17.03.2017 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

UNESCO conducts a needs assessment in Rwanda to inform the design and development of electronic assessment solutions

Staff from Rwanda Education Board participating in a needs assessment meeting for e-assessment methodologies in Kigali, Copyright UNESCO 2017.

UNESCO in collaboration with the Rwanda Education Board (REB) of the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC), with the financial support of the UNESCO-Korean Funds-in–Trust, and the technical support of the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) conducted a three-day workshop for staff of REB to assess the various needs of Rwanda’s education sector to implement electronic assessment (e-assessment) methodologies. The information gathered in this forum plays a vital role to inform the development of new e-assessment solutions, particularly for e-learning, which is increasingly prioritized in the Rwanda

Rwanda’s long-term development plan of transforming itself into a middle-income economy is based on fostering a knowledge-based society and developing the infrastructure to support its role as a regional hub for ICT. Aligned to this, government education policy documents state that Rwanda should move from paper-based assessment to e-assessment in primary and secondary education, and which should ‘focus on subject matter competencies and skills, as well as support in collaborative problem Solving (CPS), peer and self-assessment for students, scoring and interpreting student performance and link it to teaching’ (ICT in Education Master Plan 2015-2020).

With technical support from IICBA, a UNESCO Category I Institute, REB staff from the Teacher Development and Management Department, One Laptop per Child, and the Examinations and Assessment Department were to:

1. Reflect on existing primary and secondary curriculum and the implications for e-assessment methodologies given the shift towards the new competency based curriculum;

2. Generate consensus on the needed school infrastructure to facilitate the implementation of e-assessment methodologies;

3. Discuss the competencies required of principals, head teachers and teachers to implement e-assessment/blended assessment methodologies;

4. Review suggestions and identify good practices for e-assessment/blended assessment methodologies; and

5. Recommend an implementation plan to rollout e-assessment/blended assessment in all primary and secondary schools.

The meeting used a significant amount of group work, discussion as well as an opportunity for developing skills. Over three days groups covered i) general requirements for e-assessment and its foundations; ii) an overview of technologies for e-assessment; iii) designing e-assessment using technology (e.g. Open Source software); iv) assessing 21st century skills; and v) e-portfolio and rubrics and common software for their implementation.

Participants appreciated the importance for using e-assessment methodologies and expressed that the workshop was useful. In particular, participants rated positively the elaboration of e-assessment and open source software. Results from this workshop will be used to inform the forthcoming development of e-assessment methodologies for the education sector.

The ICT Transforming Education in Africa project (2016-2018) intends to support the integration of ICT-based innovative approaches for education in Mozambique, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. It is a developed within the framework of cooperation between UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Korea Funds-In-Trust initiative and was launched at the 2015 World Education Forum, in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The project is aligned with the Education 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 4 on Education, the Global Education First Initiative, and the Qingdao Declaration on ICT and Education.

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