Assessing Student Performance to Enhance Education Delivery

June 28th, 2024 | Blogs


By Flavio Magaia

At World Education, we support capacity strengthening on data collection and decision-making to improve the quality of education. One of the ways that we do this is by working with local, government, universities, and multilateral partners to gather timely and reliable data and determine whether our programs are on track and meeting set objectives.

As Assessment Coordinator for the USAID-funded SABER program, through which we’re expanding bilingual education to more than two million Mozambican students, I support school performance assessments to help us determine the efficacy of interventions, such as teacher continuous professional development (CPD) and curriculum and materials development.

What we’ve learned with a program expansion of this scale is that assessment models and tools must be integrated into existing structures and routines, and educators must have the skills to use them. Thus, so far, we have:

  • Integrated formative assessment and remediation approaches into daily teaching to increase students’ literacy and numeracy gains.
  • Integrated a monthly written assessment into student books during the development of the teaching and learning materials.
  • Rolled out a diverse continuous professional development model for teachers and school based coaches to use these tools and analyze data to plan for remediation.

Teachers are conducting monthly literacy and numeracy assessments that are integrated into student books. Based on the outcomes of these written assessments, teachers register which students need remediation, either in class or through involvement in out-of-school activities like reading clubs.

The benefits of these assessments depend on teachers conducting them consistently. We plan to study whether the assessments and remediation are being implemented at the district and school levels, and what challenges exist with delivery. Based on the results of this study, we can work on improving the continuous assessment approach and evaluate potential alternative approaches as needed.

In addition to supporting student assessment in the classroom, we developed Annual Status of Education Report assessments in local languages to be used during quarterly pedagogical monitoring visits. With our partners, we use the results of these assessments to improve our CPD content and materials. We also work with the Ministry of Education to develop national assessments for local languages, Portuguese, and mathematics. These assessments, which so far have been conducted in grade three, are scheduled to take place every three years.

Consistency in how and when we assess student performance is crucial for improving learning outcomes throughout Mozambique. It provides a baseline for teaching and learning that helps teachers support struggling students and school officials support teachers. It creates a stronger education system that makes informed decisions with the lifelong learning of teachers and students in mind.

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