WCPT Africa Region Conference System, 9th WCPT Africa Region Congress

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Talhatu Kolapo Hamzat

Last modified: 2012-02-07


A curriculum serves as a guide for taking an individual through a process of development or behavioural changes in order to become a professional in that field.  The curriculum must be dynamic to ensure programmatic response towards meeting societal needs. An important question a physiotherapy educational curriculum must answer is to what extent is its content producing the kind of professional it purports to produce? To what degree is the professional produced by that curriculum able to discharge its expected functions within the bubble of health group? Physiotherapy curriculum should meet the prevailing global standards and directed at local health needs and manpower requirements for both present and future.  This is why professional curriculum must necessarily incorporate modern global methods while meeting the identified local challenges for efficient and effective service delivery. This would ensure that the problem of disconnection between the training provided to graduates of physiotherapy and the evolving needs in different workplace is eliminated. 

The educational purposes or philosophy of the training institution, the expected role of the professionals being trained viz-a-viz their job descriptions, the international/global scope and the country-specific operational regulations, including benchmark minimum academic standards are some of the important determinants of institutional curriculum. The relative weight of each of these items would however vary depending on the school, country or region. The purpose of this paper is to critically appraise issues of curriculum design and the challenges of manpower development for physiotherapy in Africa. Specifically, areas of attention while designing or reviewing physiotherapy curriculum in Africa will be discussed. 

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