Ecuador hosts key UNESCO training on measuring education quality in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • The high-level technical workshop “Gathering data, coding and procedures” is part of preparations for the Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE 2019). Ecuador’s Vice Minister of Education and other leading national authorities officially kicked off the event on Monday, 11 June.
  • ERCE 2019, the region’s most important assessment, will produce valid and reliable data on which to base evaluation of learning outcomes and student-based factors. The technical planning and preparation of national teams is crucial for UNESCO and the national coordinators in participating countries.

Saadia Sánchez, Director of UNESCO Quito, offering words of welcome. To her left, Ecuador’s Vice Minister of Education, Álvaro Sáenz. Photo: Ineval.

11.06.2018 -Ecuador's National Institute for Education Assessment (INEVAL), in coordination with the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), part of the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago), hosted this workshop in Quito on 11-13 June 2018.

The execution of ERCE 2019 will be planned during the training, which is directed at national coordinators and LLECE assessment technicians. The pilot execution for countries that use the southern hemisphere school calendar will be conducted during the second half of 2018.

The opening ceremony was attended by Ecuador’s Vice Minister of Education, Álvaro Sáenz; the Executive Director of Ineval, Josette Arévalo; the Director of UNESCO’s Quito office and representative in Ecuador, Saadia Sánchez; and the Director and Permanent Representative of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI) in Ecuador, Natalia Armijos.

In his remarks, Vice Minister Álvaro Sáenz spoke of the importance of assessment, emphasizing that it is an ongoing discussion with diverse approaches that is fully underway in Ecuador. “The most important thing about assessment is usefulness; data must be useful to the subjects of the evaluation or self-evaluation. Without feedback, assessment loses all meaning. That is extremely important and the reason we talk about democratizing assessment,” he said.

Ineval’s Executive Director, Josette Arévalo, emphasized the importance of opportunities to develop skills for educational assessment in Ecuador and other Latin American countries. “This workshop will help us strengthen our teams on issues related to gathering and verifying ERCE 2019 data. It will also serve as a reference for improving national education assessment practices.”

The Director of UNESCO’s Quito office and its representative in Ecuador, Saadia Sánchez, reminded participants that assessment is an integral part of ensuring the right to an inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities, as outlined in Education 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goal No. 4. “For UNESCO, it is an honor to share the opportunity to play an important role in this three-day event with Ineval, especially because these issues are part of the keys to conducting the upcoming ERCE 2019. We hope the study will make a real contribution to diagnostics for school systems and using assessment to improve education,” stated the Director. 

For his part, LLECE General Coordinator Atilio Pizarro explained that the workshop is a key part implementation training for ERCE 2019. It addresses contents and the tasks scheduled on the technical implementation timeline. “This is part of what the Laboratory wants to promote: ongoing training of national teams to ensure the high levels of quality of the study.”   

Event details

Foto: UNESCO/Adriana Viteri

Foto: UNESCO/Adriana Viteri

At the workshop, which was held in the auditorium at the Institute for Advanced National Studies (IAEN) in Quito, participants from 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will plan the logistics of applying ERCE 2019; procedures for gathering data in schools; correction of open-ended test questions; use of the respective software; and monitoring protocols for use during the operation. These technical activities will combine with others practical and validation activities.

On the last day, 13 June, Dr. Gilbert Valverde, Professor at the Department of Education Administration and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany, will offer a keynote speech entitled, “Primary challenges in validating learning measurements in Latin America.” The lecture will be followed by an expert panel featuring the LLECE national coordinators of Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay; Jorge Manzi, the Director of the UC Measurement Center (MIDE) in Chile; and Pablo Zoido, a leading specialist from the Education Division at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). 

Further information

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