The First READ Global Conference, held in Moscow from September 30 – October 2, 2009, brought together high-level government officials, education specialists, academia, and non-government organizations from the 7 READ countries, including Angola, Ethiopia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Zambia, as well as from Russia and the World Bank. The conference marked an important milestone for the READ program, as the first occasion for the 7 READ countries to interact with each other, the donor, and international experts. The three-day agenda was designed to:
- Highlight the fundamental message of going beyond access and completion and the importance of learning;
- Share the experience of other countries with assessments; and
- Hear from READ countries as to their aims, plans, and challenges on the road to higher learning outcomes.
Key Messages from the Conference:
- When children learn, nations prosper — countries cannot afford to postpone national priority for learning
- Evidence — obtained through regular assessments of student learning — and use of that evidence, is vital
- Developing a system of assessment is important, i.e., creating an enabling environment, ensuring alignment between assessment and other components of the education system, and paying attention to the technical quality of the instruments used to measure student learning.