Impact of Continuous Assessment on Students Academic Achievement



  1. Background to the Study

In Nigeria and the world over, education is seen as the key that unlocks the door to modernization. For these and other reasons, it has become imperative for the authorities concerned to enforce such activities that will promotes the quality of education obtained in our society so as to avoid the situation of producing educated illiterates. However, every educational system in this century needs to be properly evaluated in order to achieve its intended goal. This means assessment is necessary in every institutions of learning.

The National Policy on Education (2004) aims at making education a dynamic instrument of change which will transform all aspect of our national life. The abrupt change in policy necessitated the abandonment of the old British system of education for the new 6-3-3-4 system which tends to pragmatism in philosophy (Oladunni, 2006). This change was accompanied with innovation in teaching-learning process as well as in the mode of assessment of the learners.

Impact of Continuous Assessment on Students Academic Achievement

Consequently, the method of assessment of the teaching-learning process also changes from one-shot type of examination to include continuous assessment. Contrary to the old practice whereby assessment of learners for certification was based on one external examination, the policy stipulated that examination will be partly based on continuous assessment. The once-for-all examination was criticized as an inadequate and unsatisfactory measure of students abilities.

According to Obiako (2000), external examinations set by external agencies were cited with many disadvantages such as over making the examination foreign to examiners. Other criticisms made against the one-shot examination were lack of diagnosis and guidance oriented propensity, creation of coverage of content taught to the learners, high rate of failure, heavy dependence on note taking and high rate of examination malpractice (Ogundeye, 2001). However, the aim of a test given to students is geared toward guiding both the teacher and students. That is, the teacher is to discover the status of his teaching efforts, while the students are to discover the learning difficulties with a view to overcoming them.

If a test does not provide the information required to achieve the purpose for which it was meant for, then it is an exercise in futility. One method of testing which can achieve the desirable objectives is the continuous assessment test which has various strengths over the conventional one-shot examination. The learners need to be tested in order to quantify their capability and ability to learn.

Impact of Continuous Assessment on Students Academic Achievement

There is need to ascertain the amount of knowledge, concept, ideas and skills they can recall from what they have learnt, awaken the consciousness of a learner to the fact that he/she was taught. Without tests, obviously learners will not learn effectively or seriously and  no matter how good, effective and efficient a teacher may be, if the learner has no opportunity to practice, read over and provide whatever he has been taught, learning would appeal not to have taken place, hence the need for continuous assessment in schools. It is therefore hoped that the assessment of the impact posed by continuous assessment on academic performance of adult and non-formal education students will contribute significantly in this respect.

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