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, O-Level English Curricula & IB MYP Year 4 & 5)

The comparison and contrast between the National English Curriculum (Grades IX-X) published in 2006 and the Cambridge International O Level and IGCSE English are done 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.

General Information:

National English Curriculum (grades 9-10)

The National Curriculum for 9-10 English has been designed keeping English as a language in mind and taught to Pakistani students irrespective of their proficiency level in the target language. Traditionally, English has even been taken as a subject, not a language. Therefore, we have just covered the first step towards the language learning process where any language must be considered as mastering all basic language skills i.e. reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 

Cambridge International- O Level

 The Cambridge (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) IGCSE First Language English (0500) curriculum is designed for students whose first language is English whereas IGCSE English as a Second Language (0510) is designed for students whose first language is not English. Both subjects are taught in different cities in Pakistan, depending on the English language proficiency of the Pakistani students. Moreover, Cambridge English follows a prescriptive course with specific language guidelines, given in the English syllabuses that suit the learner’s level and ambition, preparing students for an examination.

IB Language & Literature Curriculum (MYP- Year 4 & 5)

The IB MYP is a five-year programme and is divided into six skill areas in the language and literature subject group—listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting—develop as both independent and interdependent skills. They are centred within an inquiry-based learning environment. Inquiry is at the heart of MYP language learning, and aims to support students’ understanding by providing them with opportunities to independently and collaboratively investigate, take action and reflect. The programme offers broad objectives. The objectives of MYP language and literature encompass the factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive dimensions of knowledge. 


1)   Standards:

National English Curriculum (Grades 09-12)

Grade 09-12 English curriculum is divided into the 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 O-Level

Instead of offering detailed SLOs’ for each competency, Cambridge O Level and IGCSE curriculum offers skills which the learners need to demonstrate in the written examination. 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 MYP Year 4 and 5 Programme (Language & Literature)

The IB MYP programme believes that language learning is an iterative process and is developed through inquiry in increasingly wider contexts and deeper reading. As students progress through their MYP language and literature studies, they are expected to engage with and explore an increasing range and sophistication of literary and informational texts and works of literature extending across genres, cultures and historical periods

The objectives are further categorised into four sub-sections 

1.       analysing 

2.       Organising

3.       Producing text 

4.       Using language 

The progression of planning offers objectives for each sub-section and is divided into broad SLOs’ at that three levels i.e. Year 1, Year 3 & Year 5. 

The objectives cover the key six areas of language and literature and are broad in nature. Each sub-section has no more than five objectives. The objectives are strongly connected with the assessment rubrics for each year. The whole language and literature programme is developed around inquiry and promotes interdisciplinary learning.




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.  In most of the evaluated books, SLOs’ are not adequately addressed. Traditional questions and simple exercises are being used. The books do not promote 21st-century skills. 

Cambridge O Level and IGCSE Examinations

On the contrary, the IGCSE course book is divided into four themes such as travel & sport, work & education, people & society, and idea & technology providing a full range of text types, from a range of countries and three centuries which in turn broadens the horizon of a language learner.

IB MYP Year 4 and 5 Programme (Language & Literature)

IB language acquisition and literature programme offers 16 key concepts which a student needs to master. Each concept is addressed separately and collaboratively in the IB Language acquisition books. The book revolves around the key attributes of the IB learner profile and the core subjects in order to promote inter-disciplinary learning. Linguistic and literary connections exist across time, texts and cultures. This concept is central to the study of language and literature. Due to the universal nature of language and literature, connections and transfer exist within and across narratives. This allows for the exploration of language and relationships between text, creator, audience and various cultures. 

The books promote international mindedness while dealing with concepts and Approaches to Teaching and Learning.


The MYP programme promotes language acquisition and literature by using authentic text. The texts are generally written to promote inquiry. Inquiry questions are further classified into three sub-categories i.e. factual questions (remembering facts and topics), conceptual questions (analysing big ideas), and debatable questions (evaluating perspectives and developing theories). 

Each MYP unit explicitly identifies ATL skills around which teaching and learning can focus, and through which students can authentically demonstrate what they are able to do. Formative assessments provide important feedback for developing discrete skills, and many ATL skills support students as they demonstrate their achievements in summative assessments of subject group objectives. 





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 O Level and IGCSE Examinations

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.

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, the number of questions- what the questions test, and how would be tested by providing the mark scheme to teachers.

IB MYP Year 4 and 5 Programme (Language & Literature)

In the MYP, assessment is closely aligned with the written and taught curriculum. Each strand from MYP language and literature has a corresponding strand in the assessment criteria for this subject group. Figure 3 illustrates this alignment and the increasingly complex demands for student performance at higher achievement levels. 

The programme offers required assessment criteria for years 1, 3 and 5 of MYP language and literature. In response to national or local requirements, it provides flexibility to schools to add criteria and use additional models of assessment. IB takes an e-assessment at the end of Year 5 which is equivalent to Grade 10 in the Pakistani context. 



4) Teacher Training:

National English Curriculum (Grades 09-10)

Section 8 of NC (2006) talks of teacher training. A brief two paragraphs emphasising the importance of pre-service and in-service trainings 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 O Level and IGCSE Examinations

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 MYP Year 4 and 5 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 and assessment needs to be of skills, not the content.


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.