Symposium addresses learning difficulties, equips teachers to raise learners’ attainment |20 May 2022
Following the continuous poor performance of pupils, particularly in languages and mathematics compounded with the situation in secondary and post secondary where the population of students sitting for IGCSE and A level exams is low and performances over the years have not been to the expected level, the education ministry has decided to discuss the situation at national level.
This was through a first symposium under the theme ‘Working together to raise attainment for all learners’ that it organised yesterday at the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (SITE) auditorium. It was attended by teachers, parents and key education officials.
“We want more successes from all our students!,” Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin, said when launching the symposium.
Minister Valentin remarked that the chosen theme “explains our proactiveness in spearheading a new initiative for us to once and for all take the ‘bull by the horn’, so to speak and find solutions to our problems in a strategic and sustained manner”.
He also mentioned that our education system needs attainment leaders who should be in a position to evoke excellence in the teachers under their care and who should ultimately use assessment results to improve learning.
Minister Valentin acknowledged that this symposium is about building our assessment literacy and ensuring that teachers and leaders will use assessment results to ensure worthwhile learning outcomes.
He also shared his thoughts on attainment, noting that, “attainment is an individual’s passport to personal, social, cultural and economic opportunities. Raising attainment means improving life chances. Every sector of our education system has a part to play.”
Participants in the symposium discussed challenges, strategies and best practices in raising attainment and made recommendations to improve learners’ performances. They also raised the awareness of key partners on the need to work more collectively and collaboratively to improve attainment.
The symposium followed a week-long training session for attainment leaders and teachers led by a research director of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Dr Goran Lazendic. The aim of the training was to equip and build the capacity of assessment leaders and teachers on assessment strategies and the use of data to raise attainment.
Both the training and the symposium were conducted under the theme ‘Working Together to raise Attainment for All Learners’.
Dr Lazendic said the symposium is an effort to support the reforms that started with the introduction of the competency-based curriculum a few years back.
“The purpose of these reforms was to lift attainment of all the students. I think that this initiative is geared towards lifting this desire to increase the students’ performance from all parts of the education system and the community as well,” explained Dr Lazendic.
He went on to give an insightful presentation about the ‘growth to attainment’ in which he talked about the steps involved in improving attainment, the role of formative assessments in classrooms and the state of Seychelles’ educational affairs. His presentation was followed by questions from the participants. The symposium continued into late afternoon with different presentations, discussions by other schools leaders and participants.