Opportunities and challenges of school based assessment during covid 19 pandemic in Lusaka urban secondary schools.
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Kalimaposo Kalisto, Daka Harrison , Ndubakwenda Hazel, Phiri Chidongo and Kaulu Goodwell.
International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation.
This study explored the opportunities and challenges faced by learners, teachers and head teachers with respect to School-Based Assessment (SBA) during the COVID 19 pandemic. Worldwide, learning institutions experienced the lock down due to COVID -19. Theoretically, the study was guided by Jean Piaget constructivism learning theory anchored on the idea that knowledge is constructed by the learner’s mental activities. The Argument is that children construct their new understandings and knowledge through experience and social discourse, integrating new information with what they already know. Methodologically, the study employed a case study design because it provided an in-depth exploration of a contemporary, real-life COVID 19 phenomenon in its context. The study comprised 50 pupils, 22 female teachers, 28 male teachers and two head teachers. Data were collected using questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions. The study established that respondents were aware of the SBA programme. The experiences of the implementation of SBA show that due to the past influences of the traditional objective-based assessment, some teachers found it difficult to change to the outcomes-based assessment. Of concern during the COVID 19 period was that of absenteeism on the part of learners with most of them being apathetic towards SBA. The study alludes to the fact that inadequate teachers and lack of requisite resources to implement the SBA programme compounded the problem further which should have been examined to solve the problem next time it reoccurs in urban schools of Lusaka district. The study recommended that the Ministry of Education (MoE), Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) and Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) should provide teachers with more training opportunities to receive professional development in handling SBA in schools and that Head teachers and teachers should ensure that pupils are responsible for their own learning. In addition, teachers should provide adequate feedback to learners, indicating their strengths and weaknesses as a measure of improving learning.