ASSESSMENT OF SCHOLARS’ PERFORMANCE IN CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AND END OF TERM EXAMINATIONS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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ASSESSMENT OF SCHOLARS’ PERFORMANCE IN CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AND END OF TERM EXAMINATIONS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA 

ABSTRACT

This research entitled, comparison of Students‟ performance in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examinations in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State, Nigeria was conceived as a result of lack of uniformity of the weigh attached to Continuous Assessment scores, differences in procedures of scoring and grading in Islamic Studies and shortage of assessment instruments. The study was conducted with the objectives to; compare Students‟ performance in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examinations in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State; find out the procedures used in the conduct of Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State; and determine the difference in Students‟ performance in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in rural and urban Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State. Also, three research questions and three null hypotheses were postulated in line with the stated objectives. Survey research design of the ex-post facto type was used for the study. The target population of the study comprised 13,433 Students in public Secondary Schools. The sample size of 1,608 SSII Islamic Studies Students from 10 Schools which cut across the three senatorial zones (north, central and south) of Kaduna State were used for the study. Data were collected using a researcher designed questionnaire and standard recorded data of scores both for CA and End of Term Examinations. The two instruments were subjected to a pilot study which provided a unique estimate of 0.91 for the standard recorded data and also gave a reliability index of 0.84 for the questionnaire instrument. The data gathered were analyzed using independent t-test and chi-square for contingency table. All the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Findings showed that Students performed significantly better in End of Term Examinations than in Continuous Assessment in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State; significant difference existed between the procedures used in the conduct of Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examinations in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State; and significant difference existed between Students‟ performance in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examinations in Islamic Studies in rural and urban Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State. Based on the findings, the study concluded that the procedures used in the conduct of End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State were more effective compared to the Continuous Assessment. Recommendations were made that teachers in Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State should accept their professional responsibilities and become accountable for their actions with regard to assessment of the teaching process; the Ministry of Education should put in place regulations, checks and balances to ensure that different procedures are used in the conduct of Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examinations in Secondary Schools. Similarly, Islamic Studies teachers should always bear in mind that assessing the progress and achievement of each Student continuously is an integral part of the teaching and learning process.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

          1.1       Background to the Study

Education in Nigeria is the shared responsibility of the Federal, State and Local governments. The Federal Ministry of Education plays a dominant role in regulating the education sector, engaging in policy formation and ensuring quality control. However, the federal government is more directly involved with tertiary education than it is with Secondary School education, which is largely the responsibility of state (Secondary) and local (primary) governments. The federal government introduced Continuous Assessment (C.A). It was aimed at ensuring Student‟s performance in a progressive manner towards the end of the schooling. The government aimed at improving the standard of education in the country by introducing this system, since there has been a mass complain by public of the former system of learning over difficulties by Students at Secondary level of education (Ben-Yunusa, 2008). Continuous Assessment has been for the promotion of total development of the learner and accounting for the level of attainment through assessing the totality of the gains of education as outcome of moral, cognitive, Psychomotor, Affective and social skills of the learner based on a continuously monitored continuum. The success of the Continuous Assessment system depends on the validity of the procedures, the methods to use in recording information, the training and retraining and the monitoring that accompanies it, go a long way to make it effective.

Before the implementation of Continuous Assessment (C.A), the summative system of assessment was used for the promotion of Students from one level of education to another, there was no Continuous Assessment in between, like test, assignment. It is a one-time terminal examination that usually comes at the end of every year. The examination is marked over 100% where a Student is expected to score at least 40%. In the eventuality, a Student fails to meet required score, he may be asked to repeat the year. This is because the evaluation is done in summative basis. The problem of this system of evaluation is that; a one-time terminal or summative test may not provide the best picture of Student‟s performance. Often, such a test deals with certain cognitive skills while relegating to the background the Affective and the Psychomotor aspects of human behaviour. With this type of system of evaluation Students are

encouraged     to      memorize     a     collection     of     facts     to     be     used        during

examinations.(Ogunnuyi,2008).

Indeed, in Secondary Schools, assessment of Students‟ learning in the classroom has been an integral component of the teaching-learning process especially at Senior Secondary School level because there is much effort by the teacher to teach a lot of content to Students. However, to Kellaghan and Greany (2008), that kind of assessment is subjective, informal, immediate, on going, and intuitive as it interacts with learning as it occurs.  Although the main argument behind the adoption of Continuous Assessment is to avoid focusing all efforts, time and energy on just one exam, this is not true in Nigerian Secondary Schools. Teachers and Students put their focus on final examinations called End of Term Examinations (ETE). This is because ETE results are important as it can be used for decision-making in terms of determining as to whether Students should be promoted from one class to another. Generally, Students pile up their notes until the approach of the promotional or terminal examination. The fact that

Student‟s performance is determined at the end of a programme, he/she cannot be helped to overcome his learning deficiencies in terms of knowledge and skills acquisition. Students are overloaded with Curriculum contents at the detriment of skills acquisition through practicals.

Continuous Assessment involves the systematic collection of data on all aspects of an educational endeavor. This means that the data collected about Students‟ academic performance is used on a continuous basis in a systematic way, to take meaningful decisions on what should happen. Graume and Naidoo (2014), have also indicated that,

“in a global economy, assessment of Students performance is changing mainly because in an ever-changing knowledge based society, Students would not only be required to learn and understand the basics but also to think critically, to analyze, and to make inference for making decisions. It is therefore critical that Continuous Assessment could utilize strategies that are able to measure the changing Students‟ abilities and attitudes, and this is why this study was undertaken to compare Students‟ performance in

Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools Kaduna State, Nigeria.

Continuous Assessment take more cognizance of the weaker, average and gifted

Students‟ performance because; as a result of Continuous Assessment,  practical activities are taken where Students are better and perhaps it emphasize more on the three educational domains of learning. In this regard, if they do not score in theory aspect, he/ she may score in the practical aspect. As a result of the population explosion, this vital area of educational assessment has been suffering due to inadequate instructional material, inadequate classrooms, and the problem in the conduct of examinations due to the increase in the number of Students enrolled each year. Continuous Assessment has a larger coverage area. Despite this, the content of some courses in Islamic Studies are very large due to the changes in the new minimum standard in 2009 and the time allocated to the subject has been reduced. These situations may not allow the teacher to cover the full content area and to assess the Students properly.

Secondary Schools in Nigeria where Islamic education is studied among other subjects, Students were assessed based on three domains of learning and the instructional materials were sometimes available, but where the instructional materials needed is not available, the teachers do improvise; the content of the Curricular was not much, there was also the availability of classrooms and the conduct of examination was fine. It has been observed by Oladunni, in Wokocha and Ubong (2013), that there is a serious problem with regard to Continuous Assessment in Islamic Studies. On the basis of the above mentioned problems the researcher carried out this study to compare the Students‟ performance in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

          1.2       Statement of the Problem

The summative system of assessment in Nigeria has been criticized for being concentrated mainly on cognitive achievement of the individual child, neglecting the Affective and the psychomotor domains. It has been seen as being too much oriented towards external examinations. Hence, what is termed “Assessment” in many Schools today is summative, final, administrative, rigorous and content-driven rather than formative, diagnostic, private, suggestive and goal oriented, as such can be regarded as grading. Summative assessment entails the focus on final examinations by teachers, parents and Students. Surprisingly, formative assessment is geared towards the consolidation of Students‟ performance in the final examinations rather than inculcating

Students with problem solving, critical thinking, and life skills.

However, many factors are affecting the evaluation of Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Secondary Schools in Nigeria; likewise over population of Students in the classroom impede the successful evaluation of Continuous Assessment. However due to the number of Students enrolled each year which is larger than what is stipulated in the National Policy on Education, for instance, some Schools have more than 40 Students in the class.

Consequently, there is problem of standardization, grading and scoring of Continuous Assessment tests by teachers. It has also been discovered that some teachers at times, unduly favour some Students while some Students are victimized by teachers. Nwana (2013), further criticizes the use of Continuous Assessment to favour non performing Students. Also, there is shortage of assessment instruments and many teachers lack the skill of instrument construction and they would construct poor instruments. Studies have shown that the CA practices of most of the teachers were faulty and deviated distinctly from policy guidelines. To confirm this, Shehu (2014), submitted that due to lack of adequate training on the part of teachers, the administration of Continuous Assessment is carelessly handled. The reason is because the motives and objectives behind the system are not clear to most teachers and Students alike. And that, many teachers do not possess the necessary skills in developing valid assessment instruments for the evaluation of behavioural outcomes in the three domains. Continuous Assessment requires the overall ability of every Student in terms of cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor (Nwana in Bernard & Emmanuel,

2012). Other problems include inconsistency in instrument administration, categories of

Schools, differences in procedures of scoring and grading and collation of Continuous

Assessment grade.

Also, some teachers think that assessments are limited to paper and pencil tests and examination. Teachers can summarize Students‟ score, class work and assignments to make up a grade for a given period. Teachers seem to be confused in the amount of material content that should be covered by each test. In other words, should a test cover only the materials taught after an assignment has been made or should the test content be extended to the earlier and related materials taught after the preceding tests. It is reported that most teachers opined that each test should include the earlier and related materials taught before and after each preceding test. This is necessary because a test limited in content to the materials taught after the last test ,would not give the Students an opportunity to use knowledge which has been acquired before the last test (Ibeaja & Nworgu, 2009).

Moreover, some teachers lack the expertise required in analyzing assessment information, particularly those dealing with analysis and processing. It has been observed that some Students see Continuous Assessment as requiring extra work and they therefore tend to dislike it, because the scores obtained in different assessments have to be combined. A problem arises as these scores may not be based on the same scale. Also, Teachers‟ attitude towards Continuous Assessment is negative as they have to do extra work.

Lack of uniformity in the weigh attached to Continuous Assessment scores also affects the evaluation of Continuous Assessment in Islamic Studies. Oladunni in Wokocha and Ubong (2013), stated that, he is not comfortable with the variability in test scores across states. Similarly, on the lack of uniformity in the instruments used for Continuous Assessment (tests and assignments), Wokocha and Ubong (2013), confirmed that, there is no uniformity in Continuous Assessment in different states of Nigeria. In view of that, Schofield (2008), maintained that, the shortcomings of Continuous Assessment are due to the differences in quality of tests and assessment instruments. On the other hand, End of Term Examination placed emphasis on obtaining high marks without regard for understanding or the ability to apply the concepts learnt in solving real life problems. Also, too much emphasis on the outcomes of final external examinations leads teachers to concentrate on trying to cover the syllabus, without regard to whether the Students understand what is taught. The practice is concentrated on evaluating the ability of the Students to reproduce facts or steps in solving problems; Very little attention is given to the higher mental tasks, thinking and application skills. These include the ability to apply the knowledge in its real world and to analyze information. Evaluation of specialized skills and competencies is often neglected. Practical abilities and skills as the use of equipment and tools, designing and improvising of equipment‟s and some many other problems are the reason why the study seeks to compare Students‟ performance in Continuous Assessment and End of

Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

          1.3       Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are to:

  1. compare Students‟ Performance in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State;
  2. find out the procedures used in the conduct of Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna

State; and

  1. determine the difference in Students‟ Performance in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in rural and urban Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State.

          1.4        Research Questions

The following research questions were answered in the course of the study:

  1. What differences exist in Students‟ Performance in Continuous Assessment and

End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State?

  1. What are the procedures used in the conduct of Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State?
  2. To what extent do Students‟ performance differs in Continuous Assessment and

End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in rural and urban Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State?

1.5   Research Hypotheses

The study was guided by the following hypotheses:

H01: There is no significant difference between Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination performance of Islamic Studies Students in Senior Secondary

Schools, Kaduna State;

H02: There is no significant difference between the procedures used in the conduct of

Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in

Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State; and

H03:       There is no significant difference between Students‟ Performance in Continuous

Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in rural and urban Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State.

          1.6       Basic Assumptions

This research work is based on the assumptions that:

  1. Students‟ Academic Performance in Islamic Studies in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Senior Secondary Schools  is the same;
  2. The procedures used in the conduct of Continuous Assessment and End term examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools  Kaduna state differs; and
  3. The Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in rural and urban Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State are the same.

          1.7       Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will provide the Federal and State Ministries of Education with some information which would make them appreciate the needs to work out effective means of improving the evaluation of Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State. It will also help in identifying the possible shortcomings of evaluation of Continuous

Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary School, Kaduna State and how they could be addressed.

It will help government to see the need to organize seminars, conferences, training and retraining of teachers of Islamic Studies of Senior Secondary Schools Kaduna State on the significance of using different strategies of evaluation for the purpose of guiding and improving the learning of Students. The finding would also provide relevant knowledge and information to the quality assurance department about the performances of Students in Senior Secondary Schools. The finding will be of great benefit to the Islamic Studies teachers to effectively implement Continuous Assessment methods. They would be provided with the information on the evaluation methods and alternative Continuous Assessment strategies that could be used to enhance Students‟ performance.

The study will provide explicit information about aspects of Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination that needed improvement and suggest strategies to improve teachers‟ assessment practices. The assumption is that improvement in teachers‟ Continuous Assessment and terminal examination practices links to other benefits relating to raising standards of studnets‟ performance. Since there are Students with diverse needs in Schools, improvement in teachers‟ Continuous Assessment and terminal examination practices has the potential to help all Students, including lower attainers to improve. This will help to achieve one of the objectives of the National Policy on Education, to provide quality education for all.

Further, the study will be significant because it will give opportunity for

Student‟s „voice‟ to be heard, including lower attaining Students from participating in discussion concerning their assessment and other aspects of their education. The tacit assumption has been that Students will be neither sufficiently well informed nor sufficiently articulate or rational to contribute to such discussion. However, in this study, Student‟s views will be explored about their experiences of classroom assessments. The assumption is that, it is only by drawing on such sources of knowledge  that School environments can be improved in ways that are meaningful and important to all Students, particularly those who record lower attainments in classrooms.

In addition, the study is significant because it will provide explicit information about the constraints imposed on teachers‟ Continuous Assessment practices and the conduct of End of Term Examination by prevailing educational policies. This will offer policy-makers relevant feedback which if addressed can bring about relevant changes to improve teachers‟ assessment practices in Nigerian Senior Secondary Schools, Kaduna State.

The findings will enable the Students to understand the importance of

Continuous Assessment to their study. One of the main reasons for evaluation of

Students‟ learning is to motivate them to learn. Continuous Assessment encourages Students to work assiduously throughout the period of learning. Students become more alert in the class, punctual and attend class regularly. Students make constant and continuous effort to learn throughout the year. This attitude comes about as a result of the fact that every stage of the instructional process is evaluated and this count towards the ultimate grade or score a Student obtains. This would eventually help in achieving the goals of education. The outcome of the study would make it possible to recommend ways for effective evaluation of Continuous Assessment and conduct of examinations in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools Kaduna State. Finally, researchers will find this study as a source of literature to their study.

          1.8       Scope of the Study

The study compares Students‟ Performance in Continuous Assessment and End of Term Examination in Islamic Studies in Senior Secondary Schools Kaduna State, Nigeria. The study focused on some Senior Secondary Schools across the three senatorial zones within the State and was confined to SSII Students. SSII Students were chosen because they have been sufficiently exposed to Islamic Studies Curriculum and were in the School throughout the session. Other variables of the study include Continuous Assessment, End of Term Examination, procedures, rural and urban.

ASSESSMENT OF SCHOLARS’ PERFORMANCE IN CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AND END OF TERM EXAMINATIONS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA 

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