ERIC Number: ED382672
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Equity Issues in Public Examinations in Developing Countries. World Bank Technical Paper Number 272. Asia Technical Series.
Greaney, Vincent; Kellaghan, Thomas
Public examinations in developing countries play a critical role in the selection of students for participation in the educational system. The examinations tend to be highly academic, bearing little reference to the everyday lives of students, limited to paper-and-pencil tests, and geared toward discriminating among high achieving students. Because of the high stakes attached to examination performance, teachers teach to the examination with the result that inadequate opportunities to acquire relevant knowledge and skills are provided for students who will leave school at an early stage. Practices associated with examinations that may create inequities for some students include: (1) scoring practices; (2) the uses of culturally inappropriate questions; (3) the requirement that candidates pay fees; (4) private tutoring; (5) examination in a language with which students are not familiar; and (6) a variety of types of educational malpractice. The use of quota systems to deal with differences in performance associated with location, ethnicity, or language-group membership also creates inequalities for some students. The available evidence does not indicate that examinations create inequities between genders. Ranking schools on the basis of students' examination performance may not provide a fair assessment of the work of schools. (Contains 85 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Access to Education, Admission (School), Culture Fair Tests, Developing Nations, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Ethnic Groups, Foreign Countries, High Stakes Tests, Language Proficiency, National Competency Tests, Public Schools, Scoring, Sex Differences, Standardized Tests, Student Placement, Test Use, Testing Problems
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: World Bank, Washington, DC.