The Effect Of Continuous Assessment On Academic Performance Of Students In Home Economic In Secondary Schools

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The Effect Of Continuous Assessment On Academic Performance Of Students In Home Economic In Secondary Schools


Abstract


Continuous assessment is an academic issue, which has been emphasized recently by the Federal Ministry of Education, the need for the introduction of continuous assessments is reflected in various sections of the New National policy on Education.This study therefore investigated what is really meant by continuous assessment and weather it has any positive or negative effect on the academic performances of students in Home Economics in secondary schools at Fegge in Onitsha South local Government Area of Anambra State. Survey research design was used, the instrument used to obtain information was a structured questionnaire, the data collected were analyzed using mean. The population of the study is nine thousand, eight hundred and twenty one (9821) students and simple random sampling technique was used to select the sample.The instrument used was validated by two experts in measurement and evaluation. Test re-test was used to determine the reliability of the instrument and the result was 0.75. Mean statistics was used to answer the research questions. It was found that continuous assessment is an effective tools used in determine the performance of student in economic. based on these finding and many more the following Recommendation were made and it was recommended that; The ministry of Education or its relevant agencies should organize seminars and workshop for Home Economics teachers at least once in a term in order to update their knowledge on the practice of continuous assessment, The Ministry of Education or its relevant agencies should train and post enough professional guidance counselors in the area of to schools in the zone, Secondary schools in the zone should set up continuous assessment committees to perform the duties currently performed by Examination committee. Such duties include: Oversee the keeping of various assessment records, Develop time-table for assessment of pupils in the school. The committee is to be headed by the vice-principal (academics); members to include, the school guidance counselor, Head of social science section, Head of science Education sections, Trained officers from the Ministry of Education should visit schools in the zone from time to time for on the spot assessment of the scheme, The ministry of Education should grant study leave with pay to all qualified tutorial staff members to study statistics and computer in higher institutions to enable them acquire knowledge and improve on their efficiency in data collection and analysis involved in the practice of continuous assessment.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study:

Many educationists have defined continuous assessment in different ways. The handbook on continuous assessment (FMEST, 1999) defined continuous assessment as a mechanism whereby the final grading of students in the cognitive, effective and psychomotor domains of behaviour take into account in a systematic way, all his performance during a given period of schooling.

Adebib (1999) saw continuous assessment as a systematic and objective process of determining the extend of a student’s performance in all the expected changes in his behaviour. This is assessment of the students.

Ezewu and Okoye (1999) defined continuous assessment as a systematic and objective process of determining the extent of student’s performance in all the expected changed in his behaviour from the day he/she enters upon a course of study.

From the above definitions one can define continuous assessment as a system of assessment which is carried out as predetermined intervals for the purpose of monitoring and improving the overall performance of students and of the teaching learning environment.

In all secondary schools, continuous assessment accounts for thirty-percent (30%) of a student’s performance in each subject, while in higher institutions, like the polytechnic allow forty-percent (40%) and University allow thirty-percent (30%) for in-course assessment. The concept of continuous assessment is not new in education. In developed countries like United States, Canada, Australia and England, continuous assessment is inbuilt into the teaching learning process, that is why it is one of the distractive features of the new National Policy on Education. In Nigeria, there are different views about the concept to the extent that some of them are misconceptions. According to Okpala, Onocha and Oyedeji (2005) continuous assessment is not continuous testing of the cognitive ability of students.

What is practiced in many schools is continuous testing where teachers administer tests on student on a fortnightly or monthly basis. This approach does not differ from the old system of assessment. The mode of interpretation does

not take into account other factors that may affect the students and the learning processes. Furthermore, the affective and psychomotor domains are usually neglected. The current continuous assessment technique is meant to replace the former one-short and end-of-term or year examination that was being alleged to be responsible for law performance of students in our schools. Yet despite all these, this study will like to find out the effect of continuous assessment on academic performance of students in Home Economics in Secondary Schools at Fegge in Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State.


1.2 Statement of the Problem:

There are various problems encountered by the teachers and student of Home Economics during the time of continuous assessment in Secondary School at Fegge in Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State. These include insufficient supply of home economics equipment by the schools or the government. Lack of Home Economics Lab, teachers lacking enough training. Others include lack of finance, poor curriculum and crowded time table, these are some of the problems encountered by the teachers and students of Home Economics at the time of continuous assessment

in Secondary Schools at Fegge Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State.


1.3 Purpose of the Study:

  1. The purpose of the study is to acquire information about the extent of the effect of continuous assessment on the academic performance of the students in home Economic.
  2. To find out to what extents do teachers and student like to take part in continuous assessment.
  3. This study will also go further to find out the problem continuous assessment pose on both the teacher and students

1.4 Significance of the Study:

The main reasons for the adoption of continuous assessment are as follows:

  1. To give a teacher grater involvement in the overall assessment
  2. To provide a more valid assessment of the child’s overall ability and performance
  3. To enable the teachers to be more flexible and innovative in their instruction.
  4. To provide a basis for more effective guidance of the students
  5. To provide a basis for the teacher to improve his or her instructional methods
  6. To reduce examination malpractices.

1.5 Scope of the study:

The study is delaminated to cover all secondary schools at Fegge in Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State but the researchers finally used four(4) secondary schools for the study due to financial problems and limited time for the project work.

The schools used are

  1. Urban boys Secondary School at Palmer Street/ Uzodinmma Street Fegge.
  2. Metu Secondary School at Emodi Street Fegge.
  3. Promise International School at Akowa Street Fegge.

1.6 Research Question:

To develop the instrument of study and carryout this study appropriately.

The following research question will be answered:

  1. To what extent is the effect of continuous assessment on the academic performance of the students?
  2. To what extent do teachers and students like to take part in continuous assessment?
  3. What problem does continuous assessment pose on the teachers and students?

1.7 Definition of terms:

Cognitive:

In the study cognitive means the ability to develop ones brain and to use his brain to invent, innovate self reliance and respect for human dignity of labour. The more tasks you give to brain the sharper the brain cause or get.

Psychomotor:

In this study psychomotor is the ability to produce something with hands.

Mechanism:

In this study mechanism means a structure of interacting parts working together.


Chapter Five


Discussions of Findings, Educational Implications, Limitations, Conclusion, Recommendations, Suggestions and

5.1 Summary

The research finding based on the data presented in chapter four are interpreted and discussed in this chapter. The outline of the chapter is as follows:


5.2 Discussions of Findings

RESEARCH QUESTION ONE – To what extent does continuous assessment techniques has been great gain to the school system. The responses found revealed that teachers always give home work to pupils, teachers motivate pupils after teaching while some of the pupils agreed that teachers motivate pupils while teaching and also teachers ensure that assessment scores are published after it.

RESEARCH QUESTION TWO – To what extent can the capability of school using the technique more indigenous and reflective of our local needs especially in our school. The responses shows that Government should try and enroll the teachers in workshop on continuous assessment importance and also Government should ensure that necessary instructional materials needed for teaching and learning are provided. When it was also revealed that government should ensure provision of facilities such as laboratories, electricity and conducive learning environment to be made available in the secondary schools.

RESEARCH QUESTIONTHREE – What are the problem created by the introduction of continuous assessment techniques in our school system. The responses show that continuous assessment leads the pupils to cheat in other to be awarded higher marks. It gives room for favoritism. This has link with findings of James (2012) opinion continuous of assessment is a way of evaluating pupils and teachers performance.

RESEARCH QUESTION FOUR – What are the benefits or gains recorded by school system as a result of the bringing into play of continuous assessment. The responses show that continuous assessment helps the child to be assessed in the 3 domains of the child development. It helps the teacher to know the ability of each pupil in various subjects. It helps the teachers to understand their level of teaching.


5.3 Educational Implication

The basic reason for 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). They see continuous assessment within the educational context as a systematic and objective process of determining the extent of a student’s performance and all the expected changes in his behaviour from the day he enter into a course of study in a continuous and progressive manner to the end of such a course of study and jAnambra south cious accumulation of all pieces of information derived from this purpose, with a view to using them to guide and shape the students in his learning from time to time and to serve as bases for important decision about the child.


5.4 Limitation of the Study

The researcher observed that there are some limitations which might have influenced the results of their findings, these limitations include: in as much as the findings of this study have provided good guides for explicative stAnambra south es in other populations, the results are most applicable in Anambra south Local Government Area.

Efforts to secure financial grants to increase the samples for this study were made but to no avail. The researcher therefore has to rely on his meagre earnings to undertake the study. This is one major reason why the sample size was limited to only the schools in Anambrasouth local government area.


5.5 Conclusion

This study was aimed to evaluation of continuous assessment techniques in secondary schools in Fegge in Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra state and its effects on academic performance. The literature review indicates that rapid technological changes, innovations and knowledge explosion necessitate redefinition of the role of learning and teaching, which in turn necessitates a revisit of assessment strategies and methods. The teacher, through teaching, has to make learners aware of the fallibility of knowledge. Both the teacher and learner have to find out how the knowledge is constructed. One way this could be achieved, as mentioned earlier, is by assessing of learning and examining of alternatives assessment practices. Continuous assessment is used to test the learners’ knowledge although cognizance is taken of the fact that a particular method of assessment may serve more than one purposes. It should be stressed that all aspects of teaching, learning and assessment are interwoven and cannot be divorced from each other. Assessment in schools is an issue of quality assurance and thus it is a tool used as away to ensure quality educational outcomes. Therefore, negligence and or lack of planning for assessment in schools will compromise and counteract the quality of educational outcomes. The important role that teachers play or ought to play in the continuous assessment process cannot be overemphasized because it is vital for the success of continuous assessment practice in schools. Strengthening of the technical aspects of continuous assessment would help to meet the rigorous standards of reliability and validity. The underlying guiding principle of continuous assessment should be to ensure that it promotes and rewards desired learning activities and outcomes.


5.6 Recommendations

Based on the fore-mentioned educational implications of the findings of this study, the following recommendations were made.

  1. The ministry of Education or its relevant agencies should organize seminars and workshop for Home Economics teachers at least once in a term in order to update their knowledge on the practice of continuous assessment.
  2. The Ministry of Education or its relevant agencies should train and post enough professional guidance counselors in the area of to schools in the zone.
  3. Secondary schools in the zone should set up continuous assessment committees to perform the duties currently performed by Examination committee. Such duties include:
  4. Oversee the keeping of various assessment records.
  5. Develop time-table for assessment of pupils in the school. The committee is to be headed by the vice-principal (academics); members to include, the school guidance counselor, Head of social science section, Head of science Education sections.
  6. Trained officers from the Ministry of Education should visit schools in the zone from time to time for on the spot assessment of the scheme.
  7. The ministry of Education should grant study leave with pay to all qualified tutorial staff members to study statistics and computer in higher institutions to enable them acquire knowledge and improve on their efficiency in data collection and analysis involved in the practice of continuous assessment.
  8. The school authority should ensure that the pupils’ populations in the classroom are within the ranges that favour effective supervision of teachers. In the same vein, teachers work load should be manageable to enhance their effectiveness.
  9. Teachers should be motivated by both government and school authority through adequate incentives to boost their morale.
  10. School authority should make fund available for teachers to take pupils out on field trips to widen their knowledge.

5.6 Suggestions for Further Studies

Further studies could be carried out on the following:

  1. Developing effective and psychomotor assessment skills in teachers for effective teaching/learning.
  2. The role of Information and Communication Technology in the implementation of continuous assessment.

5.7 Summary of the Study

In summary, continuous assessment practice evidently changes the role of teachers as an assessment to one who enters into dialogue with the learner being assessed to find out their current level performance in their different course of study. Based on the research made, it was reviewed that the success of continuous assessment depends on teachers’ will, abilities and skills. The impact of continuous assessment helps to adjust the mind of teachers who were used to holding traditional way of assessment.


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