On November 5, Vincent Greaney, a member of the READ Program Expert Council, presented the book “Public examinations examined”, which was published under the sponsorship of the World Bank. The content of the book is a summary of 20 years of author’s experience at improving and reforming of countries’ examination systems in Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and many others.
Vincent Greeney began his presentation with a description of the role, functions and objectives of exams in the education system. Then the speaker turned to the topic of differences in the exams’ conduction in different countries of the world, listed the main ones, showing that there’s no universal approach to examinations. Challenges facing examination systems, advantages and disadvantages of examinations as an instrument of educational policy and an opportunity of getting feedback from schools were also reflected in the report. Vincent also paid close attention to the issues of equal accessibility of both exams and education in general. In his opinion, fighting extreme poverty, elimination of students’ language and nationality discrimination, as well as improving the reliability and validity of testing are the primary actions that should be undertaken to succeed.
In the concluding part of the presentation, Vincent Greeney presented his vision of modernizing exam systems. Cancellation of unnecessary exams, improvement of assessment and reporting systems, use of modern technologies are just few measures named that can help at making examinations better. At the same time, Vincent advised to avoid making “quick fixes” in reforming education and called for careful planning and preparation of a basis for change at least a few years before implementation.