For NEAS to be established as a student assessment system on par with international standards, several key steps towards institutional strengthening, capacity building and improvement in technical quality and processes should be undertaken.
- Further investment in the technical proficiency of key staff is required, in both specialized skills (item writing, sampling, test procedures) and core expertise (report writing, comparative analysis).
- This will facilitate improvements in test and instrument design, and will support robust research and analysis. Extending the dissemination of results and findings to primary stakeholders, particularly teacher trainers, textbook developers and policy makers is important.
- Deeper understanding of the assessment process and stronger linkages between assessment systems and other education sub-departments (such as teacher professional development centers, examination units, curriculum wing, and textbook development) will aid better informed and strategic use of assessment information for improvements in student learning.
The longer term sustainability of NEAS will depend not only its establishment as an autonomous body and but also the degree of integration between the federal and regional assessment centers so that cross learning and implementation of best practice is facilitated. With continuous improvements in test instruments and key technical skills, NEAS will be able to track overall system efficiency as well as individual student performance, and identify key areas for intervention that will lead to improvement of the quality and effectiveness of the education system.