The UAE is all set to roll out a standardized test to assess moral education nationwide, making it the first country to quantify how schools fare in shaping students’ values.
Senior officials behind the UAE Moral Education Programme introduced the Moral Education Standardized Assessment (Mesa) during the Middle East and Africa Association of Test Publishers (MEA-ATP) conference, which was held in Abu Dhabi from January 28 to 30.
Mesa will be implemented as a trial in around 70 schools in the UAE, covering 10,000 students from Grades 3, 5, 7 and 9. Pupils will be taking the computer-based test that combines knowledge recall and situational judgement questions.
“We are proud. Delivering assessment on a par with the world’s top international standardized tests, Mesa uses the latest advancements in psychometric testing and analysis to measure students’ understanding of the material and the curriculum’s effectiveness in changing their perceptions and behaviour,” said Mohammed Al Neaimi, director of the Education Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, the body that oversees the UAE Moral Education Programme.
It also looks into students’ knowledge, understanding and awareness of the importance of character and values.
“By introducing Mesa, the UAE Moral Education Programme has devised a solution which allows an understanding of the beneficial impact of the initiative on young people,” Al Neaimi said.
The team has partnered with internationally renowned testing organisation ACT Inc., which is known for the standardized exams.
“Mixed with the feedback we receive from educators, we are able to use the results to adjust the course, address emerging deviations, and devise ways to strengthen the delivery of moral education in schools,” Fikri said.
By introducing a standardized assessment of moral education, the UAE has taken the teaching of ethics to another level. When schools are supposed to be holistic institutions, it is expected of them to impart moral values explicitly or implicitly.
Source: Khaleej Times