Tajikistan, Dushanbe. December 26, 2013 – An official inauguration of the National Testing Center by the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon took place on December 20, 2013 in Dushanbe. The ceremony involved representatives from the Government of Tajikistan, including the Executive Office of the President, and development partners, including the World Bank and Open Society Institute-Assistance Foundation in Tajikistan.
The National Testing Center (NTC) was established by the Government of Tajikistan in 2008 as a first step in establishing a national education assessment system, with the goal of contributing to improved access to and quality of education in the country.
The World Bank, as one of Tajikistan’s longstanding partners in education, has been supporting the NTC since 2009 through its two projects. The Russia-financed Russia Education Aid for Development Project (READ), administered by the World Bank, provided US$4.1 million to build the institutional capacity of the National Testing Center, including in the area of introducing the Unified University Entrance Examinations. The International Development Association (IDA) supported the Education Modernization Project with a US$2 million grant for the construction of the NTC building and provision of furniture and equipment.
The Open Society Foundation provided US$1.5 million for capacity building of the national experts and the NTC staff in the assessment area and the development and delivery of a public relations and communications strategy.
“Fair and transparent assessments in Tajikistan will provide key information to policy makers and citizens on what children are learning in school, and will also help identify areas for improvement,” said Marsha Olive, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “The National Testing Center is one of the key projects in our engagement in the education sector in Tajikistan, because we all agree that improved education is fundamental to alleviating poverty and improving economic competitiveness.”
The NTC is expected to administer reliable and valid forms of student learning assessment including: university admission tests (the Unified University Entrance Examinations), summative assessments at selected grade levels, and large-scale national and international assessments.
The active portfolio of the World Bank in Tajikistan currently consists of 12 projects with a net commitment of US$205.4 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in agriculture and rural development (40 percent), followed by water and sanitation (15 percent), human development (14 percent), energy (13 percent), the public sector (12 percent), and the private sector (6 percent).