INFLUENCE OF CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SCHOOL STUDENTS
Background of the study
Continuous assessment is one of the new concepts introduced in the Nigeria educational system with the new national policy on education in short it is an interval part of the new system of education otherwise known as the 9-3-3-4 system. Assessment is an essential element in the educational process. A teacher must make some measurements of the extent to which the learning experiences of students have enabled them, achieve the stated objectives of the course of study.
Ohunche on Odili (2001) defines assessment as an involving the determination for the value and work of a thing implies making decision. The changing needs and attitude of individual children call for a continuous evaluation of such needs and trials in order to enable the children understand themselves better. Their teachers to improve on their teaching methods, the parents and guidance understood the children, so that educational vocational and personal social decision can be realistically made on them. Scholars have looked at the issues of the attitude of students towards assessment in educational system and have seen that the success education will ever offer is seriously tied to the facilities relevant to it. According to Peretomode (2007) stock of educational facilities in public school system in Nigeria is enormous even at the present state of their insufficient and inadequacy. They represent substantial financial outlay to the tax payer. Establishing new educational facilities is no longer that easy because of the current state of economic depression and constantly raising costs. Edem (2008) seeing the importance and position influence of school facilities to educational achievement of students said. It is the duty of the ministry or the board of education to make furniture’s, equipment, books and expendable materials available to schools. Their inadequacy constitutes another source of frustration and disillusion among teachers. African leaders earnestly desire good education programmes for their people, but in many cases the resources are so merger that little progress can be made.
According to Inyong Abia (2002) continuous assessment are the pivot on which the wheel of teaching and learning process rotates. As cited by Inyang Abia (2004) the use of continuous assessment is the most significant aspect of influence for students effective performance. According to Bayo (2005) the availability of continuous assessment in learning process have the potency for motivating and focusing learners attention on the lesson being presented.
According to Obi (2003), a good continuous assessment can make the following contributions. Promote the development of ready skills and encourage long term habits through ready, listening and etc those learning habits from the key to continuous success in school and to the personal encouragement of leisure this throughout line. Assessment is not merely testing (Osokoya, 2006), it is a process through which the quality of an individual work or performance is judged (Mwebaza, 2010). In relation to school setting. Greaney (2001) defines assessment as any procedure or activity that is designed to collect information about the knowledge, attitude, or skills of the learner or group of learners. Thus, in the context of education, assessment can be defined as a predetermined process through which the quality of a student’s performance in the three domains of educational objectives (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor) is judged. Assessment of students learning of curriculum contents in the area of knowledge, skills, and values is a major pre-occupation of many educational reforms. This is because results from such assessment not only provide feedbacks regarding the educational progress of students but remain the authentic yardstick for gaining the effectiveness of the teacher, the quality of instruction and in part the functionality of any curriculum reform. Continuous assessment as an assessment carried out in an ongoing process (Mwebaza, 2010) is an objective judgment considered an important part of structured assessment purposely designed and administered to enable the teacher to evaluate some aspect of a students learning of a specific time.
A number of characterizations of continuous assessment exist in the literature. According to Agawam cited in Mwebaza (2010) continuous assessment not simply continuous testing. Continuous assessment does not solely depend on formal tests. Continuous assessment is more than giving a test; it involves every decision made by the teacher in class to improve students achievement. Continuous assessment as only a part of the field of educational evaluation is a method of evaluating the process and achievement of students in educational institutions (Yoloye, 2006). This means that continuous assessment could be used to predict future student’s performance in the final examinations and the possible success of individuals at the work place or on a particular job. Continuous assessment is a formative evaluation procedure concerned with finding out in a systematic manner, all gains that a student’s has made in terms of knowledge, attitudes and skills after a given set of learning experience (Ogunniyi, 2004). A more comprehensive definition of continuous assessment is given by Ezewu and Okoye (2007).
Statement of Problem
.Despite the high premium placed on qualitative education, it is unfortunate to note that secondary school teachers find it difficult in the implementation of the programme. Therefore, it is stated that:
.The validity of assessment records is often incomprehensive due to difference in school academic standards, enrolments, infrastructure, staffing, facilities and policies.
.Continuous assessment tests are not often goal 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 secondary schools.
.There is a continuous decline in proper documentation and storage of continuous assessment records and related information in most secondary schools.
.Continuous assessment just like any other government policy cannot be implemented effectively if there are underlying problem. (Ortyo-Yande;1988).
Most teachers lack the skills on process as well as the practice of keeping the records of children’s achievement as they are scored and graded and according to the weightings given to each component area that has been assessed.
Another problem most teachers face is that of incompetence in developing valid assessment instrument for evaluation of behavioural outcomes in the three domains. Most teachers seem to be confused in the amount of material content that should be covered by each test.
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 secondary 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 secondary schools.
Specifically, the objectives of the studies include the following:
– To find out the extent of teachers compliance with the continuous assessment standards.
– To determine the ways of assisting teachers in improving upon their skill in continuous assessment practice in Economics thereby enhancing the optimum performance of the students.
– To identify the factors that militates against Economic teachers compliance with the laid down guidelines for continuous assessment.
Significance of the Study
The effective implementation of Continuous Assessment (C.A) has beneficial effects to the learners, Teacher’s Parents or guardian and the educational system general. This is due to the fact that Continuous Assessment is more useful, practical, comprehensive and systematic than the traditional. One-shot summative examination system (ALI and Akabue:1989) in addition of being guidance oriented.
This research work will be of immense benefit to all stakeholders in the education industry such as:
To student who are the end benefactors of the programme of continuous assessment.
It will help the secondary school teacher to implement the continuous assessment programme effectively.
Government education planning agencies for validation of their training programme.
It encourages good study habits among student. Students will see the need to work continuously at their studies rather than engaging in what may be termed “massed” learning towards the end of the year.
To the educational system, continuous assessment provides objective data on whether the standard of education is falling or rising. Parents/guardians are also afforded of opportunity of being informed of the holistic assessment of their children performance.
Scope of the Study
The study is united to the practices and problems encountered by economics teachers in the implementation of continuous assessment in senior secondary school.
This study sought to answer the following 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 secondary school?
– What are the remedies to the problems of implementing continuous assessment and what impact will it make on the learning process of the student in the secondary schools.
– To what extent do teachers in secondary school comply with the continuous assessment guidelines?
DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was designed to cover five schools in Ado-ekitilocal government Area in Ado-ekiti
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 Ado-ekiti 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.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms are defined as used in the study in order to avoid misinterpretation by different individuals
Continuous Assessment: This is a method of ascertaining what a pupils gains from school in terms of knowledge, industry and character development, taking into account all his/her performance in test assessment, project and other educational activities during a given period which an education should determine.
Implentation: The act or process of putting into efect some operations plans, policies or idea is known as implementation.
Competence: This has to do with effiiciency, the ability to be skillful. Knowledgeable and to be effective in performing gien tasks. It implies the possession of specialized skills active performance in specialized area like teaching field.
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. A behavioural objective of remembering which had been learned.
Psychomotor Domain: The psuchomotor domain dels with the manipulative skills and body movement.
Affective Domain: It has to do with values and beliefs attitudes and appreciation interested social relation, emotional adjustment and life style.
6-3-3-4: The new system of education in Nigeria has spent out by the 1981 national policy on education briken down as:
6 – Years primary education
3 – Years junior secondary education
3 – Years senior secondary education
4 – Years tertiary or post secondary education
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.
Test: An activity or exercise administered to a learner to measure skill ability knowledge or ideas (potentials).