How to assess whether students are learning in school? 17 African countries examine their national learning assessment systems

The Teaching and Learning Educators’ Network for Transformation (TALENT) under the coordination of UNESCO Dakar organized a regional workshop on learning assessment systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The workshop was held in Dakar, from 6 to 8 of December, and witnessed the participation of various experts, academics and high level ministerial officials from 17 different countries of Sub-Saharan Africa [1] , as well as representative of the major international learning assessment programmes [2] , international organizations and think tanks [3] , other UNESCO offices and institutes and some members of the TALENT task team [4] .

The event aimed at increasing the knowledge on national and international learning assessment programmes, identify needs and gaps at country level, highlight best practices, for adaptation and replication and promote international and pan-African cooperation.

Participants agreed on some common recommendations to foster quality education at national and international level through the improvement of learning assessment. From a system perspective the group agreed to focus on the strengthening of existing policies and frameworks guiding all types of assessment at national level; building capacity of education managers for the oversight and management of the learning assessment process (including support to teachers for remedial actions); and guarantee sustainability of the assessment through alternative and innovative ways of financing.

To ensure that the teaching process and the assessments of learning respond to the curriculum, a specific emphasis has been given to pre-service and in-service opportunities for teachers to get acquainted with all types of assessment, build items for classroom exams and effectively integrate the national curriculum into teaching. The set-up of national learning assessment technical coordination bodies and the strengthening of assessment officials and curriculum developers’ capacity have also been listed as priorities.

Quality assurance of the various types of assessment has been a major concern of participants. To ensure that the results and the data collected are ultimately contributing to the improvement of education policies and curriculum for an enhanced learning of students, the participants have identified some strategic areas to focus on, such as: the design of specific tools to capture and analyze “21st century skills”; enhance capacity of education planners and statisticians for the analysis and utilization of learning assessment data; the refinement and re-design of existing tools to produce more useful results for planning.

The event was supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Global Partnership in Education (GPE). The TALENT network will continue to support and work with existing initiatives to improve quality of teaching and learning in the SSA region with a series of workshops in 2018/19.

[1] Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome e Principe, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia.
[2] PASEC, SEACMEQ, PISA-D, IEA, PAL-network, ELAN, RAAMA
[3] Global Partnership for Education, Brookings Institute, OIF.
[4] ANCEFA, ADEA/NALA, CONFEMEN and PASEC, REESAO, UNICEF-WCARO.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Media files

Download logo

Source:: How to assess whether students are learning in school? 17 African countries examine their national learning assessment systems

      

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

The Troika statement on South Sudan

This statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Norway.

On Thursday 21 December, the parties to the conflict in South Sudan signed the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians, and Humanitarian Access in Addis Ababa.

The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) congratulate the parties on their willingness to compromise for the benefit of the people of South Sudan and hope that they immediately take action to make good on that agreement. The Troika fully supports the continuing effort by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to build peace through the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF).

We would like to recognize in particular the meaningful contributions of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, and the members of the IGAD Council of Ministers. We further recognize the tireless work undertaken by IGAD Special Envoy Ismail Wais and the High Level Facilitators to bring the parties together and the inclusion of a number of civil society organizations and women representatives at the Forum.

The Troika calls on all the parties to implement the Agreement immediately including the parties’ obligations regarding humanitarian access. We are encouraged by the strong statements from the African Union and IGAD making clear their intent to hold the parties accountable. The Troika calls on the parties to reconvene urgently to address the important security and governance arrangements that are essential for peace.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Media files

Download logo

Source:: The Troika statement on South Sudan

      

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

Ghana – USAID and Partners Improve Access to Community Health Services in Volta Region

On December 18, 2017, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, and Korea International Development Agency (KOICA) commissioned four Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in the Volta Region. Chiefs, assembly members and community members joined USAID/Ghana Mission Director Sharon L. Cromer; USAID/Ghana Health Office Director Akua Kwateng-Addo; Ketu South Municipal District Chief Executive, the Honorable Edem Elliot Agbenorwu; Ghana Health Service Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division Dr. Koku Awoonor-Williams; Volta Regional Health Directorate Deputy Director, Administration Mr. Edward Kaba; KOICA Deputy Country Director Mr. Seungmin Oh; and USAID Systems for Health Chief of Party Marni Laverentz at the event.

The Government of Ghana’s Community-based Health Planning and Services policy improves access to primary health care services at the community level to promote universal health coverage. USAID works with the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to improve accessibility, quality and use of health services, with a focus on maternal and child health and nutrition services.

USAID/Ghana Mission Director Sharon L. Cromer commended the community members for their contributions in making the CHPS compound a success.

“Your community collaboration and investment is exemplary and clearly demonstrates the premium you place on your own health and wellbeing,” said Cromer. She thanked the community health officers for their relentless work in serving their communities. Finally, she encouraged community members to participate actively in the upkeep and maintenance of these compounds, noting it “will help ensure that all systems and equipment continue to work, so that everyone in your community can enjoy a good and healthy life.”

The ceremony was held at the CHPS compound in Lotakor. The CHPS compounds were constructed in line with the standard guidelines set forth by the Ministry of Health and include a clinical unit, a residential unit with two separate one-bedroom apartments, an elevated water tank, a septic tank, placenta pit, incinerator, borehole and solar panels. The process of CHPS compound construction involves elaborate stakeholder consultations and reflects gender-sensitive and environmental guidelines.

The CHPS compounds were constructed as part of the USAID-supported Systems for Health project, in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service. KOICA provided financial support for the construction of the Lotakor CHPS compound. Additional CHPS compounds are under construction in Northern and Volta regions, with expected completion in 2018-2019.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

Media files

Download logo

Source:: Ghana – USAID and Partners Improve Access to Community Health Services in Volta Region

      

Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan welcomes signing of cessation of hostilities agreement in South Sudan

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan welcomes the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement by parties attending the High Level Revitalization Forum in Addis Ababa.

The Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access is an important first step in the revitalization of the peace process. UNMISS acknowledges the effort and commitment of all those involved in the forum over the past week in reaching an agreement. It also thanks the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for its leadership of the peace talks.

UNMISS urges all parties to adhere to the Agreement and end the ongoing violence so that durable peace can be achieved in the interests of the people of South Sudan.

UNMISS is committed to supporting the peace process in line with its mandate through advancing reconciliation efforts, strengthening conflict resolution mechanisms, building national cohesion and engaging in regional and international peace initiatives.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Media files

Download logo

Source:: The United Nations Mission in South Sudan welcomes signing of cessation of hostilities agreement in South Sudan

      

Categories: AFRICA | Tags: