The Effect of Continuous Assessment on Academic Performance of Students in Home Economics in Secondary Schools
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 meant by continuous assessment and whether 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.
The study also went further to find out to what extent the teachers and students like to take part in continuous assessment and also to find out whether continuous assessment poses any problem to both the teachers and students.
In this study, the design of the study was used as a questionnaire design, since it would directly; more than any other design elicits the opinion of the respondents. The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire; it was structured in such a way to consist of both open-ended and close-ended questions in the presentation and analysis of data. The coding and scoring procedure used was a tally method to drive at the scores and the findings were made and discussed, from the findings, the researcher made some recommendations that will enable the Federal Ministry of Educational and teachers then gave suggestions for further research.
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, affective, and psychomotor domains of behavior systematically take into account, all their performance during a given period of schooling.
Adebib (1999) saw continuous assessment as a systematic and objective process of determining the extent of a student’s performance in all the expected changes in his behavior. This is an assessment of the students.
Ezewu and Okoye (1999) defined continuous assessment as a systematic and objective process of determining the extent of a student’s performance in all the expected changes in his behavior 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 that is carried out as predetermined intervals for monitoring and improving the overall performance of students and 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 universities allow thirty percent (30%) for in-course assessment. The concept of continuous assessment is not new in education. In developed countries like the 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 students 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 the 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.
Statement of the Problem:
There are various problems encountered by the teachers and students 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 the 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 timetable, 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.
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 the home Economic.
(2) To find out to what extents do teachers and students 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.
Significance of the Study:
The main reasons for the adoption of continuous assessment are as follows:
(a) To give a teacher greater involvement in the overall assessment
(b) To provide a more valid assessment of the child’s overall ability and performance
(c) To enable the teachers to be more flexible and innovative in their instruction.
(d) To provide a basis for more effective guidance of the students
(e) To provide a basis for the teacher to improve his or her instructional methods
(f) To reduce examination malpractices.
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 Urban boys Secondary School at Palmer Street/ Uzodinmma Street Fegge.
Minu Secondary School at Emodi Street Fegge.
Promise International School at Akowa Street Fegge.
To develop the instrument of study and carry out 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?
Definition of terms:
Cognitive: In the study cognitive means the ability to develop one’s brain and to use his brain to invent, innovate self-reliance, and respect for the human dignity of labor. The more tasks you give to the brain the sharper the brain cause or gets.
Psychomotor: In this study psychomotor is the ability to produce something with hands.
Mechanism: In this study, a mechanism means a structure of interacting parts working together.
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