Arab News – Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar has said the Kingdom invests over one-fourth of its budget in education, which is “crucial to the development of society, economy and civilization.”
During his address at the opening session of the second international conference on assessment and evaluation here on Tuesday night, he lauded the Kingdom’s achievements in different fields, including education.
The prince attributed this to the unlimited support from the wise leadership of the country, particularly Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
The opening session was attended, among others, by Prince Faisal bin Abdullah Al-Mishari, president of the National Center for Assessment in Higher Education (Qiyas), which organized the conference, and Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakhil.
In his address, the Qiyas president said, “The 15-year-old center has an enormously challenging job that focuses on human assessment and measurement, something which looks like we’re putting doubts on capabilities and abilities,” he said.
“Besides, it is a very sensitive job to turn insensible attributes into meaningful features. In this respect, the center has developed over 86 different tests used by around 12 million examinees. This second conference comes within the mandate of the center this year, tackling learning outcomes,” he added.
The governor honored a number of Qiyas award winners, including prominent American assessment expert, Professor George Engelhard, Jr. He won the award for excellence in research and development (outstanding scholarly work branch) for the year 2015, for his book titled “Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Science.”
The governor also honored 20 Saudi and expatriate students, half of them boys, and 10 schools who excelled in the Qiyas tests last year.
The three-day conference, which will end on Thursday, is discussing many topics with Saudi and international speakers, including 10 from the US and one from the UK.
The topics include benefits of assessing learning outcomes, local and international issues and trends, experience in assessing learning outcomes and applications of learning outcomes.