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close this bookGuide Book for Curriculum Development and Adaptation (NITE, 1995, 42 p.)
close this folderSection C: Adaptation
View the documentNeed for Adaptation
View the documentParameters for Adaptation
View the documentMethodology

Need for Adaptation

Any curriculum that is developed by a group in the context of many countries or any particular country would call for adaptation to suit the context and requirements of a particular country. This adaptation may be done keeping in mind several parameters which will be covered in subsequent sections. The modifications in the curriculum would also be necessitated by periodic changes that take place in any country while the curriculum is under implementation.

International Understanding

Curriculum adaptation would promote the process of international understanding. At present countries have their own distinct curricula which follow different formats, use different terminologies and practice different modalities of implementation. An exemplar curriculum developed centrally through a collective effort would favour and promote systematisation of terminologies and bring about uniformity of format to a great extent. It would also bring in a desirable commonality in curriculum development and implementation, and in years to come lead to globalisation of technical and vocational education.

Curriculum Development Context

While adapting the curriculum, the national context will play a great determining role. This would include the cultural aspects, political systems, economic development, environmental factors, technological factors, employment patterns and such others. Each of such contextual parameters would have definite bearing on the national curricula justifying the need for adaptation. While doing this, the methodology of development, the content of curriculum and competencies specification in relation to existing industries would also have to be taken into consideration.

Examination of the Document

In order to adapt the curriculum to the requirements of a given situation, the first step would be to have a close examination of the exemplar document by a properly constituted group. This group should analyse various parameters of the curriculum, compare the curriculum with any existing curriculum in the country and bring out the differences between the two in terms of content, methodology and format. In the event that a particular country finds the given curriculum to be new in its national context, it can examine the exemplar from the point of view of its need and utility for the country concerned and take decisions accordingly.


Even though the language used in the curriculum could be say English, the terminologies used in the curriculum may have different connotations in different countries. If not understood clearly, terminology will create problems at every stage of adaptation and implementation. The exemplar curriculum should give a definition of the terms used and similarly, the adapted curriculum should also bring out the differences in these terms-in an explicit form.


It has been observed that there are wide variations in format used in the countries of this region. Countries convey similar ideas through different means of presentation. It would be desirable to have as similar a format as possible for curriculum in different countries, but this may not be immediately possible. A conscious effort should be made to gradually move towards a common format. The goal, however, should be to come to a complete understanding of all aspects of curriculum development and implementation. A common format would facilitate the exchange of materials and experiences among the UNEVOC member countries and would have implications for reducing costs and exchanging personnel and expertise.