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Teachers’ Perception Of Continuous Assessment As Effective Means Of Evaluating Students In English Language Among Junior Secondary Schools In Owerri Education Zone 1 Of Imo State




This study investigated teachers perception of continuous assessment as effective means of evaluating students in English language among junior secondary schools in Owerri education zone 1 of Imo state. Four research questions were posed to guide the study. The Study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The study population comprises 2,150 teachers from thirty seven (37) Junior Secondary Schools in Owerri Education Zone 1. A purposive sampling technique was used to draw a sample size of 221 teachers from 3 schools (Urban and Rural). A 20-item modified 4-point likert instrument titled (CAEMESLEL)  was used to collect data for answering 4 research questions. The instrument was validated by experts and reliability co-efficient of 0.71 as established arithmetic mean and standard deviations were used to analyze and answer the research questions. It was found among others that teachers make use of intelligence test, attitude test, achievement tests, essay tests and objective tests as instruments of continuous assessment to evaluate students performance in English language. It was also revealed that teachers’ incompetence, large class size, inappropriate record keeping and inadequate materials were problems hindering implementation of CA in English language. It recommended among others that workshops and seminars should be organized for teachers in the concept and application of continuous assessment.



The researcher presented this chapter under the following subheadings, background to the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study and research questions.

Background to the Study

Education in Nigeria is an instrument ‘par excellence’ for effecting national development and harnessing the potentials of the citizens (FRN, 2004). The country’s vision is for a complete transformation of all aspects of Nation’s life over time. Education should therefore be able to effect inter and intra generational transmission of our cherished heritages and life invention. It should reposition Nigeria global status in science and technology in all spheres of life (Akindoju, Banjoko and Jimoh, 2010).

One of the distinctive features of the New National Policy on Education is its emphasis on continuous assessment and the method in which the evaluation of English language in the junior secondary schools can be based on. The role and status of English language has changed vastly in the last few decades, it is increasingly being used for technical, scientific and business communication.

English today is undoubtedly, the most important language of information technology, it serves as our window on the world, it also serves as the language in which the latest developments in different fields of knowledge are available. With the change in the role and function of English language in an average Nigerian student’s life, the approach of teaching English in junior secondary schools has also changed.

Continuous assessment technique of evaluation and grading of student has come to stay as a cardinal pillar of our education system in Nigeria. Its emergence is sequel to the introduction of the 6-3-3-4 system of education which continuous assessment is an integral part. Education assessment and evaluation will be liberalized by basing them in whole or in part of continuous assessment of the progress of the individual (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). However, educational reforms have led to the introduction of continuous assessment with a corresponding move away from the expectations that students should merely rote learn and memorize information and towards an increased emphasis on the testing of all aspect of behavior which includes the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain. Here, teachers are now expected to use a variety of continuous assessment instruments such as short written or oral tests, quizzes performance assessment tasks, projects and students self assessment (Mohammed, 2012).

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Continuous assessment is the systematic collection of marks or grades over a period of time and their aggregation into a final grade. It is a method of using the recorded performance of each individual to help him improve on his academic achievement, a means of providing adequate information about a student to parents, guardians or educational authorities. Continuous assessment as defined by the Federal Ministry of Education (1985) is a mechanism whereby a final grading of students in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain of behavior systematically takes account of all his performance during a given period.

Continuous assessment is systematic in that it requires an operational plan which shows those movements are to be made on student performance, at what time during the school years, the measurement are to be made, its nature and the tools to be used. Students are aware that assessment is an everyday occurrence not minding if they are at play or in the classroom. Its importance is guidance oriented because test scores are used to provide help to students especially in the areas of academic guidance. Another feature of continuous assessment is its comprehensiveness. The assessment is based on the totality of the individual’s performance and not his cognitive ability. To achieve this, many instruments are used such as tests, projects, assignments, observations, questionnaire interviews. It is said to be cumulative because information about a student includes his performance from his first days at school until the last day.

The rationale for continuous assessment is that the former system which assesses the learner through an external control on the curriculum and leads teachers to give up sound long range instruction in order to teach the test. A system of examination which considers the learned performance throughout the social period is more likely to be valid and more indicative of the learner’s overall ability than a single comprehensive examination. Continuous assessment is the answer to this noble idea; it also removes the fear and high anxiety inherent in the old system of education. Continuous assessment affords the teacher the opportunity to introduce innovation into his teachings. It also facilitates the work of the guidance counselor in directing the students towards achieving the aims of the new educational system which emphasize the independence and self reliance of individual.

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Furthermore, students are evaluated from one stage to the other through tests or assignments. At the end of the term or year, these tests are used for determining the performance or achievements of the students. This form for assessment is different from the one known to most teachers in Nigeria who based the achievement of students on only one test given during the end of a term or year. End of the year assessment does not take into consideration the class progressive performance of students; this is very dangerous because many factors are bound to dedicate the performance of the students. By the same token, there are many people who have never succeeded in written examination but can perform excellently when given the opportunity to work with materials relating to their field or area of interest.

The addition of continuous assessment in the instructional and evaluating process of English language in junior secondary school in Owerri Education Zone1 of Imo State is intended to improve both the validity and reliability of the results of pupils performance on tests and exercise and secondly to help the students to develop effective learning and work habits. The present continuous assessment system is essentially based on frequent test taking and does not really serve the two critical purposes of continuous assessment of lower level abilities and memorization where assessment are based on low level thinking skills (i.e. knowledge and comprehension).

Pupils/students complete their education still unable to analyze and apply their knowledge to solve problems. Education in effect is unable to transform the pupil form the stage of knowledge receiver to the status of knowledge producer and problem solver. The central purpose of continuous assessment in evaluating students in English language is to help the students to become a better learner and producer by encouraging pupils/students to improve their knowledge and skills on the subject (English Language) through learning and test taking in the critical and important objectives of the school curriculum.

It is therefore against this background that the researcher deemed it necessary to investigate the continuous assessment as an effective means of evaluating student’s learning in English language among junior secondary education.

Statement of the Problem

Continuous assessment is no doubt a good innovation in Nigerian education system. However, its operation is not without some problems, thus one of the most important problem identified despite the effort of the government is that, most of the serving teachers in Nigerian schools as at the time when continuous assessment was introduced was incompetent in the development and validation of measuring instrument such as tests, questionnaires, inventories, rating scales etc. they were also incompetent in evaluating behaviors in the three domains of cognitive, affective and psychomotor (Dimson, 2008). This constituted a serious setback to the effective implementation of continuous assessment.

Also added to the above were the issues of storing facilities which enhanced continuous assessment and these facilities are the continuous assessment folders, file cabinets, shelves, computer etc. were a huge problem to the government as the teachers could not keep records of their students performance as a result of lack of storage facilities.

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Therefore, the question that comes to mind which have necessitated this investigation seeks to find out if the teachers who are the implementers of the continuous assessment are well equipped in qualification, experience and knowledge of the concept of continuous assessment and its guidelines to ensure effective utilization in assessing the performance of students in English language. Also, there is need to find the hindrances of its implementation and the way forward.

Scope of the Study

This study covers all the junior secondary schools in Owerri Education Zone1 of Imo State. It is delimited in examining continuous assessment as a means of evaluating English language among junior secondary education. The study sought to address the level of understanding of English language teachers on the basic concept of continuous assessment, the problems associated with continuous assessment and how their problems can be remedied.

Purpose of the Study

The general aim of  this study is to examine continuous assessment as an effective means of evaluating students’ learning in English language among junior  secondary schools in Owerri Education  Zone1 of  Imo State. But specifically, it sought to find out the following objectives;

  1. Examine if the English language teachers understand the basic concepts of continuous assessment
  2. Find out if the teachers know the continuous assessment instruments used in assessing students performance
  • Investigate on the problems of implementing continuous assessment in English language
  1. Examine the ways of curbing the problem facing continuous assessment of English language

Significance of the Study

The result of this study will serve as a guide to the educational policy makers, the teachers, the students and to subsequent researchers.

To the educational policy makers, this study will serve as a guide on how to properly plan and implement the school curriculum in line with global trend.

To the teachers, the study will serve as an eye opener for them to comprehend the importance of continuous assessment in evaluating English language in school. It will also serve as a guide to ensuring that continuous assessment is properly utilized in order to bring about good result/performance from the students.

To the students, the study will teach or impart in them the skills to be able to improve their academic activities and not merely on achievement, which means that the assessment is developmental as it seeks to diagnose the weakness and determine the approaches that can help to redress them.

Research Questions

The following research questions were posed by the researcher to guide the study;

  1. What is the English language teacher’s level of understanding the basic concept of continuous assessment in junior secondary schools?
  2. What is the continuous assessment instruments used in assessing students’ performance?
  • What are the problems facing the implementation of continuous assessment in English language?

    Pages:  80

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF                

    Chapters: 1-5                                                      

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References. 


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