October 2-4 2019 experts of the Center for International Cooperation in Education Development (CICED) took part in a study tour: “Learning assessments: How to use data for policy making purposes?” that was organized in frames of READ program and with support from READ Trust Fund and READ RAS. The event was held at the headquarters of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and UNESCO IIEP (International Institute for Educational Planning).
Besides from CICED representatives, specialists of ministries of education and national testing centers from READ partner countries: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Guatemala also took part in the study tour. In frames of the event meetings with experts from leading international organizations in the sphere of education development cooperation were arranged as well as a number of workshops.
“Using research data for policy making to improve education quality is of top importance for every country.” – Baktygul Shamshidinova, Head of Center for education quality assessment and informational technologies, Kyrgyz Republic
The study tour started with OECD “PISA for Schools” project presentation. Joanne Caddy, head of research team, presented the subject competence evaluation tool, based on PISA testing that can be implemented in a particular school and does not require extensive sampling population to get objective information on education quality in specific education institution. Participation in “PISA for Schools” provides answers to the following questions: “Where is our school situated in the global context? What our school or other schools of our region can learn from more successful school systems in other countries or even schools similar to ours?” Besides that, participants had an opportunity to get to know about preparation for the next stage of global education quality assessment research – PISA-2021.
“There was a lot of information presented concerning PISA-2021, in particular, how the process of preparation is going on and what are the differences from previous research. Kyrgyz Republic is planning to participate at PISA-2024, so it was very exciting to learn, for instance, what activities should be conducted in order to prepare strong content and technical basis for the research.” – Zeynep Zhamakeeva, Deputy Director of Center for education quality assessment and informational technologies, Kyrgyz Republic
A meeting organized at UNESCO headquarters was entirely devoted to issues of implementation of global agenda on achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal #4 (SDG4) “Quality education for all”. Specialists from UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) presented a report on importance of education assessment for achieving SDG4, issues that countries face, ways to address them. There was also a review of UNESCO projects aimed at advanced and professional training of teachers.
“This visit allowed us to become familiarized with education assessment and its importance for Sustainable Development Goals achievement and context-based assessment, helped to discover opportunities for more effective search and arrangement of information in these areas and and also facilitated the establishment of direct relations with the expert community of leading organizations in the field of education quality assessment” – Andrei Nazarchuk, teaching methodology expert, department of education quality monitoring, National Institute of Education, Republic of Belarus
The program of workshops included a review of contemporary approach to education quality assessment targeted at learning outcomes improvement. Also, skills of using data retrieved from education quality assessment research for making up recommendations aimed at educational policy improvement were studied and trained. Moreover, the participants had an opportunity to get advice on the implementation of their own projects from UNESCO specialists.
The study tour became another example of effective collaboration of all the components of READ program. Event facilitated maintenance of working contacts with both colleagues and representatives of the expert community from leading international organizations, promotion of joint work in solving existing problems of assessment and improvement of education quality. The knowledge and skills that participants got during the workshops will allow them to build educational policies in their countries in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and current trends in education quality assessment.
“It was of great importance for our delegation to get a review of existing trends in the spheres of education quality assessment and policy making as well as discuss issues, concerning PISA and other monitoring research in different countries. Besides that it was very exciting to share experience on localization of SAM subject competence assessment tool with colleagues from Armenia, Tajikistan, and Belarus. Thank you for your cooperation!” – Baktygul Shamshidinova, Head of Center for education quality assessment and informational technologies, Kyrgyz Republic