The policy roundtable ‘Do Children in Pakistan Learn Anything at all? The What, How, and For Whom of Assessments’, was organized on December 10, 2019, by the LUMS Syed Ahsan Ali & Syed Maratib Ali School of Education (SOE), the World Bank, and the Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP).
The event comprised participants from the World Bank, including Jaime Saavedra (Global Director, Education), Koen Geven (Economist), Tazeen Fasih (Lead Economist), Diego Luna (Education Specialist), Ezequiel Molina (Economist), and Neelam Ejaz (Analyst). Notable personnel from the public sector also attended the event, including Abdal Mufti (Head of Research and Policy Unit, PMIU), Ahmad Rajwana (Program Director, PMIU), Aasiya Khurram Agha (Adviser to Education Minister, Punjab), Saad Khan (Strategic Consultant, Minister’s Reform Unit), Sajid Zafar Dal (Special Secretary, Punjab Higher Education Department). From the private sector, Riaz Ahmed Kamlani (Executive Vice President, The Citizens Foundation), Lawrence Burke (Chief Education Adviser, Beaconhouse School System), Maroof A. Syed (CEO, CERP), Razia Fakir Mohammad (Assistant Professor, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development), Fida Hussain Chang (Assistant Professor, IBA Sukkur), Irfan Muzaffar (Team Leader, Cambridge Education), Sahar Saeed (Deputy Director Research, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi) and Talha Munir Khan (CEO, Knowledge Platform) were in attendance, among others.
The roundtable proceedings were structured into three segments. The first session, led by Dr. Tahir Andrabi (Dean, SOE) focused on the conceptual framework around the ‘what, how, and for whom’ of assessments, with reference to Pakistan’s experience.
The second session, led by Jaime Saavedra and Koen Geven of the World Bank, focused on the lessons learned from Pakistan’s experience with existing assessments as well as insights from global efforts towards the development of effective assessment systems.
As the current Punjab government policy regarding PEC is now in the process of revision and reform, this roundtable came at an opportune time for academics, experts, and practitioners to gather and review the existing stock of knowledge and information on the assessment experience in Pakistan, aimed towards conceptualizing challenges and appropriate solutions in the redesign and implementation of the newly introduced Assessment Policy Framework in Punjab.