Welcome to the National Curriculum of Pakistan (NCP) 2023 Feedback Portal.

Here you will find a DRAFT version of curriculum documents for Grades 9-12. Please give your feedback on all material shared.

After feedback is incorporated, the provincial/area Implementation Leads will review the updated draft for consensus and finalization.

Feedback for Grades 9-12 is due on March 30, 2023

The revised Standards for Grades 9-12 will be notified by April 2023. The various education departments may then get the NCP 2023 notified through respective cabinets.

Curriculum Review (National English, A-Level English Curricula & IB DP)

The comparison and contrast between the National English Curriculum (Grades XI-XII) published in 2006 and the Cambridge International AS & A-Level English are to inform all the key stakeholders about the strengths and weaknesses of the state-supported curriculum and aims to bring qualitative improvements in the document for better student learning outcomes.

The review is divided into four verticals of the curriculum i.e. Standards, Textbooks, Teacher Training and Assessments.


1)   Standards:

National English Curriculum (Grades 11-12)

Grade XI & XII English curriculum is divided into four competencies with strong SLOs’. The SLOs’ are detailed and include all important elements. The SLOs offer a number of grammatical SLOs’ which are not even required for this level.

Also, a mechanism to assess the SLOs’ is not given in the curriculum.

Cambridge AS & A Level English Curriculum

Instead of offering detailed SLOs’ for each competency, Cambridge AS and A Level English Curriculum offers skills that the learners need to demonstrate. The skills are broadly categorised into reading and writing. The aims of the whole programme act as the benchmarks that the learners need to achieve by the end of the two-year programme.

IB Diploma Programme (Language & Literature)

The IB Language and literature programme offers a comprehensive guide to the Language and Literature programme. Instead of SLOs, it talks of the overall aims of the programme along with a detailed assessment criterion. The programme is further divided into two categories i.e. Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL).

The study of language, literature and performance, and the development of the relevant skills, is divided into three areas of exploration—the exploration of the nature of the interactions between readers, writers and texts; the exploration of how texts interact with time and space and the exploration of intertextuality and how texts connect with each other.



Comparing the three curriculums i.e. National Curriculum (NC) of 2006, Cambridge O Level and IGCSE Programme and the IB MYP Year 4 & 5 programme, it is evident that a comprehensive guideline for the National curriculum is missing. Both the Cambridge and the IB curricula give adequate and in-depth guidelines for language development in detail which are not presented anywhere in the NC (2006).  The 2006 curriculum includes ‘Oral Communication and Grammar and Vocabulary’ competencies. Both of these are not included in Cambridge and the IB programmes. The intended aim of the Cambridge and IB curricula, therefore, is to promote reading and writing competencies as opposed to NC 2006 which targets all language skills. Given the low language proficiency levels of Pakistani learners, it is desirable and important to include all skills for comprehensive language enhancement.

The NC (2006) offers general SLOs and are not based on any specific model whereas Cambridge and IB programmes are progressive and based on 21st-century skills. Cambridge International O Level English Language provides learners with opportunities to make critical and informed responses to a wide range of texts. Learners are also required to demonstrate an ability to produce writing for specific briefs and for given audiences. The IB language and literature programme is an interdisciplinary programme that deals with aspects of language in depth and revolves around international mindedness, culture, intertextuality and communication. The study of language, literature and performance, and the development of the relevant skills, is divided into three areas of exploration—the exploration of the nature of the interactions between readers, writers and texts; the exploration of how texts interact with time and space and the exploration of intertextuality and how texts connect with each other.





2) Textbooks:

National English Curriculum (Grades 11-12)

It has been observed in the books of all the boards that the books are not designed as per the given SLO of NC (2006). There is a huge gap between the books and the SLOs’ that further widens the gap between SLOs’, books and assessments.  The theory and the reality of the National Curriculum seem to be poles apart because the rationale for Competency i.e. Reading and Thinking Skills stresses choosing contemporary reading material but in reality, the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board could not bid farewell to ‘Goodbye to Mr Chips’ by James Hilton from grade XII syllabus even after 5 decades, therefore, students are not introduced with contemporary literature.

The textbook and play are used as the core resource and the skills of the SLOs’ are not developed in the true essence.

Cambridge AS & A Level English Curriculum

Cambridge programme does not offer a prescribed textbook, rather the focus is on developing the relevant skills. However, it does offer detailed guidelines on how a book must look like. The focus is on key concepts; according to which the textbooks are developed. The key concepts are:

              Text and context

              Meaning and style





IB Diploma Programme (Language & Literature)

Across the three areas of exploration at least four works must be studied in the SL course and at least six works must be studied in the HL course.

The IB has created an extensive Prescribed reading list of authors in a wide range of languages to accompany studies in language and literature courses. This searchable online list provides teachers with a resource from which they will be able to select a group of authors that guarantees diversity and compliance with course requirements. Six authors have been suggested as a starting point in the exploration of the literature of each language.

The focus of the programme is on the development of linguistic skills and conceptual understanding.




3) Assessment:


National English Curriculum (Grades 11-12)

The National curriculum offers a section on assessments and different types of assessments. However, it talks of the theoretical aspects and does not talk of the specifics of a language assessment. It does talk of a simple rubric but the assessments used in the examinations are quite different from the curriculum.

The assessment section misses the criteria, level descriptors and depth required for language assessments.

Cambridge AS & A Level English Curriculum

The programme is assessment driven and provides a detailed overview and objectives on the components of each paper i.e. time, format, type of paper etc. The contents of each paper are discussed separately too. Paper 3 deals with the analysis of language along with theories of language acquisition which makes it an inter-disciplinary programme too.

The aims, content and assessment objectives are aligned in a way that the student’s language skills are assessed using authentic material in a similar pattern as they are taught in a classroom. It shows uniformity giving details regarding the number of English papers students are assessed on, number of questions- what the questions test, and how would be tested by providing the mark scheme to teachers.

IB Diploma Programme (Language & Literature)

The Diploma Programme primarily focuses on a summative assessment designed to record student achievement at, or towards the end of, the course of study. However, many of the assessment instruments can also be used formatively during the course of teaching and learning, and teachers are encouraged to do this. A comprehensive assessment plan is viewed as being integral to teaching, learning and course organisation.

The approach to assessment used by the IB is criterion-related, not norm-referenced. This approach to assessment judges students’ work by their performance in relation to identified levels of attainment, and not in relation to the work of other students.

The assessment criterion for each component and paper for both SL and HL are discussed in detail with rubric, weightage and grade descriptors.



4) Teacher Training:

National English Curriculum (Grades 11-12)

Section 8 of NC (2006) talks of teacher training. A brief two paragraphs emphasising the importance of pre-service and in-service training on the use of textbooks actively is included.

The aim of the teacher training programs is to improve the language proficiency of teachers. No emphasis is given to language aspects or how to make students learn the language.

Cambridge AS & A Level English Curriculum

Cambridge programme offers comprehensive teacher guidelines on how to teach each component of the language and use the assessment criteria to improve the overall learning experience for the learners.

Cambridge has further developed a School Support Hub which is a secure online platform for teachers to use subject-specific resources and guidelines to use them effectively.

Teachers support is further categorised into the following:

     Planning and preparation

     Teaching and assessment

     Learning and revision


Cambridge also offers professional development workshops which are classified into

              Introductory Training – face-to-face or online

              Extension Training – face-to-face or online

              Enrichment Professional Development – face-to-face or online

IB Diploma Programme (Language & Literature)

IB offers a comprehensive teacher training programme. The training is divided into three levels.

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

All trainings are offered face-to-face or online. Since the language programme is an interdisciplinary programme, the teachers have to take specific workshops along with separate assessments and approaches to learning and teaching workshops.

Within the programme guide, teaching guidelines are discussed in detail to facilitate the teachers at all levels. For example, teaching focused on effective teamwork and collaboration, teaching designed to remove barriers to learning etc.





The National Curriculum 2022 needs to offer a comprehensive programme along with the standards and progression grid focusing on assessments in detail. The paper criteria need to be clearly defined and rubrics for each criterion needs to be designed. Language learning should not be text-book driven but rather skill-driven also, assessment needs to be skill driven rather than content focused. Also, the assessments must align well with the overall SLOs given in the curriculum document.


At this level, learners need to learn to analyse and evaluate language in-depth. So there should not be a prescribed textbook. Rather, authentic, classic and contemporary literature needs to be used to teach the mechanics of language.