1st ICQN on Teaching and Learning & Network of African Learning Assessment (NALA) Joint Planning Meeting

15 June 2016 to 18 June 2016
Hotel Amaryllis, Saly Portudal

The first planning meeting of the Inter-Country Quality Node on Teaching and Learning (ICQN TL) and the Network for African Learning Assessment (NALA) took place in Saly Portudal, Senegal from 15th – 18th June, 2016. The Association for the Development of Education (ADEA) and the Senegal Ministry of Education jointly organised this USAID-funded meeting as a follow up to the launch of ICQN TL in Kigali in February 2016, led by the Rwanda Ministry of Education (MINEDUC). It also follows the final meeting of the Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF) in Livingstone, Zambia in February 2016 where ADEA took over the coordination and leadership of the African Learning Champions, renamed as NALA in Livingstone. The Saly planning meeting aimed to put in place relevant governing structures and to commence the initial steps of developing a strategic plan to guide the work of both the ICQN and NALA. 

The following deliverables were expected at the end of the workshop: 

  •  An integrated governing structure and clear lines of reporting for the ICQN and NALA. 
  •  An integrated 5 year Strategic Plan for the ICQN and NALA with a budgeted action plan and implementable activities marked by specific milestones. 
  •  Sharing of experiences by representatives of governments and regional bodies. 
  •  Completion of the handing over process from Brookings to ADEA on the coordination of NALA 

A diversity of education stakeholders from the Champion countries participated in the meeting, comprising representatives of African national and regional assessment networks; bilateral and multilateral development agencies; civil society organizations; non-governmental organizations (NGOs) specializing in the field of teaching, learning and assessments; and the private sector. In her opening speech read by Shem Bodo, the ADEA Executive Secretary called on the participants to consider in their discussions goal number 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is on education, and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25) that articulates the role of education in implementing Agenda 2063. The Director of INEADE, Mame Ibra Bâ, welcomed participants to Senegal on behalf of the Government and hoped that they would find the deliberations on this very important topic for Africa useful. In an effort to contextualise the major teaching and learning issues in Africa, various players made presentations and participants also visited two schools. 

Using theory of change process, the meeting agreed on the goal for the ICQN TL and NALA for the next 5 years as “A Critical Mass of Expertise in Teaching, Learning and Assessment Developed and Data Consistently Used to Improve Teaching and Learning.” Working in two groups, Francophone and Anglophone, participants identified five major priority areas: i) Stock taking of current country situations (baselines, situation analysis); ii) Developing a monitoring and evaluation framework; iii) Use of data for decision making; iv) Use of ICTs in learning assessments; and v) Creation of an African Institute of Learning Assessment (AILA). The meeting further developed activities to be implemented, with strategies, outputs, indicators and timelines. In addition to national governments, other potential sources of funding identified for this work includes USAID, UNICEF, the Ford Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, and the Global Partnership for Education. The private sector was identified as an important partner in supporting the collection of assessment data. The meeting concluded by requesting the ADEA Secretariat to table this report, and the agreed overarching framework for ICQN TL and NALA, to its Bureau of Ministers as an enabling mechanism while the ICQN and NALA countries were encouraged to market the framework to other countries and partners.