Government prepares measures to improve and enhance the external testing

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Government of Republic of Macedonia prepares measures that aim to improve and promote the concept of external testing, said Deputy Education Minister Spiro Ristovski.

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These days after the former vice president of SDSM Zoran Jovanovski gave support for external testing and suggestions for improvements, the Deputy Minister Ristovski noted that were accept all proposals that are aimed at improving or upgrading any of any reform concerning educational process in the Republic of Macedonia.

-In the past few weeks we have been witness of the statement from Mr. Jovanovski from SDSM related to the promotion of external testing. In this occasion I would like to emphasize the fact that we, as Government and Ministry have always been dedicated and in a way with joy we accepted all proposals that are aimed at improving or upgrading of any of reforms concerning educational processes in Macedonia. In that context and related to the reform of external testing, I would like to emphasize that we as Government are willing to accept constructive suggestions for improving the overall process and system of external testing in order to improve the knowledge of the students and in order to facilitate their easier mastering the entire content and improve success. I use this opportunity to emphasize that we as a line Ministry and the Government expect in the coming period to come up with some suggestions. We have already prepared about 6-7 proposals by which we plan to upgrade and improve the process of external testing, and in part I must also stress that it overlaps with proposals highlighted by the Social Democratic Union memebr, said Ristovski.

He added that it would be communicated in the public all proposals by the Ministry and the Government and expressed confidence that they would be aimed at increasing the quality and the complete and correct implementation of external testing.

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Ex -vice president of SDSM in the monthly article for “Economics and Business” wrote that the desired effects of external testing were partially realized.

-I think it is fair to say that the desired effects have been partly achieved. What can be done now? I suggest three steps that are very simple, wrote Jovanovski.

First, Jovanovski believes should be resolved the issue of textbooks. He proposed for every subject for which testing is carried out externally to have one and no more books. Thus, he said, will be avoided the situation the answer to question from external testing to be not in one, but the other book on the same subject.

– Thus, remains to the competent authorities to determine the operational solution whether a book will come with choice of books reported on the tender or the authorities will invite the best teaching, according to predetermined criteria, and will enable them to prepare new textbook. I vote for the second approach, where Vlachs will keep copyright and will be easy to make amendments to the textbook. Of course, of crucial important is the content of the textbook i.e. to match the world’s best experience, to be conceptually oriented, not only sum of huge amount of information, sometimes not very well connected, said Jovanovski.

Secondly, he added, should be amended the dynamic of testing. It should not be test at the end of the school year and review of complete teaching material. Testing should be carried out four times a year at the end of each quarter with the material from the previous quarter.

Third, he concluded, should be modified the approach to testing. This according to him is essentially the most important step.

– We need to move from the permanent system of memorizing and reproducing the myriad of details to a system where question from the external testing will focus on understanding the key concepts of the material. This means that at the external testing would not be known the list of possible questions in advance. Instead of looking who has answered all the questions from the list of possible questions, the student will have to try to understand the essential concepts that are learnt. This would be qualitative move forward in education process, said Jovanovski.