Con­tin­u­ous assess­ment

The in­tro­duc­tion of Con­tin­u­ous Assess­ment in schools has cre­ated many ques­tions and many are still unan­swered. To­day The Ex­am­iner would like to be­gin a se­ries which will un­ravel some mis­con­cep­tions about this model of ed­u­ca­tion.

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Zimsec/Stocks - (Ar­ti­cle Cred­its to the Zim­sec Re­search pre­sen­ta­tions)

FOL­LOW­ING the ap­proval of the New Cur­ricu­lum Frame­work, the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion came up with a frame­work for im­ple­men­ta­tion from 2015-2022. This model em­braces a com­bi­na­tion of Con­tin­u­ous Assess­ment (CA) and high stakes ex­am­i­na­tions. Con­tin­u­ous Assess­ment will form part of the weighted con­tri­bu­tion to learner per­for­mance out­come at Grade 7, Form 4 and Form 6 public ex­am­i­na­tions. What is Con­tin­u­ous Assess­ment? Con­tin­u­ous Assess­ment sim­ply put is the assess­ment through­out a course of study rather than ex­clu­sively by ex­am­i­na­tion at the end of it. This is not a new phe­nom­e­non in the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in Zim­babwe for it has been in prac­tice in Tech­ni­cal sub­jects. It is now be­ing ex­tended to all sub­jects with mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

The Cur­ricu­lum Devel­op­ment Unit of the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion de­vel­oped syl­labuses for all the learn­ing ar­eas from ECD to Sec­ondary level.

For the In­fant Level the learn­ing ar­eas are as fol­lows; Vis­ual and Per­form­ing Arts, Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion, Mass Dis­play, In­dige­nous Lan­guage, Math­e­mat­ics and Science, Her­itage Stud­ies, In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

The learn­ing ar­eas for the Ju­nior School are; Lan­guages, Science And Tech­nol­ogy, Math­e­mat­ics, Her­itage and So­cial Stud­ies, Vis­ual and Per­form­ing Arts, Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion , Sport and Mass Dis­play, Agri­cul­ture and Fam­ily, Re­li­gion and Moral Ed­u­ca­tion.

At sec­ondary level, es­pe­cially Forms 1 to 4 learn­ers will ex­plore a broad based cur­ricu­lum in which they ac­quire the nec­es­sary com­pe­ten­cies from the dif­fer­ent learn­ing ar­eas men­tioned above. The learn­ing ar­eas in Forms 5 and 6, will pre­pare learn­ers for such op­tions such as ter­tiary and self em­ploy­ment.

The in­tro­duc­tion of CA in the new cur­ricu­lum is cru­cial to the teach­ing and learn­ing process be­cause this form of assess­ment will pro­vide use­ful in­for­ma­tion about where learn­ers are in their learn­ing within given learn­ing ar­eas thus giv­ing ev­i­dence about how can­di­dates are con­sum­ing the new cur­ricu­lum.

These as­sess­ments will also be used to make in­formed de­ci­sions about ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try based on the per­for­mance of the can­di­dates at var­i­ous lev­els.

The suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of this model is de­pen­dent upon the de­sign­ing of ef­fec­tive assess­ment in­stru­ments dur­ing this ex­er­cise. The tasks should pro­vide feed­back on what and how learn­ers learn, and al­low teach­ers to as­sess a broad range of traits, skills and abil­i­ties while at the same time mak­ing assess­ment a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence which deep­ens learner en­gage­ment.

The tasks there­fore should be valid, re­li­able, ob­jec­tive, ex­plicit and man­age­able.

Since these tasks are go­ing to be used for both for­ma­tive and sum­ma­tive assess­ment pur­poses it is very im­por­tant that they are crafted with much thought so that we end up with well-con­structed and cred­i­ble tasks which have pos­i­tive con­se­quences for learn­ers such as mo­ti­va­tion, learn­ing of im­por­tant con­cepts that leads to mastery, prob­lem solv­ing abil­ity, and ap­pli­ca­tion of what is learned.

For more in­for­ma­tion or ques­tions Whats App 0772148786 or visit www.zim­ Face Book: Zim­babwe Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil- Zim­sec Public Re­la­tions

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