcare, engineering, ICT, and others," said Carolin Geginat, the  World Bank Country Manager for Armenia.  

"The EU is happy to invest in science and creativity, being a  long-term partner of Armenia in developing human capital. In this  changing world, it is vital to create opportunities and offer means  to address the main challenges we all face. Keeping up with  contemporary methods and technologies, as well as strengthening the  National Center for Education Development and Innovation laid down  the path for further reform implementation based on the successful  pilot in Tavush marz. EU committed to support the roll-out of STEM  pilot in Tavush for other 3 marzes - Ararat, Kotayk and Gegharkunik,  enhancing the green economy and climate change projects in schools  and supporting digital transition in secondary education,"-noted  Vassilis Maragos, Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia.

As a result of EU4Innovation STEM Pilot project 76 general schools of  Tavush region have now fully equipped laboratories of Chemistry,  Biology, Physics, Geography, and ICT.

The World Bank is currently financing 10 projects in Armenia totaling  $500 million. Since its inception in Armenia in 1992, the World Bank  has provided around $2.7 billion from International Development  Association (IDA) to which Armenia became a donor in 2023,  International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and  trust funds. The World Bank is committed to continuing its support to  Armenia in its development path for reducing poverty and sharing  prosperity.  

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