Implementation of School Based Continuous Assessment (CA) in Tanzania Ordinary Secondary Schools and its Implications on the Quality of Education

Safarath Byabato, Kingtin Kisamo


Since introduction of continuous assessment system, National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) has identified an aspect of schools turning in high continuous assessment (CA) marks of their students which does not correlate at all with their respective final examination subject’s marks and therefore a serious challenge to the implementation of National Education and Training Policy of 1995. Little has been done to determine teachers’ practices and capabilities on the effective implementation of school based CA marks. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate the implementation of school based continuous assessment in Tanzania Ordinary Secondary Schools (O-level) and its implications on the quality of education. Five hundred and forty six (546) O-level teachers from Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar participated in the study. Convenience sampling technique was used and data were collected using a questionnaire and analyzed by SPSS package to compute mean, standard deviation and percentage. A 3.5 mean value of the six Likert scale formed the basis for presentation and discussion of the results.

The results showed that the implementation of school based CA it is not properly done as is currently challenged by number of serious problems such as lack of teachers’ integrity (favouritism and inflation of marks), lack of uniformity in both the assessment tools used and procedures for CA recording and reporting. The role assumed by NECTA as CA coordinating and monitoring body so to eliminate the element associated with high price place on a single examination is not properly done and its guideline prepared in 1991 for CA implementation is not found in most schools and yet it is not in the same pace with today’s society as it has not been reviewed since its inception.  In general teachers showed little or no in-depth capacity of the assessment practices. It is recommended that there is a need to first, revoke the current NECTA’s system of CA so that the new system considers National Form II and pre-national (Mock) examinations as the alternative CA components in grading the final examination results of candidates and second, to fine-tuning CA coordination and monitoring done by NECTA or establish coordinating and monitoring body operationalise CA to the intended standard.

Keywords: School based continuous assessment, CA implementation, Quality education,

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