Merits and Demerits of School Based Assessment

Overview

In the perspective of Bangladesh, the system of assessment in secondary education level has always been designed mainly to evaluate learners ability of memorization and comprehension skills. Other categories of skills like application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation are hardly included in the assessment. Besides, some of the essential qualities such as oral presentation, leadership, tolerance, co-operative attitude, school behavior, co-curricular activities, and social values are not included in the assessment system. As a result, learners’ tendency to rely heavily on their memorization skill leads them to become unable to contribute fruitfully to the society.

The government of Bangladesh has timely envisaged the reservation of its education system and has justly adjudicated the School Based Assessment (SBA) aspiring learners’ holistic development. SBA has been implemented in junior secondary levels of general education. So for from general perception, it is realization that a remarkable number of teachers in secondary schools lack sufficient training and they are to be trained to bring the SBA method in the better from of effectiveness. This study reveals the current situation of the recently applied assessment system on the basis of opinion from a group of teachers and students of secondary level along with the opinion, suggestion and guidance collected from a number of articles, journals and other secondary publications. It will discuss the issues that emerge from the arguments of the scholars that they hold regarding SBA and its potential in the context of Bangladesh.

Introduction:

Consistent with the education system of Bangladesh, students pass their adolescent in secondary education which is the best time to build up and prepare for the future. Traditionally, in almost all educational institutes (schools), activities like class exercises, class tests, home works, sports, cultural programs etc. are being observed regularly. Although these co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are crucial for their behavioral, social and practical knowledge based development, students have been evaluated only on the basis of terms examination and final examination marks. These activities have been paid minor significance and being optional or kept out of evaluation criteria, majority of the students were left with the scope to ignore them and remain out of the activities.

SBA:

School Based Assessment (SBA) is a continuous process of evaluating the learning improvement of students directed by the teachers. This process ensures within certain span of time that a student achieves all the learning purposes. Under the SBA system, for each subject, semester based examinations will comprise 70% marks and the remaining 30% marks will be on the basis of the following criteria.

A)   Class performance and willingness for learning

B)   Evaluation (Class base)

C)   Assignment (Individual/group)

D)   Behavior, perception and honesty

E)   Speech presentation, individual/group discussion

F)   Leadership

G)   Discipline

H)   Participation in cultural programs

I)     Dexterity in sports and

J)    Scientific practical classes

SBA is a comprehensive process that includes the following three major activities:

i. Coursework: Evaluation of a student’s text and curricular activities at classes and home all the year long. The coursework of an SBA student includes the following activities:

  • Class test: Class test is generally a written test which is taken after the completion of a certain chapter or unit of the syllabus.
  • Classwork and practical: Works done in the class i.e. listening, reading, writing, drawing etc.
  • Home work: Work done at home assigned and guided by the teacher.
  • Assignment: Assignment refers to home work in broader sizes that require the use of extra curricular text and information.
  • Oral presentation: Students are allowed to speak and present their own works and accomplishments.
  • Group work: Group works help build the habit of paying attention to others’ opinion and feelings and attain the skills of working together and characteristics of leadership.

ii. Personal Development: Evaluation of behavioral, social and co-curricular participation in school. Personal development includes the following features:

* Behavior of students at school: The school behavior of a student includes – following the rules at school, polite behavior, consideration for others and their assets, helping attitude around the school and in classes, taking the responsibility of leadership and accomplishment of the same, and passion for study and hard labor.

* Personal and social perception of students: Personal and social perception aims at developing the students’ ability in various fields including differentiate between justice and injustice and appreciate the importance of honesty and truthfulness, consciousness about own responsibility and right as a family member and learner, to have compassion for those who are different in culture, religion, and eligibility, to be proud of own nation, religion, family and country, and to be aware and work for the issues related to environment.

* Participating in the co-curricular activities: The co-curricular activities provide the opportunities of attaining skills and appreciation in enjoyment except for the curricular activities. These activities include- cultural function, sports, performing in the scout and girl guides etc.

iii. Evaluation of improvement in terminal and final examinations: These are written tests that evaluate students’ memory and thinking skills. We all are used to these tests but the exception brought in by the SBA is, instead of 100% marks these will be retaining 70% of the evaluation marks.

Statement of the Problem:

As per the traditional system, studies for secondary students in our country would mean hours spent in memorizing information by rote. As a result, their assessment was based on how much information they could retain, as opposed to how much information they could process, understand and retain as knowledge. There was little scope to evaluate the skill of applying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating the achieved knowledge and ability of the student. Hence, their assessment was largely flawed as it was no meaningful indication of what they had actually learned. It was the recognition of these problems that lead to the final implementation of SBA by the Government of Bangladesh.

Objective of the Study:

The study is intended to examine the throughout features of the SBA process along with its feasibility in the secondary schools of our country. The main objective is to find out the advantage and disadvantages with an attempt to evaluate the potential effectiveness of the process in the perspective of our secondary schools.

Literature Review

To enrich the research vast information could collect. But unfortunately I have to do the work in a very short time frame. So I did not able to contact with so many sectors. More over I tried my best to develop this research. Related books, features published in the daily news paper have followed before starting the research.

The following literature is reviewed

i. Shikkhok Nirdeshika (SBA for class six to nine)

ii. The gadget of Ministry of education about SBA. The gadget of directorate of Secondary and Higher education about SBA.

iii. Different journals from internet.

Limitation of the Study

To prepare this term paper some sorts of problems were created. That’s why this term paper suffers from limitation. Such as:

a)    As a trainee of 134 FTC I did not able to get much time.

b)    Lack of relevant books, data and journals.

c)    Scarcity of reference books in the library on the topic.

d)    As the time was very short that’s why data collection and analysis were made in a simple way.

e)    Higher statistical method is not applied for deciding sample size in proportion to the population of the study.

Methodology

The research has been conducted in three schools for period of two months. Both primary and secondary sources have been used for collecting data. While selected respondents have been interviewed. For primary data, related publications, journals and newspapers have been looked up as secondary sources for acquiring necessary information. According to Gustav W. SRIEDRICH, a very rough rule of thumb for the novice researcher is that, samples of less than thirty are generally considered in adequate except for pre-testing; samples in the one hundred to two hundred range are rarely brought into question; and few research questions require samples of greater than five hundred1. [1. Sampling theory, methods of inquiry syllabus, 514, (com, info, rutgerh. edu/ » gusf/sampling.html]. For our study considering the limitation of time and other resources 30 participants including students and teachers have been interviewed. For the lack of enough time only 30 respondents have been covered from only one district. Data collected through questionnaire have been entered into a data base designed using SPSS and frequency tables with percentages and graph have been developed to get the frequency and pattern of responses.

Data presentation and analysis:

This study is regulated for finding out merits and demerits of SBA for Secondary education in Bangladesh.

Table  : SBA method can make students school oriented

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

25

83.3

Not Agreed

5

16.7

Total

30

100.0

This above table shows that the major (83.3%) respondents expressed their opinion that SBA method can make students school oriented.

Table  : SBA helps increase students’ presence at school

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

21

70.0

Neither agreed nor disagreed

3

10.0

Not Agreed

6

20.0

Total

30

100.0

This above table shows that the major (70%) respondents expressed their opinion that SBA helps increase students presence at school.

Table  : SBA makes students inquisitive

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

23

76.7

Neither agreed nor disagreed

1

3.3

Not Agreed

6

20.0

Total

30

100.0

This above table shows that the major (76.67%) respondents expressed their opinion that SBA makes students inquisitive.

Table  : SBA may introduce partiality/nepotism in evaluation system

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

12

40.0

Neither agreed nor disagreed

3

10.0

Not Agreed

15

50.0

Total

30

100.0

This above table shows that the (40%) respondents expressed their opinion that SBA may introduce partiality and major 50% respondents have been expressed their opinion that SBA will not introduce any partiality in evaluation system.

Table  : SBA helps improve students’ overall performance

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

24

80.0

Not Agreed

6

20.0

Total

30

100.0

This above table shows that the major (80%) respondents expressed their opinion that SBA helps improve students overall performance.

Table  : SBA helps students think independently

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

24

80.0

Neither agreed nor disagreed

1

3.3

Not Agreed

5

16.7

Total

30

100.0

This above table shows that the major (80%) respondents expressed their opinion that SBA helps students think independently.

Table  : SBA increases dependency on teachers

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

15

50.0

Neither agreed nor disagreed

6

20.0

Not Agreed

9

30.0

Total

30

100.0

This above table shows that the major (50%) respondents expressed their opinion that SBA increase dependency on teachers.

Table  : Teachers are adequately trained for conducting SBA

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

15

50.0

Neither agreed nor disagreed

6

20.0

Not Agreed

9

30.0

Total

30

100.0

This above table shows that the major (50%) respondents expressed their opinion that teachers are adequately trained for conducting SBA.

Table  : Student-teacher ratio should be reviewed for proper implementation of SBA

 
 

Frequency

Percent

Agreed

30

100.0

This above table shows that the major (100%) respondents expressed their opinion that student-teachers ratio should be reviewed for proper implementation of SBA.

Merits & Demerits of SBA:

  1. Students are being school oriented: Students are more likely to be school oriented under the SBA method than the previous times under traditional system. SBA evaluation includes participation in 6 course works which needs students’ presence at school. Students cannot remain out of school perimeters to be evaluated this way.
  2. Increasing creativeness: SBA marks are determined through assignment, oral presentation, team work etc. which help increase the creativeness of students.
  3. Achieving real-life education: SBA method includes activities that allow students to be educated with real life skill and knowledge.
  4. Making students confident: Under SBA method students are evaluated through various activities rather than merely their ability of memorizing. As a result they become confident and learn to think independently.
  5. Problem in evaluation: In our country, absence rate of both teacher and students is very high in many schools. As the number of students is too many, a teacher cannot always evaluate all the students appropriately. For the lack of enough teachers, a teacher has to attend 6-7 classes daily. So he is unable to spare enough time to be involved in SBA activities. Again, his class performance is also hampered to make time for SBA activities.
  6. Partiality: School teachers are all in all in evaluating an individual student. There is scope for a teacher to under mark or over mark a student out of partiality or nepotism.
  7. Training for teachers: SBA evaluation is a comprehensive process involving a number of distinct events. Although SBA has been introduced in the country, teachers are not trained on it yet. So, evaluation is not flawless.

Findings:

The study reveals a number of impacts of implementing SBA in the secondary schools of Bangladesh including both positive and negative impacts. The positive and negative impacts are described below respectively:

Positive Impacts:

  1. SBA is making students school-oriented.
  2. SBA is increasing creativeness in students.
  3. SBA helps students learn to think independently and with confidence.
  4. SBA is decreasing the dependence on memorizing.
  5. Students are being obedient to teachers.
  6. Students are learning real-life, practical knowledge.

Negative Impacts:

  1. Students may sometimes be the victims of teacher’s personal rage.
  2. For the lack of trained teachers, SBA evaluation is not always flawless.
  3. For a number of diversified activities, students are sometimes afraid of SBA system. It makes them apathetic to go to school.
  4. For lack of adequate number of teachers, normal class delivery is interrupted to attend SBA activities.

Recommendations:

1. The student-teacher ratio in the schools of our country is not favorable for the implantation of SBA. Adequate teachers should be immediately appointed to make the approach effective.

2. SBA comprises of such diversified activities that many teacher are not well conversant with the method. They need to be perfectly trained to make the method fruitful.

3. There is possibility of partiality and nepotism of teachers under the SBA. So, a provision for close monitoring is to be conceded to make it flawless.

4. Some of the various activities of SBA may be complex and terrifying for a number of the students. They should be treated in the most possible conducive way so that it does not make them avert to school and education.

5. Guardians should be aware of the fact that their children may not fall victim to any teacher, if suspected, guardians should place immediate complain to the head teacher.

6. Head teachers should sit for a guardian’s meeting after each term and try to solve the complaints placed by the guardians.

7. An element of guidance and counseling may be introduced. It will provide opportunity to know teachers’ problems while implementing the new assessment system.

Conclusion

Education is the process by which people acquire knowledge, skills, habits, values or attitudes. During this process it is often required to measure the progress of the learners, how far the educational changes occurred among them or how these changes have been organized. In Bangladesh, secondary education is one of the most important and biggest sub-sectors in education having huge number of institutions and teachers. The rate of enrolment in secondary sub-sector increased significantly in last decade but in terms of quality, it is not up to the mark. SBA is the assessment of students’ progress which occurs, on an ongoing basis during the year, as an important part of the students’ learning. With SBA, teachers give regular feedback to their students to help them learn better. It has been implemented with the intention of developing students’ thought process, their ability to solve problems. It will also focus on students’ personal development and communicative ability. The success of the new assessment system will depend on proper management of resources and manpower. The study reveals some significant facts about teachers’ knowledge and integrity of implementing this new system of assessment. The number of participants was small but most of them provided similar type of information. We sincerely expect that SBA will bring about noteworthy changes among the students making them more capable to suit to the rapidly changing contemporary society.

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