10 Problems Affecting Continuous Assessment In Schools and Solutions

Continuous assessment (CA) is the only way to get the true picture of the effect of teaching on students. 

This is because a single exam at the end of an academic session leaves out the gradual changes the learning experiences are effecting on the students.

However, several problems mitigate the implementation of continuous assessment in education.

The following are the most common of them.

Related: Continuous Assessment (Purpose, Characteristics & Instruments)

Problems of Continuous Assessment in Education 

1. Poor Teacher Quality

Many schools are made up of teachers who are not professionally trained for the teaching profession.

For this reason, they do not understand the concept, purpose, and techniques of implementing continuous assessment in the school system.

If the teachers who are at the center of the implementation of continuous assessment do not champion it effectively, no progress can be made regardless of any other structure working for it.

For C.A. to truly work, every teacher who is employed must appreciate its importance and know how to implement it.

Also, training and retraining should be organized for teachers to update them with new technologies and strategies for better implementation.

2. Transfer of students from one school to another

When students move from one school to another for reasons like relocation or simply preference, their records most likely wouldn’t be transferred to the new school.

Even if a transfer of record wants to be initiated, one of the schools may not take CA seriously and there will be a breach.

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While changing the school of students is not totally avoidable, parents should be encouraged to see the need to retain students in one school as much as they can.

Also, every school that admits a new student should request that they bring their records from their previous schools as a criterion for admission. 

3. Student enrollment explosion

Another problem that affects continuous assessment in education is the enrollment of a large number of students into the school system.

This is especially the case in public schools where one teacher has to keep up with over 50 students in a class.

Even if the teacher is skilled and passionate about implementing continuous assessment, this overwhelming task will make them spread thin and some details will be left out.

There should be a regulation on the number of students that are enrolled in a particular school per year.

In cases where a large number of students must be admitted, more arms should be created to accommodate students and more teachers employed to cater to them. 

4. Absence of guidance counselor in schools 

Continuous assessment cannot fully fulfill its purpose if there is no school guidance counselor.

Firstly, the keeping of the Cumulative Record Folder (CRF) where all the assessments are compiled is the responsibility of the school counselor. Also, the counselor is best in the position to assess the affective domain of students.

If there is therefore no guidance counselor in the school, continuous assessment will not have its characteristics of being cumulative and comprehensive.

Every school should have at least one competent guidance counselor to work hand-in-hand with the teachers and school administrators to implement continuous assessment in their school.

5. Lack of continuous assessment tools

Many schools lack the basic tools needed for implementing content assessment like the CRF rating scales, psychological tests, anecdotal records, and sociograms.

Without these tools, continuous assessment only remains an abstract concept in the school.

The teachers and counselors must be equipped with these tools provided by the school administrators and with more funding from the government and Parents, Teachers Associated (PTA) as the case may apply.

6. Unmotivated teachers and counselors

Having qualified teachers does not make any difference in the school if the teachers are not motivated to do their work.

One major reason for reduced morale among teachers is poor welfare and remuneration.

All teachers and counselors know they can’t be fully paid for their service but if the support system is encouraging, it would aid their focus on their duties.

Instead of worrying about other things like how to take care of their family, several welfare systems should be created for teachers.

Also, their remuneration should be reviewed from time to time to meet up with the economic situation of society. 

If teachers are encouraged they will put in their best and go the extra mile in implementing continuous assessment. 

7. Lack of standardization of CA test across schools

Different schools use different measures to measure different traits in students and this is a huge problem in implementing continuous assessment.

Firstly teachers need to learn several methods depending on the school they are working in. Also, the results cannot be transferred from one school to another.

Lastly what is marked as improvement in a student may just be the case of wrong measurement by a school.

The Ministry of Education at all levels must ensure that every school uses standardized tests and instruments. The interpretation of these test results must also be uniform across all schools.

8. Absence of external regulation on the activities of schools

The reason why a school can function without a system for continuous assessment is that there are no external bodies from the government regulating their activities.

Many schools are left to operate on their terms which brings disuniformity in several aspects of the school system one of which is continuous assessment.

The government must set up a functioning body saddled with paying visits to schools from time to time to ensure that all their activities are aligned with national standards as established by the National Policy on Education (NPE).

9. Instability of the school calendar

Several factors affect the stability of the school calendar which also affects the continuity of continuous assessment

These factors include unrest, strike actions, and the outbreak of diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Higher security measures should be implemented in schools to ensure the continuity of academic programs.

And for cases like the COVID pandemic that are unexpected, ICT should be maximized to set up virtual learning programs.

10. Neglect of ICT in continuous assessment 

Continuous assessment is still done manually in the average school. This limits the efficiency of the teachers and subjects the records to cases of loss or damage.

Although manual continuous assessment has been used in the past it is a reason for the low success rate and slow implementation across schools.

Once continuous assessment can be done electronically with the same software across all schools it would solve several problems.

Among which is the problem of lack of standardization, overwhelm of teachers, loss of records, and transfer of records.

The government should set up a Student Continuous Assessment Processor (SCAP) software and make it the standard for all schools that will be accredited.

Conclusion

The problems of continuous assessment include poor teacher quality, transfer of students, student enrollment explosion, absence of guidance counselors in schools, lack of CA tools, unmotivated teachers, lack of standardization of CA, absence of regulating bodies, instability of school calendar, and the neglect of ICT.

If these problems are tackled and dealt with, CA will be adequately implemented in schools.

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