with its long-time presence in Latin America and Africa, AVSI was a prime protagonist during the annual Comparative and International education society (CIES) conference
Later in the week, AVSI-USA sponsored a panel discussion on “Measuring the Unmeasurable Factors that Lead Youth to Success in Uganda”, bringing together speakers from the Ugandan Ministry of Education, USAID, Educate, FHI360 and AVSI’s partner in education in Uganda, the Luigi Giussani Institute for Higher Education (LGIHE).
Audience members squeezed in to a crowded room to learn from the experience and challenges of practitioners actually working in the field.
Nancy Taggart, Senior Youth and Workforce Advisor at USAID, affirmed USAID’s commitment to understanding and promoting the transferrable skills that youth need to succeed in the workforce today and in the future. She encouraged initiatives like the two presented in this panel because they are pushing the boundaries of the “assessment frontier” of youth focused soft skills.
John Mitana of LGIHE presented results of a study which surveyed employers, secondary school teachers, students in Kampala. The study is part of a 3-year project to integrate soft-skills and higher order thinking capacities into the Ugandan education system and to influence the high-stakes testing environment. The project is funded by Echidna Giving of Silicon Valley as part of the PSIPSE initiative.
Daniel Odongo, Director of the Uganda NationalExaminations Board (UNEB), an office within the Ministry of Education, also participated on the panel. Mr. Odongo spoke about the working relationship with LGIHE and of the challenges and opportunities the current moment offers.
Carina Omeova of FHI360 and Meghan Mahoney of Educate! also presented on the soft skills assessment tool developed by FHI360 and tested by Educate! in Ugandan secondary schools.