Wash-back effects of national examinations on curriculum implementation in selected secondary schools in Ndola urban, Zambia.

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Siamuzyulu, Milton
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The University of Zambia
There is some evidence to suggest that national examinations have wash-back effects on curriculum implementation in selected secondary schools in Ndola urban. The extensive use of tests scores for various educational and social purposes in society nowadays has made the effect of wash back a significant phenomenon. The concept of wash back refers to the positive or negative influence that tests have on teaching and learning (Hughes,2003). Despite an abundance of research into wash back on teachers and teaching, there is a limited number of wash back studies addressing the learning aspect. This paper presents preliminary research findings on the wash back effect of examinations on curriculum implementation is secondary schools by employing various methodological techniques such as questionnaires and interviews. These were based on an in depth research approach to sampled schools in Ndola urban. The results try to answer the research questions: What is the influence of examinations on the effectiveness of teaching, what is the influence of the examinations on the teachers‟ selection of classroom activities and what extent do learners acquire skills, values, attitudes and knowledge. The main findings of the study indicated that examinations had influence on the effectiveness of teaching by selecting teaching methodologies that can help learners pass the examinations. Effectiveness in teaching was also affected by skipping some content in the syllabus which was not examinable. National examinations affect curriculum implementation in schools teachers concentrate on topics which they believe would appear in the examinations. The study established that the examinations had influence on teacher‟s selection of class room activities. Teachers centred their class room activities on examination preparation, which means that extracurricular activities are regarded as not very important. Class room activities revolve around examination preparation. The study also established that learners were drilled in factual information about examinations and as a result most learners came out of school system with no life skills that could sustain them in life. This means that learners lacked belief in their individuality and hard work to succeed in life. The school system is predominantly imparting only factual knowledge. Students only memorize facts from textbooks and are assessed how much of the knowledge they have memorized and produced.
Curriculum implementation--Zambia. , Education--Zambia--Curricula. , Teachers--Training of--Zambia.