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Why PISA is an important milestone for education in Belarus

Tigran Shmis's picture
Also available in: Русский

When students’ skills and knowledge are measured internationally, some countries get a big surprise – especially countries considered to have top-quality education. Take Germany, for example.

Germany’s first PISA results, in 2000, revealed low performance among students compared to their peers in other countries – this was called the “PISA shock”. Fortunately, this outcome triggered large-scale education reforms in Germany, leading to greatly improved PISA performance.

On the other hand, PISA results are sometimes a pleasant surprise. Take for example the high performance in 2012 of Vietnam – a country with low per capita income but, apparently, a very efficient education system.

Around the world, interest in measuring the real learning outcomes of school students has been on the increase. The number of countries participating in the PISA study, managed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), grew from 32 in 2000 to 79 in 2018.

This year, Belarus participated in the PISA assessment for the first time, with support from the Belarus Education Modernization Project, which is financed by the World Bank.

Hackathons and mobile apps: developing innovative responses to sexual violence in Kyrgyzstan

American University of Central Asia - Hackathon Team Leaders's picture

As we take part in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign over the coming weeks, we couldn’t be more excited about sharing an update than this one.

We recently brought a team of technologically savvy students together and worked hard for two days with very little sleep to develop an application to respond to sexual violence. The hard work paid off when our team was awarded first place in a Hackathon at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA).

Moldova – Ce urmează?

Alex Kremer's picture
Also available in: English | Русский
Road menders in MoldovaDupă o pauză de doi ani, Banca Mondială a oferit Republicii Moldova suportul bugetar atât de necesar în noiembrie 2016. Această plată de 45 milioane de dolari SUA a reflectat încrederea noastră, că Guvernul și Banca Națională gestionau, într-un final, circumstanțele care au determinat, prin intermediul unei fraude scandaloase, pierderea a unei optimi din venitul anual al Republicii Moldova.

Totuși, asistența oferită Republicii Moldova pentru stabilizarea crizei economice reprezintă doar debutul creșterii economiei și al îmbunătățirii vieții oamenilor. Deci, unde ar trebui să fie concentrate acum eforturile?

On the road in Georgia – through past, present and future

Mercy Tembon's picture
A handmade map of Georgia

What an experience! It started bright and early on a Thursday morning as we boarded the car in the basement of the Word Bank office in Tbilisi and set off for a two-day visit to the Imereti region in the west of Georgia.

The first stop along our route was the Gelati Monastic Complex – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – which is an impressive conservation and restoration project supported through the World Bank’s Second Regional Development Project (RDP), the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation and the State Municipal Development Fund of Georgia. Our contribution is to help build infrastructure around the monastic complex that will facilitate tourist access to this historical site, and by consequence help further develop the local economy.

Moldova – What’s next?

Alex Kremer's picture
Also available in: Русский | Română
Road menders in MoldovaAfter a two-year hiatus, the World Bank provided much-needed budget support to Moldova in November 2016. That disbursement of $45 million reflected our confidence that the Government and the National Bank were at last dealing with the conditions that had previously lost – in a scandalous fraud – one eight of Moldova’s yearly income.

Helping Moldova to stabilize an economic crisis, however, is only the beginning of growing the economy and improving people’s lives. So, where should we focus our efforts now?

Armenia can reach for the stars – with the right skills!

Laura Bailey's picture
Also available in: Հայերեն

April 7th is an Armenian national holiday celebrating motherhood and beauty. And it may not surprise you that, since it comes one short month after International Women’s Day, we tend to combine the two events into a 30-day celebration of opportunity.

We get a lot of oversees movies here in Armenia – conveniently located at geographic and cultural crossroads – so l discovered a charming film called Hidden Figures which has captured a lot of interest in this very scientifically-minded country. It is an inspiring story with a lesson that translates easily here – that if all Armenian students and workers are empowered with skills, opportunity, and family and community support, they too could reach for the stars!

Կանայք կարևոր են. Հայաստանում ժողովրդագրական մարտահրավերը վերափոխելով հնարավորության

Laura Bailey's picture
Also available in: English
«Ժամանակը չես կանգնեցնի», - ասում է ասացվածքը (և երգը): Իսկապես, բնության օրենքները թելադրում են, որ մարդիկ և հասարակությունները ծերանում և ծերանում են՝ դուր է գալիս մեզ, թե ոչ:

Բայց թույլ տվեք հարց տալ. արդյո՞ք ծերացող հասարակությունները դատապարտված են լճացման կամ կենսամակարդակի անկման: Ոմանք միգուցե հավատան, որ այդպես է, սակայն կպնդեի, որ ծերացումից բխող ժողովրդագրական փոփոխվող իրողություններին հնարավոր է դիմակայել հարմարվելու համարձակ վարքագծով:

Ајде да го вклучиме светлото! ПИСА тестирањето и Македонија

Bojana Naceva's picture
Also available in: English | Русский

Во 2015 година, повеќе од половина милион ученици – претставници на 28 милиони ученици на 15-годишна возраст од 72 земји и економии – учествуваа во Програмата за меѓународно оценување на учениците на ОЕЦД (ПИСА) тестот. Учениците беа оценувани во наука, математика, читање, соработка при решавање проблеми и финансиска писменост. ПИСА е највлијателиот механизам за  меѓународна проценка, кој обезбедува вредни податоци, дава можност да се обележат достигнувањата на земјите, идентификува предности и слабости, помага во подготовка на ефиксни политики. Истовремено, има единствена можност да создаде критика, поттикне критицизам, иницира обвинување и засрамување, покрене оставки на министри за образование и да стимулира сериозни национални дебати поврзани со можностите за напредок.

Let’s turn the lights on! The PISA test and FYR Macedonia

Bojana Naceva's picture

In 2015, over half a million students—representing 28 million 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies—took the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test. The Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia has participated in international large scale assessments since 1999.

Debates about the country’s performance have always focused on a comparison with other counties’ mean scores; and, after a few days, everyone - including the education authorities – have continued with business as usual.  The available data was rarely used to underpin policy decisions or shape reforms.

The system has operated in the dark for decades.Addressing these challenges requires the mobilization of all available expertise in the country, regardless of political or ethnic affiliation. The time is now, tomorrow may be too late.

Improving fairness, opportunity and empowerment: A view from the South Caucasus

Genevieve Boyreau's picture
Also available in: Русский
I was quite intrigued by the findings of the latest Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, with its special focus on "Polarization and Populism". As Program Leader for the South Caucasus region, covering Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, I was particularly interested in the fact that these three countries report the highest levels of life and job dissatisfaction, despite declining disparities and overall income improvement in the region (in Georgia, for instance). Indeed, using the World Bank’s "twin goal” metrics, the South Caucasus region has been performing reasonably well.