Saudi students are preparing to take the PISA test, an international performance metric conducted by the OECD to measure educational levels in 15-year-olds around the world.
The test will be completed virtually by 600,000 students from 80 countries.
It is the second time that the test will be conducted in the Kingdom after the initial launch in 2018.
From May 29 to 30, the PISA will be offered electronically in general education classrooms, focusing on computing and linguistic abilities.
The PISA is a set of studies administered every three years to a random sample of students at the target age to assess their abilities in reading, science and mathematics.
The application of the PISA in the Kingdom falls within the framework of the efforts of the Ministry of Education to improve graduates in the educational process. The results of the test will provide useful indicators to improve the Kingdom’s education system.
Prof. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Juhaimi, president of the National Institute for Educational Professional Development, said that the electronic professional development program for mathematics, science and reading for teachers will improve the skills of PISA students. The program allows educators to transfer their experience to students using more influential methods.
Al-Juhaimi told Arab News that one of the program’s most important features is its “great flexibility,” since teachers can attend the program at any time and from any location.
He added that the program’s training modules are designed to help teachers acquire targeted skills in mathematics, reading, and natural sciences to improve their performance, which reflects on the level of students and contributes to supporting student learning outcomes.
The OECD administers the PISA exam every three years. The Saudi Ministry of Education will oversee the test.
Al-Juhaimi said that e-training is an opportunity for teachers in the targeted disciplines because it is self-motivated, not limited by place or time, and is available to any teacher of the three subjects.
Furthermore, teachers are provided three chances to do unit-related assessments and an overall review of the program based on their specialist sector to assist self-learning.
Al-Juhaimi said that the regulations of NIEPD, issued in November 2019, support the professionalization of public education and raise the level of educational practices in the Kingdom.
However, he said that there are numerous challenges confronting mathematics and science education. These include the need to modernize standards and identify the training needs of each specialty.
Al-Juhaimi added that one of the most important enablers for teacher development is the integration of training into the school curricula. Another enabler is linking the school curricula with teacher training programs within the school, and linking professional development with performance evaluation as well as promotions to ensure demand. Supporting electronic training, encouraging self-evaluation and strengthening professional learning communities for teachers is also important, he said.
He said that the institute’s projects for teacher development include establishing scientific forums, developing the workforce, training school leaders and launching programs for educational professional development practitioner