02.06.2017 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Cuba and UNESCO conduct National Education Assessment

Over 6,500 students from 368 primary schools participated in a national education assessment led by the Ministry of Education of Cuba and UNESCO’s Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean. The assessment was conducted on May 11 and 12, 2017 and was implemented with the technical assistance of the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE).

This joint effort is an important step in the process of reincorporating Cuba into LLECE and contributes to the Laboratory’s preparation for the fourth Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (ERCE), which will be applied in 19 countries in the region in 2018 and 2019.

Cuba is a founding member of LLECE and its participation in this activity represents its commitment to the evaluation processes that are developed at the regional level to improve education as well as the goals included in the new Education 2030 Agenda.

The assessment, which was conducted nationwide, assessed students in Grades 3 through 6 using tools developed by LLECE in previous studies. The results obtained will provide inputs that will contribute to the development of pedagogical processes in Cuba with a focus on improving learning. The analysis also will provide a comprehensive overview of the Cuban education system.

The study evaluated factors associated with learning achievements through questionnaires directed at principals, teachers, families and students in order to establish the elements that connect said achievements.

In regard to the implementation process, Cuba’s Minister of Education, Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella, highlighted, “this study is an expression of interest and commitment on the part of the Ministry of Education and Cuban educators in regard to continuing to increase the quality of education in Cuba in keeping with the type of person our nation needs now and will need in the future. Their contributions will enrich the pedagogical flow of our teachers and principals in order to provide the higher quality education service that Cuban families deserve. The assessment will be followed by two more evaluation processes in 2018 and 2019. This will allow samples of students from all levels of Cuban schools to be assessed, providing us with scientific information of incalculable pedagogical value.”

LLECE’s General Coordinator, Atilio Pizarro, stated, “this partnership between Cuba and UNESCO represents an opportunity because the use of assessment for educational improvement will allow for the development of education policy recommendations and contributions to pedagogical work and classroom teaching. We want to provide evidence, not to simplify things, but rather to help those who teach and make decisions by providing key inputs for addressing an increasingly complex socio-educational situation.”

The national assessment conducted by Cuba has benefitted from the significant contributions of other LLECE member states, such as Mexico, which provided high-level technicians from the National Education Evaluation Institute (INEE), who participated as international observers of this process and provided crucial technical support for the implementation of this assessment.

Katherine Müller-Marín, the Director of UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is headquartered in Havana, said, “LLECE’s work is of great value in continuing to improve education and in order to establish a decision-making culture based on research and assessment. The Regional Bureau supports this technical assistance initiative, which benefits countries, in collaboration with UNESCO’s other offices in the region as part of its efforts to prioritize quality education for all.”

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