Webinar on Conducting Learning Assessment During School Closures, Co-organized by IICBA and TALENT

Learning assessment systems have considerable potential to encourage deeper and more meaningful learning – thus improving levels of learning achievement among all children, and reducing the inequities often observed among subgroups of students.

However, to slow the spread of COVID-19, countries are implementing drastic measures including school closures. This unprecedented situation is forcing governments and educators to find quick solutions to ensure the continuity of quality education at all levels of education. Conducting learning assessment has faced multiple challenges during school closures and has become a crucial concern for educators.

On 6 May 2020, IICBA (The International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa) and TALENT (The Teaching and Learning Educators’ Network for Transformation) co-organized a webinar on “Conducting Learning Assessment during School Closure”. The objectives were to discuss the challenges of managing learning assessment during the crisis, both to share experience on the use of different strategies for assessment of distance learning, and to reflect on how to support teachers in conducting learning assessment during school closure. The webinar also aimed to enhance the network for knowledge sharing across national borders. There were 85 participants in total, including officials from national examination agencies, teachers, teacher educators, education researchers, representatives of partner organizations, and UNESCO colleagues.

Mr. Saliou Sall, Senior Program Coordinator of IICBA and moderator of the session, gave the welcoming remarks and introduced the themes. In her keynote speech, Ms. Huong Le Thu, Programme Specialist, UNESCO HQ, elaborated how to manage high-stake exams and assessment during COVID-19 and school closures, demonstrating general challenges to education from COVID-19, lessons learned from the past, and recommendations for future practices.

In the next session, four speakers, Dr. Njora Hungi, Senior Project Officer, IICBA; Mr. Angel Kaliminwa, Focal Point on Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)’s Network for African Learning Assessment, Zambia; Dr. Pedi Anawi, Project Coordinator, Education International African Region, Ghana; and Mr. Vuai K. Juma, Zanzibar Examinations Council, shared information and experience regarding governments’ measures taken to support distance learning and assessment, difficulties faced by learners and teachers especially in remote areas, and possible solutions to challenges. This was followed by a Q&A session, in which participants actively communicated with presenters about details of practices in high-stake exams, formative assessment, school reopening, and distance learning. The webinar was concluded with closing remarks by Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of IICBA.

IICBA has been organizing weekly webinars to ensure the continuity of quality teaching and learning at all levels in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The French version of this webinar will be organized on Wednesday 13 May in collaboration with TALENT.

Presentations from the Webinar
Managing high stakes exams and assessments during the Covid 19 pandemic. School & University Closure: Options for Exams and Assessments (Le Thu, Huong)

Conducting Learning Assessment During School Closure (Hungi, Njora)

Learning Provision and Assessment during the COVID 19 Crisis (Anawi, Pedi)

Solutions Adopted by Zanzibar Regarding to High Stakes Examinations and Learning Assessments (Zanzibar Examinations Council)

The recording of the webinar is available here on Youtube