CIS Countries' Education Quality Assessment Systems Have a Lot in Common
On November 7-9, Astana hosted the third International Conference of the Eurasian Association for Educational Assessment (EAOKO), one of the organizers of which was HSE's Institute of Education.
EAOKO is a non-profit organization created in 2012. Its founders were Viktor Bolotov, the Academic Supervisor of HSE's Centre of Education Quality Monitoring, and Igor Valdman, the director of the Russian Training Centre of HSE's Institute of Education. ЕАОКО brings together experts in assessing the quality of education in CIS countries, that is, in the Russian-speaking space.
The ways quality assessment systems are developed in post-Soviet countries have a lot in common, says Igor Valdman. National examination models are even similar in a number of countries, and experts are constantly analyzing the experience of their neighbors. In addition to holding annual conferences, the first of which was held in Moscow and the second in Minsk, EAOKO releases the journal Education Quality in Eurasiaas well as a newsletter. The Russian Training Centre holds regular webinars and in-person seminars, in which experts from CIS countries take part.
The conference in Astana saw the participation of around 100 people from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, other CIS countries, and the Czech Republic. This was the second time a researcher from the Czech Republic is taking part in the EAOKO conference. He is conducting research in Russia and Kazakhstan on self-assessment at schools. The main paper of Viktor Bolotov and Igor Valdman included an overview of quality assessment systems and, in particular, national exams in the Russian-speaking post-Soviet space.
Particularly interesting for Russia is the experience of Kazakhstan, which introduced standardized state exams for graduating high-school students and university applicants back in the 1990s, prior to when Russia introduced its Unified State Exam (USE), comments Viktor Bolotov. Kazakhstan has also been using the External Evaluation of Educational Achievements (EEEA) for quite some time, while a similar project – national research on the quality of education (NIKO) – only began in Russia in October 2014. Conversely, other CIS countries are somewhat behind – Tajikistan’s Centralized Entrance Examination (CEE) was carried out for the first time just last year using Russia’s experience in organizing an informational company for the USE.
After the conference, a monograph is planned to be released where expert groups from CIS countries discuss their own education quality assessment systems. It was also decided at the conference that the Centre of Education Quality Monitoring would carry out a summer school in psychometrics aimed at experts from CIS countries, among others.
Boris Startsev, specially for HSE News Service
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