UNESCO and Mexico’s INEE brings together specialists on educational assessment from 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries

24.05.2017 -Preparations continue for the Fourth Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE) that UNESCO will apply during 2019 in 19 countries across the region. As part of its methodological design, a workshop on sampling techniques will be held in Mexico at the National Institute for Educational Evaluation (INEE).

The event, which will take place between May 24 and 26, 2017 in Mexico City, is a further step in implementing ERCE, and will be supported by representatives of the national technical teams of the countries comprising the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), an agency coordinated by the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago). LLECE is a regional project that brings together the principal agencies for education assessment in the region and has been entrusted, through its actions, to follow-up and monitor the commitments made within the framework of the Education 2030 Agenda.

The technical teams participating in this workshop are responsible for, among other tasks, the statistical analysis of the sampling frames and the subsequent calculation of the representative samples of the school population under assessment of each educational system, in the context of ERCE’s pilot study to be developed in 2018.

The objective of this fourth study is to produce valid and reliable information that can assess, understand and compare the learning achievements and factors associated with this performance in primary education students in the region.

Atilio Pizarro, General Coordinator of LLECE and its ERCE 2019 study at OREALC/UNESCO Santiago, explains that this workshop “in addition to contributing to the technical training of the assessment teams of LLECE member countries, is an ideal opportunity for exchanging knowledge and experiences. Developing skills within these studies is a fundamental part of LLECE’s work, but more than providing knowledge in a specific area, we are interested in being able to instill capacities in national teams that, in addition to being used in the international operation of ERCE, can be applied to the design and development of assessments in their own countries.”

Margarita Zorrilla, National Coordinator of LLECE in Mexico and Counsellor to the INEE Board of Governors, adds that, “Mexico, through the INEE, welcomes colleagues from other LLECE participating countries, and hopes that all of the objectives are met. Initiatives such as these help us to nourish the ties between our countries and our taskforces, and allow us to continue fostering and strengthening in Latin America the skills to address the challenges that are posed in providing quality education to the girls, boys and young people of our region.”

Workshop programme

The statistical designs that characterize this kind of study have important implications for the analysis and processing of data resulting from their application. For this reason, the objective of the workshop is to internalize participants in the techniques and procedures associated with the sampling methodology, understood as a fundamental component of large-scale international evaluations. The workshop will provide a space to acquire knowledge and the tools to understand and apply the sampling techniques, always within the developmental context of ERCE.

Participants are expected to be able to develop an accurate definition of the target population and a suitable sampling design for an international study; to select representative samples at the national level, taking into account the characteristics of a specific educational system; to become familiar with the procedures for calculating sample weights and replications for complex sample designs and with suitable methods to estimate population parameters based on data originating from complex sample designs.

The inauguration of the workshop will be attended by Dr. Eduardo Backhoff, President Counsellor, Margarita Zorrilla and Silvia Schmelkes, Counsellors of the Board of Governors, on behalf of Mexico’s INEE. Dr. Nuria Sanz, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Bureau in Mexico will represent UNESCO at the inauguration.

International experts and members of the Data Committee of the ERCE study, as well as specialists in technical coordination of the Laboratory, will also participate as workshop teachers.

This workshop is taking place thanks to INEE’s invaluable collaboration along with OREALC/UNESCO Santiago.


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