St. Mary’s University attended an Online Higher Education Exit Exam meeting organized by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education on December 29, 2022 in the premises of the Ministry.
The meeting which was intended to discuss practical issues toward preparing for successful administration of the first Online Higher Education Exit Exam was opened by HE Dr Samuel Kifle, State Minister, Ministry of Education. In his opening remarks, he expressed his hope that the deliberations would come up with practical suggestions which will help the Ministry to make informed and pragmatic decisions to enable the administration of smooth, cost-effective and high standard exams online for all undergraduate prospective graduates.
Following the State Minister’s opening remarks, Ato Seid Mohammed from the Ministry briefed participants about the preparation activities carried out so far, and the activities awaiting stakeholders’ attention and prompt action. He also mentioned the Ministry’s expectations.
The Ministry plans to let examinees see their results after two minutes of completion of the exams, Ato Seid stated.
With regard to exam takers’ data, public higher education institutions should send their data to the Ministry while private higher education institutions should send their data to the Ethiopian Education and Training Authority, Ato Seid indicated. He underscored that the Ministry shall consider prospective graduates whose details are approved by the Authority to allow them to write exams.
A representative from Adma Science and Technology University shared their experiences of administering University Entrance Exams online for the last five years. According to the speaker, their platform has been proved to enable up to 10,000 exam takers to take exam at a time. Addis Ababa Science and Technology, Wolaita Sodo, Bahir Dar and St. Mary’s universities also briefly explained their experiences in online exam administration.
Dr Ebba Mijena, CEO of Academic Affairs, Ministry of Education, reiterated that about 250,000 students are expected to take the exam this year. He stated that this requires careful planning and preparation. With that remark, he opened the room for discussion. Accordingly, participants put forth their questions, suggestions and comments.
Among the core issues raised during the meeting were collecting complete and reliable data from all higher education institutions about prospective graduates and identifying available resources relevant to the exams administration. Although preliminary data were collected from higher education institutions, further refining is needed, it was suggested.Possible challenges which need to be well addressed before the exam dates were pin-pointed and suggestions were made to design mitigation strategies. Stakeholders including the Police, Ethio-telecom, and Ethiopian Electric Services should be brought on board soon to make this project a success, it was underscored.
It was declared that the platforms of Adama Science and Technology University and Addis Ababa Science and Technology University will be adapted to administer the national Online Higher Education Exit Exam of 2015EC. To this effect, a taskforce shall be set up, a guideline shall be developed, and an action plan shall be designed and will be communicated to participants of this meeting very soon, Dr Ebba noted. He also hinted that the technical people who attended this meeting could be members of the taskforce.
Finally, he concluded the meeting by reminding participants of the major discussion results and calling for concerted efforts toward the successful achievement of this national agendum.
In attendance were St. Mary’s University, Adama Science and Technology University, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Wolaita Sodo University, Bahir Dar University, and Education and Examination Service. St. Mary’s University was represented by the ICTDSU Director and the VP for Research and International Relations.