The Chilean Experiment in Education

In this bite, we discuss the transformational journey of the Chilean Education system - SIMCE.

Introduced in 1988, SIMCE (Sistema de Medicion de Calidad la Educacion) is the learning outcome assessment system for the nation of Chile in South America. SIMCE covers all schools, both public and privately managed. It is a census-based assessment system that allows for the generation of performance reports for individual students as well as schools. Seems awesome, right?

Just think, how easy it would be if while choosing a budget school in India, the parent can go online, check the school’s performance report and then decide. This is what Chile is doing precisely.

SIMCE groups schools by the socio-economic background that their students come from. This results in fairness in terms of schools quality when two schools are compared. For example, you wouldn’t want to compare a school that charges 5000/month in fees with a school that charges 500/month in fees.

That’s not it, when comparing, SIMCE also takes into account variables like the vulnerability of students home, mother’s schooling, geographic location, and other aspects that are very hard to measure. This is why at least 22,500 test supervisors and external administrators are involved in the field operations.

The data collected is used in two ways. First, it is made public to build parent awareness. And second, being ranked at the bottom of the scale for over four years can result in the loss of recognition for the school.

These measures have brought a phase in the Chilean Education system where trust of parents and quality of education are increasing with every passing year. Can this system work in a country like India? The compulsion of using NCERT books is a step in this direction. But, what matters is the execution. So, time will tell.

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