Higher education is widely recognized as an important key to economic advancement. In many developing countries, however, university entrance examinations have been tainted by bribery and fraud. Resulting distortions reduce the practical social benefits from educational investment, as well as general public confidence in the system.
A major role of the National Testing Center (NTC) in Tajikistan will be to establish and conduct a fair and transparent selection mechanism. In addition to preventing overt forms of corruption, a new NTC will have to deal with complex questions such as:
- How much control should government exert over the university
- admission process and how much should be left to the individual higherlevel institutions?
- What kinds of tests are most appropriate to select qualified students?
- How can tests promote critical thinking and reasoning as well as factual knowledge?
- How can the objectivity, reliability, validity, and equity of the tests be ensured?
This study is designed to provide the NTC with baseline information about
(a) the nature and scope of corruption in the education sector;
(b) the potential impact of national testing on secondary school education; and
(c) measures for achieving better equity in access to quality schooling.