Malawi will from Monday next week, host the 11th Annual Conference of the Southern Africa Association for Education Assessment (SAAEA).
This is a platform where assessment specialists, curriculum developers, educators and researchers share expertise and best practices in a bid to enhance high-quality education.
The conference, which is for Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) members will be held at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi under the theme: Promoting Excellence in Assessment for Quality Education.
Briefing the media at the conference, chairperson of the organising committee Gerald Chiunda who is director of research and test development at Malawi National Examinations Boards (Maneb) said such conferences are of great importance as they help those in the education system learn much from experience of colleagues in the field.
Said Chiunda: “The pace at which knowledge is changing on the globe is so fast that it is not easy to keep track of the many changes. This is why collaborative efforts and regular meetings of this kind help us learn more efficiently and effectively.
For assessment to perform the audit function, it has to be excellently designed. As the systems work on the identified weaknesses, quality education is promoted. In other words, quality education is a product of several factors and among them is quality assessment.”
Chiunda further said delegates also collaborate at personal level in standards fixing meetings where crucial grade boundaries are decided. The collaboration brings confidence in the resultant certifications and enables equilibrium compatibility of the certificates in the region.
Chairperson of publications and publicity in the organising committee Gerson Mutala Phiri singled out the use of conveyor system of marking by Maneb as one of the benefits from such conferences.
He said the system has ensured effectiveness, efficiency and accuracy in marking national examinations.
Twelve countries including 54 delegates and 35 institutions from both Malawi and beyond have registered to participate in the conference organised with collaboration from Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi.
Keynote speakers at the conference include Dr Dafter Khembo, monitoring and evaluation specialist at the National Council of Higher Education and Dr Elias Chakwera chairperson of Malawi Parliamentary Committee on Education Science and Technology.
Last year the conference was held in Zambia under the theme; Beyond 2015: Sharing Experiences in Assessment for Quality Education.