Don tasks regulatory bodies on quality assurance in higher education systems

A professor of Education from University of Ibadan has urged  regulatory bodies to see educational evaluation as a veritable tool for quality assurance in higher education systems.

Adams Onuka, a professor of Educational Evaluation and Management Education, made the call while delivering a lecture in Ibadan.

Onuka was speaking on Thursday at the 495th inaugural lecture entitled ‘Evaluate, Learn, Share and Innovate’ on behalf of the Institute of Education.

He stressed that to develop in every sphere of human lives, it was important to evaluate, learn, share and innovate so as to do things in better ways for better future output and the consequent outcome. 

“We also know that learning is life-long and life-wide, and learning is enhanced by evaluation more than anything else,” Onuka said.

The don urged the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), to as a matter of policy incorporate evaluation into their accreditation and quality assurance systems.

“They should engage evaluators in the construction and validation of instruments for accreditation of their various programmes.

“That teacher education and indeed all education programmes should of compulsion include more courses in evaluation and research in their curricula to equip potential teachers with necessary knowledge and skills in evaluation and research.

“This will prepare them for the use of both skills to better the teaching and learning processes, since it has been proven in our presentation that research and evaluation embedded in teaching engender greater learning outcomes,” he said.

The educational evaluation expert also urged examining bodies to cooperate with institutions where educational evaluation is taught for the training and retraining of their staff members for greater efficiency and effectiveness.

He noted that it would engender ‘Town and Gown’ partnership to be established between the institutions and examining systems in the country and indeed in the sub-region, in the interim, and later expanded to regional level for synergy.

Onuka also called for the upgrading of the International Centre for Educational Evaluation to a full-fledged Department in the Institute, with programmes in Monitoring and Evaluation, Programme Evaluation, Psychometrics/Student Achievement or Large scale assessment.

“While the rest of the Institute should be designated as Department of  Educational Research and Policy Studies as well as carries out institutional evaluation and research plus the provision of educational services, which are all within its original mandate. 

“That School-Based Assessment (SBA) in its various forms should be regularly administered on learners, and as a matter of fact, assessment as learning and assessment for learning, be incorporated into the teaching and learning interactions to engender improved learning outcomes. 

“The use of SBA gives the learners hands-on experiences and prepares them for external assessment, high-stakes examination and also equips them against examination malpractice, since they will thereby become less examination-phobic and more hard-working.

“That the Institute should be made a National Centre for Excellence in Evaluation in Nigeria and possibly for the whole of the West African Sub-Region,”

Onuka called on Nigeria and Nigerians to give high premium to evaluation and education in order to enhance national development. 

According to him, good education plus institutionalized evaluation will reduce corruption and facilitate rapid national development.