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Making Assessments Diversified and Choice-based

Irene Pereira

Assistant Professor, St. Ann’s College of Education (SACOE)

Ms Pereira’s qualifications include a M.Ed., from St. Ann’s College of Education, M.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Sunderland, UK, B.A. Honors in Economics from the University of Iowa, USA and postgraduate diploma in teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), UK. She also holds legal qualifications from the City University and BPP, UK. Having clocked 45 years of working experience: 30 in administration and management, 15 years as a Legal Consultant and assistant for international law firms and governmental organizations concentrating on dispute resolution, international war reparation claims, and assisting in the management of the world’s largest environmental rehabilitation program, she is currently actively engaged in the teaching profession.

Covid not only rocked but also flipped the education systems world-wide. Online learning and online assessments mushroomed with ferocious velocity to mitigate the loss in learning without really evaluating, if the assessments were based on comprehension of skills or their proficiency. The system was found to be lacking in opportunities for students to demonstrate their literacy and numeracy skills needed to obtain a desirable qualification.  Questions of fairness and equity on how best to equip all 14–19-year-olds with 21st century skills loomed on the horizon. Pearson, a leading learning company explored the UK education system and assessment models seeking to find answers to the questions as well as finding room for improvement.  The year-long research project that looked into the “future of qualifications and assessments in England” included 6,000 teachers, learners, parents, employers, a steering group of experts from across education, academia, and politics. Their final report entitled “Qualified to Succeed: Building a 14-19 education system of choice, diversity and opportunity,” published in 2022, documents their findings and recommendations on making future qualifications & assessment diversified and choice based with many opportunities for success. 

Pearson made the following recommendation:

1.Make CCSEs more inclusive.
2.Develop coherent curriculum framework.
3.Avoid wholescale reform instead iterate.
4.Imbibe diversity and representation. 
5.Assess right skills in the right way.
6.Connect Employer-classroom through incentives.
7.Accelerate digital transformation of education system

The report highlights the need ‘to foster a culture of innovation in assessment’ with practitioners taking the lead to introduce subject-appropriate assessments perfected through action research and piloted efforts.  It further concluded that in order to drive flexibility in assessment. teachers must be allowed safe spaces to develop processes within an institutional regulated framework.  There are lessons to be learnt given the current dicta on diversified assessments contained in the NEP2020. 

The full report can be accessed using the link

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