THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT , PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Prior to the introduction of western education in Nigeria, education was mostly informal closely linked to this oral and informal approach was a system of assessment which was based on careful observation. However, with the arrival of western education in Nigeria, two methods of assessments namely: internal and external assessments.
The former was the type of examination or test conducted at the end of every schools term and sometime, every two weeks during the school year. It evaluate the pupils performance during the conducted, it is generally the result of the end of the sessions examination that is used for valuable judgment on the pupils performance.
This is also known as the end of the terms examination, this form of assessment is still carried out today in our primary schools with modification it include “The continuous assessment system”.
The later type of examination which operates in our school system is called the external examinations. It is conducted by external bodies order than those in the (teachers). It is external because no input was made by them in the learning process of the pupils directly in form of the teaching examples abound today that is junior NECO examination, the abolished common entrance examination and the junior secondary school examination conducted by the state ministry of education for the JS III Students.
These forms of evaluations had its limitation which grossly affected the child’s learning and comprehension process. The system tool recognition of the cognitive domain of learning while neglecting the other two-affective and psychomotor domain. It also had no feed back mechanism that reported on the pupil’s area of weaknesses. More so, it gave scanty information inform of terminal reports sheets to parents which does not really portray the child’s overall performance and it usually lead to examination malpractice as strong emphasis are laid on the passing to promote.
In view of the above unhealthy and incomplete methods of evaluation and its attendant disadvantages. It became therefore, imperatively necessary to change the practice to one comprehensive, which will tele-guide pupil’s performances and report back for necessary adjustment during their school year beginning from the formative year, that is entrance into primary down to the end of their school years. One that will take into primary down to end of their school years.
It is with aims that continuous assessment evolved to really bring remedy to the lapses of the former two methods of evaluation. What informed the researcher’s opinion on the topic is to evaluate how well it has fared to realizing the objectives establishing it.
And to know and bring possible remedies to the problems encountered in it’s implementations by primary school teachers.
It is important, therefore to note that for continuous assessment as a system of evaluation to achieve it’s goals, the teachers must be able to carry out the implementation effectively.
There are loads of works for the teacher in addition of the demand on his time. Despite these heavy responsibilities necessitated by the teaching professions or the teachers; calling the teacher is expected to be physically, mentally, emotionally and professionally prepared to be accepted in operating the system (Greg 1997).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite the high premium placed on qualitative education, it is unfortunate to note that primary school teachers find it difficult in the implementation of the programme. Therefore, it is stated that:
- The validity of assessment records are often incompre
- hensiveable due to difference in school academic standards, enrolments, infrastructure, staffing, facilities and policies.
- Continuous assessment tests are not often goal or
- objective oriented, due to the limitations of constant validity and test administration procedures.
- There is an inadequacy in the availability of standardized instruments used for collating data in continuous assessment tests in primary schools.
- There is a continuous decline in proper documentation and storage of continuous assessment records and related information in most primary institutions.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to find out the problems encountered in the theory and practice of continuous assessment in selected primary schools programme and make recommendation on how these problems could be overcome at the same time weighing the impact these problems of continuous assessment in teaching in primary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To achieve the aim of this research study a set of research questions were formulated thus stated below:
- What other aspect of educational objectives does continuous assessment measure apart from the cognitive domain?
- What are the teachers’ perceptions on continuous assessment as a system of evaluation in primary school?
- What are the remedies to the problems of implementing continuous assessment and what impact will it make on the learning process of the pupils in the primary schools?.
The following hypotheses are formulated to guide the study:
i. There is a significant difference in the mean score between cognitive domain and other educational objectives.
ii. There is a significant difference in the mean score of teachers perception on continuous assessment in primary schools.
iii. There is a marked difference in the remedies and impact mean score of continuous assessment on the learning process of the pupils in the primary school.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work will be of immense benefit to all stakeholders in the education industry such as:
- To pupils who are the end benefactors of the programme of continuous assessment.
- It will help the primary school teacher to implement the continuous assessment programme effectively.
- Government education planning agencies for validation of their training programme.
- Promoting a basis for pre-service training programmes for teachers on the need of proper implementation of continuous assessment.
- Parents with a view to encourage their wards to take continuous assessment seriously.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was designed to cover five schools in Kaduna south local government Area in kaduna.
Research samples were drawn from pupils, teachers and principals.
Lack of time hindered the researcher in extending the research to cover all the schools in the federal capital territory. As a result few schools in the Kaduna south were randomly selected.
Financial constraint was another problem since the cost of moving from one place to another was not easy as the researcher was not mobile to go round the schools.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Assignment: An ability which may be oral or practical given to learners by the teachers to reinforce or access the rate of learning
Cognitive Domain: Is an aspect of learning which deals with the learners intellect or intellectual development.
Continuous Assessment: A practical exercise carried out appraises, grade pupils and measure the extent to which specified educational objectives have been achieve.
Education: A process which affect a change in an individual’s behaviour leading to functionalism to self and the society at large.
Evaluation: An exercise carried out at the end of teaching and learning process to ascertain the extent to which laid down or specified educational objectives have been attained.
Primary school: It is elementary schools for children between the ages of 5-11
Pupils: A learner in an elementary primary school.
Test: An activity or exercise administered to a learner to measure skill ability knowledge or ideas (potentials).