Aspects of the Zambian Ministry of Education's policy on assessment


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Describes the philosophy guiding the curriculum and assessment in Zambia.

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Aspects of the Zambian Ministry of Education's policy on assessment

  2. 2. OUTLINE: <ul><li>1.0 BACKGROUND – Focus on Learning(1992). </li></ul><ul><li>2.0 MOE’s POLICY ON ASSESSMENT: Educating Our Future(1996). </li></ul><ul><li>3.0 ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES IN AN OUTCOME-BASED CURRICULUM. </li></ul><ul><li>4.0 ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES IN THE STRATEGIC SECTOR PLAN 2003-2007 </li></ul><ul><li>5.0 CONCLUSION –Value and Appropriateness of School-Based Continuous Assessment </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1.0 BACKGROUND: Focus on Learning <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>The “Focus on Learning” (1992) was the forerunner to the present policy of Education. After the 1991 National Conference on Education, the government appointed a Team to Review the Investment Strategies in Education and the implications of implementing such ideas. In November 1991, the new government examined the proposals and strategies in “Focus on Learning” and immediately decided to acknowledge them as official policy on education in Zambia. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Reforming Examinations To Promote The Quality Of Education <ul><li>Examinations currently in Zambia over-emphasise selection. </li></ul><ul><li>There is urgent need to reform the selection examinations so that they can contribute effectively to improving the quality of education in schools. </li></ul><ul><li>There are four ways in which examinations reform can contribute to improving the quality of education (Focus on Learning, 1992): </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>(i) Manipulating the kind of question asked e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>more questions involving higher order skills, such as comprehension and application, and fewer requiring recognition and recall of facts; </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><ul><li>more questions that relate to the real- life situation of candidates, especially those whose schooling will end at this point. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(ii) Exams should provide detailed feedback information to the schools on aspects of student performance. (iii) Modes of assessment used in examinations should reflect the goals of the curriculum. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Examinations should involve the evaluation of writing skills and, in the longer term, of practical, oral and aural skills; </li></ul><ul><li>should depart from the over-emphasis of the traditional pencil-and-paper type of examinations that exclusively test cognitive skills. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>(iv) Areas included in the examinations should be curriculum areas that are considered important. (Students study and learn what is examined and teachers teach areas that are examined!) </li></ul>
  9. 9. School-Based Assessment <ul><li>Why has the use of school-based continuous assessment procedures in Zambia been on a limited scale? </li></ul><ul><li>(a) A great deal of groundwork must be laid before the extensive use of continuous assessment strategies </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Special assessment exercises, centrally developed but locally administered, monitored and marked, would have to be produced. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>(c) Teachers would need guidance in what to look for in the daily routines of teaching and learning as well as in the preparation and use of tests for specific purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>(d) A system of record-keeping would have to be developed and teachers familiarised with its use. </li></ul><ul><li>(e) Teachers would have to be persuaded about the benefits of giving the substantial amounts of additional time that school- based assessment and the associated record-keeping involved. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>(f) Great care would be needed in using and scaling the evaluations from individual teachers and schools so as to allow for comparability between schools and to eliminate any tendencies towards undue leniency or severity or towards any unconscious bias or favoritism. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>How can the school-based continuous assessment be conducted in the large size classes? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the public’s confidence in the teacher’s evaluation in a system of school-based continuous assessment be enhanced? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the pre-requisites to a commitment to the eventual introduction of school-based assessment as part of the overall Grade 7, 9 and 12 examinations/assessment </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>“ Focus on Learning” (1992:48) Outlines seven conditions:- </li></ul><ul><li>(a) significant improvements in the quality of externally set examinations </li></ul><ul><li>(b) adequate preparation of teachers </li></ul><ul><li>(c) development of suitable testing exercises </li></ul><ul><li>(d) adequate funds for the implementation of the system </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>(e) a sustained public relations exercise on the merits of continuous assessment and the safeguards that would accompany its introduction </li></ul><ul><li>(f) teacher trained colleges should disseminate an understanding of continuous assessment procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>(g) teachers should be encouraged to make the fullest possible use of them for internal diagnostic and guidance purposes. </li></ul>
  15. 15. 2.0 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION’S POLICY ON ASSESSMENT: EDUCATING OUR FUTURE (1996) <ul><li>Each school should develop a comprehensive programme of school-based continuous pupil assessment and feedback as an integral part of its teaching and learning processes. </li></ul><ul><li>Each school will be required to have a clear schedule of performance-monitoring activities that check pupils’ progress – prominently being homework. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>The Ministry of Education will develop procedures that will enable teachers to standardise their assessment methods, and will develop tests for use as an integral part of school-based assessments. </li></ul><ul><li>School-based continuous assessment is important for teachers, pupils and parents. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>The Directorate of Standards (formerly) Inspectorate, has the task of monitoring each school’s programme of school-based assessment and the use to which it is being put by teachers in improving the quality of teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>More scope for the use of school-based assessment as part of the overall evaluation of pupils and its inclusion as a component of certification and selection procedures. </li></ul><ul><li>The schools will be encouraged to use both formal and informal continuous assessment. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The Ministry of Education’s education development will focus on the pupil’s learning achievement; consequently basic competence levels will be established. </li></ul><ul><li>The Ministry of Education provides the following guidelines on the assessment of basic competencies: </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>(i) The Curriculum Development Centre to specify basic levels of competence that pupils should have attained by certain stages of basic education. </li></ul><ul><li>(ii) The Examinations Council of Zambia to develop competence tests that will indicate whether the required learning has been attained. </li></ul><ul><li>(iii) Schools will apply these tests directly in collaboration with the inspectorate and the Examinations Council of Zambia in order to give teachers immediate, accurate and systematic information on pupils standards of literacy, and numeracy, so that they can adjust their teaching accordingly. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>(iv) The results of the tests will be submitted to the Ministry and relevant education boards to enable them monitor literacy and numeracy attainments. </li></ul><ul><li>(v) The monitoring of the literacy and numeracy attainments should lead to the development of remedial interventions. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>The outcomes of pupil assessment should be recorded on the student record cards. </li></ul><ul><li>The Directorate of Standards, with the Examinations Council of Zambia will determine how school-based assessment can be better conducted so that it can contribute to final Grade 7 and 9 Examination results. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Holistic/comprehensive Assessment: </li></ul><ul><li>Ministry of Education (1996:57) </li></ul><ul><li>“The Ministry will seek to develop evaluation procedures that can assess not merely intellectual areas but also attitudinal and dispositional outcomes, such areas as innovativeness, problem-solving ability, and capacity for self-initiative and self-sustaining learning.” </li></ul>
  23. 23. 3.0 ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES IN AN OUTCOME-BASED CURRICULUM <ul><li>There has been a shift from the content-based curriculum to an outcome-based type. </li></ul><ul><li>There is need to reflect the changes in the assessment practices too. </li></ul><ul><li>The major shifts between the old content-based assessment and the outcome-based assessment </li></ul><ul><li>(i) From norm-referenced to criterion referenced. </li></ul><ul><li>(ii) From cognitive approach to leaving and assessment to the behavioural approach to learning and assessment. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>(iii) From Assessment of discrete isolated knowledge and skills to integrated and cross-disciplinary assessment. </li></ul><ul><li>(iv) From assessment separated from instruction to assessement integrated with teaching and learning. </li></ul><ul><li>(v) From paper-and pencil assessment to authentic assessment. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>( vi) From academic exercises to meaningful tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>(vii) From the assessment of a single attribute to the assessment of knowledge, abilities, thinking, processes, values and attitudes. </li></ul><ul><li>(viii) From a major emphasis on individual assessment to collaborative group assessment </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><ul><li>The Basic School Curriculum Framework formulates that the criteria for assessing pupils’ performance should be: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>specific goals of the education system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The aims of the lower and middle basic education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The life skills </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>The knowledge, understanding and competencies as they are defined in the syllabuses, core and localised curricula. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers must keep continuous assessment records with a card for each pupil in each subject. </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous assessment should be reflected in the schemes of work as part of the teaching process. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers should keep records of their assessment </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Schools should hold regular meetings to discuss regular meetings to discuss regular meetings to discuss the results of the assessment in order to find ways of assisting those children who have difficulties. </li></ul><ul><li>An appropriate assessment and examination system should be developed to support the new curriculum changes. </li></ul>
  29. 29. 4.0 ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES IN THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION STRATEGIC SECTOR PLAN FOR 2003 - 2007 <ul><li>Assessment plays a major role in influencing the quality of education. The Ministry of Education goals in Assessment are twofold: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To set up minimum education standards and monitor them in government, private and non-formal educational institutions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a relevant and a competency-based curriculum at all levels supported by sufficient and varied learning and teaching resources. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>The Ministry of Education Strategic Sector Plan has provided for a lot of assessment activities under Basic, High and Tertiary Education which are aimed at achieving its goals. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Under the Basic Education, the major activity is to develop competence-based testing, continuous assessment and improved examinations for Grade 7 and 9. The second activity is to develop and implement mechanisms for timely feedback to schools. The third activity is the enhancement of teachers’ capabilities to handle competence-based testing. The fourth activity involves the enhancement of institutional capacity to process examinations. There is also the Competence Testing activity which involves training teachers, test administration and material production. </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>At High School level, there are three major activities: the first is to develop appropriate assessment procedures in line with new curriculum framework. The second activity is to develop and implement mechanisms for timely feedback to schools. The third is to procure and produce examinations materials. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>The activities at the Tertiary Education are mainly three: The first one is to develop appropriate skills in assessment and examinations for Colleges of Education and Technical Education Vocational and Entreprenuerial Training College (TEVET) Lecturers. The second activity involves the development and implementation of mechanisms for timely feedback to colleges. </li></ul>
  34. 34. CONCLUSION <ul><li>In conclusion, it is no exaggeration to state that no single intervention could have a greater impact for the improvement of the quality of education in the classroom than a meaningful reform of the examination system. The Grade 7 examination, and to the extent applicable, the Grade 9 and Grade 12 examinations also, would contribute significantly to improving educational quality if: </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>they provide detailed feedback information to the schools on aspects of student performance in various papers. </li></ul><ul><li>they examined writing skills and, if possible practical, oral and aural skills; </li></ul><ul><li>they paid more attention to what are considered to be more important topics and areas. </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><ul><li>It has been generally agreed that the traditional and externally set and administered examinations cannot meaningfully assess areas such as practical, project and affective. School-based continuous assessment is the most appropriate means of assessment for such areas. </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>School-based continuous assessment brings about an assessment system which is comprehensive, continuous, competence-based, criterion referenced and cooperative. The means of assessment are straight forward and link well with the teaching and learning processes. </li></ul>