Saturday, June 26, 2004

More outsourcing plans

Given the standardized test trend, I think it is inevitable to see test scoring being outsourced. Hey, if prayers can be outsourced, why not testing?
After financial services and religious prayers, education is the latest to join the outsourcing bandwagon - sending thousands of mark sheets of Western students abroad for speedier marking.

Edexcel, Britain's examination board, is sending thousands of answers to GCSE (secondary school) papers abroad for marking in Australia and the US.

Outsourcing in financial services is old news, while contracting out religious prayers to priests in Kerala is a growing phenomenon.

Now the Edexcel board has set up examination centres in Sydney and Iowa to mark responses by candidates in eight GCSE subjects and vocational qualifications.

Said Ted Wragg, Emeritus Professor of Education at Exeter University: "This is just a dummy run. If the technology works, soon we will see marking centres in low wage economies like India and Africa, in a drive to cut costs."
Look to see Pearson publishing, owner of Edexcel, to make out big in the stock market. Education is a growth industry, as more and more of it becomes privatized.