Strategies for Strengthening Learning Assessment Systems: The Case of Sub-Saharan African Countries

July 22 2021 01:00 pm - 03:30 pm UTC
Virtual Webinar

Learning assessments allow us to measure the quality of education systems and the resulting data provides a basis for developing policies to improve the quality of said systems. A learning assessment system integrates policies, institutions, tools and practises to collect and use information on student achievement. It generally consists of three (3) components: classroom assessments, national examinations and large-scale assessments.


Yet, the evaluation systems of many sub-Saharan African countries have a number of shortcomings. As such, they either ignore large-scale assessments or provide them only a marginal role. A study conducted in 2020 by the TALENT group reveals that only 40% of these countries have participated in large-scale transnational (PASEC and SEACMEQ) and/or international (PIRLS, PISA for Development and TIMSS) assessments. In addition, fewer than half have conducted a large-scale national assessment.


This lack of quantitative and qualitative large-scale assessment is detrimental given the importance of these assessments,  such as tests and class assignments, which are not intended to focus on individual student results but to provide an overall picture of student achievement and provide an explanation. In this sense, they provide a more accurate measure of an education system’s degree of equity and quality.


In organizing this round table, the KIX Africa 21 Hub seeks to offer a platform for exchanging knowledge and ideas to experts from partner countries when it comes to strengthening learning assessment systems.


These experts will have a chance to:

Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their national learning assessment systems - in particular the role of large-scale national or transnational assessments

Identify avenues for developing strategies to strengthen these learning assessment systems