The introduction of continuous assessment systems at secondary level in developing countries
There is a significant international trend towards continuous assessment (CA). Many developing countries, with a variety of political ideologies, have introduced CA to operate in parallel with external examinations at secondary level. CA results may be reported separately, or CA may form a component of students’ final results; few countries have moved as far as the Australian State of Queensland in replacing external examinations by CA. But in some developing countries (e.g. Tanzania, Papua New Guinea) CA systems have been in operation for over a decade. Others (e.g. Sri Lanka, Swaziland) are in the process of introducing CA. What are their reasons for doing so? In the first section of the chapter I shall summarize the situation in a range of developing countries of differing size, wealth and geographical location. Subsequent sections are concerned with the aims of CA systems, with the assessment functions such systems may perform and with the problems that are likely to be experienced in their implementation.