Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa; Institute for Human Development


This paper reviews two large-scale assessments (LSAs) with reference to their purported con- tribution to improvement of education. Documentary analysis is used to review and analyse publicly ac- cessible documents, which describe and/or explain LSA practices in Sindh. Additionally, episodic data were collected through routine fieldwork with head teachers of primary and secondary schools who had participated in policy dialogue forums where LSAs were discussed. This provides rich contextual data with ground level perspectives. A fundamental question in the approach of LSAs that this paper considers is: does measurement of student performance, with no other supporting or triangulating data sources, allow us to judge the quality of education at a provincial or national level? In the context of Sindh, one of four provinces in Pakistan, with a population of well over 60 million, how valid are the findings of LSAs and what should be done to further strengthen the effort that now has near global uptake? Corollary to the above question is what has been the role of LSAs in promoting quality education in the classrooms. The paper has reviewed gaps in the practice and policy implications of current LSAs and argues for greater validation and critical use of LSAs to judge the current system of education. The paper also calls for further research, particularly systematic reviews and meta-analyses of LSAs.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Education & Social Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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