#Hands Off EIT
External Independent Testing (EIT) is one of the most successful reforms implemented to prevent corruption and ensure level playing field for all university applicants. EIT must be preserved and taken further.
On June 12, the government canceled a pilot run of the EIT. As a result, the information appeared in the media that in view of pandemic, the EIT may be abolished.
EIT is one of the most successful reforms aimed to prevent corruption and ensure level playing field for all university applicants. Over last 12 years, the External Independent Testing has helped millions of young people to enter universities without corruption.
Opinion polls show that the EIT is supported by an overwhelming majority: 73% of general population supports it, according to Omnibus Info Sapiens 2019, and 75% of those who personally took the EIT, according to Rating Group.
The threat of abolition of the External Independent Testing – 2020 forced many educators, parents, students, politicians and civic activists to stand up to defend it. Despite some minor imperfections of the EIT and the need to further improve its format, technology and task quality, as well as ensure its compliance with the New Ukrainian School doctrine, most citizens are convinced the EIT must be continued.
As one of the initiators of the EIT reform, the International Renaissance Foundation is extremely concerned about the debate over possible abolition of independent testing. We are convinced that the right to quality education and fair admission shall be guaranteed to all university applicants as a fundamental and inalienable right. We cannot have Ukraine backsliding to the old system, when the admission could be decided not by the knowledge of applicants, but by the thickness of their parents’ wallets.
We are convinced that today all conditions are in place in Ukraine to hold EIT in a COVID-19 compliant fashion. While the public transport, restaurants, gyms and shopping malls are working, the abolition or postponement of the EIT can only be interpreted as a deliberate sabotage of one of the most successful reforms since Ukraine’s independence.
We recognize the need to reform the external independent testing, to expand and improve it. That is why the International Renaissance Foundation supports projects in this area, in particular, the creation of “Strategy for Development of Educational Evaluation in Ukraine until 2030”, participation in international scientific conferences and internships for employees of the Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment and other projects. We are convinced that the gradual evolutionary transformation of the External Independent Testing into a system that is able to fully meet the challenges of the present day should become a key priority for both educators’ NGOs and expert organizations, as well as the Government.
We also draw attention to the need to properly ensure the participation in the External Independent Testing of potential university applicants from the TOT of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The International Renaissance Foundation stood at the origins of the External Independent Testing in the early 2000s and is ready to assist in its protection and development as a tool for impartial, objective, independent and fair evaluation of student knowledge, as well as ensuring level playing field, fair and corruption free university admission process for all students in Ukraine.
External Independent Testing must be taken further and expanded.