31 May 2022 EQAP's Adrian Alamu speaks to Fiji's education officials at Day One of the exploration study 0 EQAP Director Dr Michelle Belisle speaks to Fiji's education officials who are involved in the study Good morning, and welcome to all who are joining us today, either in person or virtually, for this benchmarking workshop. The sessions this week and next are the culmination of an effort that started in 2019, when the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts in Fiji sought support in confirming the benchmarks for their Literacy and Numeracy Assessment, LANA and in establishing benchmarks for their Year 12 assessments. EQAP and MEHA worked collaboratively, with support from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), and were able to confirm the LANA benchmarks in 2020. The plans in place to convene workshops to establish benchmarks for the Year 12 assessments, however, were put on hold with the onset of the pandemic. Today, almost two years after the initial sessions were intended to run, we are here to establish benchmarks for the year 12 examinations in three subjects: Mathematics, Economics and Agriculture. With our EQAP team in Suva, we have a strong team of curriculum and assessment experts from MEHA who will be carrying out the work. We are also joined online by our ACER colleagues in Sydney and Melbourne as well as observers from the education ministries in Samoa and the Solomon Islands. The work will be carried out in two parts. The first set of sessions, today and tomorrow, will be devoted to criterion-based standards development, specifically the policy decisions and intention of the expected benchmarks for the senior level as well as agreeing on the benchmark descriptions using existing reporting scales, achievement standards and curriculum statements. The second set of sessions to take place next week will be devoted to the setting of the actual benchmarks using the Bookmark Method. Over the course of the sessions, the participants will agree on the definitions, number of benchmarks, expected proficiency range and level. They will produce descriptions of the expected benchmarks and then carry out the benchmark evaluation and confirmation. While the sessions this week and next will focus on three year-12 subjects, the approach can be replicated in other subjects at senior examination level and is potentially applicable to other contexts as well. I believe that the workshops this week and next will prove to be well worth the wait, and I hope that everyone involved finds this time together to be both informative and enjoyable.