Intercultural education is a part of the general school and university curricula. Mainly policymakers responsible for education, namely, the Ministry of Education, administer this field. The Ministry for Culture administers children’s music, art and painting schools. There are different themes focused on shared national values and identity; to promote tolerance, multilingualism, equality; to inform students about world cultures, religions, traditions, etc., within humanitarian disciplines, delivered at all levels of education. The subject “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” is included in curricula 28 higher education institutions of Azerbaijan.
The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of October 30, 2006, approved the General Education Concept in the Republic of Azerbaijan (National Curriculum). The Law on Education (2009) defined the concept of curriculum and explained its essence for the first time in the national legislation. It states that the “educational programme” (curriculum) is a state document reflecting the learning outcomes and content standards for each level of education, teaching subjects, the number of weekly lessons and extracurricular activities, the organisation of the pedagogical process, the system of assessment and monitoring of learning outcomes”.
Based on this, the Cabinet of Ministers updated the General Education Concept and approved it under the State Standards of General Education and Programmes (Curricula)” on June 3, 2010. According to the document, curricula have been developed and are being implemented in 21 subjects.
Pupils of I-IX grades in secondary schools study the subject “Knowledge of Life”. According to the National Curricula, students on the subject “Knowledge of Life”:
- interpret the essence of the provisions on human rights and freedoms established in the relevant normative-legal documents, with examples of specific historical events, facts, literary works, and demonstrating respect for the rights of oneself and others;
- learn, with the use of concrete examples, that harmful habits are dangerous to human life and have serious consequences, and will learn in their daily activities how to lead a healthy lifestyle;
- demonstrate a mastery of life safety rules in written and oral presentations, training events;
- express opinions on relevant problems via discussions, debates and other events on moral and ethical issues, expressing their position and attitudes by evaluating the events and facts on their merits;
- build, present and implement small projects on economic efficiency in daily life;
- gain an understanding of the nature of regularities related to natural and social phenomena, comparing the information obtained within this subject with the same content in other subjects, systematising them and makes generalisations.
Two more relevant curricula are implemented in general education schools: “Educational programme (curriculum) on music for I-IX grades of secondary schools” and “Curriculum on fine arts for I-IX grades of secondary schools”. Teaching music includes information about the most important moments in the history of our national music and acquaintance with widespread examples of world music culture. The subject of fine arts expands children’s knowledge. It enriches their inner world by giving students an idea of the classic representatives of Azerbaijani and world art and unique works of art.
Students are taught general music history and theory, and music literature in children’s music and art schools. In addition, students are acquainted with the biographies of composers, musical genres and forms, symphony orchestra instruments, and musical terms.