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Global ETEC meet to be held virtually in October 2020
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 09 - 2020

The Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC), in partnership with the G20 Saudi Secretariat, is organizing the "International Conference on Education and Training Evaluation: Improving Learning Outcomes and Supporting Economic Growth," which will be held virtually on Oct. 14-15, 2020, under the aegis of Dr. Ahmed Alessa, chairman of the ETEC Board of Directors.
The two-day conference will include keynote speeches and thematic sessions. The conference will be preceded by 21 specialized professional development workshops, conducted over 4 days. More than 50 local, regional, and international pioneering experts, specialists, and academics will present in the conference and workshops. This conference will take place as part of the G20 International Conferences Program honoring the G20 Saudi Presidency Year, 2020.
Dr. Husam Zaman, ETEC president, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a new reality on all education and training institutions, pushing them to react differently and tackle new challenges at local and international levels alike.
Dr. Zaman stated, "The linkage to the G20 Summit is certainly to add value and significance to the conference. It is an indication that education and training are important pillars for economic development in Saudi Arabia and worldwide."
Dr. Zaman also added, "Evaluation contributes greatly towards improving performance and assures quality of education and training systems. The conference will be based on evidence and practices of evaluation to highlight policy options that can optimize immediate leaning outcomes and efficiently match them to long-term economic and social development needs."
The ETEC has collaborated with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to plan for the conference program. It covers important themes such as implementing school performance inspection and evaluation, evaluating and accrediting technical and vocational education and training programs, evaluating higher education learning outcomes, and utilizing the data collected by the aforementioned processes for reporting and further research.
The conference will address the effects of education quality on economic growth, and policies of education reform, as well as addressing the national initiatives and strategies to improve the quality of education and training. With the high level participation expected from education and training officials and policy makers, employers, and researchers, the conference will help accelerate dialogue on actions needed to enhance efficiency of education and training systems.
A number of influential international experts and specialists will be presenting at the conference, including representatives from: the OECD, The World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNESCO, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, the Scottish Education Department and evaluation authority, the evaluation authority in the Netherlands, Stanford University in the US, the University of Porto in Portugal, and Zayed University in the UAE, as well as experts from relevant ministries and authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The conference will be preceded by 21 professional development workshops on evaluation and assessment tools, standards, and advanced data analysis, to be presented by local and international specialists through ETEC-affiliated centers and directorates. The National Center for Assessment (Qiyas) will offer workshops to train participants on assessment, data analysis, and psychometric modeling.
The National Center for Academic Accreditation and Evaluation (NCAAA) will conduct workshops on implementing accreditation standards in higher education, how to apply rubrics, and the National Qualifications Framework. The National Center for School Evaluation and Excellence (NCSEE) will organize workshops on collecting and analyzing evaluation data, school evaluation standards, school self-evaluation, and how to evaluate a school's progress.
The National Center for Training Evaluation and Accreditation (MASAR) will hold a workshop on developing professional qualifications. Last but not least, the ETEC General Directorate of Research and Innovation will host workshops for professionals, researchers and graduate students on how to analyze and interpret assessment data, how to utilize data from national and international evaluation studies, appropriate statistical software, and advanced statistical methods.
These high quality workshops are designed to advance education and training evaluation activities and maximize their impact.
Saudi Arabia leads the G20 this year under the theme of "Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All," as the G20 will focus on three major aims: empowering people by unleashing opportunities for all, safeguarding the planet by fostering collective efforts to protect our global common resources, and shaping new frontiers by adopting bold, long-term strategies to utilize and share the benefits of innovation in all areas in which international cooperation is vital to face ongoing and emerging challenges. — SG

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