Monthly Archives: June 2016

EM III - Assessment systems in Pakistan (2016) [3]

The last few decades have seen a spike in interest in standardized assessments globally. A number of factors – such as the need for comparative data, a focus on teacher accountability, and a desire to implement a uniform education – is driving this interest in assessments as a basis for education reform. Alongside the emergence of these standardized assessments, traditional examinations at the secondary level have continued to exist and remain largely untouched by the reforms movement driving change at the primary and elementary levels in assessment. This report reviews the enabling context of various assessment systems in Pakistan as well as key practices of assessment design, implementation and result dissemination and use. For each aspect the report provides a comparison of existing practices with international standards and best practice.

The report highlights the pressing need to improve the enabling environment by calling for the development of coherent national and provincial assessment policies and investing in higher quality human resources who can design and analyze assessments according to international standards. It underscores the necessity of reform in assessment practices by calling for adherence to internationally accepted standards in the design and implementation of assessment instruments. It also suggests the need for greater emphasis on dissemination and ensuring use of assessment results. It concludes by asserting that assessment systems will have a key role in driving quality in the education system and in positively affecting teaching and learning in the classroom only when governments attend to the task of reforming assessment agencies with the urgency it deserves.

Author(s):
Ayesha A. Awan, Amal Aslam, Irfan Muzaffar, Abdullah A. Khan and Abbas Rashid
Sponsor(s):Open Society Foundations

Date:Jun 2016
themeAssessments
typePublication
EM III - Assessment systems in Pakistan (2016) [3]

The last few decades have seen a spike in interest in standardized assessments globally. A number of factors – such as the need for comparative data, a focus on teacher accountability, and a desire to implement a uniform education – is driving this interest in assessments as a basis for education reform. Alongside the emergence of these standardized assessments, traditional examinations at the secondary level have continued to exist and remain largely untouched by the reforms movement driving change at the primary and elementary levels in assessment. This brief summarizes the report, which reviews the enabling context of various assessment systems in Pakistan as well as key practices of assessment design, implementation and result dissemination and use. For each aspect the report provides a comparison of existing practices with international standards and best practice.

The report highlights the pressing need to improve the enabling environment by calling for the development of coherent national and provincial assessment policies and investing in higher quality human resources who can design and analyze assessments according to international standards. It underscores the necessity of reform in assessment practices by calling for adherence to internationally accepted standards in the design and implementation of assessment instruments. It also suggests the need for greater emphasis on dissemination and ensuring use of assessment results. It concludes by asserting that assessment systems will have a key role in driving quality in the education system and in positively affecting teaching and learning in the classroom only when governments attend to the task of reforming assessment agencies with the urgency it deserves.

Author(s):
Ayesha A. Awan, Amal Aslam, Irfan Muzaffar, Abdullah A. Khan and Abbas Rashid
Sponsor(s):Open Society Foundations

Date:Jun 2016
themeAssessments
typeBrief
SC&R phase 2 report Promoting Social Cohesion and Resilience in Education [2016][3]

The Social Cohesion and Resilience (SC&R) project is part of UNICEF’s Peacebuilding Education and Advocacy (PBEA) program that focuses on peace building through education in 14 post-conflict or fragile states. Its goal is to strengthen social cohesion, human security and resilience in conflict-affected contexts. In Pakistan, UNICEF has partnered with the Society for the Advancement of Education (SAHE) to manage the SC&R project in Punjab, in four districts: Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Rajanpur. This project is in line with SAHE’s previous experience of working in the area of community participation, citizenship education, gender and equity.

The report of the second phase of the project, which ran from May 2015 to February 2016, documents the research, activities and recommendations that emerged as a result of the findings from the first phase. In the second phase, UNICEF and SAHE worked together to carry out a policy review, engage in advocacy and capacity building exercises, and developed contextually relevant supplementary materials on social cohesion. The policy review involved a technical evaluation of the education sector plans and policies of the School Education Department as well as a review of existing textbooks and curricula. As a result of these reviews, a set of recommendations and an implementation plan were developed to integrate social cohesion into the curriculum. The supplementary materials consist of an illustrated storybook series by the name of Humsafar and a set of pictorial flash cards that complement the information provided in the books. Messages of pluralism, tolerance and social cohesion are embedded in the narrative. Capacity building workshops and advocacy sessions were conducted for district level stakeholders including the local government and members of the civil society.

Sponsor(s):UNICEF


Date:Jun 2016
themeCitizenship
Curriculum
typeReport