ASER South Asia, the hub of the People’s Learning Action (PAL) network composed of ASER Bangladesh, ASER India, ASER Nepal, and ASER Pakistan, hosted a web seminar on “Understanding Basic Computing Power: South Asia’s View on ICAN (A New Global Tool)” meeting. Monday, August 10, 2020.
Panelists of the webinar include Asif Saleh, Executive Director of Bangladesh BRAC; Rukmini Banerji, Chief Executive Officer of Pratham; Shehzad Jeeva, Chairman, Pakistan Inter-Chairman Committee (IBCC); and Marguerite Clarke, Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank in New Delhi. Ramya Vivekandan, the senior education expert of Global Education Cooperation (GPE), moderated the discussion.
South Asia is the only region that has not yet been jointly assessed. Therefore, the webinar aims to advocate a universal regional tool that can be used in various situations (schools, homes, refugee camps, etc.) and is especially important in the post-COVID era, because when we see learning losses and fairness gaps increase The bigger the time comes.
The webinar first introduced the International General Arithmetic Assessment (ICAN) report and explained the citizen-led assessment (CLA) method and its significance for the global South. The webinar provided simultaneous interpretation in Urdu, Bangla, Nepali and Hindi to facilitate participants in South Asia to listen to the discussion in their respective languages.
Marguerite Clarke of the World Bank talked about how citizen-led evaluation is liberating and more transparent on many levels. She said: “ICAN is a citizen-led assessment of people, people and people – with citizen participation, it helps empower them and truly understand data.” Clark hopes all children in the area, no matter where they live Or family members can play their full potential.
Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham India, said: “The simplicity of the tool, the possibility of doing it with so many children, is a step we consider learning for everyone,” he added: “This is not only ICAN, but we can And we will.”
Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh, emphasized the importance of a universal assessment tool for South Asia, while also emphasizing the need to involve the community and parents in discussions about quality education. He further said: “The ICAN tool can not only help us evaluate children’s academic performance in school, but also assess their children’s academic performance outside school. This is very important and it helps parents and the community to participate.”
IBCC Pakistan Chairman Shehzad Jeeva said that because ICAN offers multiple languages and is easy to understand, it has become an important tool to help evaluate children more effectively. He said: “We have eliminated the pass/fail system and now focus more on school-based assessments.” ASER Pakistan is the only organization that assesses the learning and numeracy abilities of Pakistani children; its findings broaden the urgency of learning. Vision.
Baela Raza Jamil, CEO of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), said in the concluding remarks that ICAN is a dream come true, and it must be a gift from southerners to the world, and all participants hope that this dialogue will be able to Go on, especially from the perspective of South Asia, and give every child an equal opportunity to learn.
ICAN is an open-source, powerful and easy-to-use tool that can evaluate basic computing power and is available in 11 languages. For South Asian contexts, the tool provides Urdu, Hindi, Nepali and Bengali as well as English. As the world strives to define the “new normal” after COVID-19 is defined, tools like ICAN can provide fast, cost-effective, and easily scalable mechanisms that can help understand how to best support children’s learning.
Under the impetus of the non-governmental organization Pratham, the ASER measurement method originating from India resonated in the global south in 2005. During these 15 years, organizations in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Mozambique, Botswana) adopted and revised the guidelines; the United States (Mexico and Nicaragua); and Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal) . In 2015, these organizations came together to establish the PAL Network to advance our common agenda to ensure that all children have at least basic reading and arithmetic skills. Together, PAL network members have covered and evaluated more than one million children.
Today, the importance of measuring basic reading and numeracy skills in the early stages has been widely recognized and has been reflected in indicator 4.1.1(a) of the Global Education Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4). However, due to a lack of data, tracking the progress towards this goal was hindered. In 2018, PAL Network members faced the challenge of developing a common evaluation model and achieved results in the form of ICAN, which can generate comparable data on the basic skills of early childhood.