Exam insecurity lowers education status

Breached security in examination bodies as well as other education institutions in Africa is not only becoming rampant but also poses a major threat in the continent’s quest for quality training and well-learned manpower, it was observed.

Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi

Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi

Education experts from all over the continent, who are meeting here raised the issue during the ongoing five-day 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA).

The meeting is running under the theme: Enhancing Assessment Practices for Quality Education.

The Second Vice-President in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi, opened the conference, on behalf of Vice President Dr Mohammed Gharib-Bilal. He called for innovative assessment practices.

He pointed out that in order for African countries to evaluate the success of education delivery there is a need to innovate assessment practices which provide reliable results that reflect the candidate’s attainment of the intended learning objectives.

Countries participating in the conference include Mozambique, Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa and the host Tanzania, as well as overseas participants from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and China. Tanzania is hosting the AEAA conference for the fifth time having played the same role previously in 1983, 1987, 1992 and 2002, before hosting the event again this year (2013) in Arusha.

The conference addresses, among other topics, the role of classroom assessment practices in improving the quality of education; enhance teachers’ capacity in assessments and the impact of information and Communication Technology in educational assessment.

The week-long meeting is also dealing with the relationship between continuous assessment and final examination scores; Implications on quality of education; dynamics of languages in assessment and learning outcome and the challenges associated with assessment of soft skills for quality education.

The participants also debated about innovations in assessment practices and their implications in improving the quality of education, as well as the impact of security breach on the quality of examination and assessment.

Founded in 1982, the Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA), with its main offices in Lusaka, Zambia, operates along the main guiding policy of “Harmonization of Educational Assessment on the African continent.”

The major objectives for the AEAA include promoting co-operation amongst examining and assessment bodies in Africa and encourage relevant examining and assessment activities among members and sponsoring international participation in the field of educational testing and examining.

By EVERSHANY SWAY, Tanzania Daily News

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