Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation
Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation
13.05.2013

Russia Education Aid for Development Trust Fund (READ) When Children Learn, Nations Prosper

 

Russia Education Aid for Development Trust Fund (READ) When Children Learn, Nations Prosper CASE STUDY: EDUCATION - RUSSIA Student achievement is critical for countries, and individuals, to realize the benefits of education. Only when students learn can countries build up the human capital needed to construct dynamic, successful societies. But too often, learning is not occurring, and in many countries there is not even an awareness of whether learning is taking place, because there is no measurement of learning. Established in October 2008, the Russia Education Aid for Development Trust Fund (READ) with funding up to 32 mln USD is a collaboration of the Russian Federation and the World Bank that supports the improvement of student learning outcomes in LICs (including Angola, Armenia, Ethiopia, Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Zambia) through (i) diagnosis of key needs/gaps in their assessment of student learning; and (ii) strengthening of institutional capacity to both measure learning and use the results to improve education quality and learning outcomes. Through the support to READ with a laser focus on measuring learning outcomes Russia made a significant statement of the quality education importance. Assessing learning is fundamental to improving learning. Assessments can be a powerful agent for change in schools by informing policymakers on the learning outcomes of the nation’s students, helping teachers understand how to improve classroom instruction and learning, and influencing societies as they think about education quality and student learning. Due to support from READ Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) Student Assessment was one of the first domains to be fully developed. This allowed to create benchmarks for each READ country and establish key indicators against which to measure their progress. SABER involves building a comprehensive toolkit of system diagnostics for examining the various components and policy domains in education systems against global standards and best practices around the world. SABER provides work on education policy domains including Conceptual Framework, Diagnostic Tools, Country Reports, Case Studies, SABER Knowledge Base Website (www.worldbank.org/education/saber). Other activities implemented at global level and aimed at production and dissemination of evidence-based knowledge products and resources include: 3 global conferences (2009/Russia, 2010/Kenya, 2011/Germany), regional workshops (2012, Kazakhstan and Mozambique) and READ Trust Fund website (www.worldbank.org/readtf). Outcomes of READ contributed to the building up a sustainable learning assessment system in LICs, including strengthened institutional capacity to develop and carry out well-designed student assessments and use the assessment information to improve student learning. Implemented at country level activities include: • 8 sets of validated self-diagnosis reports and work plans • 1,100 staff trained at national and provincial levels • 2 newly established national assessment/examination agencies with dedicated staff • 2 national assessment policy frameworks. The country summaries that follow show a significant amount of progress to date. All READ countries have completed Self-Diagnosis exercises, formulated Action Plans to map out their path, and conducted workshops to ensure broad ownership and full endorsement by a wide range of stakeholders. Trainings to build assessment capacity have also taken place in most countries. Results so far clearly demonstrate an increasingly high-level commitment to assessments; an improved understanding of what makes up a comprehensive, high functioning assessment “system”; and the need for improved alignment across the education system. In several cases, important milestones have been reached such as the creation of a specific line item for assessments in the budget and established assessment teams with the designated responsibility for implementing assessment activities.