Years of civil war and prolonged periods of unrest, including the conflict in neighboring Syria, pose significant challenges to development. This includes improving the public education system so that children can learn.
The project aims to expand equitable access and improve learning outcomes for vulnerable students in public schools. It places an immediate focus on alleviating the strains to the system resulting from the continuing inflow of Syrian refugee children into public schools.
Working alongside the Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD) and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE), we implemented student reading assessments and developed performance descriptors and benchmarks in reading for grades 2 and 3. The project also contributed to capacity building efforts for national assessments.
Our experts collected and analyzed data of children’s reading levels by implementing early grade reading assessments (EGRAs) and training quality control officers and enumerators to properly carry out those assessments. Our capacity building program introduced key concepts such as assessment design and planning, item and test development, and statistical and psychometric methods. We will expand our work in national assessments under the follow-on QITABI-2 program.
Under QITABI-2, we will again work closely with CERD and MEHE to implement reading, writing and math assessments in grades 2, 3 and 6 using various assessment tools such as EGRAs and group-administered tests. Assessments will be administered in multiple languages.
The work we completed under QITABI was the catalyst for technical assistance we are currently providing to UNESCO and USAID in the development of the Global Proficiency Framework. The framework provides detailed minimum proficiency expectations that countries, along with regional and international assessment organizations, can use as a foundation for linking existing and future reading and mathematics assessments via benchmarks.
This will provide the framework for comparing results from different assessments, both within and across countries, and for reporting on Sustainable Development Goal 4.1.1 related to student proficiency levels in primary school.