World Bank lauds Saudi education commission for plan to evaluate, accredit schools

WB consulted Kingdom’s experts, educators, parents on sector development

RIYADH(RAHNUMA): The World Bank has lauded Saudi Arabia’s Education and Training Evaluation Commission for its plan to evaluate and accredit the Kingdom’s schools in line with international best-practice, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

The WB said that it has a comprehensive review of the Kingdom’s plans in a report prepared by its team over the course of 2021 and 2022 — in cooperation with the National Center for School Evaluation and Excellence “Tamayouz,” affiliated with the ETEC.

The bank added that the proposed plans are also rooted in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s educational research report of 2009, and the Maxwell report of 2019.

The bank said that various plans and documents related to the Kingdom’s approach to evaluating and accrediting schools, including general regulatory frameworks, procedural guides, standards, and tools, were reviewed. The WB team met with focus groups of stakeholders, including school assessment and accreditation specialists, principals and parents.

The report, a summarized version of which has been published on the World Bank website, said that the ETEC was the body responsible for evaluating and accrediting schools and training institutions in the public, private and international sectors in the Kingdom.

It added that the commission’s mandate fits well the Saudi Vision 2030 and the Humanitarian Capacity Development Programme, which aims to raise quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the education system, as well as support human development, the national economy and sustainable development.

The report also said that the ETEC has developed a comprehensive national program to evaluate public schools and accredit private schools in the Kingdom systematically and consistently.

It will also define development goals to make substantial improvements in the quality of education and constantly improve the effectiveness of schools, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.

The report said that school evaluation and accreditation was an effective tool for building high-quality education that supports the labor market, human capital development, economic growth and increased productivity.

The report highlighted that the ETEC’s program consists of two main stages of self- and external-evaluation. Self-evaluation includes a set of internal processes and procedures carried out by public, private and international schools to evaluate their performance and verify their effectiveness and efficiency.

External evaluation includes a set of processes and procedures carried out by a specialized education team from outside the school that reviews and evaluates all aspects of performance and measures the quality of the outputs of the system.

The report also noted that the digital platform developed by the ETEC to evaluate and accredit schools acts as a powerful and wide-ranging tool, and includes a comprehensive information system for managing the evaluation processes. It is used to collect important data on school performance, which contributes to guiding policy decisions and setting strategic planning priorities.

The report said that the availability of the comprehensive frameworks, approaches, processes and tools developed by the ETEC, which cover all schools and grade levels, would improve educational performance and quality in the Kingdom. And that the commission continues to develop this solid foundation and improve procedures to enhance the capacity of the Kingdom’s human capital.

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