Background of the Study
Schools are established to facilitate desirable changes in the behaviour of students or pupils under the guidance of teachers. For a change in behaviour to occur, teachers are required to expose pupils to contents and activities using appropriate methods to attain instructional goals. One major innovation in our educational system is the introduction of continuous assessment as an important component of evaluation. The central purpose of evaluation is to improve the process of learning and instruction.
The national policy on education (1981) prescribed:
Educational assessment and evaluation will be liberated by basing them in whole in part on continuous assessment of the progress of the individual (Part 7:7).
The concept of continuous assessment as a form of evaluation is a fairly recent phenomenon in the Nigerian educational system. It is one of the most important articles of the national policy on Education as earlier stated. The origin of this new system of education can be traced back to the 1969 national curriculum conference organised by the Nigerian educational research council which was initially proposed due to some political problems and inadequate planning. The continuous assessment finally took off in 1985 under the military regime. Curriculum conference was a direct response to inherited missionary and British colonial educational system in Nigeria, which was irrelevant to man power and skill development. After independence, more attempts were made by Nigerian government and individuals for a change in the educational system, which was one way oriented (i.e. the terminal method of assessing performance).The 1969 national curriculum conference examined the system and made recommendations on the objectives, contents and methods of instructional materials used in Nigerian schools.
In 1972, the federal government organised a national seminar for educational experts under the chairmanship of Adebo to deliberate on the national educational system (Federal Ministry of Education Handbook on Continuous assessment, 1985). Using the outcome of the 1969 conference as a working paper, they made recommendations which was further reviewed by Joint Consultation Committee, the National Council on Education and the Federal Ministry of education before the issue of the national policy on education in 1977 and as reviewed in 1981. Before the 1977 national policy on education which introduced the 6-3-3-3 system of education, Nigeria had had a quite number of other types of educational system. For instance, between 1926 and 1930, it was the 2-6-4 system (i.e. 2 years nursery, 6 years primary and 4 years secondary). By 1970, it was for the purpose of guiding and improving the learning and performance of the pupils. This definition is explicit and assumes that assessment carried the three domains of behaviour using various techniques with the intention of guiding and improving the learning and performance of the pupils. This will go a long way to identify the child’s potential and assist him in understanding his areas of interest.
Looking at the benefit of this programme, attempts have been made over the years to practice continuous assessment as a form of evaluation in the primary schools. But, is this system very effective in practice? Has it been able to predict the child’s performance? Is the continuous raw scores of the pupil added to the final examination marks? All these questions are to be asked and answered in the course of this study.
Statement of the Problem
There has been concerted effort by the Government and other examination agencies to stop examination malpractice and to enhance the performance of pupils at the primary school level. It was because of this, continuous assessment was introduced to improve the pupils performance in school and also to enable teachers and students have the opportunity of a systematic feedback and guidance orientation information on teaching and learning process for improvement and career choice. If this may be the case, what then is the effectiveness and the implementation assessment at the primary school level? This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness and the implementation assessment at the primary school level.
The following research questions have been formulated to guide the study:
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to identify some of the problems associated with the continuous assessment process at the primary level of education. After identifying the problem, recommendations will be made on how to solve the problems in order to enhance the teaching and learning process for both teachers and the pupils. It is the researcher’s belief that this work will contribute to existing literature on the topic.
Significance of the Study
This study will attempt to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of continuous assessment at the primary school level which will be important to school administrators and guidance counsellors who make sure that the school achieve its objectives and the learner’s aspiration and potential are realised.
Parents would also benefit from the revelation because it will enable them to understand the worth of their children.
The findings from this study will enable the government and educators to assess and evaluate the continuous assessment programme. It will also enable the classroom teachers to draw out the lapses experienced thereby creating rooms for adjustment and innovations where necessary so as to enhance effective teaching and learning.
The findings of this study will form bases for further research work in this topic or other related topics by other researchers. Continuous assessment is beneficial to every segment of the society depending on how and from what angle one looks at the concept.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study covers the evaluation of the effectiveness and implementation of continuous assessment at the primary school level. It is limited to only pubic primary schools in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
Definition of Terms
The terms are contextually defined for the purpose of clarity as well as to reduce ambiguity in terminology.
Continuous Assessment: this denotes an on-going process evaluation assessment of the child’s performance in teaching and learning process.
Psychomotor Domain: this concern development area of human beings which involves the use of muscle.
Affective Domain: this refers to human development are which concerns the child’s feelings about the realities around him or her.
Cognitive Domain: this is includes trained teachers with the following qualifications: TCII, NCE, B.Sc. (Ed), M.Ed and Ph.D in education.
Non-Professional Teachers: these are teachers with qualification but not related to any of the listed ones above. They are people who gate-crash into the teaching profession.
Rural Schools: these are schools located in villages and hamlets
Urban Schools: these are schools located in towns and cities.