On Monday, May 11th, 2009, a regional seminar hosted at El Emir Khaled High School of Arzew, Oran, and organized by Mr. Mustapha Louznadji, Inspector of National Education in Algeria. There were 45 Teachers of English from different schools, 10 middle school Inspectors and 06 Inspectors of National Education.
The meeting aimed to study and assess the preliminary Examiner’s Guide that has been designed by a group of 10 teachers from different schools in Oran. Since their involvement in the project, the team members have been working in collaboration from October 2008 till May 2009 under the supervision of Mr. Louznadji.
The seminar started with the national anthem at the opening conference, and then the Inspector delivered his agenda explaining the aim of the Examiner’s Guide. After giving an overview of the project and expressing his expectations from the participants to give their feedback that would help to improve the guide, Mr Louznadji invited one of the team members, to give an interactive presentation of the chapters in the guide.
After that the participants moved to the school library to join their groups for the workshop. Each group was composed of a team member, an inspector and a number of teachers; each set of chapter copies from the guide was handed to a group. The groups had to comment on the given chapter then give a written report with suggestions about what should be omitted, kept, or added.
Moving among the groups, taking pictures and filming the workshop, I felt like a bee flying from a garden to another admiring active teachers and Inspectors who demonstrated great interest to the project as they debated and shared opinions then expressed satisfaction through their cooperative assessment. Trying to interview some of the participants, a teacher said that she was proud of our colleagues. An inspector, on the other hand, said that the work raised many debatable points that would be mentioned in the report then Mr. T. Zebbar, Inspector of National Education in the middle schools, said: "I have got many answers, but even more questions."
After lunch that followed the interesting discussion of the workshop, participants were invited to join the conference room where each group delivered a report about the given chapter. There was a big debate about many issues concerning the making of a good test. More focus on the situation of integration was requested as both teachers and inspectors worried about the new scoring guide to assess students’ writing within a national exam. The Examiner’s Guide is "a project for the whole country", said an Inspector.
The seminar was closed by Mr Louznadji with gratitude to the audience then awarded the Examiner’s Guide team members with certificates of achievement to encourage them to keep up the good work till they submit the final version of the Examiner’s Guide to the Algerian Ministry of National Education.
Reported by Kheira Mezough