Riyadh, The Saudi G20 Secretariat, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Saudi Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC) have concluded their two-day Conference on Education and Training Evaluation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The conference was held under the theme of “Improving Learning Outcomes and Economic Growth”.
The Conference was an opportunity for education influencers from the Middle East and across the globe to discuss the latest developments in education and training evaluation, an area which has had to rapidly adapt in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep students, educators and others safe, assessors in all parts of the world have been forced to look at ways of maintaining quality evaluation of schools, universities and vocational institutions, whilst also adhering to physical distancing requirements. Dr. Hussam Zaman, President of ETEC, said upon the conference’s conclusion, “Digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) will be essential to the continuation of learning and evaluation as the pandemic continues to impact societies in Saudi Arabia and other countries. Saudi Arabia has provided an example of how this can be successfully achieved, having 350,000 students sit their exams earlier in the year using distance learning platforms”.
Dr. Hussam also used the conclusion of the conference to emphasise the role of education in promoting economic growth, in line with the conference’s theme. A key goal for the Kingdom is improving education and evaluation services so that graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to enhance productivity at a national level. Dr. Hussam says the rapidly changing area of data will be key in maintaining optimal evaluation of education and training, and generating graduates ready to contribute to industry ;Education reform will be dependent on measuring progress through data analysis, using the latest tools and technologies available for data collection and assessment. Quality evaluation of education and training can be achieved through effective evaluation methods and by using evaluation data to assess the success of reforms in making small and large decisions about education, including education policies. By continuously improving education and training through data-driven decisions, we can be assured that graduates are meeting the standards we are seeking”.
The conference brought together 51 education experts from across the globe. An impressive list of international education leaders were in attendance and presented at the conference. Such experts included Mr. Andreas Schleicher, OECD’s Head of Innovation and Skills; Dr. Bill Maxwell, former Chief Education Officer of Scotland; Dr. Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Hekia Parata ,Former Minister of Education in New Zealand; and Dr. Dirk Van Damme, the OECD’s Head of Innovation and Measurement of Progress. These distinguished guests were joined by a host of Saudi officials and experts, including,
Dr. Abdullah Abu Thunain, Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Development for Labor; Dr. Ahmed Al-Fuhaid, Governor of Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC); Dr.Tariq Al-Sheddi ,Head of the National Data Management Office; Dr. Enas Al-Issa, President of Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University.
Source: Saudi Press Agency