Implementation of SEACMEQ V study commenced with a working meeting from 7th to 12th October 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The working meeting was attended by SEACMEQ National Research Coordinators (NRC) and members of the SEACMEQ Research Committee (SRC). Two major achievements made from this meeting were resuscitating the SRC, and reviewing the study policy concerns, methodology, parameters, and data collection instruments. SEACMEQ’s fifth research project aims at collecting data to inform educational policy development. The study is designed to collect data on Grade/Standard/Primary 6 Reading, Mathematics and Health Knowledge tests; together with questionnaires and teacher tests that will provide background information on pupils/learners, schools, and teachers. Some interesting features of SEACMEQ V are the inclusion of items in Reading and Mathematics from past studies for linking purposes, and items on new Health Knowledge topics such as Personal Hygiene, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation, and Harmful Substances & Effects. In order to have a greater comparability of data across various large-scale assessment initiatives, SEACMEQ closely collaborates with Programme d'analyse des systemes educatifs de la CONFEMEN (PASEC), and International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).
Duration of SEACMEQ V Project
Due to the rigorous and scientific nature of all SEACMEQ studies, typical life span of a project; from inception/planning to publishing reports; is four (4) years. Therefore, SEACMEQ V project was planned to run from August 2018 to September 2022. Specifically, the main data collection was scheduled to occur from August to October 2020, while report writing and publishing were to be completed during April to September 2022.
After consultations with member Ministries to establish the impact of COVID-19 global pandemic on school calendars, and on SEACMEQ V planned activities, the Chairperson of the SEACMEQ Assembly of Ministers postponed main data collection for SEACMEQ V to August - October 2021. This, notwithstanding, significant variation in within-country COVID-19 disruptions created huge gaps among participating countries in implementing data collection. This resulted in a further revision of main data collection deadline to December 2022. Hence, SEACMEQ V implementation plan was consequentially shifted until 2024.
Twelve (12) out of sixteen (16) member Ministries of Education (75%) confirmed their active participation in SEACMEQ V study. These are Ministries of Education in: Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe. In line with the comradery conduct of the Consortium, the other four non-participating member Ministries (eSwatini, Lesotho, Tanzania (Mainland), and Zambia) were advised to still be involved in the project as observers.