Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Student Assessment Unit in Nepal

I was posted as the Classroom Assessment and Examination Consultant for the Secondary Education Support Project (SESP) in Nepal from November 6, 2007, to May 6, 2008. I worked with the Department of Education, particularly with other four central agencies, namely: Office of Controller of Examinations (OCE), National Center for Educational Development (NCED), Curriculum Development Center and Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB).

One of the major accomplishments of this assignment was the establishment of Student Assessment Units (SAU) in the four central agencies and eventually at the Regional Education Departments and in the District Education Offices.

The SAU is an organizational unit that is primarily responsible in defining, developing, prioritizing, administering and monitoring activities related to classroom assessment and examinations.

The SAU is committed to increasing student achieving by implementing higher standards through the assessment programs and activities. The SAU of the various agencies supports the administration of the following:

a) District Level Examinations for Grade 8
b) School Leaving Certification Examination (SLC Exams) for Grades 10 and 12
c) School-Based Assessment (SBA)
d) Teacher-training Evaluation

Continuous Assessment System (CAS), Liberal Promotion Policy (LPP) and SBA are the pillars supporting SAU in various agencies and offices under the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Teachers are Superhumans"

In my work as a consultant/specialist for Classroom Assessment and Examination Reforms in various countries adhering to diverse educational philosophies and curriculum, I realized that teachers are "superhumans" everywhere in the world.

I say they are superhumans (or let me say supermen and superwomen) because they can take on several tasks at the same time. They are the key persons in implementing curricular reforms, they are managers of a team (the class they handle or school they oversee), they are entertainers and performers to students who can only learn with funny persons in front of them, and sometimes they are referees to "fighting" students and also perform police powers and even conductors in school vehicles.

As teachers, they are not only mentors, lecturers, professors, and guidance counselors. They are also artists, scientists, linguists, mathematicians, historians, orators, sociologists, psychologists, activists, and motivators. They also serve as representatives of society and government organizations. They are also expected to be role models to students and politicians as well as social workers and community developers.

On top of these so many roles, they teach students to the best they can. They are required to give tests and examinations and evaluate student work, reports, and projects. They are expected to keep track of what their students have learned and how many of their targeted learning outcomes were achieved. They are mandated to establish the credibility of their assessment procedures as well as the validity of their instruments. Hence, teachers do not only teach, but they must also perform assessment activities to determine the achievement, strengths, and weaknesses of their students.

With these in mind, I come to believe that teachers are really
superhumans. Hence, I am writing this blog on the assessment and evaluation of learning to share my experiences with teachers, researchers, and educationists.

I hope that through this blog, all teachers and researchers will achieve their vision, mission, and goals of providing the highest standards of classroom assessment and examinations.