Science Process Skills Assessed in the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) Senior Secondary School Chemistry-5070/3 Practical Examinations

Billy Siachibila, Asiana Banda


The purpose of this study was to determine the science process skills inherent in the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ) pure chemistry practical examinations (5070/3) for a period of 10 years (2007-2016). The study adopted the Ex-post facto research design. The questions from  the ECZ  chemistry-5070/3 practical examination (5070/3) from 2007-2016  were analyzed for science process skills based on the 12 categories of science process skills adopted from the AAAS (1993), with an addition of one more integrated skill which is graphing. Data were analyzed descriptively by computing frequencies and percentages. The results from the study shows that the science process skills included in the practical examinations are; interpreting data, experimenting, inferring, observation, measurement and communicating only. Among the 13 science process skills focused, the most prominent were observing (28.94%), measuring (15.44%), communicating (28.64%), and interpreting data (11.10%). Comparing the two categories of science process skills, basic and integrated science process skills, the results show a high percentage of the basic science process skills at 80.51% as compared to integrated science process skills at 19.50%. This implies that ECZ included more basic science process skills as compared to integrated science process skills in its national examination for the period from 2007 to 2016. These results have implications to chemistry teaching and learning at high school level.

Keywords: chemistry, chemistry education, science education, practical examinations, science process skills.

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